My high kicked in right around our first plank. I felt the oncoming stone in my stomach muscles, oddly.
I’m still somewhat new to yoga practice, and I sometimes have a hard time engaging the specific muscles my teachers reference. The stomach is a good example. It’s a muscle group my chiropractor says should be engaged throughout the workday, especially when I’m sitting at my writing desk. But I don’t usually remember to engage my stomach muscles when I’m just sitting there writing and editing. I usually resort to the same crappy posture I’ve had most of my adult life.
And that’s probably why I’m so close with my chiropractor.
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After landing at Lone Hawk Farm’s stunning spread earlier that morning, I popped a couple of Growing Kitchen’s five-milligram Chill Pills as my wife and I walked into the barn. Some long, elegant tables were set on one end of the room as yoga mats occupied the rest of the space — arced like radiant sunbeams from the yoga instructor’s position in front of the stage.
Young men and women ambled about the space with their tea and scones. Event staff manned a station offering dabs of potent cannabis concentrates and hits off pre-loaded Pax vaporizers. Outside a group of friends stretched together while chickens and other farm animals walked their funny walks.
This was the scene at Yoga With a View on May 15 — the latest luxe cannabis party thrown by 420-friendly promoter Mason Jar Event Group.
We’ve already introduced you to Mason Jar’s Kendal Norris, the woman who pairs these extraordinary culinary events with scenic locations, like-minded cannabis businesses and activities such as yoga or seasonal dinners crafted by “Top Chef” champ Hosea Rosenberg. We took you inside her first marijuana-minded Yoga brunch. And we also sent author and Cannabist correspondent Neal Pollack to San Francisco for three consecutive days of ganja yoga — and his awesome travelogue from that stoned-and-stretched trip is a must-read if you’re a noob or an experienced yogi.
So what do I have that’s new to this conversation? Come along and find out.
“Top of a push-up.” That’s how yoga teachers kindly explain plank pose in classes that clearly have a lot of beginners in them. And that’s where I was when my high first revealed itself on Sunday morning.
I felt my underdeveloped stomach muscles working — for once, I felt its very specific support. And then I realized how thirsty I’d gotten. And my mind wandered — “That woman in front of me in the psychedelic weed-leaf yoga pants? I wonder if those are available in men’s sizes.”
Not for me, of course.
As we continued our stretch-focused class, which also included time for meditation and the accompaniment of a live band, I appreciated the specificity of my high. The stomach muscles were engaged, sure, but I also felt the swing of the pendulum as I transitioned from plank to downward dog. I picked up on the teacher’s careful flow, which was oriented toward beginners such as myself. I connected with her instructions as she aptly described each of the more difficult positions. As she took us into pigeon, I knew that wasn’t going to fly with my tall-person hamstrings.
Without so much as a look, she offered a modified pigeon pose — one that worked well for my long legs and taut hammies.
The practice was a delight. The band’s rhythm carefully followed the instructor’s flow. As we wound down toward savasana, so did the music. And soon we were all laying on our backs, palms facing up toward the barn’s towering ceiling.
We were breathing together. We were stoned together. We were together.
After another 10 minutes of meditation, the teacher thanked us for our attention to the morning’s practice. We thanked her and the band with warm applause before rolling our mats and hitting the bar — black licorice tea, hits off the Pax, more dabs and now DIY-mimosas, my favorite kind. (I’m a light-juice guy.)
My wife and I milled about and caught up with several friends, met some new cannabis business contacts and shot the shit with Producer Vince, my Cannabist Show colleague who was on site to shoot the awesome video that tops this essay.
Everybody was smiling, feeling good and vibing off each other.
The after-workout high is a real thing. It also applies to yoga, of course, and it’s extra-special when combined with marijuana. Those 30 or 40 minutes of socializing had me wishing that my regularly scheduled weekly yoga practice in Capitol Hill was followed by chit-chat, catching up and mimosas.
Suddenly Mason Jar’s Norris was floating by us with her handheld xylophone-like instrument, subtly signaling it was time for brunch.
Rosenberg and his crew from Blackbelly Market were soon passing large plates of food community-style down the stretched tables. Organic Greek yogurt parfait. Southwest scramble with fresh chorizo and green chiles. Vegetable frittata with spinach, asparagus and kale. We somehow missed the smoked cheddar grits, but the house-made bacon more than made up for it.
Nobody sitting at those tables went hungry on Sunday. Like the rest of the morning, everything just flowed at a natural and casual pace. Soon people were gathering their yoga mats and goody bags and hugging their friends, new and old, goodbye. The shuttles that transported many of us to the Longmont farm announced their impending departures. And just like that, we were off to experience the rest of our Sundays — with loose limbs and full (and engaged!) stomachs.