What do cannabis and yoga have in common?
For Sari Gabbay and an increasing number of people across the country, they are both tools to gain a new perspective on life and ourselves, revealing what we are truly capable of.
Cannabis has been used for centuries as a plant medicine, intended for both physical and spiritual wellness. A partnership with yoga extends back just as far—ancient yogis recognized the value in both and their innate ability to enhance one another. The familiar introspection found after ingesting cannabis can undoubtedly help with meditation and paying extra close attention to how our bodies are responding to different poses.
Gabbay, a long-time cannabis user and yogi, completely flips the typical “stoner” stereotype. She’s active, health-focused and she is quick to engage in easy conversation.
“Cannabis and yoga have been such a profound experience for me,” says Gabbay. “It helps to clear out the distractions, and I’ve had these incredible moments when I come to Shavasana. Things come to me from my higher self in that meditative state. [When I use cannabis] I can push myself further, I sweat less and I exert less energy.”
Gabbay’s life-changing journey with yoga and cannabis has inspired her to organize and host the upcoming Cannabliss Retreat in Ojai, Calif. June 22 – 26. She invites individuals of all types to join her for 5 days to learn and experiment with plant medicines—beyond cannabis, kava kava and cacao will also be used—do yoga, meditate and eat wholesome, organic food. No experience is necessary, only an open mind and a willingness to learn.
Redefining cannabis as a wellness supplement is central to Gabbay’s intent. She hopes, as cannabis becomes legalized and normalized across the United States, it will be embraced as an effective tool to heal our physical bodies, improve our ability to regulate our emotions and help us stabilize our mental states. The retreat offers an opportunity for attendees to wake up to the possibilities of plant medicine and themselves.
The retreat focuses on how to use psychedelic plant medicines in a holistic and beneficial way. Gabbay emphasizes the importance of using these plants mindfully.
“There’s balance in life,” Gabbay says. “That’s what the plant teaches us: If you’re using this as a crutch, you’re not going to feel good.”
Gabbay tries to introduce mindfulness in all parts of her life, beyond just using cannabis. Yoga has helped with this, too—being deliberate and thinking about her own actions, how it affects her body and those around her.
“ It means just mindful consumption of everything—not just of food, but of energy, how you sleep and your thoughts,” Gabbay says. “It has been just being mindful as often as possible, how you live your life. How you’re vibrating higher.”
As more 420-friendly yoga events are popping up in legal states, Gabbay emphasizes that just smoking cannabis is not the point. It’s an important aspect, but an effective experience does not rely on cannabis alone. Most importantly is the motivation to improve oneself. And while the Cannabliss Retreat is intended to be relaxing, this self-realization can be hard work.
There are three primary facets to the retreat: strengthen your body, awaken your spirit and expand your mind. Gabbay has focused much of her own health routine on these pillars. She has found focusing on them helps immensely with overcoming life’s obstacles.
“A lot of us are waking up and feeling the call to be better, to face our fears and to step into ourselves,” Gabbay says. “For me, it started as ‘Okay, I’ll do this cannabis retreat’ and then that wasn’t enough. I needed to be able to create an experience that people can walk away from feeling that they have tools to change their lives.”
Hopefully attendees will have some fun, but also have time to reflect on themselves and their position in life. Ideally, they will gain a new perspective. At the Cannabliss Retreat, there’s something for everyone: whether you’re there to try out new yoga flows, trying new medicines or even meeting like-minded individuals. Gabbay has designed the event to meet a broad variety of needs and desires—but one thing is for certain, the retreat will leave you feeling physically and mentally refreshed.
To learn more and purchase package options for the Cannabliss Retreat, visit cannablissretreats.com.