Rachael Carlevale holding a cannabis leaf
Rachael Carlevale's new series on Green Flower is turning all sorts of people on to cannabis + yoga (Photo by Jeff Skeirik courtesy @CosmicSister)

The use of cannabis is an ancient ritual that has been a part of humanity for at least 10,000 years. Throughout the millennia, cannabis has found a place alongside many other practices due to its medicinal and spiritual benefits.

Now that the plant is legal in some form in over half of the states, there is more room to explore its unique properties. One practice making waves for people from all backgrounds is cannabis yoga.

“Yoga has many benefits for the mind, body and spirit including creating a balanced state of health,” says Rachael Carlevale, founder of Ganjasana cannabis plant spirit yoga.

“The practice has been shown to boost immunity, happiness, and prevent injury and diseases as we age.”

Carlevale started Ganjasana with a desire to bring her knowledge of plant medicine, yoga, and mindfulness to the world.

“It’s kind of a culmination of my whole life’s work and experience coming together,” Carlevale explains.

“I first started the practice of yoga when I was 15 and I found a lot of benefit from it in my physical body, my emotional body, my spiritual body – I was really able to get in touch with all those sides of myself through the practice of yoga for healing.”

The Healing Powers of Cannabis and Yoga

After graduating from college – which included studying abroad with the Shipibo Tribe shamans in the Peruvian Amazon jungle – Carlevale became a certified yoga instructor.

One year later, she was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors had found a large tumor in her uterus – Carlevale’s experience with yoga and the cannabis plant spirit has been integral in her personal healing.

“While I was very ill, I was using cannabis for all of my symptoms. It helped me gain weight back, it helped me re-embody my body. I couldn’t even lift my hand over my head, I was so weak. And it just rejuvenated my entire self, allowing me to really thrive.”

Carlevale adds that despite recommendations for several surgeries and toxic treatments, she chose to use plant medicine for her cancer. Cannabis has certainly had an amazing effect on her progress.

“After using the practice of Ganjasana, I shrunk my tumor over 20 millimeters. It saved my life.”

Ganjasana is Born

Carlevale launched Ganjasana on April 20th, 2015, offering cannabis plant spirit yoga ceremonies in Denver and Boulder.

“During ceremonies, we use the tools of yoga, meditation and mindfulness to deepen connection with the cannabis plant spirit, rather than view the herb as a tool for elevating our yoga experience,” she explains.

A ceremony is not your typical yoga class. Carlevale wants her students to immerse themselves in the plant spirit in order to understand the plant’s power.

“Ganjasana takes the time to create a safe ‘set and setting’ among the ceremony circle and discusses comprehensive cannabis yoga education before entering into the ceremony,” she says.

“Individuals are guided through a conscious cannabis consumption ritual, and are then led through the specifically designed yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practice to deepen connection with the master cannabis plant spirit for health and well-being.”

The Plant Spirit is Calling

Above all else, cannabis yoga ceremonies are meant to guide participants through the amazing benefits of stretching, breath, plant medicine, and mindfulness in one practice. Carlevale is planning to tour the country soon, spreading the Ganjasana lifestyle to the masses.

“I like to say that I work for the plant – as much as I’m the founder of this company, it’s really bringing ancient practices back to the modern-day times. Cannabis has been here for thousands of years before humans ever have – it has so much to teach us.”

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