[Canniseur: Jessamyn is one of my sheros. She reminds us that mindful consumer choices are important. As a whole, we need to support small and ‘woke’ businesses that are supporting sustainable life. As an aside, I have her book and she’s a fabulous teacher.]
The renowned body positive yoga teacher brings her advocacy to the cannabis space
When Jessamyn Stanley told me that she loves smoking spliffs, I was surprised. As a yoga teacher who has gained prominence as an outspoken critic of white-centric, commercialized yoga, Stanley occupies a particular intersection of weed and wellness that I didn’t expect to be cool with tobacco.
But perhaps I should have expected it.
After all, it’s Stanley’s seeming contradictions that have vaulted her to becoming one of the most sought-after voices in yoga. Identifying as fat, black and queer, Stanley is an inspiration to women who don’t look like the typical skinny-white-girl-doing-a-handstand image of yoga that has come to dominate wellness culture. She is here to tell us that, in fact, it is not a contradiction to be fat and fit. And now, she’s here to tell us that it is not a contradiction to be productive and a stoner. (Hear, hear!)
In many ways, her journey to becoming a cannabis consumer and advocate mirrors her journey to practicing, teaching and speaking about yoga.
“I’m a Reagan baby. My parents made sure that I was in D.A.R.E.,” she explained. “So I was really anti-everything up until undergrad, and even then, [smoking cannabis] still made me think, ‘This is like a bad thing to do.’”
The thought that marijuana could be medicine was not really something that occurred to her, until she dated a cannabis consumer who showed her the plant in a new light — as a “healing practice” rather than a shameful activity. And later, this new mentality about cannabis turned out to be instrumental to her success in the yoga world.
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