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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Hemp meets rugs: Where to take a cannabis yoga class in Denver

Amanda Hitz teaches a Bend & Blaze cannabis yoga class. (Annie Paoletti, Annie Paoletti Creative)

Before the pandemic, the wellness industry was on the verge of becoming the biggest “consumer spending opportunity” in decades. US Chamber of Commerce. although In-person gym and fitness classes Faced with shutdowns and devastation during the pandemic, other fitness opportunities arose, including a renewed interest in online fitness classes.

Similarly, Denver’s health and wellness scene has shifted to accommodate the growing COVID-related stresses that were taking a toll on the community. Fitness classes like yoga, HIIT and meditation were some of them Popular health trends in 2020.

Simultaneously, cannabis sales also skyrocketed. In fact, Colorado’s marijuana industry broke records with sales of $2.2 billion. So, where does that leave the niche market where wellness and cannabis collide?

Meet the women behind Denver’s cannabis yoga scene, Amanda Hitz and Ali Duncan. The two women have independent, private studios that offer a variety of wellness classes, including classes where the use of cannabis is encouraged.

Amanda Hitz teaches a virtual cannabis yoga class on Zoom. (Amanda Heitz, Bend and Blaze)

when . Founder of Amanda Heitz bend and blaze, began to include online classes During the pandemic, she found a new opportunity for outreach. The online fitness platform allowed him to not only continue to run social cannabis events, but also to expand Bend & Blaze to other communities around the US.

if you go

Bend & Blaze offers several in-studio and online classes per week. To sign up for an in-person class, you’ll need to join the Bend & Blaze mailing list. Participants must be 21 years of age or older and bring their own cannabis. View a schedule here bendandblaze.yoyo

Urban Sanctuary also hosts several cannabis-supported classes per week, with membership and drop-in rates available. You must be 21 years of age or older and bring your own cannabis. View a schedule here usdenver.com 2745 Welton St, 303-993-2420

“Zoom is really great for online yoga because it still allows us that time before we’re flown to hang out and smoke and everyone is in their homes, so I recommend it to the community beyond Denver. Was able to open for, which is really awesome,” she said.

This summer, Bend & Blaze also hosts private, individual events, by which people can intercept the invitation Signing up for a company email list. Cap Hill Hostel’s outdoor patio serves as a space to incorporate marijuana into a social setting just before beginning a 60-minute sequence of yoga poses. Hitz explained that some students hit during the wipe and others packed a bowl next to their mat, but it was always BYOC (Bring Your Own Cannabis).

“We don’t really incorporate cannabis into yoga, it’s just a space we create where you’re welcome to consume and that’s what brings us together,” she said. “And then we just drift off.”

For some yoga enthusiasts, the use of cannabis during practice can be controversial. Yoga International writes that Marijuana is not related to yoga, claiming that it is clearly in line with junk food and alcohol.

However, Hitz said that without the use of cannabis, yoga is not accessible to some of his students who experience pain or anxiety. Ultimately, it is the student’s choice when it comes down to how they want to practice yoga.

“I think it’s a privilege for someone to say that you’re defeating the purpose of yoga by including cannabis, to assume that everyone can use yoga, which is not the case,” Hitz said. .

Hitz also found that her studio, whether in-person or online, attracts students who are trying yoga for the first time. In other words, “people who wouldn’t really approach yoga otherwise.” men usually make up 50% of her classes, a high participation rate Compared to standard yoga classes.

“I have a lot of yogis who have never practiced before because yoga studios are intimidating and I think cannabis helps destroy yoga as much as yoga helps destroy cannabis,” she said.

Ali Duncan, Producer urban sanctuary At Five Points, yoga is also opening the doors to cannabis in the studio. In 2016, when he could not personally find the necessary space to practice yoga, he created a yoga one instead. Urban Sanctuary, “is a brave, safe place for marginalized communities,” she said.

Duncan’s Studio offers a variety of classes Also, incorporating modern ways of practicing yoga. In addition to cannabis-backed sessions, Urban Sanctuary offers tarot yoga, nude yoga, aerial yoga, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). An alternative treatment for pain and stress.

Amanda Hitz teaches an in-person cannabis yoga class at Bend & Blaze. (Annie Paoletti, Annie Paoletti Creative)

Like Bend & Blaze, Urban Sanctuary also went virtual during the pandemic, but in-person classes have resumed since then.

“Copacetic Flow is done online … with the community through Zoom. They take their plant medicine with everyone and then do yoga through Zoom,” Duncan said.

In times when stress is above average, Exclusively for people of color and womenOf course, cannabis-backed yoga can provide an outlet for reaching a higher regard, even if it means changing the way it is taught. According to Duncan, combining cannabis with yoga often reduces stress levels and can relax the body and mind.

Instructor Havana Stegner leads a Friday Night Light Yoga class (a non-cannabis-supported class) at Urban Sanctuary Yoga Studio on July 3, 2020 in Denver. (Katherine Scott, exclusive to The Denver Post)

“I think we are all medically benefiting from cannabis, whether you are intentionally using it medically or not,” Hitz said. “Like, we all have inflammation, we all have stress, we all have things that cannabis is helping.”

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