Lessons from Self-Care With Her(b)

selfcaresunday1
Photo courtesy of PuffPuffPassCo at Self-Care Sunday

Last week I hosted Self-Care With Her(b), a women-centered workshop that served to create a space to share tips about wellness with cannabis. We had a sister session of open conversation while sharing organic herb, learned how to implement a self-love practice through affirmations and hip-opening stretches, and indulged in shoulder rubs using the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of THC and CBD-infused massage oils. An amazing night of radical self-love blessed by the full moon and so much feminine wonder.

The vibes were high as a room full of Queens of all ages, ethnicities, and individual stories communally smoked rose petal blunts hand-rolled with a mix of indica and CBD cannabis, lavender buds (for increased relaxation), and white sage (to lengthen the duration of the high); taking in Mother Earth’s smokable goodness and shedding layers. If you weren’t able to make it to this session, don’t fret – you may have missed out on this divine feminine experience but you can join my mailing list to be the first to know when the next Self-Care With Her(b) workshop will be happening again! For now, here is a peak into some of the ideas we explored about developing a self-care routine with cannabis.

  1. Understand your personal relationship with cannabis

“Every woman interested in a spiritual friendship with cannabis should have her own pipe and her own small stash of good herb, and she should know how to prepare it and savor it. Also, women should do it alone now and then, silently seeking communion and insight. As wonderful as a couple’s enhanced communication and sensuality can be, solo contemplation is also a marvelous path to follow.”

This quote comes from Cannabis & Spirituality by Stephen Gray, and serves as a reminder that your relationship with cannabis is so deeply personal and should be explored alone every so often to honor this. What are your favorite methods of consumption? How do indicas make you feel? How about sativas? How many mgs do you like to have of an edible? If you smoke joints, do you know how to roll your own? What signs does your body give you when you start to feel too high? What do you do when you get too high? What activities feel the best when you smoke? What thoughts, feelings, and sensations are amplified or diminished with certain strains?

I’ve met so many women who only smoke socially or because of their partner, without any regard for what they’re trying to experience other than being altered or just to be a part, that they have no idea what kind of cannabis they’re smoking or what the effects are supposed to be. When you know how different strains, types, and doses of cannabis effect you, and generally educate yourself about the cannabis you’re consuming (ask your budtender!) and the way it effects you personally (ask your body!), you become empowered to take your experience, healing, and well-being into your own hands, rather than leaving it to someone one else.

2. Find cannabis-friendly products for your health and wellness needs

Cannabis is more than a psychoactive plant, it also has lots of stress and anxiety reducing, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving properties making it a perfect ally for women’s wellness. Whether it is a cannabis-infused bath bomb, essential oil, body oil, salve, or diet-specific edible, there are infinite ways to take advantage of the healing benefits of cannabis for multiple situations.

Papa and Barkley Releaf Yoga With Minelli Self CAre with Herb
image courtesy of Eaze
whoopiandmayaselfcarewithherbyogawithminelli
image courtesy of marijuana.com

One of my go-to cannabis products for relieving menstrual cramps and back pain is Papa & Barkley’s 1:3 CBD Releaf Patch, a small patch that radiates warmth and over 30mgs of cannabinoids where the patch is placed and surrounding areas, alleviating discomfort in around 20-minutes. Or, if time allows, I also like to use Whoopi & Maya’s Amer Moon bath soak which has a combination of cannabis, epsom salts, and therapeutic grade essential oils to support and stimulate your body’s natural healing compounds.

 

Whether you have cramps, PMS, are pre or post-natal, going through menopause, or just want to relieve stress after a long day, soaking in a cannabis-infused bath (while smoking a mellow indica joint) is one of the most luxurious and feel good ways to self-care. You cannot get high from a medicated bath soak.

Taking advantage of and being knowledgeable about all of cannabis’s plant medicine is so powerful. Just as knowing the way you react to the psychoactive effects of cannabis is necessary, it is also important to equip yourself with ways to alleviate symptoms through cannabis while supporting your endocannabinoid system. This empowers us to safely manage some health and wellness needs on our own, using the benefits of natural herbs instead of prescription pills.

3. The importance of affirmations

As women we are often taught to seek love and validation through external sources, but in reality we can only be fulfilled when we love ourselves first. Repeating affirmations is a great way to uplift and empower yourself, practice loving awareness, increase your general well-being and confidence, and reduce negative self-talk. The words we say to ourselves, whether they are voiced or internalized, have very real and palpable effects. When your inner voice in a critic more often than an observer it chips away at your perception of self and situations.

During Self-Care With Her(b) we used journals to write down a simple affirmation starting with I AM. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am love. I am here. Whatever naturally arose. While laying on our backs in supported fish pose, reclined bound angle pose, or corpse pose we held the journal to our chest, repeating the affirmation in our heads with each inhale and exhale. Inhaling love, exhaling love.

Doing this for several minutes creates a ritual for a self-care practice and encourages us to carve out time specifically for this. I love doing this in the mornings, writing affirmations and possibly more as long as it is judgement-free, but you can also do this without writing the words, just remembering them in your mind and repeating. Inhaling and exhaling love.

4. When in doubt, try hip-opening restorative stretches

According to yogic traditions, our hips are the storehouse of subconscious emotional and physical stress so stretching the hips allows us to relieve this area, feel open, and create space to birth new perspectives. Restorative hip openers are also deeply calming, helpful in relieving lower back pain and menstrual cramps, and increase range of motion and circulation.

Perfect for morning, noon, and night, combining an affirmation writing and smoking session with some long-held hip-opening restorative poses like supported child’s pose, supported reclined bound angle pose, saddle pose, happy baby pose, butterfly pose, deer pose, and bringing it to a close with a long savasana or legs-up-the-wall pose is grounding and can be an important time to check in, notice without judgement, and let go of what is not serving you. Becoming still and silent enough to filter out the noise that usually seems so important.

It takes self-observation, patience, curiosity, and education to get the most out of cannabis’s whole plant medicine and be able to use it as a viable part of your self-care routine. You can use these tools and any of the options mentioned above to start to get a taste of what self-care with her(b) looks like for you, but always be gentle with your process and always listen to your body. Let us know in the comments section if you try any of these or have self-care suggestions of your own.

Last week was the first Self-Care With Her(b) workshop that I hope to host quarterly with rotating self-care themes and cannabis-products from women-centered and ethnically diverse businesses, bringing support to all kinds of feminine. Join my mailing list to be the first to know the dates for the next sister session! If you would like to submit suggestions for topics of discussion or share your product, email me at hello@yogawithminelli.com

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