As I drive the approximately 15 minutes from Downtown Denver to Wheat Ridge, my adrenaline begins to build. Located in a remodeled basement, Break the Stigma Fitness is the first cannabis-friendly gym in America. I had signed up to take one of their most popular classes, which founder Jennessa Lea had invited me to — a Pink Floyd-inspired cannabis-infused yoga class.
It sounded so rad, but some PTSD lingering from middle school gym class typically keeps me away from group fitness. However, I figured, “Anyone attending a cannabis yoga class won’t judge my lack of coordination or my love handles!” By the time I had walked up to the Break the Stigma Fitness door, a familiar aroma filled my nostrils and my insecurities mostly dissipated.
Lea, a fitness expert and cannabis patient, started Break the Stigma and the corresponding FitCannabis Girl blog after finding relief through the plant from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The hereditary disease affects the cartilage in the human body, essentially the glue that holds the body together.
“I would open doors and my shoulders would fall out of sockets; even brushing my hair was a painful task,” Lea said. “I was also on a significant amount of pharmaceuticals, a lot of which were narcotics, and I was also significantly overweight. I was doped-up in a haze completely, staying in bed, and needed a wheelchair to get around.”
Since beginning a regiment including cannabis, exercise and clean eating, Lea is now the healthiest she has ever been and dedicates herself to spreading awareness about the powers of this plant.
Prior to the beginning of the yoga class, Lea explains the different delivery methods of cannabis. A large table features CBD water, infused energy shots, and topical balms to apply after exercise. After perusing the goodies, I travel to the next table where Lea is offering cannabis concentrates to interested attendees, carefully demonstrating how to use a Vapexhale EVO, an innovative vaporizer that uses a glass pathway to deliver delicious vapor to its user with ease.
While waiting my turn for a tasty rip, I noticed marijuana-inspired workout gear from Miss Mary Jane Co. displayed on the walls. Inspired to get the full-on experience, I purchase a pair of purple and pink leggings emblazoned with pot leaves and a tank top proudly proclaiming “Dabs for Abs.” I quickly change and after a double hit off the EVO, I am ready to channel my inner yogi.
I take a mat and block towards the back of the room and begin stretching. While I’ve been to a few yoga classes, I don’t know the names of all of the poses, let alone what I am supposed to do during them.
Another spurt of self-conscious feelings arise — old habits die hard — but I again recalled that everyone in the room was high and, more importantly, no one was thinking about me. They were in their own groove.
The class begins with a short meditation on our backs in order to center our energies. “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” began to play and psychedelic lights on the ceilings and walls made it easy to relax and simply enjoy the moment. The class itself was designed for all levels of experience — and again, we were all lit — so when I started just doing my own moves, I thought, “Maybe I can hang with group fitness.”
When the class ended, I felt refreshed and invigorated. I drank some CBD-infused water to help cool down from my workout (okay so it wasn’t a full on, push it to the limit, CrossFit class, although Break the Stigma does offer them). I asked Lea how long it will before Break the Stigma gyms will be in every legal state.
“Cannafitness is definitely trending right now, and I anticipate a steady growth over the next three years, with it really taking off as legalization continues to spread,” Lea said. “I look forward to expanding as this development takes place!”
TELL US, have you ever worked out high?