“You know, cannabis can take the mundane or the normal and make it spectacular. Make it extraordinary.”
— Dee Dussault
Yoga and cannabis are like peanut butter and chocolate, says Dee Dussault, author of Ganja Yoga. Since 2012 she’s been teaching people how to enhance their yoga practice with the help of cannabis, through her book, in-person classes and training, and over the last year, via Zoom and other online tools. There are a lot of benefits to more mindful stretching. In this episode Dee shares how:
- Yoga and cannabis can both help reduce inflammation.
- She’s integrating some of the more spiritual aspects of yoga, as well as the physical discipline.
- Tantra yoga can help you get in touch with your sexuality.
- Being politically responsible is part of cannabis use.
- She prefers dabbing rosins before she does yoga.
Dee has extended a three-month membership ($90 value) to Ganja Yoga Online free! Just use code KANNABOOM at checkout!
Transcript of Podcast with Dee Dussault
Copyright © Kannaboom, 2021
People have been doing yoga for 1000s of years, almost as long as they've been smoking cannabis. Both help you relax and we now know that relaxation doesn't just feel good. It's good for your health and longevity. And when you combine yoga and cannabis, it's almost as good as combining peanut butter and chocolate. So says Dee Dessault and she wrote Ganja Yoga, the authoritative book on the subject. She's our guest today as we take a deep dive into the amazing benefits of doing cannabis and yoga together. Also, if you want to try Ganja Yoga, Dee has extended a special offer for Kannaboom listeners. You get a free three-month subscription to Ganja Yoga dot online — that's a $90 value — with coupon code Kannaboom. That's three months of free online yoga classes from Dee herself. This offer is good through the end of 2021 at WWW dot ganja yoga dot online. Super generous and I've already signed up myself. If you like this podcast, please subscribe at Apple podcasts or Stitcher or your favorite podcast player. Please leave a review so that people can find the show. And if you liked this episode, please share with friends so we can help grow this movement. Thanks to our producer Danny in Milwaukee. And here's my interview with Dee Dessault. So cannabis is booming, and Kannaboom is on it. Welcome to the Kannaboom podcast where we interview experts on the changing story of humans, health and health from San Diego. Here's your host, Tom Stacey. Hey, it's Tom. Welcome back to the Kannaboom podcast. You know, we're concerned with wellness and all things related to cannabis. So I'm really pleased to have the author of Ganja Yoga, Dee Dussault on the show. Hey, Dee, how are you?
Dee Dussault 1:30
Hey, I'm good.
It's a timely topic. I think as we come towards emerging out of the pandemic and the way that so much, I guess dysfunction was normalized over the last year and the stress that people live under. It seems like the perfect time to come back to yoga. And as you articulated so well in your book, the way it's synergizes with cannabis,
Dee Dussault 1:53
definitely Yeah, I mean, I know at the beginning of the pandemic, dispensaries and cannabis deliveries were, you know, considered an essential service, you know, because so many people rely on them for pain relief anxiety, really, you know, so more people turning to cannabis now, I think during this time of the Coronavirus than before and similarly with yoga, you know, people really realizing how important it is to connect to ourselves to take that time every day for self care, whether it's with a spiritual lens or a more pragmatic, you know, kind of just wanting to relax lens. Yoga really can provide all types of techniques and paths for really all dispositions and personalities, which is really cool.
Again, in the last year, I mean, some of us were like, we didn't know, if we talk to someone at the supermarket, it might eventually kill us.
Dee Dussault 2:41
Definitely. It's like, that's just a little stressful, isn't it?
Right, and then, you know, we fall back on our standard stress sliders of alcohol, and you know, caffeine and Netflix, which might scare the hell out of you.
Dee Dussault 3:02
Definitely, yeah, for sure. And it's it for a beginner, it can sound like a, you know, a big journey or a big bite. But really, you know, it's, it could be as simple as starting with, you know, three deep breaths for someone who doesn't have a yoga practice or breathing practice, just to notice when we're losing our center or losing our chill and to step away from a stressor, step a step away from an email, you know, that's bugging us and even take three to 10 breaths, like, you know, we can begin to use yoga postures and meditations and some of the other practices too, but we can start really in our office in our or for working from home. But we can start in our day to day, our moment to moment with, you know, many yoga practices.
It's beginning, I want to note that you've been at this for a while, and you were doing it for several years before you were approached by Harper to write a book, correct? Yeah,
Dee Dussault 3:47
So I've been teaching cannabis enhanced yoga for 12 years, which is pretty long. And, you know, back in 2009, when I started it, you know, we were just starting to scientifically, you know, know more about how it could help with glaucoma or, you know, cancer treatment, we didn't really know how medicinal and you know, how powerful this plant really is, you know, I mean, I didn't I should say but science was I think pretty just starting to get into that and we've really come a long way now I don't have to convince people really of cannabis is medical properties. It's a lot less sort of convincing people I feel like people just sort of make sense like, oh, weed helps me relax. Yoga helps me relax. I'm sure if I did the two together I'd be even more relaxed.
So you have noticed relaxing of the stigma?
Dee Dussault 4:30
Yeah, for sure. When I moved to California in 2012 the New York Times picked up you know that I was doing the classes which is great. I got some press but yoga studios you know in San Francisco would not have you know, even vaporizing you know, maybe I can understand if they didn't want us to smoke in the studio but they just really didn't want to be affiliated with cannabis at all. And even in the last 10 years that's changed with, you know, more yoga studios having even CBD in their smoothies. It's a start right it's not the same as like psychoactive smoking THC but it's a start.
Right well You are in Marin and that maybe that's the, the epicenter of cannabis and yoga?
Dee Dussault 5:05
I believe it is. So I moved here just a few months ago, and I'm excited to have the quarantine be lifted so we can begin some classes here.
Yeah. So as one of the pioneers of this, when you were out in front of it, did it feel lonely? Were the haters hating on you?
Dee Dussault 5:19
Honestly, it wasn't so bad, it was a little lonely, but there wasn't a lot of hate. I think yoga people in general aren't, you know, you know, going out of their way to, you know, be critical. They're, you know, it's live and let live, for the most part, they're every, you know, story that featured, it would have to be a balanced report. So they would go find a yoga teacher who had something negative to say, just to, you know, provide a more nuanced story. So there was a little bit of, you know, another teacher giving a criticism, and for the most part, their criticisms would be things like, it's, it's a shortcut, you know, we need to work to meditate, we need to work to relax, we need to put in the effort, the discipline, if you used cannabis, and that helps you relax, and you're kind of cheating, you're kind of using a shortcut. That's, that's I think one of the main critiques is that you're kind of late, it makes you lazy.
Well, I guess you could be against the shortcut. But what's wrong with the shortcut? I mean, especially in America, we want to get to the benefit.
Dee Dussault 6:09
Yeah. And we're not like, our culture is not the same as ancient India, like, it's a lot harder to relax now, you know, with cell phones and obligations, and, you know, nuclear families and capitalism and all the problems and issues of modern society makes, it makes it a lot harder to sit and find that calm that you know, inner, you know, Nirvana, the ozone, as they call it. And so we aren't living in this culture that when yoga was invented, you know, the expectations of what yoga can provide and stuff. So it's not as easy for someone to just take an hour out of their day and just sit in silence or, you know, we're just so much going on so many more responsibilities. So really, yeah, shortcut. You could think of it as that, or, you know, it's, it's an I think of it as an enhancement, like food tastes great. Without spice or without salt. You know, it's edible, it's fine. It's, it's nutritious. But if I add a little salt, or a little spice, I've enhanced my meal. Who cares? Like So what, you know, like, you know, if someone wants to argue that food is fine as it is and doesn't need enhancing, well, then don't enhance your food. And you know, people may say the same of yoga, well, it doesn't need to be enhanced, okay, well, then don't do it. But for me, I find enhancing it with music helps, you know, enhancing it with a rubber sticky mat helps enhancing it with comfortable pants instead of jeans, you know, helps enhancing it by turning off my cell phone ringer help. So there's all these ways I enhanced my practice, you know, maybe I have a couch smoothie or meet a friend for coffee before or after yoga, like, at what point are we gonna say that these enhancements are not appropriate? You know, it's, it's to each their own? I think, you know,
Sure. You're just optimizing the experience. So yeah, and we're all for that. At one point in the book, I thought it was a really great metaphor that we can all relate to, yo usaid that yoga and cannabis are kind of like peanut butter and chocolate.
Dee Dussault 7:52
Hmm, definitely. Yeah, for sure. I mean, and that's, of course, for people, you know, that the cannabis works for, you know, for someone who's new to cannabis or has had negative experiences, it might be harder to convince them that it's going to make them relax, or it's going to be good for yoga. And for those people, I would, I would definitely suggest you know that you start with a lower THC product, you maybe take a smaller amount, you know, you build your relationship with it slowly, you don't want to necessarily dive in the deep end and then expect to do downward dogs, you know, right.
I mean, we talk about that often on the show, in almost every respect, it's test and learn. Just try it. And you can adjust it up or down. Even before the pandemic stress has been incredibly normalized in this society. And I think yoga gives you a way to step back from the grind that we've all become accustomed to. It's just taken a couple breaths. But the benefits of that, besides when you're in the moment doing it, they extend further beyond that, definitely.
Dee Dussault 8:50
Oh yeah. I mean, the benefits of both yoga and cannabis are, you know, at this point enormous, you know, what we know from Western science, both both practices or medicines, whatever you want to call them have an enormous benefit, you know, that we can record changes in the brain, we can record reduced inflammation markers, you know, and we know that inflammation is, you know, responsible for pain and for depression. So if we can reduce our inflammation, that's amazing. And both stretching and cannabis reduce inflammation. So if I do the two together, you know, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, kind of like how both chocolate and peanut butter are good on their own and even better together.
Right? inflammation is the root of a lot of physical problems. There's a physical upside and then just the mental upside of having a reliable way to relax without again, alcohol can be it for a lot of people, which we know A) you're gonna have a hangover or B) it might affect you negatively in the long run as well.
Dee Dussault 9:49
Yeah, I mean, alcohol is considered a neurotoxin, right? It's been shown to be, you know, have a toxic effect on the body. Not to say I'm criticizing people who use it. I'll have a drink once in a while. But it's a different type of substance than cannabis, as I'm sure your listeners are aware, one's a toxin in one's, you know, anti inflammatory and anti anti cancer. So it's, it's, you know, sometimes people say, 'Well, you know, because there is, you know, beer yoga now' and why not, but you know, as this distillery or brewery will offer, you know, their own form of enhanced yoga with with alcohol and I don't have really much to say about it. But oftentimes, people will ask me questions like, Well, what do you think about you know, in an interview or whatever it's like, Okay, well yoga, and cannabis have been used together for several 1000 years. Alcohol and cannabis, as far as I know, or alcohol and yoga have not, as far as I know, cannabis is a pro health product. And alcohol is an anti health product, like, so they're not really analogous. It is like apples and oranges. And you know, so it's if someone's using alcohol to relax or to enhance their yoga or you know, just to relax, I would suggest that they wean down on that habit and start to, you know, increase their cannabis use. I find I barely like drinking anymore, I'll have one glass of wine. And I'd much rather bring a joint even to the bar and like, step out and take a little puff, then get drunk, you know?
Yeah, I still like craft beer quite a lot. But I can't imagine it mixing well with yoga. I mean, it seems like a recipe for comedy. Yeah.
Dee Dussault 11:19
So I can't, I don't want to, you know, criticize it. I can't speak to it. But sometimes the critiques of cannabis kind of liken it to alcohol. And I always want to make sure that people know, you know, even sugar is less healthy for you than cannabis like, on the list of substances and how much harm they caused to our body in our culture, you know, alcohol are far worse,
Taking a central nervous system depressant, and then doing downward dogs. And I just don't know how that's gonna work. So tell us about your, you've got online classes, right?
Dee Dussault 11:48
Yeah, so I have a library of over 100 pre recorded classes, so people can do Ganja Yoga with me, you know, in the comfort of their own home, but also on demand, you know, when they want to, and I just started a weekly live class, you know, virtual live class that's donation-based, a big part of my practice this year with, you know, 12 years of doing Ganja Yoga, something I've really become more aware of is cultural appropriation and the need to make sure our yoga is not perpetuating oppression. And that could be things like, you know, making sure we show different sized bodies and our imagery or marketing to show that all bodies and ages do yoga, things like that. But another way is to ensure that financially, people are able to access our classes. So I started a donation-based yoga program to, you know, serve my community and help to make yoga, you know, less oppressive by, you know, financially less of a thing for middle-class and upper-class people, but really something for the people, for all people. So we have a Wednesday, you know, it starts at four so we can breeze through 420 it's every Wednesday. That's Pacific Time.
Yeah, 420 on Wednesdays,
Yeah, we meet up just so we have time to kind of get high and start, you know, talking people bring whatever kind of weed they want. And they can type into the chat box, you know, where they're from, and what they're toking on. And so by 4:20 with the yoga starts, so yeah, the recorded library [inaudible] online. And then there's the donation base classes. And then I also do like one-on-one virtual private. So it's a lot of different ways I can help people and work with people. It's really, really great.
Do you use Zoom or Facebook? Or what platform are you on?
Dee Dussault 13:19
For the live? Donation based? It's through Zoom. Okay, I'm gonna be, the one-on-ones. It's whatever people want, I can use any platform.
Are you still doing live physical in person?
Dee Dussault 13:32
I am not. I'm not so I'm, as well as all the classes. You know, I was in San Francisco doing like twice a week, you know, Ganja Yoga and down in LA, I, you know, I've been to San Diego taught them, you know, I toured quite a bit, you know, with it with, you know, to Portland, to Detroit to New York. But all of that stopped during the pandemic. So it's all virtual. And I think as you know, things open up all I'll begin in person, maybe social distance or outdoors classes here in Marin County. But I actually really like having it, you know, as a digital sort of product. So I can focus on writing and other endeavors, as opposed to constantly sort of posting classes, because it is a lot of energy. I mean, I enjoy it immensely. But a lot of you know, first timers to cannabis might come and have a lot of questions. They might feel nervous. A lot of people are even nervous about yoga, people who've never been to a studio can feel, you know, they feel the need to come up to me and say, 'Oh, just so you know, I'm not flexible.' And I always have to tell people it doesn't. That doesn't matter. It's all good. Like, yoga is not for flexible people. Yoga is for people. And if you do it, you become flexible. You know, it's not that you don't have to start with flexibility. So I'm holding space for a lot of beginners and a lot of nervous that energy is such a privilege. But as I get older, I realized I'm actually an introvert. So I need to do fewer in person things and sort of manage my own energy.
You mentioned writing or is there another book in the works?
Dee Dussault 14:52
Potentially? Yeah, I'm also a cannabis-friendly sex and intimacy coach. So I also work with couples or singles who are feeling disconnected from their sexuality or you know, maybe not relating with their partner intimately and cannabis is optional if it's for people who who want to incorporate it, but, you know, talking with them about, you know, why the intimacy is gone, I'm starting to see patterns, you know, dysfunction in our culture and leading to sexual and romantic dysfunction. So I'm thinking about writing a book, speaking about how cannabis and the a specific type of yoga called Tantra yoga, which is, you know, hard to explain in a brief soundbite, but it's a type of yoga that allows for sex energy. So how couples can use this sort of type of yoga and cannabis to reconnect to themselves and to each other, or, you know, single people can reconnect to themselves, you know, self love, self care, masturbation, all of that, you know, cannabis can definitely help these things. So it's really not that far, you know, from yoga to sex, they're kind of in the same realm of, you know, aspects of ourselves, you know, where we can tap in and feel that more spiritual or more meaningful part of reality, but that when we're so busy and stressed, we don't really make time for.
It would seem to me that there's an enormous audience for that, and like cannabis 30 — 40 years ago, there's a stigma and a taboo attached.
Dee Dussault 16:09
Definitely. Yeah, and maybe that's why I like to teach in these worlds. I'm all you know, sex, drugs, and rock and roll, let's bring it on. Right. But yeah, the stigma, you know, it's, it's so we have to, you know, break free, most of us have some form of trauma around sexuality, whether it's from childhood or just weird upbringings and weird culture or, you know, unfortunately, there's like sexual trauma, but, you know, we're not really encouraged to prioritize pleasure, we're not really encouraged to relax in our bodies and explore our bodies. So again, the yoga and the sex are so related in either cases, just slowing down, tuning in feeling yourself, you know, and seeing what happens, you know, without trying to control and make something happen, like, 'Oh, I'm gonna make a beautiful yoga pose that looks like an Instagram thing,' or 'I'm gonna have sex for you know, an hour straight,' we got to let go of these gold leaves sort of goals or, and focus more on what's in the moment, the pleasure, the pleasure of that is the goal we can't measure. So our Western mind doesn't like that we want to be able to say whether I did the downward dog or I didn't do the downward dog. But these you know, approaches kind of more encouraged us to feel, well how does it feel in my body as I move toward a downward dog? How does it feel in my body as I let go of the goal of orgasm or the goal of erection and just focus on being with myself or with my partner and just kissing or, you know, slowing it down? Back to basics, whether it's with sexuality, or with yoga, just really back to basics?
Boy, there's a few things we could unpack there. And I think on the surface, and I'm sure you've thought these through and written about them, but we have some puritanical foundations in our society and there's a lot of repression around sexuality and when you talk about yoga in general and how it just can wake you up can certainly wake up your sexuality, right?
Dee Dussault 17:53
Oh, definitely. You know, some people report feeling aroused in a yoga class and I don't think it's just that you know, tight Lululemons around them. I think it's truly tuning in to allow ourselves to remember that you know, we're animals when we're on our computers and our devices all day we're in our heads right? We're not connected to our bodies so and culture wants that capitalism wants that you know, that's how we produce more and make more money and spend more money and so you know, when we sit and just feel our bodies and we can kind of actually feel whole and complete for a second we don't need to buy anything for that second, right we don't need to prove ourselves or you know, we're whole we're fine we're in acceptance with you know, and things change but even to have a moment of peace a moment of 'Oh, I don't need to change myself.' I don't need to buy something. I don't need to produce something I don't need to prove myself. those little moments of peace get longer and longer the more often we tune in like that.
You can get to those moments without feeling shame.
Dee Dussault 18:53
Yeah, for sure. Oh, definitely. We all probably all have to overcome shame like you said we this is a America is a puritanical you know, we got this Protestant work ethic we got all these different types of Christianity with the different anti sex propaganda that come with them, you know, I'll say it like the Christianity is not a very pro-sex religion and most religions are not globally and there's a reason for that it's a method of control if you can control people's sexuality so you know for each of us to realize like "Oh, my family you know, left me feeling ashamed of my sexuality, my religion, my culture, but I can break free I can read a book or do a course or do some breathing, I can break free of that shame and the liberation that's on the other side.' Like it's amazing like you know, just shame to make noises right shame to make a funny face during sex shame to make up you know, maybe have your your your stomach rolls show your fat. You know, lots of women try to be in positions where our fat doesn't show, right, to let go of all that body shame. You know, yoga can really really help and I honestly honestly think cannabis can help it get us out of our heads, you know in bed and less worried about how you know, we're looking fat, or looking weird, or sounding weird and more just enjoying the moment lost in the moment. Isn't that what we want?
Right, kind of stepping away from the urge to judge yourself and others and just get to acceptance of yourself?
Dee Dussault 20:13
Yeah. Well tell me more about Tantra and the difference between Tantric Yoga and just what you would call normal, I guess.
Dee Dussault 20:21
Yeah, so the other path of yoga, the Vedantic path, or you know, what we call the normal path or the common path, let's call it that, this path of yoga is more about purity. So, one of the main eight paths are tenants of it is you know, this, you know, wisely using your sexual energy. Some people interpret that as celibacy. Some people interpret that is just, you know, not having a lot of sex. But the common yoga, you know, isn't about sex, it's about kind of transcending sex, you could say, transcending our body, and reaching Nirvana, you know, up in your soul, or wherever your soul is, outside your body. Tantra on the other hand, is it's also yoga, but it it suggests that your soul for that, you know, unification with the universe, like connection with all in that spiritual moment isn't outside your body, or outside your genitals or outside your passion or outside your, it's in your body, it's in your lust, it's, I mean, it's in your whole everything, including your sex. So you don't have to stop being sexual to be spiritual. You don't have to repress or deny, you can use your sexuality as part of your spirituality, you can integrate it, if that makes sense. So it's a kind of a pro sex type of yoga, it's not obsessed with sex, the way we in the West want to kind of make it seem like oh, it's the yoga of sex. It's a lot more than sex, but it includes and celebrate sex. So it's, it's pretty transformative in that way, that it takes this thing that is taboo in every other religion, or most other religions, and makes it sacred and invites us to see it as sacred. And that can really reduce our shame to suddenly see like, 'Oh, wait, I'm not doing something against you know, God or against life.' And this is life moving through me life wants me to, you know, do that raunchy downward doggy style thing as a downward dog, but doggy style, you know, that that's not that's not anti-sacred to do these kinky poses, or whatever, that that itself is sacred, that itself is God, if that makes sense.
Yeah, that it's, it's one more thing along the spectrum of things, it's not something that you deny and repress, and that makes it bigger. And then also the goal orientation that we have in the West, where you're heading toward that orgasm or whatever. And it's, that's the thing, when it's just one thing, among other things.
Dee Dussault 22:41
Definitely, we'd like to kind of compartmentalize in the West, you know, that you know, that sex is genitals, it's only sex if we had an orgasm or indirect genital happened. And, you know, we have these really tight definitions of what sex is. And, you know, when really, we could say, well, if there if there was pleasure, and you felt turned on, or some kind of intimacy, and maybe it was sex, but you had your clothes on, you were just, you know, whatever, making out and hugging, that kind of rewrite these scripts of what even sex is, is kind of, I feel like, that's kind of cool. It's kind of rebellious, you know.
Well, and it's sexy.
Dee Dussault 23:16
It's sexy. Totally, exactly. I don't want to be in a box of like, you know, like a lot of couples that come to me, it's like, you know, no offense, if you're, you know, you think you're a man you present as a man. So a lot, I don't want to offend your gender or other men, but women are saying that men are kind of coming to foreplay with this real sense of, almost like they have to do it. So they push button A, they kiss button B, they tug on button C, and hope she gets wet so that they can, you know, but it's this formula. And a lot of my women clients are saying, 'Well, yeah, of course, I love to kiss and I love when my nipples get stimulated. But if he does it the exact same way every single time as a means to the end, it doesn't turn me on, it has the opposite effect, right?' So he's just gotta switch up. You know, everyone does not just men, but especially men, I think maybe watch a lot of porn, get stuck in a certain formula and a certain type of speed. So I really recommend all people but especially men slow down and be present and, you know, get out of your head with the formula and more be in your body and a sense of curiosity and play instead of a goal.
Right? Less mechanical, less automatic. And boy, cannabis, I think could help in that regard.
Dee Dussault 24:21
For sure, just like it does with yoga. You know, you might have done yoga a dozen times or 100 times you've done you've taken that plank pose or that you know any pose happy baby, but when you do it on cannabis, it has influenced that happy baby has a whole new set of experiences and sensations that you might not have noticed before and so it's the same with with sex. You know, cannabis can take the mundane or the normal and make it spectacular. Make it extraordinary.
Yeah, well, I gotta say I've done yoga, and I've smoked cannabis. I've only done them together once, when I did another previous interview with someone. I'm not naturally attracted to it, but I have a good friend who is really into it. He does edibles, he and his wife do this together, it's become a really nice routine for them. And I gotta say, I really want to try this some more by the way you write about it. And again, in the West, we're goal oriented and benefit oriented. To just to let some of that go and experience. It sounds really fun.
Dee Dussault 25:17
Yay. Thank you. Yeah, well, I'll send you over my it's Ganja Yoga dot online. That's the subscription. So I'll send you over a link, I'll give you like a free month to check it out. You can let me know what you think. Because there's all different types of yoga. So for people who maybe try yoga, or even try cannabis yoga, it doesn't really resonate. It could just be that you did a different style of yoga that's not a good match. That's the good thing. There's so many styles, so many different types of teachers. There really is something for everyone. If you want to try yoga, you know.
Yeah. And like anything, you need to commit to it a little bit. And, again, test and learn. Try it three or four times and see where you go.
Dee Dussault 25:51
Definitely, exactly. On 4/20 actually the cannabis holiday that's coming up, I have 20 of my certified ganja yoga teachers, we're doing a day long Ganja Yoga festival all day from 11 till five Pacific and there's 20 teachers. So it's like short yoga classes back to back all cannabis enhanced. And all the different, I guess perspective, you know, some are really emphasizing the sacred spiritual aspect of cannabis. Some are going to talk more about good alignment, making sure we're safe in our poses, some are going to talk about sexy yoga, some are going to talk about trauma-informed yoga or you know, yoga for people who maybe have had trauma in their life. So there's all these different approaches to Ganja Yoga on this one day, so I'll send you the link for that. Maybe you could come or perhaps share it with your listeners, if there's time.
Definitely, that's a great opportunity to just kind of drop in and try different approaches to it. Yeah, you know, I looked at your website and your Instagram and it to me, they seem like boys, there's a lot of activity there. They're they're real hubs of activity, you have certifications and, and your group and individual classes. As you've mentioned, you've really created a community there.
Dee Dussault 26:57
You know, it's five years in the making, and I worked really hard. I'm a one, you know, one woman show, it's a lot of work, but it's so rewarding. And now as the community is growing it, it feeds itself or its, you know, we feed each other and nourish each other. So it really nourishes me to have these people and on my Instagram, my friends, my community. In the winter, I moved to Canada briefly and had extremely bad seasonal depression, it was a shock. And I put it on my Instagram to, you know, the cannabis yoga community, people I've never met before, mostly. And just like, 'Guys, I'm feeling awful.' And all these people, hundreds of people wrote me with ideas and tips of herbs to take or how they overcame their depression. And it was so beautiful to reach out and you know, feeling a place of need, I'm usually a leader. But at this point, I was feeling really vulnerable. And I reached out and so many people offered their support and encouragement that it really touched my heart that wow, I built this thing to help others and it's helping me.
That is really good to hear. Because, boy, we've seen a lot of negativity online, and it's come out into the real world. The haters have found each other. So I'm glad that you have been able to create something positive online.
Dee Dussault 27:59
Yeah, oh, most definitely. It's, it's nothing but love. And we're learning so much, you know, as a community, you know, after George Floyd's murder, and the realization, just how bad racism is, in the States and around the world, you know, obviously, people of color have known this, but for me, and my, you know, I'm white and my white community to really wake up to the work we need to do and the responsibility it is, you know, to help chip away at white supremacy and racism, especially if we're weed users, you know, the privilege of using cannabis, when so many people are locked in jail and continue to be kept in jail, despite, you know, mostly white, you know, around the country, as we open dispensaries and open cannabis businesses. Unfortunately, most of those business people are white men. And it's just really unfair, that, you know, people can make millions or billions while others are locked away. So the realizations that we're having as a community about, you know, our political responsibility, if we're going to use this plan, it's our responsibility to fight for everyone to be able to use it.
That is a big piece of the cannabis picture. I mean, we've had other guests talk about that whole prohibition narrative which began with the notion that people of color, Mexicans and black people were using this demon weed to do horrible things. That became the story that officially was pushed for decades. And it takes a while to A) tell a new story and B) get people over that old bad narrative.
Dee Dussault 29:24
Definitely so much stigma, you know, from the Reagan era and before so much racial racial, racism, you know, kind of interwoven with cannabis propaganda and prohibition so yeah, we have to understand that history of cannabis is propagate you know that it's a racist history and yet just really really, you know, acknowledge the privilege and the blessing that we have cannabis and you know, sign petitions or you know, buy black you know, go find that that that people of color own dispensary in your in your town and go to your way to buy from them or there's so many ways that we can, you know, change this unfair system itself. It's really our responsibility to do that.
Well, I notice you have an anti racism book club going too.
Dee Dussault 30:05
Yeah, yeah, so we started the book club, it was monthly, but we found as a community that was a little bit too frequent to be reading a whole book. So we used to, we've changed it to seasonally, and information about that can be found on the Ganga Yoga site. And it's been an incredible, you know, the most recent book we read was specifically about honoring the Indian roots of yoga. And you know, a lot of white yoga teachers in the West, myself included, have really, you know, focus much more on the physical than, you know, yoga is a very comprehensive and deep system. And we've really, what they call whitewashed it, we've really taken the marketable western parts and sort of just only said that that's yoga, right? So I'm starting to realize, like, Oh, I have to teach my students more of the spiritual philosophy, more of the observances, more of the ethics, more of the energy body, the chakras, there's so much that we've kind of left behind, because we thought it wasn't really marketable here in the West. And, and that's, that's cultural appropriation, you know, to take bits of a culture but not honoring the whole culture. So that was the most recent book and if you know, I had to look critically at my own participation and the ways that I'm still being oppressive be Right, right. And so it takes courage. But as a leader, I definitely have to do that. So something that I started to do this year was to offer scholarships. So black indigenous people of color, and also trans, disabled people, other groups that get marginalized in our culture, they can attend the teacher training. So I have a Ganga Yoga teacher training, they can attend it for free on a scholarship, as a, you know, our way to show that, you know, it's because oftentimes these people aren't, can't afford a teacher training, right? They're, they're marginalized, such that it's just not available to them. So to be more accessible, we're offering both the teacher training and then we have a certification, which is a further kind of the next step like the graduate school, we have both of those for free on scholarship for bipoc. And trans.
That's great. Yoga itself is about expansion of the capabilities, your body and your mind. And you're really walking the talk when you extend it further out into programs like that, for sure.
Dee Dussault 32:05
Yeah, for sure. And I'm always open to learning and you know, working with groups that have been marginalized to always do better. That's, it's, it's something I'm interested in.
Boy, you have a lot going on. And there's a lot of ways for our listeners to get involved. For other people like myself, you can take the classes, but as you said at the beginning, if you just take three deep breaths or 10 deep breaths, you can get to relax, then you're on the road, right?
Dee Dussault 32:28
Definitely, exactly. So we can all do that. We can all start taking these mini yoga moments throughout the day in the more we do it, the more second nature it becomes. And yeah, the more often you take classes, it becomes a neural groove, you know, your brain actually changes, it's physical, you know, the cells change and it becomes second nature. So we want to get that groove with repetition. So the more you do it, the easier it is, and the more natural it is. So you can start with three breaths, or yeah, maybe I can, I don't know, we'll I'll talk to you after the show. But if I can somehow give your listener some sort of discounted subscription, I would be happy to do that. So they can check out the online classes at a discount. So yeah, so yeah. Ganga Yoga dot com is my main site, and then Ganga Yoga dot online is where the subscription classes are. But yeah, I would make a promo code for your listeners.
Awesome. Let's do that. I just have a couple more questions that I like to ask all the time. And that's one Do you have a favorite cannabis product or service other than your own?
Dee Dussault 33:27
Um, I'm a big fan of rosin. I'll put that, I love smoking flower too. But in terms of things that we can dab in terms of like concentrates and extracts, rosin to me is just like its whole plant medicine, nothing added nothing taken away. You can make it yourself with a hair straightener. I think it's amazing you know, dabbing is vaporizing. So it's healthier than smoking. And since I smoke a lot I try to adapt to...
Help me understand. Did you say a hair straightener?
Dee Dussault 33:58
Yeah. Do you know what a hair straightener is? I think you can have an idea of a woman with sort of wavy hair, we put this flat iron tool and it would make the waves into like straight hair because it's so hokey. So you could put your another weed in a parchment paper between the two metal plates of the hair straightener and so it'd be the combination of not just the heat but the squeezing. So you have to step on it or use a clamp. So this the pressure plus the heat will exclude the oil the cannabis oils and leave like empty plant matter you throw away. The oil is extract or concentrate so you could dab it and it's pure, nothing, you know, sometimes they add, if they add CO2, it can change the terpene structure and then they have to reintroduce terpenes or if they make a concentrate obviously with solvents that's definitely not healthy because they might not purge all the residual solvents and then you're you're dabbing, you know butane or something. So in terms of things I might dab rosin for me it's got all the terpenes, all the cannabinoids and nothing taken away or added so it's delicious.
Yeah, there's not a middle man who's processing it into something that may or may not be organic, you know for sure that you're, you're squeezing and heating that, but it's got the good stuff in it.
Dee Dussault 35:11
Yeah, you want to start with organic buds. So it's, you know, either buy it from a licensed dispensary or you know if you know the grower, and you trust them, but yeah, for sure, organic, especially if you're going to be making a concentrate, then you want to definitely have organic matter to start with.
Well, I learned a new use for a hair straightener. There you go. Dee, is there anything? We haven't covered that we should? Let's see,
Dee Dussault 35:30
We got sex. We got weed. I think we're good.
Sex and drugs and rock'n'roll, right? It's funny that that's what it comes back to. Thank you for making the time. I mean, I've always been curious about this topic. And I know my listeners. Again, I try to cover wellness topics. And this is certainly going to speak to just about everybody like you say, any body shape, any size, any age. There's something there for everyone when you come to yoga and cannabis.
Dee Dussault 36:00
Correct. Exactly. And so if you hear my little doggy barking in the background, she's just agreeing with you.
Well, let's call it a wrap. I want to thank you again for making the time. This is a great episode.
Dee Dussault 36:09
Perfect. Thank you so much.
You've been listening to the Kannaboom podcast with host Tom Stacey. If you liked the show and want to know more, please check us out at Kannaboom with a k.com. And please leave us a review at Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. See you next week.
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