An Experience with Mindfulness and Cannabis
TSO Sonoma's Elevated Event Series continues with a day in Sonoma reflecting on the 'self'
All Images Courtesy Adam Decker and Mariah Smith for TSO Sonoma >
Health Coach and Revel & Rouse Contributor Kyra Mueller-Yamamoto leads an intention setting ceremony
The first time I did yoga, I was 20. I never tried meditation until I was 27. And ‘mindfulness’ has never been part of my vocabulary. Up until a few years ago I never put much stock into self-care, choosing instead to organize my days into a series of to-dos — always focused on checking off my list instead of facing my stress.
But when I heard about Cannabis + Mindfulness, an event organized by TSO Events of Sonoma, I was intrigued. Could I really use cannabis to bring calm and focus to my life — and how could I do it in a way that worked for me?
On the day of the event, I drove an hour and a half up from San Francisco to downtown Healdsburg as anxious thoughts kicked in: What kind of people would be there? Should I have brought my own yoga mat? Is everyone going to be a cannabis expert but me? What the heck do you even wear to a cannabis and mindfulness event, anyway?!
Emerald Country Tours pulled up to Healdsburg Square in a luxury black van with signage for the event. I took a deep breath and went to my mental to-do list to stay distracted. Gather your bag. Check. Walk to the van. Check.
As I got closer, I could see there were a handful of women in their 30s and 40s inside — all wearing athleisure clothes. Score. I had dressed appropriately and had rightly chosen NOT to bring my own yoga mat. So far, so good.
An Elevated Event
“Is this your first Elevated Event?” I asked the woman across from me who appeared to also be by herself. “Yes, I decided to treat myself for Mother’s Day.”
Initially surprising, I came to discover that many women in attendance were mothers who turn to cannabis products for a variety reasons, including relaxation and pain relief. With so much stigma still surrounding cannabis, especially for mothers, it was refreshing to see the variety of people who benefit from it.
After a short, pleasant drive, we turned off the main road and up a hill lined with row after row of vines. Just as we came to the top of the hill, a campsite (which can best be described as totally Instagram-worthy) set up by Drift Outdoors popped into view. In an instant, conversation in the van turned to oohs, aahs, and hushed whispers as we came to a stop.
As we hopped out of the bus, we were greeted by Devika Maskey, founder of TSO Events, and given the general itinerary, as well as the information on each vendor and the restroom (a very well-kempt port-a-potty). Roughly 30 minutes until guided yoga — time to explore.
I decided to check out the vendor tables first.
At my first stop, I spoke with Mallory Wiebe of We Bee Kind who makes a variety of cannabis-infused bath and body products, plus a CBD tincture for pets. I can’t speak to the pet tincture, but several of the attendees raved about the CBD bath bomb for relaxing at the end of a long day — something I could definitely see working into my own routine.
Next, I breezed by the Firefly table to learn more about vaporization and why it’s widely considered to be the safest method of consumption. According to the company, vaporization heats the cannabis at a lower, and very precise, temperature that produces a vapor of the active ingredients in marijuana with no harmful by-products. In addition to the wellness factor, the Firefly vaporizer’s sleek design and discrete size definitely caught my attention.
“If better sex and more restful sleep were on the table, I was sold.”
Letting Go of a Stressful Lifestyle and Bad Habits
The next table over had a beautiful display of TSO Sonoma products and Kikoko’s cannabis-infused tea. This particular blend on display, Sensuali-tea, was recommended for “sex + connection” and infused with 7mg of THC. The woman next to me leaned in and said, “This tea is amazing. I also use the sleep one.” Ten minutes into the event, I hadn’t heard explicitly how any of the products would bring me mindfulness, but if better sex and more restful sleep were on the table, I was sold.
With yoga coming up and the temperature rising, I opted to save the rosé bar for lunch and went straight for the blend-your-own essential oil bar from Kiskanu — an organic, family-owned and operated cannabis farm.
Owner Gretchen Miller had an all-organic blend of sunflower, argan, coconut, jojoba, and Kiskanu Farms cannabis calendula essential oil pre-bottled and ready for our favorite scents to be added. I chose a mix of lemongrass and sandalwood — known to uplift the mood and relax the mind — which was then blended by Gretchen, bottled up, and tagged on the spot.
With all the other guests still wandering around, I decided to break off from the pack and head down the hill to the glamping tent for a massage. Adrianne Cavanagh Butler, LMT based in Healdsburg, CA welcomed me with a warm smile, and in seconds I had slipped off my shoes and hopped up on the massage table.
With the scent of essential oils lingering and soft music playing, I started to really relax as Adrianne worked on my “tech neck” caused by hours at the computer. We chatted about my stressful lifestyle, bad habits, and desire to be more mindful and at peace. Her suggestion: eat slower.
I made a mental note to try it as my time with Adrianne ran out. I thanked her for the amazing massage and dipped out of the tent and back into the blazing sun. The vendor area was empty. Everyone was at yoga. I did my best to stay relaxed, fighting my natural urge to rush to join them.
I walked down to a flat portion of the vineyard and found a mat in the back. Renowned Bay Area yoga instructor Lacey Calvert Shelton led the group through several flows (my first sun salutation in the actual sun!) and guided breathing. As we neared the end of the session, I focused on simply being present and appreciating the experience of Savasana in the vineyard. Whether it was the warm sun, the massage, or the experience of being around so many calm, happy people — I was starting to feel really good.
Finding a Balance
Even better, it time for lunch with some rosé from Cruess Wines and a delicious lunch catered by Jam’s Joy Bungalow. We gathered around one long table, beautifully set with chic floral arrangements in shades of pink that matched the linens.
I made a concerted effort to eat mindfully while getting to know my tablemates who were mostly industry professionals — a mix of social media influencers, business owners, and growers. I peppered them with questions about products and cannabis events, the state of the cannabis industry (exciting, but possibly growing slower than expected after California’s recreational legalization) and how they’d like to see it evolve in the future (protect the small, local farmers in danger of getting pushed out by big companies).
With a light buzz from the massage, yoga, rosé and sun, we ended the day with dessert (I had a spiced CBD chocolate chaga cake that was, frankly, one of the best desserts I’ve ever had) and an intention-setting ceremony — both contributed by health coach and Revel & Rouse contributor, Kyra Mueller-Yamamoto of Kyrious.Co, .
“There were infinitely more ways to incorporate cannabis and mindfulness into my lifestyle than I’d realized”
As I headed back to San Francisco, feeling especially mellow after a Valhalla gummy from my goodie bag, it sunk in that there were infinitely more ways to incorporate cannabis and mindfulness into my lifestyle than I’d realized.
Products like Honey Pot Supply CBD honey, Pot D’Huile olive oil, and Kikoko tea seemed like the easiest ways to fit cannabis into my lifestyle without changing a thing; while the knowledge that I’d gained made me much more interested in (and comfortable) exploring pre-rolls and vaporizers.
But the biggest takeaway of the day: mindfulness can come from many places. From yoga and massage to cannabis and great company, this Elevated Event inspired and empowered me to find a better way to reach balance in my life.