WLHQ: Cannibal Lecture
13 years in sports + 6 years practicing yoga + 100 days working at Wanderlust = a field day of topics to comment on over the past month. From viral coverage of Russell Wilson showcasing his daily lotus pose for ESPN to a "yahoo!" to Google for artfully protesting the Russian anti-gay law with their homepage logo change and Olympics charter that bans such repulsive behavior (image below).
However, none really fired up my Literati butt until reading Sports Illustrated Scorecard this week. Aptly titled, Smoke Signals. And, so I choose to dabble. (Yes, all puns intended).
It's an ironic juxtapose as I transition from a publicly unyielding anti-drug culture to an openly supportive freedom-of-many-choices community.
In the past, I have neither confirmed nor denied my affirmation for the legalization of controlled distribution of marijuana. Personally, I choose not to partoke, but spread lots of loving Ahimsa (non-judgment) on those that do. I happen to experience extreme inhibited silence -- and if you know me, you know I take pleasure in the intellectual level of middle-school humor and the maturity level of summer-camp style giggle sessions. I'm known to have deep conversations reciting lines from Caddyshack while relaxing on a lawn of Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed bent and Northern California Sensimilia; and sporting afros, a Fletch Lakers jersey and Chuck Taylors as I hand out candy to puzzled kids and wily appreciative parents on Halloween. (See photo, right, of me as Fletch)
However, Dr. Bonni G's contribution to the SI’s Scorecard resonated deep. As she describes the physical, intellectual and emotional affects that medical marijuana has had on her patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism and seizures -- I cant help but draw parallels to some of my own aspirations while I evangelize the culture of yoga across myriad communities.
Whether suffering from a neurological illness and experiencing lucidity, living in an at-risk environment and finding strength, or holding a high-stress trauma-inducing profession and feeling calm, both marijuana and yoga have been shown to inspire deeper emotional connection and heightened self-expression & self-confidence.
“There’s a force in this universe and all you need to do is get in touch with it. Close your eyes, find your center…” Yogic text? Try again: Caddyshack, Ty Webb to Danny Noonan.
If we can provide suffering patients and athletes a moment of liberation from their everyday stress (physical, mental or emotional) in a controlled environment, then here's my ambivalence-swaying tokeaway:
Dabble as you please, for who am I, a non-injured, non-suffering everyday yogi to judge what enables you reprieve from your personal pressure and trauma. Who am I to know what it feels like to receive a head to head hit so hard my rainbow colored world turns black; or, to lose my words to the degree that I exhibit an incomprehensible form of self-expression.
In the practice of yoga, we collect our focus and breathe into the tight spaces; into the fascia that stores sticky emotions and traps negative energy. So, I say, stoke your inner fire; inhale fully; pause; then, exhale fully channeling your breath into the personal space that needs liberation from whatever troubles your soul.
What’s in your workbag? Quite a confluence of interest in mine, so flex your freedom of speech – agree, disagree, comment or convince me otherwise. I love a good debate – but judge me not. (My workbag in photo to the left)
~ Jenna Lynn Cassidy is Wanderlust's VP of Marketing, a wellness aficionado as likely to be found on the running trails, softball fields and beach volleyball courts of Central Park as her yoga mat, and is an avid fan of Caddyshack's sports and lifestyle ethos.