Bethany Rae explains how this Flower & Freedom experience is helping to break down stereotypes to redefine cannabis as a health and wellness tool. Image by MaryBeth Lafferty

Once a month cannabis curious Vancouverites are arriving at Aura Cannabis for a unique combination of cannabis education and group workouts at our Flower & Freedom fitness classes.

The inspiration behind presenting these classes is to demonstrate how cannabis can be part of a healthy lifestyle. At our most recent class, I was happy to see a mix of both men and women attendees ranging from about 25 to 65.

You may have heard of “ganja yoga” where people smoke or vape together at the start of a class. At Flower & Freedom, our classes are different. Cannabis consumption is not facilitated nor supplied. Instead, guests experience the following combination of knowledge and exercise when they arrive at Aura Cannabis.

An introduction to cannabis topicals and muscle rubs

When I discovered cannabis topicals for muscle pain relief it was a game changer. The active compounds such as THC and CBD target pain locally and I apply it regularly to my aching neck and sore muscles from overexertion.

At this cannabis friendly fitness class, we have samples from Cannalife Botanicals to explore and explain cannabis topicals to attendees. Cannabis applied to the skin is not known to induce any euphoria so topicals represent a non-intimidating way to introduce to someone new to cannabis for them to start to appreciate the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

An insight into CBD for pain and recovery

During our class introduction, we take some time to talk about our personal experiences with CBD (cannabidiol) for pain relief.

We make sure attendees understand that CBD is, for most people, a non-psychoactive compound, not creating the same intense euphoria that THC is famous for. That it may offer pain relief, calming and anti-anxiety effects, is fascinating to newcomers and I enjoy explaining these benefit that I regularly experience.

Understanding that not all cannabis or cannabis products will get you high is an important part of relearning cannabis and one we highlight at the fitness class.

A professional vinyasa flow yoga class

Bring your yoga mat and prepare to flow.

After beginning the class with these cannabis 101 lessons, we experience 45 minutes of Vinyasa Flow with a certified fitness instructor.

When I discovered cannabis could be good for me, I knew it was only if I was looking after my mind, body and soul, so regular yoga practice and outdoor exercise are essential to my health.

Flower & Freedom fitness classes are a way of showcasing that cannabis can be part of a healthy lifestyle but only if we move and look after ourselves in a well-rounded manner.

Discovering one of Vancouver’s finest cannabis storefronts

This unique cannabis education and fitness experience is all held inside one of Vancouver’s finest cannabis dispensaries.

I prefer to call Aura Cannabis a cannabis store as they are shaping the way that cannabis retail storefronts are going to look like in adult use legalization in Canada.

From the friendly staff to the open space to the fascinating range of innovative products, Aura Cannabis is my go-to cannabis shop just out of downtown Vancouver.

For many people joining us for the class, it is their first experience inside a cannabis dispensary. I am honoured to be able to make it a good experience for them!

Community and continued support

As we head towards adult use legalization, cannabis is experiencing a mainstream repositioning to that of a health and wellness supplement.

I personally think this is a good thing. If we come to understand cannabis as a wellness supplement and learn how to reduce any negative effects that we might have experienced in the past, isn’t this, ultimately, the best thing for harm reduction?

Learning should be fun and getting together in our communities to support this positive change is the heart of Flower & Freedom.

Connect with us at Flower & Freedom to find out what classes and events are up next or coming to your area!  

Bethany Rae is the founder and CEO of Flower & Freedom. Follow Bethany on Facebook and Instagram.