A journey of self-healing through yoga, meditation, and cannabis changed Laura Di Cecco's life forever. In fact, it's what led her to launch Elevated Asana - a business centered around cannabis yoga experiences. Her mission? Provide people with the right tools for creating a strong, healthy, and happy relationship with cannabis. She aims to create normalcy around cannabis use in wellness practices. Laura's passion stems from personal experience. She has been a cannabis consumer for over ten years. However, cannabis became more of a crutch than an aid in her life. She knew something had to change. Laura began her wellness journey in 2015. It was a life-changing process that led her down the road of exploring holistic health and even becoming a registered yoga teacher. Laura soon began experimenting with cannabis as a tool for healing. There was no turning back. She was amazed by the therapeutic potential of cannabis. One plant with so many possibilities! Combining cannabis with her yoga practiced seemed like a no-brainer. Set with the right intentions, Laura realized her experiences were much more profound. Why not share this joy with others? From that moment forward, the calling was clear, she needed to empower others in their healing process. Today Laura runs Elevated Asana full-time offering transformative cannabis yoga experiences.
What inspired you to enter the cannabis industry?
I have been using cannabis recreationally for almost 10 years. I started when cannabis was still very much taboo and stigma was strong. I felt that I lacked the tools necessary to build a healthy and healing relationship with the plant at that time, which led to a lot of misuse and dependency.
We don’t like to talk about this side of cannabis but it’s real. Without the right resources, cannabis can be a crutch, and it was for many years. But when I began my wellness journey in 2015, diving into yoga, meditation, and holistic health, I began experimenting with cannabis as a facet of healing. I began learning about the curative properties of cannabis and how incredibly diverse the plant itself can be.
Combining cannabis with my yoga practice seemed like a no-brainer. I quickly realized that by setting the right intention, tailoring the proper strains and incorporating cannabis into my rituals, the plant, in conjunction with my practice, had the power to guide me through an incredibly profound experience.
It allowed me to sink a little deeper, connect a little stronger and feel a little more. It was shocking to have such an experience after using cannabis for so long. It completely changed my relationship with the plant and really opened the door to self-healing for me.
I knew I had to share this with the people in my community and I knew I had to offer them the tools that I lacked when I started consuming cannabis.
Tell us more about Elevated Asana
Elevated Asana is a cannabis yoga experience that works to create normalcy around cannabis use in wellness practices. We combine the healing properties of cannabis with the profound customs of yoga to offer students a psychologically and spiritually therapeutic experience. Through our offerings, we demonstrate how cannabis can be used and incorporated into your daily rituals, home practices, and healing observances.
What type of cannabis yoga experiences do you offer?
We have three main offerings. Our signature class is Elevate + Restore. This class is restorative-inspired and flows through a slow sequence of postures that work to slow down the body, quiet the mind and connect the breath.
Our second offering is Elevate + Flow. This class is more hatha-based, offering more movement for students looking to tune into the body and move intuitively.
Finally, we offer Elevate + Meditate – a meditation class that explores contemplation through a cannabis-infused lens. We are not limited to these offerings and often create events that add a unique twist to the classes above.
How has cannabis influenced your life?
Cannabis has allowed me to slow down and tune in. In this fast paced world full of to-dos and by-whens, we have completely lost touch with our yin-energy (our soft, subtle and slow energy). We live in the active and restless yang by default, constantly stimulated and on the go. By incorporating cannabis into my daily life, I have been able to truly tune into the yin, slow my life down, connect to my breath, quiet my mind, feel my body and be present.
What have been your biggest hurdles operating in the cannabis industry so far?
Stigma. The stigma around cannabis still persists despite our advancements in North America.
We just passed Bill C45 in Canada making cannabis legal across the country (yay!), but many people still see cannabis as a drug - marijuana. Marijuana is an antiquated term that has been used to demonize the cannabis plant, equating it to drugs such as cocaine. This idea has been so deeply ingrained in our culture that despite legalization, we still see a large percent of the population associating cannabis with drugs. This trickles down into so many facets of the industry and, as a small business owner, I experience it first hand.
Many people are still nervous to consume cannabis and share their consumption in a public setting. They fear getting judged or devalued as members of society.
I still get censored on social media outlets for posting about the healing benefits of cannabis. Many studio spaces don’t want to host cannabis-infused classes. Many yoga teachers don’t want to flaunt their cannabis use. It’s a tough world to navigate, especially when there are still people out there judging you and demonizing you for working with cannabis, even if it’s in the most healing and healthy way.
How have you been able to overcome these challenges?
Staying authentic. Staying true to my vision has been the leading force in overcoming the challenges I have faced so far. I believe in the curative powers of cannabis and I believe in yoga as a wellness practice. I know that Elevated Asana can provide an accessible healing experience for people and that knowledge is all I need.
Name the top 3 skills every cannabis entrepreneur needs
Authenticity – knowing who you are, why you’re here, what you can offer
Resilience – knowing that it’s not always going to be high times. It will be low. But you must continue on. Do your work. Focus.
Selflessness – being in an industry growing so quickly in so many different sectors, it’s important to stay selfless and recognize that you are here to help others. As cannabis entrepreneurs, we are here to educate and provide people with examples of health and healing through plants. Legalization is a huge cultural change and we want to set people up for success. Be generous; offer your knowledge and share – always.
What is the best advice you've received recently?
It’s not about you. I feel like as humans we always take things so personally. We get so deeply affected by problems far bigger than ourselves. A friend recently reminded me that it’s not about me. It’s not my weight to carry. A small but effective reminder to simply do me, stand strong in my beliefs and not let the heavy energy of others weigh me down.
Any tips for maintaining a work/life balance?
Always make time to honour yourself. Make time to do what you love. Fill up your cup first so that you can be fully present in your work and fill up those around you.
What are your favorite resources/tools for your business and why?
My favourite resource/tool for my business is simply the other cannabis entrepreneurs around me. Making connections and having genuine conversations with others in the industry has allowed me to learn so much. Not only will the people around you inspire you, but support you and offer you advice that no book or website can.
If you could offer an aspiring cannabis entrepreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
Cannabis is calling you for a reason. Trust your intuition. Trust in your abilities. Trust you are needed, you are important, and you are worthy. What you can offer, no one else can. Trust your path. Trust. Trust. Trust.