For native Detroiter and herb enthusiast Leonard Coklow, yoga + cannabis are a winning combination.
“I was more into cannabis than yoga when I first got started,” admits Coklow. “I tried my first yoga class, and then I started talking to the instructors. They said they always smoked weed before yoga. I thought, ‘alright — why not try mixing the two?’”
In 2016, Coklow founded Elevated Yogi, a cannabis-friendly yoga practice. What began as a casual meetup at a local park soon became a bona fide business with a devout following. “One customer turned into two customers, turned into four, turned into eight — and we just grew from there,” he says.
Today, Elevated Yogi caters to a diverse range of clientele, hosting daily classes and special events at its wildly popular downtown location. “It helps us get a lot of people into yoga who normally would never try yoga,” says Coklow, citing his own experience.
Get l̶i̶t̶ enlightened
Founded in 2017, AWOL stands for “All Walks of Life.” The clothing brand sells ladies’ and men’s shirts, bottoms, accessories, and more. “The clothing business is my passion and everything else kind of feeds into that,&rdquAlso known as “weed yoga,” “420 yoga,” or “ganja yoga,” cannabis-enhanced yoga classes are getting a lot of hype, especially in states where it’s legalized. But using cannabis to heighten consciousness is nothing new. After all, in India – the birthplace of yoga – the cannabis plant was revered and celebrated for thousands of years.
“Cannabis and yoga both help with stress,” Coklow says. “It also assists with meditation — I can zone out and get into my breathing a lot more.”
At Elevated Yogi, the BYOW (bring your own weed) classes begin with a 30-minute smoke sesh in a cannabis-designated lounge, followed by an hour of yoga and breathing exercises. “Slow Burn” classes focus on breath and holding poses, while late-night “Yindica” sessions promote relaxation. There’s also a “High Noon” class in the afternoons if you’re looking for a midday pick-me-up.
Coklow insists there is no “average practitioner.” Business owners, startup entrepreneurs and locals from the neighborhood are among the diverse devotees - “a little bit of everybody,” Coklow says.
De-stress, hang out with a great group of people and enjoy some conscious flow for an hour or two — what could be better than that?
It’s not just about weed
There are plenty of misconceptions about his business. “People think, ‘it’s just a weed-smoking studio’, but that’s not the case,” says Coklow. “We support a plant-based lifestyle, and cannabis just happens to be another plant.”
With cannabis now legal in Michigan, we can expect to see more 420-friendly yoga studios popping up across the state. Coklow says they’re thinking about opening an Ann Arbor location soon.
Curious about 420 yoga? “I encourage trying everything at least once,” says Coklow. “Whether it’s yoga or whether it’s a business plan you’re thinking about. Go for it. Try new things and keep an open mind.”