Selma Holden, Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis. Photo by Tracey Eller / Cosmic Sister

Cannabis-Enhanced Yoga for Mindful Embodiment
Healing Powers of Cannabis
with Selma Holden, MD
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“Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine suggest that adjunctive herbs should be combined with cannabis in order to balance its health effects.” - Selma Holden

Freeport, Maine-based integrative family physician Selma Holden has been awarded a Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis grant to present “Cannabis-Enhanced Yoga for Mindful Embodiment” at The Healing Powers of Cannabis conference in Vermont.

“Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine suggest that adjunctive herbs should be combined with cannabis in order to balance its health effects,” Holden explains. “This gentle practice will allow us to explore how the medicinal use of herbs and essential oils may influence our sense of self through mindful movement.”

In 2016, Holden was awarded a Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant and traveled with Cosmic Sister founder Zoe Helene to DreamGlade and Ayahuasca Foundation, two ayahuasca healing retreats in the Peruvian Amazon. Traveling to Peru to experience ayahuasca with indigenous healers helped Holden open up with colleagues and other professionals and come from a “more authentic space” about ayahuasca. Selma’s journeys helped her become “more comfortable in a place of suffering” with her patients who are suffering. Her medical practice underwent a “big realignment” after she participated in ayahuasca ceremonies, and she’s better able to “trust the clues of the intuition,” which she believes many doctors have lost the ability to do.

“I can hear the Earth better again,” Selma says. “Nature can be healing for people. Sometimes people can be distracted by technology as a substitute for nature, and maybe the best thing to do is to just…go outside.”

Another crystallizing truth Selma received from the ayahuasca was that people take care of themselves when they’re in alignment with their greater healing story, or root cause. “People get distracted by these eddies of drama that take them away from their true current of what their overall healing path should be,” Selma says. “Because if we are well within ourselves, we are more fit to heal the world around us.”

Holden, a Maine-based family physician who has additional training in integrative medicine modalities such as yoga, herbs, and natural medicine, graduated from Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and completed her residency training at Maine Dartmouth’s Family Medicine Program in Augusta. In between residency and fellowship, she was a provider at Integr8 Health, an integrative medicine practice in Maine focused on medical cannabis. She then completed Harvard Medical School’s Integrative Medicine Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, where she received her Master’s in Public Health. Selma is an assistant professor at University of New England’s School of Osteopathic Medicine and recently became the medical director for a residential recovery program in Maine that uses plants such as cannabis for medication-assisted opiate-dependence therapy. She’s published on the use of buprenorphine during pregnancy, the national rates of integrative medicine use during childbearing age, psychedelic harm reduction, and a pilot clinical trial investigating the therapeutic potential of prenatal yoga to improve an expecting mother’s wellness and mobility.

In March, Selma returned to the Amazon, supported by a Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis award, to explore her professional path and personal relationship with cannabis at Temple of The Way of Light. Her presentation at Healing Powers of Cannabis developed, in part, through her experiences in the medicine space there. Selma’s husband, Dan, an herbalist and medical doctor, accompanied her. The couple relocated from Massachusetts to Maine last year and were also celebrating their tenth anniversary.

Selma was also awarded a Cosmic Sister Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance grant to be part of the Psychedelic Feminism panel at Psychedelic Science 2017.


Cannabis Enhanced Yoga for Mindful Embodiment

Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine suggest that adjunctive herbs should be combined with Cannabis in order to balance its health effects. This gentle practice will allow us to explore how the medicinal use of herbs and essential oils may influence our sense of self through mindful movement. Some non-cannabinoid herbal tinctures and essential oil vape-pens will be available. Please bring a towel/mat and maybe an herb to explore. All levels of participation are welcome.

NOTE: Ms. Holden was awarded a returned to the Peruvian Amazon this past March on a Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis grant, this time at Temple of The Way of Light. The intention behind her grant was to further explore her professional relationship with cannabis. Her presentation at Healing Powers of Cannabis developed, in part, through these experiences.


Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant 2016
Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance Grant 2016
Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis Grant 2018
Ayahuasca Retreat: DreamGlade / Ayahuasca Foundation / Temple of The Way of Light

September 2018