Today we’d like to introduce you to Jazzmin Yoshieko.
Hi Jazzmin, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was born in 1990 in Bakersfield, CA. I don’t know much about that town besides it being on my birth certificate. The city I know to be home and hold my best childhood memories in is San Diego. I grew up around Ocean Beach and Point Loma while my dad, who was raising me on his own, was attending PLNU studying child development and beginning his healthcare career and passion for fitness and nutrition.
During this time, we lived a very humble life and our main transportation was a bicycle with a kids carriage attached to the back. I can remember like it was yesterday flying down Hill Street having a blast with my Papa. We even caught a glimpse of homelessness during some financial struggles, and I recall us sleeping at the hostile at the Korean Bell just up the hill from my late Grandfather’s cottage in San Pedro. During my childhood, my father learned a great deal about emotional management and mental health while my mother was in prison and had been since just before my 2nd birthday. My dad was literally always either working in healthcare, studying, exercising, watching a Bruce Lee film, playing Gospel music, or teaching me how to pray and treat people. That was us in a nutshell. I remember juicing fresh carrots in the ’90s and doing Yoga during sunset on the grass while we lived on campus at PLNU. Seeing so much beauty in those early childhood years in SD, I never doubted that there was something bigger than me that was calling me to live a life that serves others.
We later moved to Marion, Indiana, during elementary and stayed through high school (Go Giants!). My dad had grown up a lot in Indiana where my Grandma Judy Cibel still resides. I managed to push through depression in my childhood and adolescence as I grew up without having my mother near me to guide me, and that always was a struggle for me but also something that made me so resilient and loving. During my sophomore year, my dad had an accident working for the longshoreman union out in Long Beach and broke his back. He has been disabled since, and due to the six-inch steel rod put in his lumbar, he was prescribed oxycontin and morphine for almost fifteen years. It turned into a real nightmare during my years in college at PLNU in 2011 when he first began having major psychological issues. For years we tried to figure out how to get him well but had little luck. One year he was actually beat nearly to death by police officers in Marion, Indiana, due to improper assessment of his mental health state, and since then, he has suffered severe PTSD.
In 2017, I was pregnant with my daughter and living in Phoenix, AZ, struggling in a relationship with someone who I had been with for a decade of my life who had fallen into opioid addiction, which was heartbreaking and overwhelming. Midst that personal relationship and my father desperately trying to titrate off all narcotics for his sanity, I was really battling my own anxiety and depression-like never before. My migraines were the worst they’d ever been and thanked God for Cannabis for helping me thrive and survive so much. The imbalanced state his health was in almost took my father’s life a few times. Thankfully he is completely off of all narcotics and is doing very well now after spending a couple of years in AZ with me and being treated by a proper behavioral health team and using Cannabis daily as medicine to combat PTSD and chronic pain. He is now happily enjoying being a grandpa, and it is amazing to see him go back into the gym and do light exercise and physical therapy, which he hadn’t done since he was first hurt 15 years ago. It’s safe to say Cannabis heals!
Fast forward and it’s 2018, I was transitioning into my independence as a single mother, finished my Exercise Science and Psychology degrees at Grand Canyon University, graduated on the Dean’s List while meditating daily with Cannabis. I had a great support system that helped me move my father to Arizona to be his full-time Caregiver. At that time, I was working in healthcare as a caregiver for elderly and terminally ill patients, so the load I carried was a lot, but I have always done that and thrived due to my deep love for life and people. That year I started my business, Flow Lifestyle Management and curated my community event known as Ganja Flow.
Because of my own life battles and the battles I’ve witnessed my loved ones face, I am living to share the tools I’ve used to survive. I knew midst all of the chaos that my purpose was to offer all of what heals me to as many other people as I possibly can. The life-changing and life-saving tools for me are Yoga, Fitness, Mental Health, and Cannabis. Cannabis cultivation runs in my family as my older brother is a cultivator and my late Grandpa Fox grew until the day he passed. I avoided Cannabis for years until I was 19 and my health was suffering. I had little appetite due to my anxiety, depression, and constant migraines, and Cannabis was the only thing safe enough to use that allowed me to still remain disciplined, organized, and focused on my goals and dreams. I began teaching Yoga and Fitness in 2010, and after all of my life experience up to this point, I’ve found my niche by merging everything I’ve learned and grown to love into one: Ganja Flow. It’s growing like a baby, and I love to see it unfold into something so much bigger than I ever imagined. I am grateful for the network of friends, businesses, and sponsors that have helped me grow and reach more people who need these tools for their peace and survival. My mission is simple but powerful: to cultivate peace in communities around the world by placing an emphasis on mental health, self-care, and plant-based medicine.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I know everyone has a story, and many have faced a lot worse than me, but the major struggles for me were the anxiety and depression I dealth with midst regular life and what comes with it. It really has taken me time to understand how to manage and rise above these things with my yoga practice. Yoga is a lot bigger than any yoga pose. It’s deeper than what most first thing and it offers a lot of healing for our mind by helping us change our thoughts and develop mindfulness in our lives that allows us to be open to growth. Yoga helps us be patient, calm, and intentional in our lives. It truly has been a blessing for me, and I’m grateful to share it with others and hear them share their positive experiences and feedback with me.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Ganja Flow first began as a yoga class that allowed medical cannabis patients to consume on-site. It was always intended to be simple, enjoyable and a space is welcoming for everyone to unwind their minds and tap into their peace. Over the years, it has evolved as my network has grown and companies like Vapen, FourTwenty Collections, PuraEarth, Mary Jane Smokewear, Harvest, Plant Body Soul, EventHi, Grasshopper Chula Vista (A Local SD Dispenary), Timeless Vapes and The Churchill in Phoenix have all sponsored and supported Ganja Flow in some way. The list of people and businesses that have helped me is long, and I could go on a while thanking so many.
I am humbled to think that life has brought me to this place where I get to work in the Cannabis industry, offering what I love and helping people feel the peace they deserve. I tell everyone, the peace you seek is within. I believe we all have the qualities we desire and need deep within us, but we just have to do the work to bring them out and share them with the world. That’s where yoga comes in and all you have to do is take a deep breath, and that’s yoga. Think a positive thought or intention and that’s yoga. It’s simpler than most think. The hard part is showing up. That’s why I created Ganja Flow. Putting the healing plant Cannabis in the center of community and self-care. Ganja Flow is evolving into a globally recognized lifestyle brand and pop-up Cannabis Festival. One day we will offer live music from hip-hop, r&b, and reggae artists, a wave of Cannabis vendors, and self-care stations for everyone to enjoy. Stay tuned and grow with us.
What matters most to you?
My daughter Nalani. She is my world and my passion for life is even stronger since she exists. I hope to set only the best example for her as a woman in this world. She’s four years old right now and loving life. Her charisma and clever mind is amazing to me. She reminds me to slow down every day and enjoy the little things.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.ganjaflowco.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jazzmin.yoshieko
Photos taken by Audrey Pekala, Eboni Keys, Ayanna Diaz, and Pura Earth Concentrates.