I Tried: The Class by Taryn Toomey and CBD Oil

I’m always trying the new wellness potions and practices and spells. Well, the two I experimented with this week are The Class by Taryn Toomey and CBD oil. And they played well together--although I did learn something about CBD the hard way.

But first, The Class. That's what it's called. It's kind of like Madonna and Prince that way. It's so powerful it gets away with calling itself simply, The Class. So it's part boutique fitness session, part empowerment experience, part...I don’t know, whatever you want to make of it? The founder, Taryn Toomey, has said in interviews she started it because she was frustrated with the chill vibe of yoga. She needed to express something louder, bigger, but still in that body/soul/woo-woo vein. (I am paraphrasing bigly here.) Hence, The Class.

You gather in a warm room. Or, if you’re me, you stagger in 5 minutes late, dodging moving bodies through a very crowded but sun-filled space. You do a series of pulse-raising calisthenics and plyometric (jumping) movements, along with some free-form dancing and limb shaking. All the while Taryn encourages you to shout and make whatever other sounds you need to. She chants “breathe, focus” and she tells you you’re not crazy, you need to let it out. I think? I’m losing my ability to pick out voices from ambient sound (in this case, music) so I couldn’t hear everything clearly. But the point is clearly to exert yourself into an ecstatic state.

Sometimes I thought, it’s just a fitness class. Sometimes I cried. I definitely yelled. It was fun and exhilarating. It made me realize how much "guy" vibe I put up with at my gym. I loved the surprising combination of female energy and fierce, yang energy (because yang is usually characterized as male). Even though I was at the front of the class and in front of a mirror I didn’t feel self-conscious because the room was so steamy and because it seemed we were all too deep into the experience to watch anyone else. And I felt like I released this wild little girl hiding in me. I don’t know how else to explain it. But! I. Definitely. Needed. That.

Also, I clapped my hands overhead so hard my palms bruised. Weird.

Anyway, I loved it. But man, did it wear me out. I also walked almost 6 miles in the sun that day. During my other workouts this week I felt like I was running on a low battery. I learned not to underestimate the impact emotional exertion can have on your energy level. Next time--I think it’ll be awhile, but I do want to do this again--I’ll give myself a full recovery day after.

Okay, so that was The Class. Now CBD oil, or cannabidiol. This, as you’ve probably heard, is an extraction from the marijuana or hemp without the intoxicating THC. People are using it to relieve pain and anxiety, hot flashes, and a host of other ailments. I wanted to try it because I’d read it was a good support for people with ADHD.

The studio where I do yoga sells a variety by Endoca. I picked up a lower concentration (3%). Somehow I got it into my head that 25mg is a good starting dose. IT IS NOT. You know what a good starting dose is? One, a single mg, three times a day. That’s it. And that’s what my yoga studio recommends.

But that’s not what I did. I took 25mg all at once and got stoned out of my mind. You can’t get high from CBD oil, they say. Well, leave it to me to find a way. It was like all the ADHD greatest hits playing all at the same time. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t even focus on a video. I had to take a nap, and it was at least 2 hours before I could function again. Does the world need another story about a middle-aged lady getting blitzed in the middle of the afternoon, sighing on the sofa and wondering what just happened? Does it?

So now you know. Just like anything else, you can overdose on CBD. I’m reeling back my dosage and so far, today, I’m in great spirits and getting things done. Which for me, is a win.

Experiment with caution, my friends.

Adriana Velez