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Life and Work with Katherine ‘Kitty’ Harris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katherine ‘Kitty’ Harris.

Katherine ‘Kitty’, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a Colorado native and former collegiate athlete (Volleyball; TSJC); I worked towards my associates of arts degree (A.A) in psychology with a minor in art and education. Over the years, I would pursue careers in the industries that I connected with the most. Like anything in life, I explored different avenues and a few years back, the direction I wanted to take began to become clear. As a result, I established experience in the art and cannabis industries. From pushing my art to every coffee shop and venue, landing a spot at a progressive art gallery in downtown Colorado Springs, plus I even landed an inspirational job as an art gallery associate to an esteemed local artist (Michael Garman) who’s story is one I love to share and learned a lot from. At the same time, I was learning about the cannabis plant in my own way, through cultivation, becoming a budrista at a local cannabis club and even interning for a cannabis lobbyist (Jason Warf) and attending a number of meetings regarding the MMJ laws and so forth. In 2016 I started my first business ‘Canvas & Cannabis’.

With this newfound clarity on the things that set my soul on fire, I decided to continue with my exploration into the wellness industry. Being involved in sports at a young age, always active and then the opportunity to play at a collegiate level which fed my knowledge and love for the power of the physical body. All while learning about the function of the mind through my psychology major. Therefore, that plus the experience from personally be able to coach and being a participant of fitness activities for my own gain, I chose to go after my 200hr yoga teacher certification. (200hr – CYT)

Ultimately, I have gone on to become a Ganja Yoga Certified Instructor. Partnering and working as a virtual assistant with author Dee Dussualt, the pioneer and founder of the”Ganja Yoga” brand, I have been able to share in the mission through my company Secret Stash Yoga in my home state of Colorado,(2017).

 I look forward to bringing my passion, knowledge and love of art, yoga and cannabis to the world through the businesses and services I have to offer as well as my own personal story.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road is never smooth and all roads come with twist, turns, bumps, cracks and sometimes blocks.

In the last few years, the cannabis industry has continued to expand and come out into the public with full force and seems to not be slowing down anytime soon. This was something I was excited about because this plant had been apart of my life in a very private way, but for quite some time. So it was nice to see a coming together of the community and being able to connect with other like-minded people who shared some type of interest in cannabis. With this growth comes an amazing opportunity to gain further knowledge and insight on something that is beneficial on so many levels.

So I jumped into wanting to hold space for others who enjoyed what I enjoyed, art, yoga, and cannabis, I wanted to wave my flag and in hopes of attracting that tribe where I am. And Yeah, I can sit here and tell you about the challenges of finding a venue to host these cannabis-friendly events, to the screen sucking time of researching how to build a website than building said website. I could tell you about all of the puzzle pieces I’ve laid down so far towards my business, But the biggest obstacle I have faced is just that, me. The person putting the puzzle together.

Sure, I was taking the proper steps to start a cannabis-friendly business and was ready to share, but I was doing it in a bit of a hidden manner. I never shared the extent of what I did, I would always leave out the cannabis part and marketed to specific demographic, places, and people.

As I started out, it was fear of judgment, feeling shameful or being worried about not being taken seriously, I have allowed some of those things to influence my choices, I became aware of this battle between who I really maybe, vs. who I thought I was or had to be. I wanted to fully share my gifts, my passion, and my story without all of the negative self-talk I fed my self. I’ve met so many wonderful soul through Canvas & Cannabis and Secret Stash Yoga and I want to meet more. So I decided to end this battle of self-doubt and look at my uncomfortable feelings as an opportunity to grow, not only my business but the love for myself. A chance to appreciate my journey no matter what that may look like and know there are others out there that my story will inspire.

To overcome these feelings, I have been doing my best to take authentic action, and no action is too small. From changing my logo to a more ganja friendly image to pushing past being shy about it and going on to book public speaking events, podcasts and blog interviews for a chance to speak to anyone about my business, love of art, yoga and cannabis plus my personal story.

Challenges and obstacles can feel like a roller-coaster, they can bring you down, just to rocket you back up.

 My advice for anyone pursuing any calling from their heart is be cautious, buckle-up and lean in, cause there is no way around or back, only through, but you are allowed to stop, get off and find another ride if that’s what you want. It’s up to us to change our perceptive and definition of what an obstacle is and how it affects us.

 This fear I feel is no longer scary, but excitement. The judgment I was afraid of, I now welcome knowing it will help discern those who are interested and those who aren’t. and shame has been replaced with love.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Secret Stash Yoga – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Secret Stash Yoga has been a passion I have been building and pouring into since 2017. We started out offering cannabis optional yoga classes. A chance for guests to partake before or after the one-hour yoga flow. As students began to come, I realized that there are people that are interested in learning more about the plant, body, soul connection. We weren’t just getting people who did yoga and had their own practice, we were getting beginners who never did yoga but had a cannabis practice or those who did yoga but did not have a cannabis connection.

 This was exciting and pushed me to dive deeper into different methods and ways to share a more creditable and insightful way of combining these outlets.

 So at the end of 2018, I began working for Dee Dussualt, the founder of the ‘Ganja Yoga’ brand. Beginning of 2019, I attended her yoga alliance approved ganja yoga teacher training where I was able to become certified and gain the knowledge need to take Secret Stash Yoga to the next step.

 Since then, I have been able to connect different styles of classes based on the instructors that work for me, each of which are an RYT and have their own background in cannabis. Each class is ganja optional and includes education and space for students to explore what plant, body, soul means to them.

 They have the opportunity to connect to others in their community, share their stories, trick, trips and methods that help them without judgment and is a safe space, all while learning more about things they may want to implement into their practice or life.

With 2020 around the corner, Secret Stash Yoga is looking forward to offering more workshop-style classes and special events as well as re-occurring classes by various teachers in Colorado Springs and Denver. You can expect to see some Secret Stash Ganja Yoga getaways in various states and some online courses for those who can’t attend our events in person. I plan on doing more speaking and sharing with those the wonderful connection of cannabis and yoga and how they can discover it for themselves.

I am proud to be able to offer a service where anyone and any ‘body’ can attend and let their guard down to simply be a student of life. Allowing the curiosity around cannabis and yoga to be safely greeted and guided. Secret Stash Yoga is proud to contribute to the cannabis and wellness movement, helping redefine the way we connect to our community and take care of our mind, body and soul.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
My childhood is filled with memories of sports and family. I come from a fairly decent size family, I am number four of six kids (4 brothers / 1 sister ) and we loved being active. Each of us played sports throughout school life, mainly including basketball, football and of course my favorite volleyball.

Besides falling in love with the physical aspect of sports and fitness from a young age, I learned the value of working together, the appreciation of not having to do it alone, and the importance of celebrating those members and their individual talents they brought to our mission. And this is honestly something I strive to bring into my business of Secret Stash Yoga and other areas of my life.

Sports helped me understand patience and what it meant to practice daily, to stay determined and never give up,and realize one day you may get 15 points and other days you may not get off the bench. It simply taught me to do my best and have fun at whatever I choose to do. These are things that bleed over to situations I have to this day.

 Along with the loving support of my family, I definitely believe these things had a positive impact on setting me up towards success and help me navigate my journey.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
(First photo of me passing joint to student credit = Boston Globe )

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