Every Monday night, I get together with my girlfriends – all moms with demanding careers  – and get stoned. Then we do yoga. That’s right, stoned yoga. Or stoga, as we call it. It happened quite by accident, really. The initial premise was sunset yoga – outdoor yoga in a friend’s backyard – which sounded very earthy and cool despite the fact that I hate yoga (it’s the whole forced relaxation aspect that throws me off). And so I signed on.

The yoga itself was pretty good – I mastered downward dog and learned to breathe – but the best part was the post-yoga hang, replete with barbecue chips and red wine and hilarious banter about husbands, kids, life. Inevitably, we’d smoke a joint. More food. More laughter.

Pretty soon we were getting high pre-yoga (why wait?). And so began stoga: a weekly ritual of high achievers (and former stoners) sparking up a doobie just in time for shavasana. Four years in, I am addicted to Monday nights. It’s not about the yoga, or even the getting high, but more the therapeutic effects of taking time out from my busy life and hanging out with friends, old-school. And there’s nothing obligatory about it. Unlike three-times-a-week cardio or even, say, self-imposed ‘date nights,’ there’s zero guilt if I flake out on stoges (which I never do, excluding the lonely few months after kid number two was born).

Our fearless organizer, Sasha – she’s the one who came up with the idea in the first place – has been practicing yoga for 15 years. But the Monday-night routine has given a whole new meaning to her practice:

“Yoga is an individual journey. With stoga, there’s a deeper level of bonding… It’s become a group journey. And you also get a night of partying with the girls!”

Like many moms out there, I sometimes get nostalgic for my former life. Sure, I feel blessed to have two healthy, vibrant children, but somewhere along the way I’ve lost my identity. And so a simple act like smoking a joint, followed by 60 minutes of relative silence, brings me back to a simpler, more carefree time when I could eat cereal for dinner and watch trashy TV in real time (never mind spur-of-the-moment road trips or all-night benders).

And, sometimes (most times), a glass of wine after a busy day just doesn’t do the trick. Stoga does. It’s the working mom’s best-kept secret.

(Photo: Goodshoot)