Healing w/ Plant Medicine
As Spring approaches and we celebrate this time of renewal and rebirth, I am excited to be offering a Plant Medicine workshop series for the first time. Plant Medicine wisdom is close to my heart. Just as yoga helps us to heal the body, mind and spirit by helping us to journey home to the truth of who we are, so too, does plugging into our intimate relationship with the world around us. With practice, over time, as you begin to deepen your relationship with the plant world, you begin to realize the wholeness of what it means to be connected to all things here on this planet Earth. You begin to witness the magic and mystery of all of Nature, and that it is truly our responsibility to greet and treat all beings with sacred respect. If we did that, we would not be destroying our only planet Earth.
I have been fortunate to have many teachers from Leenie Hobbie and Jeanne Rose to Rosemary Gladstar, Susun Weed, David Hoffman, Deb Soule, Jeanine Parvati-Baker, Patch Adams, Loren Cruden, Caocoochee and Cindy Thomas, among others. Some of these I learned from through books, and other through personal experience. The plant course I am teaching begins at the beginning: Cultivating a relationship with the plants around you. I was taught in the tradition of the “simplest” – believing that everything we need to heal ourselves grows right around us. There is no need to search for exotic cures. It is also important to develop a relationship with plants and cultivate a mutual respect before using them for medicine or food. This is how the ancients knew how to use plants: which ones were safe and which ones offered medicine.
Loren Cruden explains this in the Introduction to her book “Medicine Grove: A Shamanic Herbal”. “Direct acquaintance is the way to truly know plants. Shamanic relationship with plants emphasizes this: It is a relationship based on experiential and visionary knowledge. The shamanic way of working with herbs is an expression of cooperative healing: a way of partnership with the rooted beings that so gracefully sustain our earthly life. Alliance with plants is an ancient art and survival skill. A great deal can be learned from studying how our ancestors, and the native peoples of North America, related to herbs and trees. Attending to that traditional knowledge is one facet of shamanic practice, but it is only through personal interaction with plants that authentic alliance can be cultivated; with that personal context comes the necessary teachings for efficacious practice. Through inquiring engagement, the healer develops an understanding of and respect for individual plants based on truths of experience.”
As we begin to work with plants with an appreciation for all they offer us and with a respect to sustainable harvest, we realize how deeply we are connected. David Hoffman, in his discussion about plant alkaloids as “the most potent group of plant constituents that act upon the human body and mind”, says, “Many of the most valued plants in the herbalists’ repertoire contain these potent chemicals. However, within the plants themselves there appears to be no important function for them, apart from possibly being a store for excess nitrogen. Rather they seem to be provided as a source of healing agents by Planet Earth for humanity and the animal realms through their interaction with the plant realm. “ Earth Mother has surely provided us with all we need to sustain life. I urge you to ask yourself, “How have we cared for her in return?” If you are interested in deepening your own relationship with the natural world – I hope you will join us on this Plant Medicine Journey. The Journey begins on April 13. This series is limited to 6 participants, as we will be meeting in my home in an intimate group environment – using plants from my yard and purchased plants from Jeans Greens in New York. We will learn to make medicine in my kitchen and share herbal teas and healthy snacks. We may also explore other wild places nearby and there is an optional field trip to Habanera Farm where you can purchase herbs, teas and plants at your own discretion. Class topics include: Session #1 (April 13): Meet the Plants! Covers how to identify edible & medicinal plants that grow in your backyard, how to responsibly harvest, plant chemistry (active ingredients), plant preparations Session #2 (May 18): Plant Based First Aid How to create a Kitchen Medicine Cabinet with plants and essential oils, and other natural remedies
Session #3 (June 15): Puberty to Pregnancy Includes plants specific for each phase of puberty through motherhood, including menstruation, lactation and pregnancy, as well as plant medicine that is safe for common children's illnesses. Session #4 (July 13): Wild Woman Plants for Menopausal years and Beyond! Includes both edible and medicinal plants specific to ease the transition through menopause.
Because this is the first time I am teaching this course, and because I very much want to empower people to connect with the Earth and to take their health into their own hands, I am offering this course for very lost cost that includes all of the supplies you need to make teas, tincture, oil, salve, syrup, etc. You must sign up by March 22, so I can order class supplies. Please contact me for more information, or visit my webpage at: https://www.shiningwatersyoga.com/retreats