Ashtanga Yoga

Classes will introduce students to the foundations of Ashtanga yoga method: vinyasa.

We will explore the connection between breath and movement through the breakdown of breath and the set of postures of this method. Classes are for beginners and ALL level practitioners.


Learning objectives and outcomes

Practical understanding of this method of breathing.

Practical understanding of vinyasa (breath link with movement).

Ashtanga yoga sun salutes, sequence of asanas from the primary series of Ashtanga yoga.

Thyroid health maintenance

Take responsibility for your thyroid well being with seaweeds, foods and herbs.

Learning objectives and outcomes:
– learn practical tools and tips for optimizing thyroid function and regualting emtanolism

The Nose Knows – Natural Perfumes

A fun hands on sniff session! 100% Natural Perfumes are making a come back. Once the only perfumes available, the focus on naturals became lost with the introduction of new chemical technologies that could produce the scents for cheaper. But, naturals contain the energy of the plant and its growing conditions and the world economy provides more ingredients than any Perfumer of the past could ever imagine working with. It’s a very exciting niche industry to explore. We’ll ‘sniff’ and tell stories. Talk about ingredients and where they come from and skin test some of the Flying Colors Natural Perfumes – created right here in the Comox Valley. Each perfume also correlates to a Chakra correspondence and psycho-spiritual Healing Theme. We’ll briefly introduce this concept – enough to help your nose navigate the scents. 

Learning objectives and outcomes:
– expand your olfactory vocabulary 
– demystify the myths about fragrance and especially perfumes and their botanical uses
– explore and enjoy fragrance and the stories behind them

Physician in the Kitchen

Therapeutic Applications of Culinary Herbal Medicine

  • What is Nutritional Herbology & how do we define medicinal foods?
  • Principles & practices of the Culinary Herbalist
  • Making culinary herbal choices through the sensory classification of herb & foods (aroma & flavours)
  • How to best employ the medicinal properties of plants & herbs
  • Kitchen Pharmacy: methods of preserving & extracting medicinal foods
  • Common kitchen solvents for food & drink medicine making
  • How to use fresh & dried foods in cooking, baking and a variety of other culinary applications
  • Provide herb & recipe examples

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Learn how to apply herbs more directly into your everyday life & especially within the kitchen & how to increase the medicinal properties of your foods & beverages.
  • Understand how an herbs pharmacology will lend to its ideal culinary application.
  • Leave this session feeling a greater confidence in your ability to apply herbal medicine in a culinary selling for the maintenance of your good health.

Pain Management with Herbal Medicine

The Science & Culture of Cannabis & Beyond

  • What is Pain? (Sensory, emotional, and cognitive phenomenon), Types of Pain, Physiology & Chemistry of Pain
  • Conventional vs. Herbal Approaches to Pain Management (e.g. analgesics, nervine relaxants)
  • Plants & Mechanisms for Pain Management
    • Opioid (Opium Poppy)
    • Prostaglandins  (Willow, Feverfew)
    • Neurokinins/Substance P (Cayenne)
    • Purinergic (Coffee/Tea, Chocolate)
    • Cholinergic (Lobelia, Yellow Jasmine, Belladonna)
    • Local (topical) effects (Arnica, Clove, Myrrh)
    • Cannabinoid  (Cannabis spp.)
  • Understanding the Endocannabinoid System
  • Understanding Cannabis for pain management & review of current research
  • Conclusions on managing pain with herbal medicine, Herbal Pharmacy (e.g. forms of administration, topicals, tinctures, as food etc.)

Learning objectives and outcomes:

  • Gain a greater understanding and respect for herbal analgesics in their ability to reduce pain improve quality of life when used appropriately.
  • Understand when it is and is not appropriate to use herbal analgesic in the management of pain (e.g. potential contraindications and concerns re: Cannabis use)
  • Learn how to apply herbal analgesics safely, and create foods & tinctures as therapeutic applications to promote self-management & care while modifying pain and suffering in ourselves & in our patients.

Ashtanga Yoga

Classes will introduce students to the foundations of Ashtanga yoga method: vinyasa.

We will explore the connection between breath and movement through the breakdown of breath and the set of postures of this method. Classes are for beginners and ALL level practitioners.

Learning objectives and outcomes

Practical understanding of this method of breathing.

Practical understanding of vinyasa (breath link with movement).

Ashtanga yoga sun salutes, sequence of asanas from the primary series of Ashtanga yoga.

Medieval Medicine – Secrets of Hildegaard von Bingen

How healers used herbal remedies during Medieval times

Take a step back in time to the 12 Century to learn the traditional methods of healing and application of plant medicine used by the mother of German botany and first German woman physician, Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, (1098 – 1179). A mystic, composer, herbalist, scientist and a healer, learn Saint Hildegard’s traditional application of plants, foods and natures elements for healing. We will explore her healing philosophies, including the categorization of diseases according to causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Learning objectives and outcomes

  • Learn Saint Hildegard’s Rules for health and healing
  • Explore her application of various plants and foods for health
  • Learn her spiritual remedies for ailments, including reflections on various emotional states contributing to ill health, understand the vices and virtues (guardians of healing powers) and healing words for optimal health
  • Understand the usages of plant medicine in the middle ages for common ailments and compare and contrast ancient use of plants with modern applications

Menstrual Cycle Charting and Herbal Medicine

A practitioner-based workshop introducing menstrual cycle charting, a tool for practitioners to assess reproductive pathologies with their patients and manage these conditions. This class will introduce menstrual and ovulation cycle charting covering basic concepts of a women’s reproductive system including anatomy, hormones, ovulation and menstruation. Additionally we will cover menstrual cycle charting with basal body temperature, cervical changes and cervical mucous, offering women empowerment with their bodies and their reproductive health. We will focus on assessment of cycle charts along with herbal, and supplement treatment protocols with common reproductive pathologies such as painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), acne and emotional changes throughout the cycle, PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis and infertility. Within the menstrual cycle chart, we will be able to identify follicular and luteal phase pathologies including progesterone deficiency leading to recurrent miscarriages, anovulatory cycles leading to infertility and estrogen dominance leading to fibroids, and endometriosis.

The Human Micro-Biome and Medicinal Ferments

Fermented foods have long been documented & utilized for their health benefits including supporting and nourishing the human micro-biome. A balanced micro-biome regulates the immune system, metabolism, sustains the gastrointestinal tract, supports mood and brain function and produces crucial vitamins and nutrients. Combining the ancient art of herbal medicine making with traditional fermentation practices yields innovative and outstanding results. Join Colleen as details the benefits of fermented foods and medicine while demonstrating several fermenting techniques that combine well with various herbs and herbal formulas. Samples will be provided.
History of Ferments
Health Benefits of Ferments
The Action of Combining Fermentation Techniques with Herbal Formulation
Demonstration and sampling of various medicinal ferments
Learning Objective
The active participant of this workshop will gain insight on the traditional usage of fermentation and why one would incorporate this technique in the kitchen today. Further to this the herbal medicine maker will gain insights on technique to further their creations with fermentation.

Flower Essences For Women

Clearing Belief Systems Surrounding Women’s Health Issues

Learn how to use flower essences to unravel and clear belief systems connected to menstrual disorders and menopause symptoms.  In this class we will go through old ancestral beliefs such as, a woman is “unclean” and needs to be purified during menstruation, having “the curse” or that it is shameful to speak about your menstrual cycle to being less powerful than men.  These all have a supressing effect on our bodies that can develop into excessive pain, suppression of our cycles’, excessive bleeding, infertility and much more.  You will learn how to test if you hold these beliefs in your subconscious and how to select the flower essences to clear it.  Clearing these beliefs helps you to rewrite the code that is managing your biology so that the cell no longer has the toxic memory, belief or code, that keeps you stuck in that state of dis-ease.

The Power of Herbal Bitters

From Helping with Blood Sugar Control to Moving Us Forward in Our Lives

In this session you will learn the about the power of herbal bitters on the digestive system and regulating blood sugar imbalances on the physical level.  We will also delve into both Ayurvedic and Taoist principles of the third chakra and its related organs, and learn how to use herbal bitters to “rev up” the action of this area to help us see our true calling and create the energy to move us forward on our paths.

The Comings and Goings of a Herbalist

In this talk we will look at a brief history of Herbal Medicine in the world, and focus on its future in Canada. We will look at the blending of traditions of the ancients with modern science and how it can help the current crop of Herbalists be of service to their patients, family and community. There can be many pitfalls along the way. We will discuss ways to make it an fun-filled adventure, not just another job. How to work for yourself in the confines of modern rules and government oversights will be kicked around. After all, the planet grows Herbalist, so let make it a great crop.

Making Herbal Plasters

Herbal Plasters and Poultices are out of fashion these days but they are a powerfully healing way of administering herbs. Learn how to make Plasters and Poultices for aching joints, sore muscles, tendonitis, arthritis, broken bones, digestive issues and more.

Each step of the Plaster and Poultice making process will be demonstrated using the magic and potent healing power of fresh herbs straight from the garden and the seashore.

The Truth about Round Up – the antibiotic on your plate

Dr. Thierry Vrain, formerly Head of Biotechnology at Agriculture Canada’s Summerland Research Station, has been researching the health implications of Round Up for the past 5 years and his findings are shocking. After this lecture you will never want to eat commercially grown food again!


The Herbalist’s Role as Gatekeeper to the World of Plants

Our species has always been intimately woven in with the world of plants. In the modern age however, many of our basic connection to these life sustaining companions has been lost. Plants and people are made up of the same elements combined in relatively the same types of patterns. Like us, they also have a personality, or a code of characteristics that they communicate with. The herbalist acts as a gatekeepers for their community in understanding more deeply the healing aspects that plants offer. This is more important than ever now, especially as we become reliant on technology to teach us most of what we know. In this intensive, we will explore a variety of ways to unlock our sensory perception, so we can decipher more of the hidden languages that nature speak in.

Botany Basics

This fast paced course is intended as an introduction for either the potential Botany student, or someone who needs a nudge in the right direction for self study. We will cover basics of plant morphology (physical features) and taxonomy (the way species are arranged into families and how their morphology determines their classification).