Earth Festival: Plant Medicine, Shamanism, Connecting with Nature, with Bonny Casel, Kurikindi, Emma Jane Kemp, Guy Hayward & William Parsons, Stewart Gilchrist, Colin Dunsmuir

The Hoxton, Shoreditch | Saturday 23rd April 2016

On Earth Day 2016 Advaya Initiative brought together a group of game-changing thinkers, speakers, activists and yogis to galvanise our awareness and inspire us to live differently. These day-long events incorporate practices to heal our inner worlds so we may be better equipped to create positive change in our external environments. Environmental degradation is a reflection of an inner malaise so our teachers, speakers, healers and activist address both these planes of existence.

Hosted at the chic and spacious Hoxton Hotel, Shoreditch, the day began with a choice of 3 workshops: dynamic yogasana with legendary Stewart Gilchrist, meditation and pranayama with Colin Dunsmuir and Miranda Taylor, or a sound healing with Archie Brun. Before we all separated off to our different workshops the wonderful Miranda Taylor conducted an opening ceremony of a short meditation and class in chanting. A delicious vegan lunch followed the workshops, provided by Piccalilli Caff and served in a beautiful garden space whilst Will Heard and Ollie Clark performed. The afternoon was then packed with exciting talks from some amazing individuals.

Bonny Casel kicked off the talks on the topic of Quantum Botanicals: Evolution of Consciousness in Harmony with Nature. Sharing her knowledge of plant senses and communication, Bonny discussed how quantum physics reveals that both plant and human senses decode out vibrational world through quantum processes that arise from consciousness. Quantum theory provides a meaningful understanding of how the plethora of perfected qualities of consciousness, represented vibrationally in the plant world, provide healing on physical, emotional, mental and intuitive levels through vibrational entrainment and emergent behaviours. Bonny presented us with a mind expanding exploration of the bridge between consciousness and matter; an understanding essential to our evolutionary reconnection with the natural world.

Kurikindi then spoke on Shamanic Wisdom and the Plight of the Rainforest, discussing the current situation in the Ecuadorian Rainforest and the dangers that it faces. On one had his talk was extremely emotional on the other very inspiring and informative as he outlined the medicinal plants that he works with, their shamanic connections and uses. We walked away from this talk for a short break feeling inspired to keep fighting for the protection of mother earth.

In the break we had delicious drinks from Purelosophy, snacks from Propercorn and incredible vegan brownies from Piccalilli Caff

After stretching our legs and discussing what we had learnt we went back to hear a short talk from Emma Kemp, a climage change campaigner and activist, currently working on excuting and innovative projects at 10:10. Emmas talk was titled: Step away from the polar bear: how to communicate climate change like a boss. In this talk Emma outlined the problems we face and the science behind them. She then showed the solutions and examples of people taking action, exploring how we can effectively communicate climate change in order to inspire action. All too often the polar bear is invoked as the ultimate symbol of climate change, Emma addressed how alien rhetoric such as this stunts people’s ability to act and respond. Climate change is an immanent threat, that if uncurbed will affect each and every one of us in the most direct and prominent ways.

Dr Guy Hayward & William Parsons, founders of The British Pilgrimage Trust then talked on Walking the Walk & Singing the Song: The Enchantment of Pilgrims’ Britain. These are two men on a mission to revive Britain’s pilgrimage tradition. Pilgrimage is the act of making dedicated journeys on foot to holy places. It is open to everyone – with or without religion. With its powerful combination of nature, spirituality and adventure – in one healthy package – Guy and Will believe pilgrimage is set to emerge as one of the great physical/spiritual/social movements of the 21st Century. Guy and Will share their passion for British pilgrimage through story and song. They use music as a simple way to meet and honour holy places, and sang the best of these ‘keys to the landscape’ in their talk, to encourage us all to explore the secrets of the land and ourselves as part of it.

Finally Colin Dunsmuir spoke on Initiating Change: explaining how we can use yoga to initiate deep and wholehearted movement within us, that changes our outlook on life and how we interact with the world around us. Colin is extremely experienced in the ancient wisdom and practices of yoga, and he will guide us how to implement these in our lives.

Speaker & Teacher Bios

Bonny Casel – Quantum Botanicals; Evolution of Consciousness in Harmony with Nature

Bonny Casel is the founder of Quantum Botanicals, a synergistic approach to evolutionary Self Healing supported by resonant plant frequencies. She has been teaching Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Healing Diets, Iridology and Vibrational Plant Medicine since 1988, and is the founder and director of School of Natural Medicine, UK. Over the years Bonny has integrated the study of plant medicine with the work of leading scientists in a range of fields including physics, biophysics and mind-body research, to establish an approach to healing and teaching that embraces the vibrational reality that we all exist within. Bonny's approach is grounded in practical healing processes that incorporate the vibrational healing potential of plant food, essential oils, flower essences and medicinal herbs into mind-body healing modalities.

Kurikindi – Shamanic Wisdom and the Plight of the Rainforest

Kurikindi is an indigenous Kichwa Amazonian Shaman. He was born in the rainforests of Ecuador and into an ancient line of Shamanic Families. Before he could walk or talk he was immersed in the shamanic way of life, and spent his youth travelling long distances with his family to spend time with Shamans from other cultures and nationalities to learn and share knowledge and experiences. 

Emma Jane Kemp, 10:10 – Step away from the polar bear: how to communicate climate change like a boss

Emma is a climate change campaigner and activist hailing from Mersea Island, off the coast of Essex. Currently, she works on innovative, exciting projects at 10:10 that bring people together to help tackle climate change. Emma likes hedgehogs, krav maga and pasta.

Dr Guy Hayward & William Parsons, The British Pilgrimage Trust – Walking the Walk & Singing the Song: The Enchantment of Pilgrims’ Britain.

Co-founders of The British Pilgrimage Trust Guy Hayward and William Parsons have featured on BBC 1, Radio 4, The Independent, etc. 

Colin Dunsmuir

Colin Dunsmuir is a practitioner of yoga for well over 20 years and experienced Teacher Trainer. Earlier in his life he practiced the Iyengar method and further to this he practiced and completed the first and second series of Astanga Vinyasa directly under the guidance of the late K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath in Mysore, India. In his continued search for coherency in the teachings, he was directed to go as close to the source as possible and focus on the teachings presented by the “father of modern yoga” – Professor T. Krishnamacharya – this led him to be invited to study directly with the family. The following years consisted of extensive training, guidance and practice in all aspects of yoga presented by Professor T. Krishnamacharya and his son T.K.V. Desikachar. He was honoured to be given the role of a Yoga Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist directly by TKV Desikachar. He teaches yoga full time in London, specialising in teaching 1-2-1, yoga therapy and evolving yoga teachers.

Stewart Gilchrist

Stewart Gilchrist is one of London’s most popular yoga teachers leading inspirational classes packed with long-time practitioners and conducting annual teacher trainings. His Scottish accent and contagious laughter conceal the fierceness of what is to come. The asana is incredibly swift and intense but Stewart’s charisma, knowledge and discourse will carry you through the challenge, adding a newfound strength and stamina to your yoga practice. After working as a teacher and completing his legal studies, Stewart literally fell into the world of yoga when he broke his back and embarked on a long process of rehabilitation through intensive Ashtanga yoga. He studied yoga and he began teaching the Jivamukti method in the early naughties. As his practice and knowledge flourished, so did his teaching style, eventually morphing into the exquisite, energetic practice of Yogasana. He is a Registered Senior Teacher with Yoga Alliance and leads annual retreats in India.

Archie Brun

Archie Brun is trained in the disciplines of Yoga, Massage, Reiki, and Sound Therapy, giving him a holistic insight as to the interactions between the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. His own journey began after attending weekly meditation classes at the Kagyu Ling Meditation Centre in Manchester, when he realised the incredible value of silencing the mind and bringing awareness to the body. He then embarked on a process of self-healing and he now gives individual consultations in which he intuitively draws from the different modalities in which he has been trained, allowing him to tailor-make each healing session to suit the client’s needs specifically in order for the deepest healing to take place.

Picallili Caff

Picallili Caff is a wonderful oasis on Surrey Docks Farm. They are open every day and serve delicious, locally sourced fresh produce.