Breathe into the heart of nature right here in the city. Ground and become present to the vibration of your being. Connect to the rhythm of the Earth and the cycles of the moon. Open to the depth of holding and our Earth Mother as your guide.
“Joanna Macy writes that until we can grieve for our planet we cannot love it—grieving is a sign of spiritual health. But it is not enough to weep for our lost landscapes; we have to put our hands in the earth to make ourselves whole again. Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair.” - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
From that recognition comes the invitation…
- Plant seeds & intentions in the body of the earth and earth of your body
- Discover food as ritual, plants as medicine, and the Earth as your teacher
- Awaken your joy, pleasure, and vitality through the healing power of connecting to sacred Earth
- Harvest the bounty from the garden for the nourishment of the body, mind and soul
- Experience the magic and the metaphor available in the garden
You are invited to join the 2017 Embodied Connections program.
This transformative program offers an opportunity to experience yourself in relationship to community, the soil, the plants, the birds, the insects, the elements, the mycelium and receive the teachings that the natural world has to offer.
Drop more deeply into your experience of your body in nature, relating to wellness in new ways. Receive and integrate wisdom through guided meditations, ritual and through aligning yourself with the rhythms of the Earth, cycles of the moon and stages in a growing season as metaphors for our lives.
Program structure and details
Where: Fresh City Farms - Downsview Park, Toronto (TTC accessible)
When: Offered in 3 modules which can be taken on their own or you can participate in all 3 and receive a $60 discount
Each module includes 8 sessions either on Wednesdays or Sundays (refer to specific module for details)
Spring - April 26-June 14
Summer - June 21-August 23
Autumn - September 6-October 22
1. Spring: Preparing the Ground & Planting Seeds
April 26 - June 14
$280 - includes Wednesday evenings and workshops listed below
Wednesday April 26, May 3, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 14 - 6-9pm
Sunday June 4th - 11am-2pm
Workshops featuring guest facilitators
Sunday May 21 - The Healing Tastes of Herbs - a collaboration with Herbalist Aysen Farag of Earth Dreams Totems - 11am-2pm
Wednesday May 31 - Feel Good, Do Good - a collaboration with Barbara Erochina - A workshop that combines group coaching, journaling and meditation to help you deepen your connection with your true self. Fill your own cup so you can overflow with love. In this way, we heal the world. 6-7:30pm
Wednesday June 14 - Nourished by Nature: Spring - a collaboration with Holistic Nutritionists Heather Allen & Taylor Wild of ByNature - 6-9pm
2. Summer: Growing, Flourishing & Blossoming
June 21 - August 23
$340 - includes Wednesday evenings and workshops listed below
Individual sessions are $40
Receive 4 bunches of produce each session
Wednesday June 21, June 28, July 5, July 12, July 26, August 2, August 9, August 23 - 6-9pm
Workshops featuring guest facilitators
In this workshop we will dive into the depths of our own bodies and rediscover our yonis as a source of pleasure, creativity and healing. Demonstrating on a silicone model, Monica will break down the basics of approaching our yonis, getting our juices flowing, and releasing any stored tension or trauma. We'll also delve into the ritual and energetic aspects of this massage for a powerful healing and transformative experience. 7-9pm
Wednesday July 12 - Herbal Medicine Walk - a collaboration with Aysen Farag - 6-8pm
Sunday July 23 - Herbal Healing for the Womb - a collaboration with Aysen Farag
In this workshop we will be focusing on the extraordinary ability of herbs to care for, tonify, nourish, and cleanse a women's womb.
"Herbal Healing for the Womb" is a reminder of the sacredness of our body. Although all parts of the human body are sacred, for a woman it is in the womb that she feels deeply connected to her roots, the earth, and her ancestors. The womb space, holds a lot of wisdom, experiences, and magic, and can be said to be the true centre of a woman, for when the womb is cared for, it opens all the gateways of creation and floods the heart with love. And whether the womb is physically there in the body or not, whether it belongs to a maiden, mother, or crone, a woman's womb space will always be her sacred centre.
You will meet 10-15 herbs from the East and West that are suited for womb healing, both physiologically and energetically. You will also learn about their ideal preparations, and which ones work best together. At the end, you will be lead through a sacred plant medicine womb healing ceremony. 2pm-5pm
Wednesday August 9 - The Heart of Flourishing - a collaboration with Bryonie Wise
3. Autumn: Harvesting & Celebrating the Abundance
September 6 - October 22
$290 - includes all Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons listed below
Individual sessions are $40
-lessons around maintaining a garden, harvesting, incorporating compost/compost tea/minerals, putting a garden to bed
-4 bunches of produce and medicinal herbs each session
-consciously connecting to the earth, plants, elements, meditation, journeying with plants, ritual & ceremony
Wednesday evenings - 5:30-8:30pm
Wednesday September 6 - Full Moon Ceremony - Celebrating Abundance
Wednesday September 13 - Journeying & Restoring with Plants and the Elements
Wednesday September 20 - New Moon Ceremony - Intention Altars & Crystal Grids
Wednesday September 27 - Medicine Making + Walking the Spiral
Sunday September 17 - Nourished by Nature: Dinner & Ritual - a collaboration with Heather Allen & Taylor Wild of ByNature 1-4pm
Sunday October 1 -Stepping into the Field - Exploring Practices that Connect Us to the Spirit and Ancestral Realm - 1-4pm
Sunday October 15 - Medicine Making + Putting the Garden to Bed - 1-4pm
Sunday October 22 - The Alchemy of Autumn - Kat Gibson & Bryonie Wise (@heartroars) - 1-4pm
“The first step is always to recognize what is happening. We can no longer afford to be blinkered by the surface values of our materialistic culture. Just as real sustainability embraces the biodiversity of the whole planet, it also includes the sacred within creation. We need to relearn the wisdom of listening to life, feeling its heartbeat, sensing its soul. But first there is a pressing need to reconnect matter and spirit. All of life is sacred, every breath and every stone. This is one of the great secrets of oneness - everything is included.” Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, The Call of the Earth
Full immersion in this program will provide an understanding of the process of growing organic food, connect you to the Earth and its inherent gifts and deepen your sense of the interrelationship between Nature, Self and your body.
You will gain hands-on experience preparing garden beds, direct seeding, transplanting, the role of compost/compost tea, pest management, how to care for your crops, weeding, watering, harvesting and putting the garden to bed for the season.
We will also focus on:
- Growing vibrant produce and herbs
- Incorporating ritual into our daily lives
- Utilizing the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) for healing
- Earth-conscious meditation practices
- Conscious breathing, dreamwork, and journeying with plants
- Developing your intuitive perception
- Connecting to the truth of your heart
- Creating, grounding, and manifesting intentions
- Designing intention altars and crystal grids
Receive the nourishment of nature right here in the city.
"Embodied connections was the perfect combination of education and spiritual connection. Kat is super knowledgable about cultivating an incredibly healthy, abundant organic garden (or urban farm) and is also super talented at leading meditation and rituals that help to connect us with the earth. Both parts go so well together. I learned so much about organic gardening practices and how I can cultivate my own awesome urban garden, and felt incredibly grounded throughout the process. I left each session with a full heart (and my arms full of huge bags of organic produce!). The farm itself is super special and a bit of a hidden gem in the heart of such a buzzing city. Would highly recommend this to anyone, but especially those interested in learning more about growing clean food sustainably, meeting awesome people, and deepening the spiritual connection.” Laura Franklin - Owner of Fresh & Frank Wellness
"I moved to the bustling city of Toronto nearly five years ago from a sleepy town in Saskatchewan and quickly found myself longing to connect with nature again. After being introduced to Kat and the Embodied Connections program, the void was instantly filled and our weekly sessions became my favourite part of the week. Kat's ability to connect us with nature, ourselves and our community is something that has truly changed my life. Her knowledge in urban agriculture has empowered me to craft my own backyard garden and her commitment to honouring mother nature through ritual and tradition has given me a deeper respect for the world we live in. This program taught me way too much to list, but I can say that the easiest thing you can do to improve the health of your mind/body/soul is to get involved in the art of growing your own food and deepening your connection with yourself and Lady Gaia." Heather Allen, Holistic Nutritionist
A Masters graduate of the University of Toronto, Kat is an urban farmer, earth educator, and mystic. She is a certified restorative yoga instructor and reiki practitioner, completed a two-year Priestess Path Apprenticeship, and is currently training as a Systemic Family Constellations Facilitator.
Inspired by the rhythms of the earth and cycles of nature, she has combined and evolved these practices to integrate wisdom, ritual, and ceremony that honor the elements as a guide to explore the many layers of interconnection between nature, self and community. Working passionately with the Earth has invited a deeper and more intimate relationship with herself, bringing forward a sense of aliveness and trust in her wholeness as a living being on the earth. She honors food as medicine and sees food and nature connection as catalysts for learning, growth, vitality, and joy.
Our Privilege: An acknowledgement
We acknowledge that the land on which we are privileged to gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, the Metis and the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Today, the meeting place of Toronto (from the Haudenosaunee word Tkaronto) is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to be in this place.
(Adapted from the acknowledgement wording suggested for downtown Toronto Universities by the Canadian Association of University Teachers)
The Land, all the insects, creatures, nature spirits and elementals of the garden.
ByNature is the passion project of two holistic nutritionists, mindful chefs, plant lovers and all around silly women. Inspired by the “lost art of tradition ” Heather + Taylor offer workshops and events to empower their community with the knowledge and skills to support an inspired and vital life living by nature. They are constantly expanding their knowledge of traditional skills such as fermentation & kombucha brewing, leatherwork, food preservation, gardening, cooking classes and mindful practices so stay connected to see what they come up with next. www.bynatureto.com @bynaturetoronto
Aysen Farag is a Medicine Woman, born in the lineage of the Bedouin people of North Africa, has Yoruban ancestry, and has been initiated into the medicine of the Q'ero people of the Andes. She passionately shares the folk uses of plant medicines that have been passed down through generations in her family, and has been formally trained in Western Herbalism and Ayurveda. She bridges the use of western herbal medicine with Ayurvedic principles, and her ancestral wisdom to provide simple, clear, and direct uses of plant medicine to bring long-lasting healing on all levels of the being - from spirit, emotions, mind, and body. She offers energy healing, sacred plant medicine, guided ritual & ceremony, and also offers one-to-one or small group (up to 5) plant mentorship opportunities. www.earthdreamstotems.com @lady_of_the_green
Barbara Erochina is a coach, wedding officiate and the creator of Cards for Self-Care. She offers a gigantic toolbox of skills and simple practices to help you reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and the great big mystery that encompasses us all. You can follow her over on Instagram @bewithcards where she loves telling stories and sharing from her heart.
Monica Kovacs is a certified Somatic Sex Educator, Sexological Bodyworker and Hatha yoga teacher. She completed her training in Somatic Sex Education through the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. This body-based modality is complimented by her background in Hatha yoga, qigong (chi kung), meditation, and Reiki. In addition, she has pursued continuing education in Trauma Sensitive Yoga and has volunteer experience through the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre as a crisis counsellor and yoga teacher for assault survivors. Her mission in life is to help people heal sexual shame, discover embodied pleasure and live ecstatically. Her mission in life is to help people heal sexual shame, discover embodied pleasure and live ecstatically. www.monicakovacs.ca
“We are elements of nature: our soma and psyche are reflections of the planet, each intricately embedded in the other. In this era of rapid information processing, high-speed technology, and sedentary workplaces in urban environments, it can be challenging to remember this essential relationship. We can lose our ground and our connection to the planet on the freeway of life, especially when our minds juggle so much input, expectation, and obligation. The body and soul often get left behind in this overwhelm as we shut down and tune out to cope.” Jamie McHugh, “Embodying Nature, Becoming Ourselves: An Eco-Somatic Journey”