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Our foundational 8 Month Apprenticeship in Traditional Herbalism, Sacred Plant Medicine, Spiritual Ecology, & Holistic Healing.

In Ontario, Canada our first year training runs from May 2024 until December.

Class will be held at Wind Whistle Farms in Mulmur, Ontario filled with herbal gardens students can harvest from! Our Year One training will gather 1 weekend a month in person. Our First Year Plant Medicine Apprenticeship is an immersive 160-hour course in traditional herbalism and sacred plant medicine. This course creates a strong foundation in herbalism and building personal relationships with our healing plants.

Classes include harvesting & medicine making, herbalism lectures, tea meditations, guided journeys, plant walks and identification, herbal gardening, and simple rituals. We explore the systems of the body in depth through the lens of herbalism and holistic anatomy and physiology. Students will learn to identify, grow, and harvest plants for medicine year-round. In each class, we seek to unite Western modes of learning with ancient traditions of learning directly from the plants, ourselves, and the earth.

About Alessandra

Working with natural medicine and with plants has always been at the core and practice of Alessandra's life and wellness. She believes in a wholistic approach to living in a healthy and sound body and mind. Alessandra began her journey as a young child growing up in a home where her mother kept the traditions of working with plants passed down through her lineage. Alessandra's grandmother was a herbalist in Brazil at time where herbalism as a practice was controversial.

In 2017 Alessandra decided to further her knowledge outside of her own traditions to learn about the plants that are commonly used in North America. Since then she has taught several online course, gathered in circle to explore various plants and is currently studying Chinese herbology to deepen her knowledge in traditional uses of plant medicine.

She also practices acupuncture, massage therapy and has been working in the world of facilitating healing for over 20 years.


Wind Whistle Farms 
838366 4th Line
Mulmur, On

Year 1 Apprenticeship class focus
  • Folk & Traditional Herbal Healing

  • Growing & Wildcrafting Healing Plants

  • Healing Plants of North America & Tropical Plant Medicine

  • Plant Spirit Medicine

  • Spiritual Ecology & Earth-centered Ceremony

  • Wild Foods & Plant Identification

  • Meditation with Plants

  • Restorative Medicine & Nourishing Traditions

  • Systems of the Body & Herbal Energetics

  • Medicine Making - (tinctures, infusions, salves, etc.)

  • Sustainable Herbalism

  • Plant Medicine Walks & ID

  • Ethnobotany & Ecology

  • Chakra Healing with Plants

  • Energy Healing & Bodywork

  • Magical Herbalism & Folklore

  • Communication with plants

  • Herbalism & Social/Environmental Justice

  • Body-centered & Heart based Learning

  • Nourishing Self Care

At the end of the 8-month program, each student will be certified by the school for 160 hours of training in traditional herbalism, holistic healing, and sacred plant medicine.  Please note ~ There is no legal licensing or certification required for herbalists to practice in Canada. Herbalists are not legally allowed to practice medicine or "treat" patients, instead, we recommend plants from our own personal experience, helping to support each person's own healing path. This course offers certification in 160 hours of training. 

Educational and plant materials will be provided to you in class. Students can harvest fresh plants for their own use and medicine making from our herbal gardens every class weekend. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at and we'll arrange a time to speak with you!

This apprenticeship is both a course in ancestral herbalism and Western sciences, with a strong focus on our own personal relationships with the plants themselves. We touch on many plants that are used in traditional Chinese herbology and Ayurveda and how we can use them to support the body. In the first-year course, we get to know the plants in our own body, through experiential learning, plant communication, and journeying. Classes in our first-year course focus on self-healing, as well as building a strong foundation in herbalism. In year two students focus on bringing all they have received from the plants in year one to their communities.

The course is intended to be a healing journey into your own connection with the medicine plants that surround you. Doorways that are opened and the wisdom gained during class will seep into each apprentice's home and everyday life. The plants that each student forms relationships with change their lives on deep levels, and become health care that lasts a lifetime.  

Our Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeships focus on working with plants as medicine for the body and soul, remembering the ancient traditions of our ancestors. In our courses we partner with plants as conscious beings, learning from them directly. We work with local Northeastern American plants as well as many plants that have long traditions of use globally. Plants of Europe, Central and South America, Polynesia, Ayurveda, and Chinese herbal medicine are explored throughout the course, with a strong focus on sustainability, protection of native plants, and respect for communities. Students are able to harvest an abundance of medicinal plants, herb seeds, and wild foods from the Gaia School gardens.

Certification for the 160-hour course in sacred plant medicine and holistic healing will be given upon completion of the apprenticeship. Students combine herbal medicine with many other healing modalities and often go on to incorporate plant medicine into their careers in many different ways - growing plants, medicine making, teaching, opening a healing practice, working with friends and family, and using plant medicine to benefit social, environmental, and collective change. Please take a look at our apprenticeship syllabus for a closer look at what this course offers.

Join us as we journey with the healing plants of Gaia...

Lodging & Meals 

The farm is a communal space that offers lodging to those who would like to stay overnight. If you stay the night on the land, you are responsible for your own food. Lunch will be provided by the host, but we ask for a donation to be made by each student (either a monetary donation or with a potluck dish or something that can be added to the potluck style lunches.

Overnight camping :$20/night
Shared room in the main house: $60/night


Outdoor shower
Outdoor bathroom
Outdoor kitchen
Cold plunge

Class Dates

  • May 18th & 19

  • June 15th & 16

  • July 20th & 21

  • August 17th & 18

  • September 14th & 15

  • October 19th & 20

  • November 16th & 17

  • December 14th & 15

160 hours

Year One Apprenticeship deposit is non-refundable. $400 holds your place in the course as space is limited!


The cost for the 8-months starting May 2024 Year One Apprenticeship is $2,200 - $2,500 sliding scale


The class will meet for 8 weekends total, for a total of 160 hours of class time. We offer payment plans and a sliding scale based on income level. BIPOC scholarships are available. We ask that each student choose what they can afford, understanding that those who pay the higher end of the sliding scale are providing support for lower-income students to attend as well.

Payment Plans 

We offer a monthly payment plan to students for assistance please email alessandra@layaspaandyoga. A $400 deposit (non-refundable) is required to register for the apprenticeship and is subtracted from the total tuition. Full payment is due by the first apprenticeship class meeting unless a payment plan has been arranged in advance.

Saturdays & Sundays

8:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Before the start of the course you will receive a welcome packet with your course syllabus, booklist, course information, and beginning readings. Solitary study, practice, and assignments for the course are optional, (with occasional required assignments) and home practice is highly encouraged! Students should plan to devote 2 hours a week to their class home practice. 

This apprenticeship is open to anyone interested, regardless of their gender, belief system, past experience, or knowledge of plants. We believe strongly in creating a safer spaces that honour diversity, difference, and many voices. We continue to work on creating safer spaces for all people who have experienced marginalization. We strongly value creating safer space for BIPOC, queer, and gender non-conforming people.

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