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Central Virginia is a bountiful region full of plant stewards, farmers, herbalists, activists, healers, advocates, community leaders and creatives. We are honored to bring together a remarkable group of guides & practitioners for this years gathering. Please join us in celebrating and supporting the work of these teachers at Gaia and beyond.

Gaia's 2023 Keynote:

Yolonda Coles-Jones 

Yolonda Coles Jones, also known as The Calm and Thrive Coach, is an international conscious relationship expert and empowered living coach. She helps home, community and business leaders learn to cultivate more peaceful and empowering home, community and business environments through mindful and loving leadership.


Yolonda meets you at the intersection of mind, body and spirit. Her years of seasoning as a birth doula, embodiment teacher, mediator, Ayurvedic wellness practitioner, spiritualist, student of humanities and social sciences, writer, singer, liberation-minded homeschool mama to many and life partner to one dynamic human all inform her work as the lead coach, teacher and facilitator inside the Empowered Journey Company ecosystem.


She founded Empowered Journey Company in 2017 to support humans with realizing more confidence, clarity, calm and life-giving/life-supporting connection in their lives, moment-by-moment, all while caring deeply and well for their whole-being.

Yolonda shares practical, spiritual but non-religious wisdom and advise about loving well, healing and thriving through her podcast Empowered People™ Each Day. Join her as she keeps you inspired and guides you in the ways of true power and love in practice, each day--moment by moment, breath by breath, decision by decision.

The Friday night Keynote Experience will be facilitated by Yolonda and she will be teaching two workshops: 

  • Sankofa Personal Soil [Lineage] Mining: Going Back to Fetch the Goodness From Your Ancestry Origin

  • Stay Supple: Stewarding Your Nectar So that YOU Last and Thrive TOO.



Bioregional Herbalism: Saving the World One Tincture at a Time with Lily Kunning

Birth Justice & The Prison Birth Project with Sara Zia

Clinical Pearls from an Elder with Geo Giordano

Deep Dive into Marshmallow + The Water Element with Sydney Batson

Ecosomatics and Eros with Victoria Maria Moyer

Flower Essences: An Immersive Journey from Creation to Usage with Taylor Womack

From Grief to Joy with Dorisse Aha

Herbs Important to Enslaved African Americans with Ruby Daniels

Intro to Astro-Herbalism with Meaghan Moore

Intuitive Painting In The Dark: Finding Your Joys Inspiration: An Experience of the Senses, Inner Wisdom & Soul Expression with Ursula Goadhouse

Joy as Revolution with Jamila Talbot

Let Breath Be Your Guide Dance Your Way into JOY with Dorisse Aha

Marshmallow Plant Journey with Suzanna Stone

Medicine Cabinet Makeover: Herbal Medicine Making with Sydney Batson

Native Herbs of Appalachia with Ruby Daniels

Navigating Depression as a Tool to Find your Joy with Kat Maier 

On My Last Nerve-Three herbs for Emotional Regulation with Suzanna Stone

Plant Walk with Kat Maier

Rooted & Rising Yoga with Sara Zia

Sankofa Personal Soil [Lineage] Mining: Going Back to Fetch the Goodness From Your Ancestry Origin with Yolonda Coles Jones

Soothing the Soul: Spiritual Bathing with Marshmallow with Liz Henke

Stay Supple: Stewarding Your Nectar So that YOU Last and Thrive TOO with Yolonda Coles Jones

Tea Tasting: The Hidden Language of Flavor with Taylor Womack



Collage for Self Discovery with Malaina Poore 

Making Body Care Products with Lily Kunning

Joyful Tarot with Meg Madden

Teen Affinity Circle



Altered Book Making with Malaina Poore 

Herbal Stories from & for Kids with Geo Giordano

Nature Journaling and Plant Communication with Meaghan Moore

Song and Dance as a Gift with Victoria Maria Moyer

class list


Teacher Bios

Dorisse Aha | Charlottesville, Virginia

Dorisse is an internationally recognized leader in the mushrooming field of breathwork, a most powerful tool for reclaiming optimal health, and to cope with the demands of life in the 21st century. Dorisse Aha, Respiratory and Buteyko Educator, nurse, herbalist, writer and performing artist, has been teaching people of all ages about natural health for over 40 years. She has traveled, lived, taught and published internationally and invites individuals to learn the basics of reclaiming responsibility for their health using Breath as the prefect transformational tool. With graceful enthusiasm Dorisse teaches from a new paradigm of health - one of wellness vs. illness, one of self healing and personal empowerment. She offers classes, workshops and public speaking events for all ages and teaches that Optimum Breathing is at the Heart and Foundation of Wellness. Dorisse is the founder of BreathDance ~ Wellness Through Breathing. 

Learn more about Dorisse's work at: BreathDance ~ Wellness Through Breathing 

Geo Derick Giordano Berryville, VA

Geo Derick Giordano, MSc, RH(AHG), Registered Medical Herbalist, is the founder, clinician & medicine formulator of Geo’s Joy Herbal Medicine, LLC & the founder/owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Center located in Berryville, VA. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist’s Guild, which promotes the highest level of professionalism and ethical practice of herbal therapeutics. Geo has taught dozens of subjects at various universities, conferences, organizations and other venues of learning and is currently an adjunct teacher at Johns Hopkins University. Her passion for health and nutrition, the plants and the planet are known to be contagious! 

Learn more about Geo's work at: Geo's Joy Herbal Medicine | FB: geosjoy  | The Sanctuary Wellness CenterFB:thesanctuaryberryville 

Jamila Talbot | Stafford, Virginia

Jamila is an herbalist, sound healer, mother of five, partner of one, and reluctant pet parent. The goal of her energy and herbal practice is to cultivate nourishment and safety within her community. Jamila also enjoys sewing, jewelry making, and getting outside to befriend random rocks. Jamila offers classes & consultations through Mama Luvs Herbs: Approachable Herbs & Spiritual Care. 

Learn more about Jamila's work at:  Mama Luvs Herbs | IG: mamaluvsherbs

Kat Maier | Charlottesville, VA

Kat Maier, RH (AHG).PA has been a practicing herbalist for over thirty years. She is founder and director of Sacred Plant Traditions, LLC in Charlottesville, VA where she offers classes geared to all levels of students. SPT’s free clinic was one of the first on the east coast and is revered as a a model for other programs. She served as President of the Board of United Plant Savers Board and was the recipient of their first Medicinal Plant Conservation Award. She is co-author of Bush Medicine of San Salvador Island, Bahamas and author of Energetic Herbalism: A Guide to Sacred Plant Traditions Integrating Elements of Vitalism, Ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine. This book won the Gold Medal Nautilus Award in 2022. 

Learn more about Kat's work: Sacred Plant Traditions | FB: sacredplanttraditions | Book: Energetic Herbalism

Lily Kunning | Grafton, WV

Lily Kunning is a teacher, and activist, an herbalist, and an all-around crafty person. She fosters collaboration and cooperation and lives and works in community: Haven Herbs is a worker owned cooperative company, and her farm is co-owned and worked with 4 other humans. Her activism has encompassed queer anti-hate crime patrols, saving the redwoods, doing educational classes, podcasts, and zines, and building a little corner of the world that runs cooperatively. 

Learn more about Lily's work: Resource Sanctuary | Haven Herbs | Lily Kunning

Liz Henke | Charlottesville, VA

Liz Henke (she/her) is the creatrix behind Dreamseed Apothecary. She received her core herbal education under the wing of Rosemary Gladstar. Liz furthered her education and found her calling after working with several spiritual herbalists and the indigenous healer, Rocío Alarcón. She combines her love of plants, ritual, the sacred feminine, creativity and art in her work and play. She offers classes on a variety of topics from sacred sensuality to incense making. She leads circles and ceremonies in the Charlottesville area, as well as offering energetic healing sessions. She facilitates therapeutic art experiences to further engage with self and the sacred feminine. Liz also has a line of herbal and craft goods that she offers online. 

Learn more about Liz's work: Dream Seed Apothecary | FB:dreamseedapothecary | IG:dreamseedapothecary

Meaghan Moore  | Capon Bridge, WV

Meaghan is both a practicing herbalist and an herb farmer who loves to focus her attention on education. Together with her husband, she tends Blooming Mountains Botanical Sanctuary, a 160 acre botanical sanctuary in the mountains of West Virginia. She was drawn to study plant medicine through her love for the natural world and desire to help humans and animals live their most happy and healthy lives. Meaghan is forever a student of nature and eternally grateful for the gifts of wisdom the Earth, and her inhabitants, share with us.

Learn more about Meaghans's work: Blooming Mountains Botanical Sanctuary |   IG:bloomingmtnsbotanicalsanctuary | IG: bloomingmtnsholistichealth

Melaina Poore | Charlottesville, VA

Malaina Jean Poore, M.A. was voted “Most Likely To Be a Therapist.” in 8th grade. Most of her passions and paid work involve care and creativity. She was the recipient of the 2011 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling for her work around radically rethinking mental health. You can meet her in Charlottesville, Virginia where she slings organic chicken, works with court-involved families and youth, enjoys the company of her adult children and daydreams about her next road trip.

Meg Madden | Charlottesville, VA

I am an herbalist, ceremonialist and diviner, focused on person-centered healing. I work at The Elderberry, as a clinical herbalist, and as a gardener and farmer. My teaching experience spans decades as well as disciplines from dance to writing to tarot to herbalism. I currently find joy in talking to plants, formulating for my clients, and learning to skateboard.

Ruby Daniels | Stanaford, WV

Ruby Daniels is a herbalist, forest farmer, and tradition carrier of Afrolachian hertitage. Ruby Daniels received a Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism from Maryland University of Integrative Health. She owns a business were she sells herbal products and plants. In addition to running her business Creasy Jane's, Ruby works for NRCS as a Soil Conservationist Technician.

Learn more about Ruby's work at Creasy Jane's

Sara Zia | Charlottesville, VA

Sara Zia is a licensed midwife & doula serving Charlottesville and surrounding areas. She's a seasoned yoga instructor leading C'Ville Yogis since 2009. She's also founder and Executive Director of Virginia Prison Birth Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing perinatal support services for pregnant and postpartum people in prison, jail, and who are justice-impacted living in the community. 

Learn more about Sara's work: Virginia Prison Birth Project

Suzanna Stone | Scottsville, VA

Suzanna Stone is a teacher and practicing clinical herbalist with over twenty years of experience in herbal medicine, traditional foodways, and plant spirit medicine. She was raised in a home where plant medicine and whole foods were integral parts of health, which set the foundation for her life's work in herbal medicine. Suzanna teaches at a broad range of herb schools and conferences throughout the country. In 2008, she founded Owlcraft Healing Ways, an outdoor school of herbal medicine based in Scottsville, VA amongst the Blue Ridge foothill's beautiful nature and medicinal offerings. Her goal is to help facilitate the abilities of her students, clients, and each person she meets to gain direct connection with the plants and autonomy of self and healing.​

Learn more about Suzanna's work at Owlcraft Healing Ways | IG @owlcrafthealingways | FB Suzanna Stone

Sydney Batson | Charlottesville, VA

Hi, I’m Sydney. I practice clinical herbalism, craniosacral therapy, and Reiki. Think of me as your healing matchmaker, pairing you with the therapies and plants that best suit your needs. As a clinical herbalist, I can assist you with digestive complaints, hormonal imbalances, menstrual woes, blood sugar imbalances, and much more. As a craniosacral therapist, deep listener, and space holder, I help you transform feelings of overwhelm and stuck-ness into pleasure (really!) and passion. Your body is incredibly brilliant and wise. My work is to simply help you remember your body’s innate capacity to heal itself, and to help you move through the world in your power and sovereignty. 

Learn more about Sydney's work: SydneyBatson | IG: @sydney.batson

Taylor Womack | Richmond, Virginia

I’m Taylor Womack (she/they), a clinical herbalist from Richmond, Virginia. My goal as an herbal educator is to spark curiosity and build competency around holistic community care. I incorporate both modern and traditional practices into my work, and I always aim to harbor supportive spaces for questions and growth. I come from a long line of healthcare workers and folk healers, and I grew up working closely with rare disease patient advocacy organizations. As a graduate from Sacred Plant Traditions I embody the “learning is forever” concept, and I continue to learn through professional mentorships and personal experience. Long live the plants! 

Learn more about Taylor's work at IG: @tailored_herbals

Ursula Goadhouse | Charlottesville, VA

I am an everyday Goddess, mother, artist, expanding soul, plant lover, teacher and Hypnotherapist. I work in all of these areas and marry them together in unique and meaningful ways for my own learning and the highest good of others I serve in individual sessions and groups. I am an explorer, a receiver and a beacon. I am dedicated and inspired by the energies and healings magnified by color, sound, light, movement, plants, the spoken word and Spirit. My soul calling is to create and share love and healing. I offer Transformational Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Experiential Classes through Love Heal Create Hypnosis.

Learn more about Ursula's work at Love Heal Create HypnosisIG:@lovehealcreatehypnosis  | FB Love Heal Create Hypnosis


Victoria Marie Moyer | Afton, VA

As an ecosomatic practitioner/researcher, Victoria studies the inherent bonds between human and earth bodies and walks bridges of feeling between inner and outer landscapes. She draws on her background in fields such as somatic therapy, plant-tending and ecological inquiry, theatre/dance arts, and more. See her website for more about her training and current projects.

Learn more about Victoria's work at Body Metta Spore

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