Every month we have the opportunity to share the story of a past Berkeley Herbal School Alumni for our Alumni Series.
This month we hear from Adriana Ayales, a Costa Rica native and graduate from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Adriana found her way organically into the center thinking that she wanted to add Western Herbalism to her current practice. Cut to several years down the road and and Adriana is the owner of Amina Mundi Herbals based in Brooklyn.
Here’s her story.
I was born and raised in Costa Rica, and have learned the deep and mystical worlds of herbalism and healing from dear curanderos, curanderas, yierberos, (herbalists), and healers on the art of healing with plants, from ingesting herbs, to smoke cleansing, to the power of prayer, to hands on healing, and beyond.
While I was living in the bay area, I was finishing a degree at CIIS, California Institute of Integral Studies. I felt deeply called to learn on American and European herbalism, and integrate the teaching of the land and traditions of the land I was living on.
I came across Ohlone at that time, now Berkeley Herbal Center, and immediately felt at home. I was captured by the homey-ness, and mystical mastery that Pam the master herbalist and founder held. I loved how all aspects were covered, from the basics on herbal actions, to diagnosis, to the mystical aspects of pulse reading, and learning ways to start your own business.
Although at that time I was sure I WASN’T going to start an herbal business, and I was going to use it just as an added tool to my healing practices, somehow the business decided to birth itself, regardless of my decision!
The Impact of the Center
It was such an incredible experience. Being immersed with a group of like minded people with the shared purpose to deepen our connection to Gaia, beyond the frontiers of our mind, was absolutely lovely.
Something vital I found at the time too was the consistency of the classes. This assured a depth and understanding on the materials covered. I loved learning about traditional North American and European herbalism, and immersing that with my Rainforest herbal background.
Secondly, learning new ways and avenues to connect with nature under the guidance of excellent herbal teachers, was a beautiful way to learn new techniques and traditions.
And lastly, sharing the experience with a deep, powerful and FUN group, was incredible. A compassionate and kind group experience as you submerge into the realms of Nature, is not only fundamental, but a life changing experience.
I truly don’t remember any challenges. I have the fondest memories being at school, and particularly loved the field trips
What Adriana Does Now: Amina Mundi
Running a business means wearing a whooole lot of different hats. I own a herbal supplement company, Anima Mundi, that’s based in Brooklyn New York. We manufacture top quality extract powders, tinctures, elixirs, tea’s, and more.
Since its inception, my focus was to support indigenous farmers from Central and South America, along with fellow herbal farms within the US, and other parts of the world, to offer high quality medicines, while supporting true grass roots sustainable projects.
Right now we’re on a mission to partner even further with fellow small farms, to be able to control the quality of growth of our precious medicines, from the seed, to the finished medicine. My mission is to bridge these ancient medicines and knowing back to our modern ways, through education and ritual.
How to Follow Adriana’s Journey
If you’d like to keep up with our work you can find us here, or follow us on social (@animamundiherbals) for educational goodness, recipes, discoveries and more.