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Francesca Barone   |   Co-Founder

Francesca is a naturopathic medical practitioner, holistic nutritionist, and avid seeker of root-cause healing through holistic practices. Growing up in the Midwest, she sparked a desire at a young age to be of service to the world around her experiencing an epidemic of suffering and illness. She left home at a young age and began traveling the world gaining knowledge in mind-body medicine and spiritual teachings. Her passion is rooted in guiding others through a variety of root-cause healing practices to help them restore their vitality and true essence. She is committed to helping others rediscover their empowerment through self-healing, compassion-based therapy, and connection to Spirit. 

Since beginning her work with shamanic healing practices and plant medicine, Francesca has helped hundreds of clients release the imprints of trauma and emotional imbalances they carried with them for years. She supports her clients intimately as they move away from Western medical practices that solely treat disease symptoms and inspires them to find emotional liberation and embodied aliveness through treating the root-causes of their pain, often originating in childhood trauma. Francesca is a trauma-informed practitioner and long-term student of Gabor Maté’s work specializing in early-developmental trauma, somatic healing, and addiction therapy. 

Francesca’s work is alive with passion and vitality. She believes wholeheartedly that every being on Earth is deserving and capable of emotional freedom and sustainable health, through integrating the parts of ourselves with compassion and acceptance. She herself lived a life of addiction and disconnection for years before her first encounter with Ayahuasca, served by beautiful Shipibo maestros that have become her life-long teachers. Her love and reverence for the Shipibo lineage and healers she works besides is her life’s devotion. A forever student and explorer of life, Francesca continues her ever-unfolding journey of deepening with plant medicine and working to bridge ancient indigenous practices with the Western world in need of deep collective healing.

Neils Poole   |  Co-Founder

Neils’ spiritual practice is deeply influenced by the 12 years he spent living throughout Peruvian Andes and Amazon Jungle. During this time, he worked extensively with indigenous shamanic traditions of the Shipibo, Mestizo, and Quechua cultures. He has created, directed, and facilitated many Ayahuasca retreats throughout Latin America and guided thousands of clients through safe and profound plant medicine journeys. 

Those who have worked with Neils are inspired by his deep sensitivity and connection to earth, energy, and spirit. He embodies an innate gentleness and profound trust in each person’s process, having a unique way of guiding other towards their own sacred heart medicine. He incorporates elements of Somatic Experiencing, IFS, Compassionate Inquiry, and a heart-based, humanistic approach to psychospiritual therapy.  The core of his work is centered around gently guiding clients back to presence, deep acceptance, and trust.  

At heart, Neils is a traveler and a seeker. He’s passionate about honoring indigenous traditions and facilitating the remembrance of ancient wisdom.

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Kitty Normand

YOGA, Embodiment, & FACILITATION

Kitty is the founder and owner of Yoga Dharma Studios, where she combines her expertise as a celebrated yoga teacher, plant medicine apprentice under Shipibo maestros, sound healer, and licensed bodyworker to create a sacred space for healing and transformation. Her approach to practice and healing is prayer-centered through the meditative mind: channeling light, love, and liberation through neutrality in her work to encourage confidence in the connection to Self and the many worlds around us. Kitty’s dedication to mysticism has taken her on a journey of studies and exploration, broadening her understanding of the world of plant medicine and Kundalini yoga. The masterful weaving of these threads of knowledge supports multidimensional healing and opening doors.

At Anam Cara Retreats, her work is founded on her incredible, bright, and deep presence, Kitty mirrors the light and love that sits in front of her and encourages each participant to tap into their own healing potential. When asked about integration, Kitty believes that integration is the embodiment of being in the body right here, right now. Her foundation in massage, energetic bodywork, breath, and yoga allows her to guide individuals through plant medicine journeys with incredible lightness, safety, and body awareness. As she supports individuals in their journeys, Kitty’s love for breathing, feeling, singing, freestyling, dancing, connecting with plants, and celebrating love as a way of life brings profound medicine to the healing space.