Hello there, my name is Alex Koster and I am so happy you have found my website. I am a mindfulness, nature pedagogy and ecotherapy practitioner with a passion for all things Health and Nature – I believe both are intrinsically related. This passion extends out to a strong commitment to respect, protect and lovingly connect to our environment and Mother Nature, as we can’t have healthy humans on a sick planet.
My professional background is in education/nature pedagogy, mindfulness, ecotherapy and holistic health modalities (see full details below). I am also the author of the multi-award-winning book “Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution”, a handbook for parents and educators to promote positive change based on the principles of mindfulness. Apart from my professional interests, I am the mum of two beautiful daughters, and like any parent, I want my children and future generations to grow up healthily and have a future on our beautiful Earth.
There is no doubt we are living in challenging times and we are all affected by global changes in some way or another. The terms eco- and climate anxiety are becoming a firm part of our vocabulary and we need to rethink our approaches to education and healthcare. At Roots and Wings we want to offer creative methods, skills and solutions that think outside the box, helping you, your families and clients to feel supported, empowered and motivated when facing these challenges.
Why am I so passionate about Nature and Health?
I have struggled with multiple mental and physical health issues throughout the years, some chronic, some just more or less fleeting symptoms of stressful times. For many years, the approaches I now apply professionally, have been my own personal guides to coping with, and improving my own health issues. I have learned a wide variety of trusted methods and skills that have helped me through difficult life phases. Every person is unique, we all have different backgrounds, priorities, needs, and preferences and there is no single approach that can suit everyone. What I have found though, both from personal experience and scientific research, is that a common puzzle piece to better mental and physical health is Nature-Connection.
Nature-Connection can mean so many different things:
- Time spent outdoors.
- Relationships with animals and nature elements.
- Awareness of the origin of our food, clothes, and other everyday items.
- Creative connection through poetry, dance/movement, painting, writing and other aspects of the arts.
- Nutrition and natural medicine.
- Mindfulness in and about Nature.
- Social and environmental activism.
- Spiritual rituals and connection.
- … the list goes on.
Nature-Connection is really an inside job, which is why I combine mindfulness with ecotherapy approaches. We could be standing in the middle of the forest and not see the wood for the trees, pardon the pun. Equally, we can be in a room without windows and be wholeheartedly connected to Nature.
Memberships and qualifications
Member of the Teaching Council Ireland
Member and Training Provider IMMA (International Mindfulness and Meditation Alliance)
Training Provider IICT (International Institute for Complimentary Therapists)
Member of Children Nature Network
Member of Ecotherapy Network Ireland (ENI)
Member of CPD Certification Service
- Primary School Teaching Degree, Master’s Degree English – University of Koblenz, Germany
- Master’s Degree Special Education Autism – University of Birmingham, UK
- MBSR Mindfulness Teacher Training – Shamash Alidina, UK
- Mindful Educator Essentials – Mindful Schools
- Mindful Communication – Mindful Schools
- Difficult Emotions – Mindful Schools
- Professional Positive Neuroplasticity Training – Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
- A Still and Quiet Place – Amy Saltzman
- Certificate Course in Activity-Based Mindfulness for Kids: Teaching attention, emotional balance & compassion in schools and clinics – Susan Kaiser Greenland, PESI
- Relax Kids Coach, Ireland
- Rainbowkids Yoga Instructor, Rainbow Yoga
- The Science of Well-Being – Yale University
- Certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator – Positive Discipline, Dr. Jane Nelsen
- Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach: Expertise in Integrative Health and Nutrition – Akademie der Naturheilkunde, Switzerland
- Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP): Nutritional and Integrative Medicine for Mental Health Professionals – Leslie Korn, PESI
- Herbalism Qualifications: Doris Grappendorf/Regine Ebert, Germany, Dr. Dillis Clare, Galway Ireland
- Nature Pedagogy as integral part of Masters Programme and Teacher Training, University of Koblenz, Germany
- Scientific case study/dissertation in Animal Assisted Therapy (Equine Assisted Therapy) in relation to Communication in Children with Autism, University of Birmingham, UK
- Certificate in Ecopsychology – Pacifica Graduate Institute, U.S.
- Certificate in Ecotherapy – The Earth Body Institute, U.S.
- Nature-based Mindfulness Teacher Training – Dr. Nicole Albrecht, Australia
- National Geographic Educator
- WWF Methods of Nature Experiences, WWF Germany
- Eco Art Therapy – Memona Hossain
Holistic Health Modalities:
- Transpersonal Crystal Healing Practitioner – Evolve Healing Institute, Australia
- Divine Essence Crystal Healing (DECH) Practitioner, Eileen Heneghan, Ireland
- The Elements of Breathology – Stig Severinson
- Advanced Chakra Healing – Donna Eden
- Reiki Master ( 1, 2, 3), Deirdre Brady, Ireland
- Crystal Reiki Master, Lisa Powers
- Sound Healing
- Diploma in Crystal Healing
- Diploma in Crystal Reflexology Level 3
- Acupressure Mastery Program, Michael Reed Gach, PhD