Yoga – with Mel


Welcome to Yoga with Mel!

Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced yogi, my sessions are designed to incorporate a variety of poses or ‘Asanas’ to achieve the goal of improving your health in either a small group class or in a one-to-one session.

One-to-one sessions are ideal for clients who would benefit from a bespoke class to focus on their own particular health challenges and to learn suitable modifications which can then be taken into a larger class setting. From anxiety to arthritis, whatever your health challenge, I can deliver a class to support your individual requirements.

Small group classes are an intimate gathering of like-minded individuals looking to improve their mental and physical health and well-being.

Whether your challenge is chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety or mobility limitations, I will offer variations and modifications to ensure that you feel included and comfortable during your class.

All classes include breathing (Pranayama) exercises and end with a guided relaxation practice or Yoga Nidra.

My approach

I have been practicing yoga for over 30 years and working with patients with various health challenges for over 20 years. During that time, I have often recommended yoga as part of a treatment protocol. However, I have discovered that for many reasons, a general class may not always be appropriate for some individuals.

Whether you struggle in a class setting because you suffer with anxiety or because you have had surgery which affects your range of movement, or because you simply feel ‘out of your depth’ or ‘too unfit’ my classes are designed to support and reassure.

Because I am medically trained, I understand the challenges that various medical conditions can present. My approach is designed to improve not only your health and well-being, but also your self confidence and self-esteem.

Whether alone or part of a more comprehensive treatment protocol of diet, supplements and herbal medicine, a regular yoga practice will help to improve your current health complaint and your overall physical and mental health and fitness.

Benefits of regular yoga practice:

  • Builds muscle strength
  • Improves flexibility and lubricates the joints
  • Lengthens and strengthens the ligaments and muscles
  • Tones the internal organs
  • Strengthens your nervous system
  • Improves your posture and protects your spine
  • Improves bone health and prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  • Helps to eliminate toxins and boosts immunity
  • Releases tension and aids better sleep
  • Helps with focus and concentration
  • Improves breathing and digestion
  • Makes you happier and helps keep you drug free

For more information or to book a class or one-to-one session, please contact:

Mel Hornby Bsc (Hons) MNIMH

Tel: 07813 840394


BWY Yoga Teacher

Wellness Mentor

Medical Herbalist

Nutritional Therapist

Christopher Hedley Memorial Award


Mel Hornby MNIMH – Winner of the 2021 Christopher Hedley Award

‘A Most Fitting Tribute’

Article by Barnaby Cooper (

Mel Hornby was not aware that she had been nominated for the Christopher Hedley Memorial Award, and the time between finding out about the nomination and finding out that she had won was very short indeed.

It was a wonderful surprise for Mel though. Like so many people, she had nothing but love and respect for Christopher. Even a brief glance at a short biography of the man makes the reasons for that clear. It is not just the contributions he made to herbal medicine that gained him this love and respect, but the effect he had on those he met, taught and worked with.

Mel had the same experience when she met him at a conference shortly after she graduated. The first thing she noticed was his height. He was very tall indeed, which along with his long white hair, may have contributed to his having the faint appearance of a modern-day wizard. Soon afterwards his kindness and knowledge made itself clear as well.

And his knowledge was certainly remarkable. Mel describes how he would quite frequently go off-topic, but every one of these digressions was fascinating. That may be another sign of a great teacher: someone who bursts with facts, stories and anecdotes that hold the interest of almost any audience.

That is part of what the award celebrates. It was inaugurated in 2018, the year after Christopher died, and the criteria for the award include how the nominee has been inspirational in what they do, how they have brought people and plants together, and the contribution they have made to herbal medicine.

The Junior Herbalist Club that Mel started in 2014 has been doing all of this. Her enthusiasm for the subject she teaches has been reflected by the eagerness shown by the children who have attended the class.

An advert on social media quickly attracted twenty participants and soon the course was ready to begin in the local community park. There was little equipment at first except for a couple of trestle tables, occasionally supported by some parents who would hold up umbrellas on days where the weather wasn’t as enthusiastic as the students.

A bit later, more local support would come from the park café who supplied some equipment and eventually the classes were able to share the indoor space of the park’s newly built eco-pod community centre.

Initially, circumstances determined the content of the classes. The lavender in the park was prolific which helped decide what the first class would be about and subsequent classes were often designed around what was available. As the classes continued and the knowledge of the children increased, so did the complexity and structure of the classes.

Ten classes ran during the first year and Mel was insistent that this shouldn’t be a drop-in; she wanted the children to progress throughout the year. This approach showed obvious signs of success by the end when the parents, invited to observe the final class, were amazed at the knowledge their children had acquired.

How this happened is a real tribute to Christopher’s aim to encourage people develop relationships with plants and the living world. The fundamental part of Mel’s approach was to make the children engage all the senses of sight, touch, taste and smell, which they did readily when handling the plants. There is no delayed satisfaction with the senses. Once the children’s attention has been caught here, they develop a positive association with the academic side.

This also made it possible for Mel to deliver what she amusingly refers to as ‘covert learning’. This covert learning doesn’t just mean some of the facts of biology and botany which you would expect in an herbalism class to teach. It also meant maths, Latin, Greek mythology and chemistry. That is an achievement in itself considering that half of those subjects aren’t taught in most schools and the other half haven’t always provoked huge amounts of enthusiasm from schoolchildren.

Ratios from maths are needed in the mixing of herbs and instead of a dry, textbook ‘if Maisie has six apples…’, children can apply the mathematics to a task they are doing right then. When exploring the difference between which herbs can soothe the more acidic bee sting or the more alkaline wasp sting, the PH scale taught in chemistry classes is put to practical use.

They could learn that the origins of the name for Tussilago Farfara, a plant traditionally used to help with coughs and otherwise known as Coltsfoot, is derived from the Latin ‘Tussis’ meaning ‘cough’ and ‘Ago’ meaning ‘act on’. The genus of plant Melissa with its abundance of nectar owes its name to the Greek myth of the nymph Melissa, who discovered and taught the use of honey, and therefore lent her name to the Ancient Greek word for ‘bee’. Some people spend vast amounts of money to send their children to schools which teach these sorts of things.

A truly Christopher Hedley-inspired class comes in February around Valentine’s Day when the ‘love potion’ he used to show his students is taught by Mel. The continuation of his legacy relies upon more people such as Mel who can do this sort of thing. As she herself says, without inspiring another generation, there is the danger of losing the skills and losing the practitioners. Her approach is a major contribution to preventing this from happening and it also means that a new generation learn the skills to treat themselves and those around them.

It does however mean that the necessity of herbal practitioners who can teach the classes to children is an immediate priority. Luckily, this has been recognised. When Mel gave a talk at the United Register of Herbal Practitioners a few years ago, Emma Dalton of the NIMH was completely taken with the Junior Herbalist scheme she was running. This led to the NIMH giving its approval and support to rolling out more of them throughout the country and, as that meant more teachers, the beginning of a course to train more of them.

The first leader training was in July 2021 for six herbalists. For obvious reasons they did have to be qualified herbalists but the limits end there. Eight more Medical Herbalists completed the leader training course in May 2022, and the Leader Training Program is scheduled to run again in May 2023.

This points to the other benefit of the classes. Just as there is a symbiotic relationship between herbalist and plant, so there is between teacher and pupil. There is always the danger of more established specialists in any subject forgetting the magic of the subjects they know so well, especially when the approach to learning becomes more institutionalised. The energy of the children is a very effective tonic to this. The future plan is to build on this remarkable and innovative scheme as it sees more classes rolled out across the country, with more and more children taught about the magic that grows all around them.

It would be hard to find a more fitting tribute to Christopher Hedley than this, and Mel Hornby deserves all the credit for showing the herbalist community just how well it can work and what a positive impact it can make.

Junior Herbalist© Leader Training 2023


If you are a Medical Herbalist, you can train to become a registered Junior Herbalist Leader ©

The next comprehensive training course will be taught over 5 consecutive days:

Monday 22nd – Friday 26th May 2023 9.00am – 5.30pm.

The venue is a purpose-built Eco Pod at:

The cost of the 5-day intensive training course to become a registered Junior Herbalist Leader is £1295. However, you can access the early bird price of just £995 if paid in full before 31.12.22. For this fee you will receive:

  • 5 full days tuition covering the whole 2-year course and including
  • teaching sessions in a way that engages all types of learners
  • practicals – making all the items and products in the course
  • safeguarding, insurance, and DBS requirements
  • administration, advertising, and finding suitable venues.
  • Comprehensive Leaders Handbook containing all the information needed to teach both years one and two including class plans, worksheets and answers, equipment lists, key facts, Health and Safety Risk Assessments.
  • A USB flash drive containing all printable paperwork including advertising flyers, letters for parents, consent forms, register and enrolment forms etc.
  • Ongoing support from myself and other JHC leaders
  • A qualification allowing you to advertise yourself as a ‘Registered Junior Herbalist Leader’ and entry onto the register shared by NIMH for promotional purposes.

Because of the high standard of the training and the course content it is a requirement that all herbalists enrolling on the JHC leader training program must:

  • Have graduated from a NIMH / EHTPA accredited course
  • Have a current membership with either NIMH or equivalent professional governing body which they must maintain throughout the period in which they advertise themselves as a registered JHC leader and whilst continuing to deliver the JHC course.
  • Have current appropriate professional insurance with either Balens (or similar who have agreed to cover the education and activities carried out in the JHC course), which again they must maintain throughout the period in which they advertise themselves as a registered JHC leader and whilst continuing to deliver the JHC course.

The course is only available through in-person attendance as the practical and safety aspects of this course prevent it from being suitable to be taught remotely. The course is taught to a very high standard and is only available to registered medical herbalists.

On completion of the course, you will be equipped with all the information and skills required to teach the two-year syllabus to children and be entered on to the register of JHC leaders maintained by NIMH.

The Institute award the certificates and badges to the leaders on successful completion of the training and to the children graduating at the end of each year.

Please note: accommodation is NOT included in the cost of the course and will need to be arranged and paid for separately. It is a non-negotiable requirement to have 100% attendance during the 5 days in order to qualify so please bear this in mind when booking travel and accommodation.

The number of attendees is strictly limited and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. All applications and payment must be received no later than 31st March 2023.

If you would like to register your interest in joining the next course, or if you have any further questions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch…

Mel Hornby MNIMH

Course Director Junior Herbalist Club UK

Tel: 07813 840394

Workshop – Make Your Own Facial Skincare and Cosmetics


Join us for a fun and informative workshop where you will make your very own cleanser, toner, moisturiser, face-pack, mascara and lipstick! All using the finest natural ingredients.

Date: Friday 20th November 6pm – 9pm

Cost: £40 per person

Venue: Park View 4U Eco Pod, PArk View Road, Lytham

Pre-booking is essential as numbers are strictly limited. Please email or telephone 07813 840394 to reserve your place.

Workshop – Make Your Own Natural Beauty Products


Join us for a fun and informative workshop where you will make your very own luxurious and aromatic skin and body care products including bath salts, body scrub, bath bombs, lip polish, lip balm and body butter, all using the finest natural ingredients. Light refreshments included.

Date: Friday 16th October 6pm – 9pm

Cost: £40 per person

Venue: Park View 4U Eco Pod, PArk View Road, Lytham

Pre-booking is essential as numbers are strictly limited. Please email or telephone 07813 840394 to reserve your place.

Workshop – Managing Menopause Naturally


Come along and be empowered by learning about ways in which you can help yourself during this time of transition. Hosted by local Medical Herbalist, Mel Hornby MNIMH, we will look at diet, vitamin and mineral supplementation and the use of traditional herbal remedies. Guidance will be given about ways we can adapt our lifestyles to help ourselves and we will enjoy a practical session aimed to help with mood and relaxation. There will be opportunity to have all your questions answered and also for individual advice and guidance.

Choice of two dates:

Thursday 15th October 2020 12:00pm – 3:00pm


Thursday 29th October 2020 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Cost: £20 per person

Venue: Park View 4U Eco Pod, PArk View Road, Lytham

Pre-booking is essential as numbers are strictly limited. Please email or telephone 07813 840394 to reserve your place.

Workshop – Managing Menopause Naturally

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