ANCESTRAL MOVEMENT - COLOGNE JUNE 29-30
Ancestral Movement is an approach to practice exploring the patterns of anatomy and biomechanics retained in the human species through our four-billion year evolutionary history, from the ancient oceans to the present day.
Training these patterns can awaken strengths and movement abilities from the very depths of the body, abilities which form the foundation of all human movement but which are often hidden due to layers of tension and cultural conditioning.
Working with the fundamental movement patterns of the torso and central axis, and of the four limbs we uncover universal movements common to all primates, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, fish, and even worms and other invertebrates - and through this we get a greater appreciation of the incredible movement abilities that are completely unique to our species.
We gain more of the inherent power, agility, natural grace and ease of movement of our animal cousins; a deeper experience felt in our bodies of the fact of our evolution over geological time and our shared ancestry with all other living creatures.
Ancestral Movement incorporates deep and very physical embodied practice with comparative anatomy, basic neuroscience, evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, physical and cultural anthropology. This powerful model helps us to see a common theme within all embodied experience and running through human physical cultures across the world, from modern pain science and injury rehabilitation to psychology, yoga and Eastern meditation, devotional or religious practices, dance, ritual, anthropomorphism, animism, theatre, storytelling and mythology.
Although the material is quite “conceptual”, this is a MOVEMENT workshop, concepts will be directly applied and we will be practicing movement for almost the entire time. The practices are accessible to people of virtually any level of strength and fitness, but will be challenging for even very advanced movers or athletes.
Things we will cover:
The practical science of body awareness: basic neuroanatomy, neuroplasticity, sensation & motor control, awareness & attention, pain, emotion, memory, nonverbal communication.
Awakening the torso: exercises for feeling, relaxation, strength, power, responsiveness and expressivity of every contractile structure of the abdomen, pelvis, and ribcage.
Awakening the spine: opening up fully three-dimensional movement at each individual vertebral joint, developing a sensitive and powerful spine like that of a snake or an eel.
Spinal breathing and whole-body breathing: learning to direct the breath into specific parts of the spine or torso at will, using relaxation and internal pressure, and eventually to develop blissfully relaxed whole-body breath and internal awareness.
Wave movement, connecting the limbs: linking the two primary body waves with the four limbs to generation the basic patterns of animal locomotion, crawling, jumping, walking.
Spiral movement: leading with the eyes, reaching and rolling, turning, tumbling and carthweeling, soft sensitive and agile three-dimensional movement.
Mind and imagination in physical practice.
About the teacher: Simon is a lifetime practitioner of mind-body traditions and physical culture with a background in evolutionary biology and medical science. He has extensive experience in Yoga, Buddhist meditation, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Chinese medicine, Capoeira Angola and several Asian martial arts as well as Western physical therapy, exercise rehabilitation, Feldenkrais and Pilates. He is currently living in Australia teaching small regular movement classes, training Brazilian jujitsu, learning wilderness survival skills up and down the east coast, and working towards a Master’s degree in Ecology. He also runs a seasonal movement retreat in the forest in southern New South Wales.