All posts by simon

Ancestral Movement: Awakening the Body Centre, Mullumbimby NSW february 1-2

A two-day immersion into the central axis of the human body, exploring the evolutionary anatomy and movements of the body centre which connect us to the entire history of life on the planet, some of their possible links with human health and disease, and their fundamental place in the spiritual and meditative traditions of cultures around the world.

Things we will cover:

– Neuroscience of changing body awareness, stress, pain, emotion, and memory.

– Evolutionary anatomy and movements of the spine and central axis: opening up full sensitivity, articulation and muscular power and releasing tension from each individual spinal vertebra, every part of the ribcage, the deepest layers of the abdomen, diaphragm and pelvis.

– Spinal breathing, whole-body breathing: mechanics and physiology of breath, blissful breath, methods to direct the breath into each and every part of the central axis to wake up the deepest hidden parts of the body and release long-held tensions from the inside out, breath as the bridge between body and mind, linking the cycles of the breath to the cycles of nature.

– Use of the mind and imagination in physical practice, the development and quality of attention, deliberate cultivation of emotions, links to traditional practices including mantra-nyasa, songlines, the memory palace and magic, and the twin/opposing processes of disenchantment and re-enchantment of the body.

– Perfecting the meditation posture for internal practice, balancing activation and relaxation, power and peace.

– Anatomy, physiology and neuroscience of meditation, yogic breathing, bandhas, kriyas, nadis-chakras, “qi”, and how to progressively experience subtler realities of the body.

– Hun Yuan Qigong: a modern take on an ancient practice, utilising movement, breath, attention and emotion for the simultaneous cultivation of physical health and worship of the living world within the landscape of the body.

Simon Thakur has more than 20 years experience as a movement teacher, therapist, meditator and researcher of mind-body traditions from around the world. He has lived for 10 years in Asia studying yoga, bodywork, meditation, Chinese medicine and martial arts in their native contexts and languages, he has extensive experience in western physical training modalities including Pilates, Feldenkrais method and exercise rehabilitation, and he has a bachelor’s degree in medical science and rehabilitation and postgraduate qualifications in ecology and evolutionary biology. His teaching methods are science-based, while still retaining a profound appreciation and celebration of traditional practices.

This workshop is particularly relevant for practitioners and teachers of yoga and meditation, other somatic or mind-body disciplines of all sorts, and anyone interested in physical health and transformation, or exploring physical practices for the specific purpose of deepening their connection to the living world.

COST: $480 full, $320 concession. The concession is available to anyone who needs it without explanation, further concessions and payment plans are available by request for anyone who is strongly motivated to learn this work but is unable to afford the standard concession rate.

People who have attended one or more Ancestral Movement workshops or retreats in the last year who wish to go deeper into these aspects of the work are especially welcome and are invited to pay the concession rate, or to contact Simon directly if they require further concessions.

Facebook event:


For more information or to reserve your spot contact

Evolution, Antifragility, Longevity – Canberra January 2020

Two day workshop covering principles of movement practice for rehabilitation, antifragility and longevity, using an evolutionary perspective.

How have our bodies evolved to move? What kinds of movements were demanded by nature, before urbanisation, industrialisation, or agriculture, or even before we were human? How can an evolutionary approach to movement help us relieve some of the chronic tensions and health problems associated with modern life, rediscover resilience and trust in our bodies and re-awaken our innate capacities for life-long free, creative, powerful, expressive and joyful movement?

Things we will cover:

– Basic Theory: adaptation to natural environments and the “evolutionary mismatch” hypothesis; modern neuroscience of body awareness, motor control, pain and rehabilitation; concepts of embodiment, health practices and physical culture from various traditions around the world.
– Soft Body: opening up the articulations and three-dimensional muscular movements of every part of the hips, pelvic floor, abdomen, diaphragm, ribcage and shoulder girdle, removing stiffness from every part of the torso.
– Spinal Power: developing full awareness and three-dimensional muscular control of each individual spinal vertebra.
– Body Connection: finding and integrating weak or blank areas, organising the entire body in support of all movements.
– Joint Health, Alignment and Misalignment: safely conditioning every part of the body through full range, from every angle.
– Elasticity, Balance, Stability
– Suppleness, Strength and Sensitivity
– Breathing: directing awareness and releasing tensions from the deepest areas of the body centre.

The workshop is open to people of all levels of physical ability, we will be working hard but the emphasis will always be on safety, sensitivity, skill, and working together to determine the appropriate level of challenge for each person in each exercise.

Therapists, trainers, athletes, performers, dancers, yoga practitioners, movement enthusiasts and all people interested in learning about their bodies or improving their physical condition will learn new skills and concepts which will enrich their practice and fundamentally change their understanding of strong and healthy movement in a human being.

COST: $500/$400/$300 (Full/Concession1/Concession2) for the full weekend. Concessions are available for any who need them. Further concessions and payment plans are available by request.

For more information contact

Ancestral Movement Mullumbimby Nov 30-Dec 1st – Embodied Evolution


A two day workshop delving into the concepts and practices of Ancestral Movement. The weekend will introduce a few foundational principles underlying the science of mind, body, ecology and evolution; and practices for transforming our bodies and our embodied sense of self at the deepest levels.

Practitioners of any and all disciplines working with the body will learn powerful practices to massively increase their own body awareness, physical intelligence, unusual strength and movement skill, understanding of how to work with and reduce injuries, physical learning abilities and sensitivity to the movements of others, and their understanding of human behaviour and our connection to the rest of the living world.

THIS IS A MOVEMENT WORKSHOP! Most of the time will be spent in practice, we will not talk for more than 30 minutes at a time, and the practices will be physically and mentally challenging and demanding, while still accessible to people of all body types and fitness levels.

Things we will cover:

Body maps, neuroplasticity, pain and chronic pain, emotion, empathy, communication, associative learning and memory.

Spinal freedom and power: simple and extremely effective exercises for mobilising, strengthening and softening around every individual spinal segment in every possible direction, revealing the spine as a sensitive and powerful snake-like structure capable of infinitely complex three dimensional movement and expression.

Abdomen and ribcage control: learning to voluntarily contract, relax and articulate every part of the pelvic floor and the deep muscles of the abdomen and ribcage.

Basic anatomy and physiology of the breathing cycle, implications for health, psychology, meditation and physical performance.

Directed breathing: learning to focus healing attention and direct the movements of the breath with precision into every part of the torso and every part of the spine, releasing chronic tensions and awakening the body from the inside out.

Solo and partner exercises which direct movement, effort and attention into all of the deepest forgotten areas of the body, using rhythmic waves, circles and spirals. Every part of body is softened, strengthened and mobilized in every direction from every angle and then re-integrated with the whole, training the full range of all of the joints and affecting all of the tissues from the skin through the muscles, connective tissues, blood vessels and lymphatic system, the nerves, organs, and bones.

Linking the central axis work with the four limbs reveals ancient patterns of movement that we have in common with other primates, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, fish, and even worms.

The animal or ancestral movement patterns are soft and fluid but extremely athletic. Training these patterns show us more and more clearly the traces of these ancestral forms still existing within our own bodies, and we develop more of the incredible power, grace and resilience of our animal cousins and human ancestors. Through this we gain a far deeper understanding of what is unique and special about human beings and human movement, and begin to feel ourselves as ancient and miraculous beings, fully at home on the earth.

Understanding links between posture, gesture, breathing and voice, feedback loops between the body and the brain, spatial awareness, forbidden movements and inhibition of movement, emotional contagion and entrainment, interspecies empathy, mimicry, tracking and physical theatre, nonverbal communication, cultures of embodiment and connection with the non-human world.

Developing sensitivity, the risks involved, “grounding” and the importance of strength training.

Interactions between different emotions, mind states, postures, movements, and breathing patterns and their effects on the nervous, cardio-vascular, endocrine, and immune systems.

Attention and awareness, deliberate cultivation of emotions and active imagination. Meditation, myth, memory and symbols. The storied body. Ancient traditions of mind-body transformation. Songlines, ritual and the art of memory. Body as landscape, landscape as body. The re-enchantment of the body and the world.

A modified version of the “Hun Yuan Qigong” set originally taught by the late Feng Zhi Qiang, as an example of supercharging or layering mind-body practice to contain all of the concepts described above.


Simon has over two decades of experience across a broad range of disciplines, including Chinese medicine and Western physical therapy, massage and bodywork, exercise rehabilitation, Yoga and Yoga therapy, Qigong, Pilates and the Feldenkrais method; Buddhist, Tantric and Daoist meditation and internal exercise; Capoeira, Japanese and Chinese martial arts, boxing and Muay Thai, wrestling and Brazilian Jujitsu, as well as an academic background in biology, anatomy and physiology, medical science, exercise science, neuroscience, and anthropology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science, and postgraduate science degrees in Biodiversity studies and Zoology.


The workshop will be suitable for movement enthusiasts, trainers, athletes, therapists, dancers, actors, meditators, yoga practitioners, people involved in combat sports and martial arts, rehabilitation practitioners, environmental educators, or anyone wishing to move better, feel better, and become more deeply engaged with the natural world through their own bodies.

COST: $500 for the weekend/$300 concession
(HALF PRICE – $250 – for people who attended my workshop in Mullum in 2017, or who have attended a retreat in the last year)

Places will be strictly limited and must be booked in advance.

CONCESSIONS: Those on lower incomes such as students, artists, people with disabilities etc, are all welcome and are invited to pay the reduced rate. Payment plans are advised for professionals who will use the work in their own practices. The concession policy is to keep this important work accessible to everyone, it is not for people to save money so they can pay for festivals, overseas holidays, or other people’s expensive workshops.

Further information about the method can be found here:

The Ancestral Movement facebook discussion group is here:

To book a spot or for any other questions, contact or 0431 166 737