Spring Retreat 2017

It’s happening again! End of winter, beginning of spring, and our first two-week long retreat! You don’t have to come for the whole time, just an absolute minimum of two nights so there is time to drop in, relax and connect. Camping in the bush by the beautiful river and national park, trees and rocks, goannas, kangaroos and wombats, learning, exploring and training with great people.

Several hours (as much as you can handle) of movement practice every day:

Practices to wake up, strengthen, mobilise and express with each and every little bit of the body, to rehabilitate all of our old injuries and to bullet-proof the body against new ones;

Practices of moving the body through space, up and down off the ground with ease and grace, tumbling climbing running crawling rolling jumping and balancing;

Partner work exploring contact, proximity, creativity, cooperation and challenge, wrestling, capoeira, martial arts from around the world, games, acrobatics and massage;

“Yogic” aspects: profound explorations of the central axis of the body, spinal undulations and the ancestral animal movements which come out of them, segmental abdominal and thoracic control, spinal breathing and centreline breathing, the foundations of breath control for health and meditation, pranayama, Wim Hof, qigong, and the science of body, breath and mind, of empathy, emotion, and the sense of self.

Throughout the retreat everyone who wants to will also get the chance to learn and work on a wide range of “ancestral skills” and crafts: making fire by friction, making cordage from natural fibers, basket weaving, plant identification and bush tucker foraging, wood carving, hide tanning and leather work, traditional food preparation, making and throwing spears, archery, tracking, stalking, bird language and sensory awareness, primitive fishing, and hopefully this time even some primitive metallurgy in our first ever bush forge.

All that, as well as the camp library, communal kitchen, hammocks, fire baths by the river, chats around the central campfire, the combined knowledge and skills of an amazing community of people, spontaneous workshops and skill swaps, loads of time to chill.

A NOTE ON CONCESSIONS: The full cost is $150 per day, up to a maximum of $1200. To keep this event accessible to people of all backgrounds, those on low incomes or with disabilities etc are welcome to concessions of essentially any amount, according to their needs. Payment plans are also accepted.

DEPOSITS ($300 standard) ARE ESSENTIAL TO SECURE A SPOT. In case of cancellations, deposits will be held towards any future retreats or workshops for up to one year.

For more information or to book a spot, contact simon.thakur@gmail.com

Ancestral Movement facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/954751214582008/

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Autumn retreat review


Back from retreat.

We’re really starting to get somewhere I think. On the movement front, we upgraded the jungle gym to new levels of awesomeness, with massive logs between big trees at all angles so you can balance and climb and swing and crawl all over the place and never have to do the same thing twice. Little by little we are going ever-deeper into the segmental spinal movements, and linking them with all of the fundamental animal movement patterns externally, and linking them with the inner movements of the abdomen and the thorax, the ability to direct breath into specific segments of the spine and central axis, repatterning the lifetime of associations tangled up with body and breath using the beginning stages of the Buddha’s anapanasati – mindfulness based on the breath.

Wrestling, contact improv, acrobatics, natural style tumbling, gymnastics strength, whole-body three dimensional mobility, capoeira angola, exploratory dance and butoh, feldenkrais/bodymind centering explorations of the inner tube from mouth to anus, pranayama foundations and Wim Hof breathing, cold water immersion and soaking in the hot fire baths, Hun Yuan qigong as nature worship.

People brought along some freshly killed animals found by the side of the road, so there was some skinning and hide tanning of kangaroos and foxes, bone broths, roo tail cooked on the fire the traditional way and smoking of kangaroo meat to make jerky in a big smoker made of tree bark. We ate eels caught in the river, practiced stalking and tracked roos wallabies pigs foxes dogs and wombats in the rain, made string and rope out of stringy bark, dyed fibres and wove baskets, practiced making fire with hand drills, carved wood, foraged edible and medicinal plants, and learned about fermenting foods. We told stories around the fire and talked about myths and initiation and traditional ways of life still practiced in communities in Arnhem land. On the last day we had a show and tell of things we’d made, and there was a big spread of baskets, hats, shoes and moccasins, bows and spears and special sticks, spoons, plant-dyed scarves and clothes, jewelry, pottery and other stuff. It really felt like with a bit more time and practice we could actually become a functional community of competent human beings, living in relationship with the land and able to feed ourselves and make the things we’d need to live directly out of our environments. What a crazy thought.

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Autumn Retreat!

(photograph by Rafael Florez)

Autumn Retreat – Araluen, May 9-18

Yep, it’s retreat time again. Nine days in the bush, by the river next to the national park, no schedule, all of the activities and lots of time to sink in, relax and connect.

Movement, everything we can pack in, for every body type and every fitness level. From body awareness to natural parkour, dance, wrestling, evolutionary anatomy with monkey lizard cat worm and fish movements, whole body mobility and strength to become a bit more like a gorilla crossed with an octopus, wrestling, contact improvisation, acrobalance, capoeira, acrobatics, qigong, martial arts from around the world, exercise rehabilitation for every part of the body, rock lifting, climbing and balancing.
Meditation, traditional practices from various traditions, in-depth breathing practices, sensory awareness exercises, visualisation and contemplation methods to awaken and heal the body, supercharge our physical practices, transform the sense of self, embody four billion years of ancestry and reconnect with the natural world.

“Rewilding” nature connection practices and ancestral skills, making fire with friction, foraging for bush tucker, making tools or special objects with stone bone and wood, rope making and basket weaving using natural fibres, primitive pottery, spear making and throwing, archery, tracking and stalking, natural camouflage, bird language, exploring the bush, and whatever else we can come up with. There’s even talk of setting up a bush forge to do some primitive metallurgy.

Guest teachers this time will include Kate Rydge and Sam Robertson (Nature Philosophy), Stuart Gadenne (Tengeri Natural Fitness, former Movnat teacher and member of the Australian special forces), Ei Yang (ReNourish ReWild), Janet Ranken (Wandering Earth), dancer and choreographer Debora Di Centa, Feldenkrais practitioner Eva Culek, and Thomas Emerson (Emerson Athletics)

As always, people are welcome to come for as many days as they are able, but we ask that people stay for at least two nights so that there is enough time to relax, settle in and get to know people.

The cost is $150 per day, payment plans and concessions of basically any amount are always available to people who genuinely need them, so that this beautiful event can remain accessible to people from all backgrounds at any level of income. Please note, this concession policy is not here so that people can simply “pay as they feel”, it is specifically for people on low incomes: students, artists, young families, people with disabilities or health issues, or others who need it.

This is a minimal camping event with very little infrastructure (ie no electricity, no buildings, showers etc), and it is a drug and alcohol free event.
For bookings and inquiries please contact simon.thakur@gmail.com

Facebook event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/279502605828978/
Also check the facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/954751214582008/

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