School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: November Newsletter
Autumn Blaze

By Ya'Acov
Itís one of those moist and misty autumnal Devon days. Itís not yet 4pm and the light of the day is already fading. Iím looking out across the land at the spectacular colours of autumn that, even in this light, shine brightly. I love how the autumn reminds us to let go and share our colours even as we fade.

It’s been a powerful year already, replete with its fair share of gifts and challenges. I notice that, as the space between Susannah and I continues to strengthen and deepen, our workspace follows suit. We have just completed our third Apprenticeship Programme – the last one in the old format. After the final module ended, I took time out to work on the land and then spent some time with dear friends who, before their retirement, offered similar work to us. It is such a blessing to be able to share our experiences with our elders and to digest and harvest the teachings from this third apprenticeship. All I can say is that there is always SO much to learn!

In this last module of the Apprenticeship, the phoenix that stands at the centre of our work showed up in all its states (life–death–rebirth). We witnessed great courage and creativity as we were called collectively to face our shadows and dance with them. Before the module began, Susannah and I both had the strong feeling that we were going to be in for quite a ride. The night before we started, we did a simple ceremony to prepare ourselves. The force we encountered during our ritual provided us with due warning of what was to come: we knew that if so much strength was showing up, it could only be because we were both going to need it. And so it transpired. It seems to us that we are increasingly being called upon to step up again and again in our own practice so that we are able to be with what shows up on the dance floor and in community.

On that note, this is a good moment to publicly offer our hearty congratulations to all 53 apprentices who have completed this stage of their journey. Many are going on to the Professional Training that begins in January, while others are taking their time to digest and see what comes next. We wish them, and indeed all of us, well and offer up our heart-felt prayers that the work we all do lands well in our day-to-day dance, reaping a good harvest.

As the years pass, I find that what I have to offer – and in turn what can be harvested – grows as my day-to-day experience of life deepens. The quantum shifts that continue happening between Susannah and myself as we learn more about the magical story that is Movement Medicine seem to be catalysing new levels of what we would call ‘reality’ in the workshop space. Being real is what it’s about. Finding the appropriate alchemical blend of safety and support to be able to work with the challenges that arise is the art of Movement Medicine practice. How do we heal the places where we feel victimised by life, without identifying ourselves as victims? How do we clean up our relationship with power as we seek our own sense of authority, without either over-identifying with or denying the force of who we are? How do we dedicate this life-force to what really matters most to us? And how do we strengthen our capacity to witness what is happening with truth and love? These are the questions that for us form the ground of our work and most especially of the Apprenticeship journey.

Our new format ‘rolling Apprenticeship’ begins next August, and the choices we have made to re-structure how we offer the deepest parts of our work seem to have landed well with those of you who have been in touch. A strong circle has always played an important role in my life since I began my first apprenticeships in the late 1980s. More than ever, I feel the need to travel alongside people who have the capacity to recognise and celebrate each other’s strengths and kindly offer challenge where it is needed. It is in the mirror of sharing our own experiences and hearing about each other’s that we discover more of who we are.

And so, as the year continues to turn and the leaves continue to fall, I am sending out this prayer that we all find the circles we need to enable us to heal, grow and discover again and again the heart and soul of what makes us who we deeply are.

I will be travelling to Ljubljana (Slovenia), London and Utrecht (Netherlands) before the year turns. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

For the Winter Solstice we will be at Waldhaus in Switzerland for Returning Home. We are nearly full for this workshop and will shortly be starting a waiting list.

All power to you all on your journeys; I hope to meet you out on the road.

Ya’Acov DK, November 2015


Forthcoming workshops with Ya’Acov

13–15 Nov: Beyond Muscle and Bone: Making death your ally in life. Ljubljana, Slovenia.
In this powerful and potentially life-changing workshop, you will have the opportunity to invite in Death, the ultimate teacher, to become your ally – a source of guidance, new perspectives and a clear reflection of yourself.
Contact Breda Perme: +386 31 378 737;

27–29 Nov: Dare to Dream. London, UK.
Birth your dreams into reality by bringing the yin of deep listening and the yang of courageous action into dynamic balance through the dance.
Contact Alex Hanly: +44 7868 842219;

11–13 Dec: Dare to Dream. The Netherlands.
Birth your dreams into reality by bringing the yin of deep listening and the yang of courageous action into dynamic balance through the dance.
Contact Frank Beyleveld: +31 71 889 3253;

18–22 Dec: Returning Home with Ya’Acov and Susannah. Waldhaus, Switzerland.
Set amidst the stunning mountains of the Swiss Alps, this retreat provides an invitation to return to the roots of yourself, nourish what keeps you connected and awaken the sparks of hope and inspiration for the coming year.
Contact Roland Wilkinson: +44 1803 762255;

5–7 Feb: Dare to Dream. Verona, Italy.
Birth your dreams into reality by bringing the yin of deep listening and the yang of courageous action into dynamic balance through the dance.
Contact Tamara Candiracci and Silvana Rigabon: +39 3396571488;

10–25 Feb: Dancing with the Heart of the World IV: Amazonian intensive with Ya’Acov, Susannah and David Tucker. Ecuador.
In this radical and powerful intensive, Ya’Acov and Susannah team up with Pachamama Journeys director David Tucker to take participants on a life-changing journey into the rainforest.
For more information, visit:

27–28 Feb: Dare to Dream. Burlington, Vermont, USA.
Birth your dreams into reality by bringing the yin of deep listening and the yang of courageous action into dynamic balance through the dance.
Contact Carolyn Cooke: +1 802 363 4878;

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.