Welcome to The School of Movement Medicine. We are Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan and we are the founders of Movement Medicine and the Directors of The School of Movement Medicine.
Since 1989, we have been travelling the world encouraging people to move beyond their held patterns and self-limiting expectations and discover themselves and their gifts through movement. In order to do that, we’ve had to do exactly the same ourselves.
Our journey has taken us to meet and work with some extraordinary people. We have studied with healers and shamans from the Amazon to the Arctic Circle, including an 18-year apprenticeship with Gabrielle Roth.
We know for ourselves how important it is to be part of a supportive community in order to grow, and we are happy that Movement Medicine is becoming such a space. We feel that every one of us has something unique to offer the world that we are part of, and that in offering it, both the self and the world are enriched.
About diversity and inclusion.
Susannah and Ya’Acov are the authors of Movement Medicine – How To Awaken, Dance and Live your Dreams (Hay House). All books and CDs are available from The Music Medicine Shop
Susannah Darling Khan
or, The Movement Medicine Woman as she is often known, is Co-Director of The School of Movement Medicine alongside her husband Ya’Acov Darling Khan. They are co-authors of Movement Medicine (Hay House 2007). Susannah has studied in many contexts, including: an 18-year apprenticeship with 5Rhythms Founder, Gabrielle Roth, studies in Anthropology (University College London BA Hons 1st Class), Gestalt Psychotherapy (Gestalt Centre London) and Family Constellations. Her teaching marries ancient wisdom with neuro-science and intellect to profound effect.
Having taught movement as medicine internationally since 1989, Susannah is celebrated for her visionary weaving of scientific, psychotherapeutic and systemic/ecological paradigms together with the creative, life affirming power of the dance itself. Passionate and committed to being a life-long student, Susannah counts some of her most powerful learning with the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems, as having stemmed from her work with her wild born Exmoor ponies or “mirror masters” as she describes them. Susannah’s own deeply embodied knowledge of the creativity inherent in us all gives courage to her own participants to dare to liberate themselves from fixed patterns. Students feel encouraged to explore, to learn, experiment and evolve their own embodied awareness and the self-knowledge and mastery that comes from it. She is currently working for the acclaimed King’s Fund to bring Movement Medicine into the leadership awareness of some of the National Health Service’s most senior women leaders. As well as being Movement Medicine Woman she has made 10 CDs and is a writer, dancer and novice pony whisperer. Susannah’s medicine combines apparent opposites. She brings a steady ground of compassion, gentleness, humour and well boundaried safety together with a fierce call to clarity and deep vision. Her magic is about sensing what is with acute sensitivity and following the trail towards what becomes possible.
Susannah’s creations include the CDs (in order of most recent) All the Earth is Sacred (accompanied by a song book of the same name), Elemental, Movement Medicine CD 1 (with Ya’Acov), Still Waves, Wild Prayer, Party for God and The Walrog. You can also hear her on the Long dance CDs 21 Gratitudes and Another 21 Gratitudes. She wrote the book The Walrog, a magical fairy tale for adults and children.
To read Susannah’s recent blog posts, click here.
Ya’Acov Darling Khan
Ya’Acov Darling Khan is a respected Shaman, named so by indigenous elders. He is the author of the best-selling Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart – the Real-Life Initiation of an Everyday Shaman.
Travelling the world to work with groups delivering Movement Medicine, Ya’Acov has spoken to audiences across the globe at some on the most pre-eminent platforms driving the transformation of world culture and sustainability (California’s Esalen organisation, The Embodiment Conference), as part of line-ups which include our most influential voices of spirituality today including Marianne Williamson and Ken Wilber.
Ya’Acov’s message? Shamanism, and a shift from society’s focus on acquisition to reciprocity is the key to restoring our universal connection – and solving our interpersonal and world issues in the process.
As early as age 7, Ya’Acov, the son of an entrepreneur raised near Liverpool, felt drawn to the down-to-earth connection with the spirit world that shamanism invites. With age, the calling to explore this world intensified. After struggling for years to come to terms with a perception of life that only traditional Shamanism could explain, it was being struck by lightning on a golf course that proved to be the awakening which was to change the course of his life forever. So began Ya’Acov’s three decades of study and practise with spiritual teachers and Elder Shamans from the Sami (European tradition), and Achuar and Sápara peoples of the Amazon. He also apprenticed to Gabrielle Roth for 18 years.
“Along the way I had to carve out a sense of normality and accept that this being’s soul, speaks the language of dance, ritual and prayer. I have come to recognise the fact that reawakening a sense of the magic, potential and splendour of creation in as many people as possible, is the blessing I am lucky enough to call my job!” says Ya’Acov.
His work is inspiring, contemporary and practical, and Ya’Acov’s audience includes people from all walks of life. In a time in which western society has become disconnected from ancestral and natural wisdom, much of his work is about education and removing the unhelpful mystique of the term ‘Shaman,’ meaning traditional healer.
His 32-year marriage and partnership with ‘Movement Medicine Woman’ and wife Susannah, with whom he is Co-Director of The School of Movement Medicine and co-author of Hay House published Movement Medicine, forms the loving foundation and union for a life dedicated to the transformation of our world.
“As a species, we are in a crisis shot through with marvellous opportunities. Our work? To reach as many people as possible and support them to know who they really are, find their purpose and live meaningful lives.”
Ya’Acov’s third book, Shaman – Opening the Door Between the Worlds – is out through Hay House in October 2019. His creations include the CDs: Shaman’s Song, Movement Medicine CD 1 (with Susannah). You can hear him on the Long Dance CDs 21 Gratitudes and Another 21 Gratitudes.
To read Ya’Acov’s recent blog posts, click here.
As we have grown older, we have become more and more committed to finding a more sustainable way of life. We recognise that there is a struggle going on between a way of life that puts ‘me’ first and a way of life that recognises the reality of our interconnectivity. We are engaged in this struggle in many ways both internally and in the choices we make about how we live. We invite everyone who studies with us to go beyond a wish for personal freedom and happiness and to find their own way to creatively engage with the challenges of our times. We have found that there is no greater satisfaction than putting our love for life into action.
When we met in 1986, we had a vision. This vision was to find or create a body of work to help people (including ourselves) heal our relationships with ourselves, each other, between cultures, and between humans and the wider community of life on earth. We were also aware of the huge shadows and suffering caused by the dogma in mainstream religions telling people what to believe. We feel strongly that everyone should have the freedom to find out for themselves how to be in relationship with life and with the Creator if that’s their gig. For us, the Great Mystery has always been present and always will be.
The landscape of our studies included Shamanism, conscious movement work including 22 years of studying with Helen Poynor (Walk of Life) and 18 years of teaching 5 Rhythms (we trained with Gabrielle Roth in 1989), Gestalt Psychotherapy and more recently, Constellations work, Systems Theory and the work of the Pachamama Alliance.
Our vision began life as the MikkOpi Project. It later evolved into the 5 To Midnight Gaia Dance Project. We then became Gabrielle Roth’s Moving Center School for Europe, and finally in 2007, that original vision found its full expression as Movement Medicine through The School of Movement Medicine.
We live on the edge of Dartmoor in the UK, and in 2014 we are, for a few short months, both 50. We’ve been married for half our lives and keep discovering how much more there is to love and know about the mystery that is each other.
Our Teachers and Thanks
We honour the many inspiring teachers who we have been blessed to study and learn with over the years:
Heather Moon Owl, Sue Moon Dragon, Batty Thunder Bear Gold, Gabrielle Roth, Helen Poynor, Anna Halprin, Arwyn Dreamwalker, Chloe Goodchild, Sandra Smith, Roz Walker, Julian Marshall, Ursula Fawcett, Peggy Sherno, John Leary-Joyce, Jane Puddy-Kahn, Victor Sanchez, Merrilyn Tunneshende, Suprapto Suryadarmo, Bikko Matthe Pentha, Hamilton Souther, Alberto Torres Davila, Albrecht Mahr, Don Rafael Taisch, Jimpikit, and Tsumpa.
To all our students past, present and future, we say a big thank you for teaching us how to teach and for keeping our feet firmly on the ground! You are all a deep inspiration for our work.