Walk of Life
 Movement workshops with Helen Poynor

Future Programme
Participant Comments & Publications

Helen Poynor
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Training Programme

Movement Ritual Explorations
February 2019

Women, Rocks and Water
March 2019

Women in the Land
June 2019

Walk of Life Summer School
July 2019

Embodied Landscapes
Training workshop
August 2019

Autumn Reflections
October 2019

including Sumarah Meditation


Walk of Life Training 

The Walk of Life Training Programme in Non-stylised and Environmental Movement was developed by Helen Poynor as a result of 30 years of professional practice as a movement practitioner, performer and teacher. Established in 2007 it attracts regional, national and international participants from a wide range of movement backgrounds and has proved stimulating and fruitful for all the participants. It consists of three 5 day intensive training sessions in spring, summer and autumn combined with ongoing personal practice.

The Walk of Life approach to movement is grounded in an experiential understanding of the structure of the body, an awareness of the relationship between the moving body and the self and of the responsive inter-relationship between body, earth, self and environment. Movement scores are used as a springboard into motion awakening vitality and heightening awareness, transforming personal explorations into creative expression. In a process which unfolds over time each participant is supported to follow the evolution of their movement practice within the context of the group. This approach fosters an embodied sense of presence in daily life and in performance. 

The grounding principles of the Walk of Life are explored in the studio and in the inspiring environment of the Jurassic Coast. The sessions include individual work, pair work and working in response to the group as a moving environment. The natural environment becomes both partner and teacher. The changing seasons, weather and tides present continual challenges, each element stimulates different experiences and elicits a different range of movement qualities and skills.

A commitment to personal practice of at least two hours a week (one in a studio/hall and one outside) throughout the training is required. Between the training sessions the participants will receive an individual session with Helen to support their ongoing movement practice. Arrangements can be made for international participants. The programme is envisaged as movement training rather than teacher training. It is not a programme for beginners.

The Walk of Life approach is grounded in:

  • a three dimensional awareness of the body and of space
  • the integration of upper and lower body through the spine
  • the integration of limbs and torso
  • released joints and the interconnection of the whole body allowing movement to flow freely through the body
  • a mobile sense of grounding
  • the ability to follow a movement as it evolves and moves through space
  • clear but permeable body boundaries
  • an awareness of the layers of space
  • the inter-relationship of sensation, feeling/atmosphere, images/associations and state of mind
  • a receptive and responsive attitude to oneself, to others and to the environment
  • the capacity to move in a mutually responsive relationship to others without losing a sense of self
  • the ability to be simultaneously aware of personal and environmental landscapes
  • the integration of moving and seeing

The practice is supported by a personal reflective journal and log incorporating creative visualisations.

Helen gratefully acknowledges the influence of Anna Halprin and Suprapto Suryodarmo from Java with whom she trained intensively in the 1980s and 1990s. Their work has served as a springboard for the development of her unique approach to non-stylised and environmental movement.

Training participants' comments:

I so much enjoy the juice of creative exploration amongst such a diverse group of dedicated movement practitioners. Thank you both for your guidance and for your letting go, you create such a rich environment in which to see and be seen both through the human body, the human group and out into the complexity of the natural landscape.

The spacious boundaries of the training enable me to follow my own path and also be accompanied and accompany others in their practice…. I have found working in a non-stylised way gives me the possibility to flow between the many styles that I have learned…. Commitment and curiosity are replacing imposed discipline and guilt.


The next Walk of Life Foundation Training in non-stylised and environmental movement will be offered October 2020 - May 2021. A minimum of four days non-stylised and environmental movement practice with Helen is required. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to deepen their experience of Helen's approach before applying. Maximum 10 places. Please enquire for further details.

01297 680155 (Mon-Sat 9am-7pm)
Helen Poynor, 8 Mill Lane, Branscombe, Devon, EX12 3DS

Continuation Programme

The next Continuation Programme open to applicants who have completed the Foundation Training will be offered in 2019-2020. Dates: October 29th - November 2nd 2019, February 25th - 29th 2020, June 6th - 10th 2020. Please contact Helen for further information.

Mentorship Programme

The Mentorship Programme in the application of non-stylised and environmental movement in professional/artistic projects is designed as a small study and practice group. It is open to those who have completed at least two years of the Walk of Life Training. The Mentorship Programme will be offered again in 2020-2021. Please contact Helen if you are interested.

Embodied Landscapes
August 31st - September 2nd 2019

3 day training workshop open to participants who have completed at least one year of the Walk of Life Training, see workshops for full details.