mission e1
April 15, 2024

JumpDay – A Somatic Movement Workshop with Aki Omori

For our second team bonding session of the year – which we call JumpDay – we held a somatic movement and restorative yoga workshop at the beautiful new Mission studios in Spitalfields.

The building overlooks the local iconic Christ Church and the studios have gorgeous wooden floors and exposed brick walls befitting the cool East London neighbourhood.

We were able to utilise two studios with the dividing wall removed, which created one glorious big, light-filled space to explore and move around in. This was very handy for a somatic movement workshop.

The playful 3 hour session was led by the brilliant and lovely Aki Omori who is a hugely experienced teacher, trainer and therapist in movement, touch and early trauma.

Aki Omori – Somatic teacher / trainer / therapist:

“It was so lovely to spend an afternoon with the Jump staff members – such a vibrant group of people!

While the team is diverse, there’s a tangible vibe about them that they are all very comfortable with each other’s company and they are happy to come together and enjoy the activity as a group.

My offerings on the day were a little outside of their usual – and perhaps outside of the comfort zone for some – but I so appreciated their open mindedness to drop into their body and explore movement.

I always highly recommend getting down on the floor and exposing the surfaces of the body to the floor, feel the gravity and space, and breathe and move.  There’s countless benefits in moving that like for both physical and mental health and of course to our playful and creative spirit.  So thank you to everyone for diving in.”

Russell Hilliard – Director at Jump:

“This was something I had wanted to organise for the Jump team for quite a while. I’ve known Aki for many years and been lucky enough to have been on quite a few yoga retreat weeks with her. To get to spend a long time in a studio with Aki is a real treat.

This was perfect as a team-bonding group activity. There is no right, wrong, good, bad with somatics. It’s not about how fit or bendy you are. It’s about your own personal experience with your body, the space around you and the people you’re sharing the space with.

Aki was great at including ‘exercises’ for the whole group, or with a partner, which really made the afternoon feel like a team experience – which is the whole point of a JumpDay.”

The three hour workshop whizzed by. Some of the themes we were invited to explore included:

Ways of getting familiar with a new space.

Different planes of movement – for example the ‘Sagittal Plane’ which is very straight forward / back – and how we can use these awarenesses to break out of being locked into our computer screens all day.

Thinking about ‘touch’ as both a receiving and giving experience.

How different parts of the body are the ‘belly’ (soft) or the ‘back’ (hard) and how this evolved from us growing within the womb.

How the experience of moving and rolling around on the floor is lost as we get older and instinctual when we’re young. We did a LOT of rolling around on the floor – which was brilliant.

The workshop finished with a glorious restorative pose – which utilised a mat, a bolster, a brick and 4 blankets EACH! We could easily have carried on for another hour.

A few more reactions from the team:

Richard Norley – Head Creative at Jump:

“For the first time in 30 years of my working life I was actively encouraged to lie on the floor, close my eyes and cuddle a blanket, while resting on a padded yoga mat. Now I want to spend all of my afternoons like that!”

Callum O’Reilly – Senior Animator:

“I went into the session with no idea what to expect. I came out of the experience giddy, fluid and relaxed. Rotating and rolling around the floor; like a fluid worm, trying out my long-lost contortion techniques was quite liberating; and great fun.”


We would all love to say a very big thank you to Aki  for creating such a fun, enlightening afternoon for us.


Aki Omori – “I taught yoga for over 20 years and I came across a somatic approach to movement and I was immediately drawn to it.  I became more seriously interested when I happened to suffer from a damage in my nerves and became partially paralysed for a while. I continued to teach yoga classes but there was no way I could do any of the moves so I had to just talk through without much demonstration.

However, I discovered that through somatic movement and returning to early developmental movement, getting down on the ground level, I could still move pretty well. So I continued to explore and eventually I regained the movement capacity that was close to what it was, and in so many ways, I became a ‘better’ mover.

I began to integrate somatic movement into my yoga because it felt so much more wholesome. I was breaking ‘rules’ and almost going against ‘expectations’ of yoga classes back then – going off the mat, rolling on the floor, breaking established sequences and creating more fluid movements and sequences, bending knees where they were ‘not supposed to’ etc… asking people to feel themselves more, be curious, instead of imposing asanas blindly.

For those who wanted to be told what to do, my class was somehow demanding because I invited them to ask themselves how they were. Some of the nature of somatic approach is to enquire. So I would lead the class with many enquiries and questions. Each student needed to engage with their autonomy to feel themselves, instead of being spoon-fed.”


Some previous JumpDay activities have included calligraphy classes, life drawing and wall climbing.

  • mission e1
  • mission e1
  • mission e1
  • mission e1
  • mission e1
  • mission e1
  • mission e1
  • mission e1