This exercise was adapted from content in the IM Defenders Self-Care Manual
Arrange the blankets, cushions and pillows in a circle on the floor - ask half of the group to lie down on their backs in the circle, with their heads towards the center as if forming the petals of a flower. Invite them to close their eyes and relax. Make sure there is at least one-person-width of space between each participant.
Ask the other half of participants get comfortable in the spaces between the other participants, each in a seated position next to the knees of those who are lying down.
You will lead this session using your voice. Explain to the seated group that they will give a “loving touch” to the women lying down next to them, touching and caressing them in a respectful way as you will soon describe. Those who are not comfortable touching others can place their hand on the head or shoulder of their partner, or simply close their eyes and listen to your voice.
In a calm, soothing tone of voice, you will give the seated women several instructions for their loving touches, with 2-3 minutes of spacing between each. Remind everybody that breath is very important for this exercise – they should all breathe slowly, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth:
As the group progresses through the activity, talk about:
Once the women who are seated are done caressing the hands and fingers of their partner, give the women who are lying down a few moments to open their eyes and change positions with her partner. Repeat the process above, so that everyone who has given also has the chance to receive.