When to use it?
I recommend this exercise either at the beginning of sessions, as a way to arrive and connect with the body, and the group, or in the end, for releasing and concluding.
How to do it?
Each participant at a time is invited to take a moment to listen to his/her body and make a gesture, movement or stretch – whatever the body is asking for right now. The others observe and then follow the person, trying out that same movement. The focus is not on imitating, but on sensing how this movement feels like in one‘s own body and possibly adapting the movement to it.
Variations & extensions
This practice can be well combined with an introduction round. By the end of the gesture, the person who offered it can say his/her name and give any other introductions.
Another possibility is to say the name and then answer the question: How am I feeling right now? Or, what am I aware of right now?
Those questions have the intention of bringing the person‘s awareness to the present moment, as well as to emphasize the principle question behind this practice: What is my body sensing right now?
The general outline of this practice was brought to me by Phoebe Dahmen-Wassenberg, who took it from bio-release training sessions, which are part of the biodynamic body-oriented psychotherapy. The variations provided here are my additions.