The Mindful Play Inquiry Online
“Mindful Play is a gentle opening of the heart and loosening of the mind that enables you to find your playful spirit”
- previous participant
The Mindful Play Inquiry is a five week online course that roots participants in grounded awareness, whilst fanning the flames of joy, laughter and connection. It’s a space for grown-ups to explore and improve their relationship with resilience, play, flow, spontaneity and connection. Consisting of 5 weekly sessions, each lasting 2 1/2 hours, the sessions are individually themed as follows:
Resilience (9 February)
Play (16 February)
Flow (23 February)
Spontaneity (2 March)
Connection (9 March)
What happens in a Mindful Play session?
“Warm-hearted playful enquiries into wellbeing” - previous participant
“A skilfully guided mind and body journey to reach connection and compassion.” - previous participant
Each session begins with a short, playfully-delivered snippet of theory from a wide range of sources, exploring some potential benefits of nourishing our natural ability to access resilience, play, flow, spontaneity and connection.
We’ll ponder on what we already know about these life-affirming qualities, what might be preventing us from inviting more of these vibrant qualities into our lives, and how we can open our hearts to experiencing MORE resilience, play, flow, spontaneity and connection every day!
Each week, Holly will guide you through a meditation to help you turn your curious attention inwards towards your body, breath and emotional state. From here, we will explore the theme of the session through a series of creative tasks, using our bodies, voices and imaginations. Sometimes we’ll play alone, sometimes we’ll play in pairs or small groups in breakout rooms and sometimes we’ll play all together as one big group.
Throughout the session, Holly will sprinkle in guided reflections, both spoken and written, to help you articulate your own pearls of wisdom to share with the group and take away.
Who is it for?
The sessions are designed to be accessible to anyone aged 18+, wherever and however you are. There is no need for any particular level of ability or experience. If you’re called to come to this course, then it’s for you!
Mindful Play is for anyone who is curious to explore their relationship with play: performers, teachers, facilitators, directors, health professionals, therapists, activists, academics, artists, spiritual leaders, shop workers, parcel delivery people, professional dog walkers, traffic wardens, politicians, retired people, really everyone is welcome…
All exercises are offered as invitations which you can adapt to your changing energetic, physical and emotional state. The Mindful Play Inquiry is designed to help you discover how you can play within your limits, exploring what healthy, sustainable, joyful play might look like to you.
The course will be taught in English. You need to have a fairly good grasp of the English language to be able to understand the invitations and participate in the discussions.
You need to be able to access Zoom - preferably on a laptop, desktop or tablet as opposed to a phone so that you can see everyone in the group.
Ideally you need to be able to put yourself in a private space, so that we don’t have people walking into the class.
You don’t need to have done any of Holly’s previous training to attend this course, although previous Holly Stoppit Workshops / Online Clown Academy attendees are very welcome.
All play will take place within boundaries set out by Holly at the beginning of each session, to keep the space safe for everybody. Please respect the boundaries. You are responsible for your own well-being during the sessions, please accept the invitation to play within your limits. Come as you are and take what you need.
What do previous participants say about the course?
“Mindful play is a safe space to explore our playful nature through mediated weekly workshops. It looks at using play to address fear, vulnerability, and connection.” - previous participant
“The course teaches you how to reconnect with those parts of yourself that you used to be very close with as a child…. It's a play that doesn't be good or bad, a play where there's no winners or losers, a play that doesn't even need to make any sense. Throughout the course you'll become aware of these parts of yourself and the mechanisms that were blocking them for so long.” - previous participant
“Mindful Play creates a space to drop the masks and limits we place on ourselves and gently explore freedom, creativity and fun without ever needing to 'get it right'. It's like taking big lungfuls of fresh air after being cooped up inside... Above all it's a space to enjoy stretching your body, mind and heart in all directions, imbued with kindness and loving connection.” - previous participant
“I find myself much more fun to be around as a result of this course!!!” - previous participant
About Holly Stoppit
Holly Stoppit is a facilitator, clowning and fooling teacher, dramatherapist and theatre director, specialising in live, interactive, improvised and devised autobiographical performance, mostly exploring the themes of mental health, grief and identity.
Holly creates and delivers unique performance skills / self-development training courses and is a freelance facilitator / director / creative consultant offering bespoke services for professional theatre companies, community organisations, universities, businesses and individual artists.
Holly is artistic director of solo improvisation company Beyond The Ridiculous, and co-founder of The Online Clown Academy with Robyn Hambrook. At the heart of all of Holly’s work is a desire to promote creative discovery and connection through play.
Holly has been practicing meditation for 17 years, regularly attending silent retreats at at Gaia House and numerous courses including ‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction’ with Simon Barnes, ‘On Emptiness, Self, Not-Self and Personality’ with Suvaco and ‘Meditations for Soothing and Softening’ with Rachel Blackman. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Holly has regularly been attending the morning sittings at Sangha Live.
Holly Stoppit has been delivering various versions of The Mindful Play Inquiry since qualifying as a dramatherapist in 2013. This is the third time she will run it online. To read about what happened in a previous Mindful Play course, click here. For more info about Holly, check out this page.
“Holly is an extremely skilled holder of space who draws deeply on her wide range of skills and knowledge and gives generously of herself to her workshoppees.”
previous workshop participant