Container & Rules of Ritual Play



Defined time – timer

Defined space – mat about 2 x 2



  • Don’t physically injure self, other, space or objects. Pace yourself and other enough to move within the skill level of both.
  • Non – verbal: use sound, breath, movement 
  • Stop – word 
  • One person can step out of play area. Other person can’t follow



  1. No goal – no intention to achieve any particular expression, experience or feeling. Open ended interaction. Timer stops the interaction.
  2. Do not censor yourself, but give – moment by moment – the honest impulses and responses you have. Consider everything that arises within the Ritual Play structure – every state of mind & emotion, impulse & response as material for play. The embodied states, put to play, can be described as silly, nurturing, caring, distant, close, erotic, curious, devotional, power hierarchical, restful etz. All emotional & bodily expressions –gestures, in self and other are equally valuable material for play. This is the material that leads your play forward.
  3. Self-care: only engage in what is meaningful & safe enough for you, nothing else. 
  4. Play within the frames of reversibility. Reversibility means the ability to stop an action or an emotional process – to restart it, reverse it, or drop it all together. What ever you give to the dynamic, give it so the other has a choice on how they respond to i


Structured beginning & end to play


  1. Set up space (yoga matts, matt, mattresses, futon)
  2. Make sure all involved know the invitations and the rules
  3. Communicating if any injuries
  4. Decide the time of Play + set timer
  5. Eye contact
  6. Placing technique *
  7. Unfolding dynamic, honest moment by moment
  8. Timer ends the dynamic
  9. Both finds own way out of the mat
  10. Eye contact + sign of thank you


(Sharing some sentences verbally is helpful for integrating the play dynamic in a meaningful way)

*Placing technique alternatives:

  1. Person 1 places itself first and gives a signal when ready. Person 2 places itself and gives the signal. Now the unfolding of the play begins.
  2. Person 1 places person 2 first and then itself in relation to person 2 and space. Person 1 gives signal when the placing is done. Unfolding of the play begins.