Play Sense is an initiative that includes mainly outdoor activities (hikes in the woods, by the sea, through meadows or along a river) focused on sport, health and well-being, supervised by a team who cares. Five approaches of walks are combined with courses and initiations supervised by professionals, as well as hikes, a 5-day stay in the Goléon mountain supervised by a meditation instructor and finally workshops for adults, teenagers and children.
Walks generally take place during weekends in the afternoon and are led in an improvised way, with a time devoted for questions and answers, depending on the style of the teacher and the theme (qi gong, tai chi chuan, sophrology, vegetarian cooking, yoga, reïki, therapies, massages, lyrical and martial art and so on). These walks are organised around different themes: zen walking, active walking (dynamic training for a better physical condition), mindfull walking (meditative and silent for encouraging self-awareness in harmony with nature), walking with the Idogo (a wooden stick with 2 spheres at the extremities that brings the benefits of martial arts thanks to the natural coordination of movements and the optimization of breathing) and immersive walking with classes on fauna and flora. Audrey Collet, at the head of the initiative, desires to see the world evolve in a direction that elevates: “I have worked in the event industry (fashion, music, concerts), this has forged in me the ability to manage a whole lot of parameters. I wanted to do something innovative to recreate the ties between families, to fight the lack of interest of children for nature, to find solutions for isolated people or the elderly. I started organising walks, but after 5 or 6 walks, people were stopping to come despite the fact that I was careful to offer diversity from one time to the next. This initiated a lot of questioning. I had been doing meditations myself for years in the woods sitting by the trees. I decided to start initiations that would address all the senses. “
During theme walks, there is a time to walk and a time for the presentation of a theme and a practical part in the heart of nature. Schedules are tailored to the needs of the group. In case of bad weather, the activity might be cancelled (this is relatively rare) except in case of sports coaching. In addition, Play Sense also organizes tailor-made events (birthdays, anniversaries, activities for companies or schools). Innovative educational initiatives are also aimed at children (even before the age of 6) with the idea of setting up a school of life accessible on Wednesdays, Saturdays and during school holidays for everything that isn’t taught at school. In order to awaken curiosity about the world, it is important that the child has the opportunity to engage with their senses and to look, touch, smell and taste. Audrey wants to impact reality positively and has also launched workshops for adults and teenagers from 12 years old including theoretical and practical lessons.
If in Japan, Shinrin-Yoku, literally “forest bathing”, is part of preventive medicine and is recognized for its benefits on human mental and physical health thanks to the awakening of the senses and the body in contact with the forest environment, it is different in our country. Audrey has kept her original bond with trees intact and this awareness that they are living beings through which the energy of life circulates and manifests itself. How many times have we passed by trees without seeing them and becoming aware of their presence? We live in times when it is necessary to rehabilitate ourselves to see, feel and be in contact with organic reality, to remember that we can communicate with trees and nature, to remember that they are living beings: “I spent my entire childhood in the forest. As a little girl, I was every day in the forest, it was very playful. I always liked walking and being in contact of trees. For me it is vital, I feel that it is a innate part of my life. I feel like I’m in front of masters and protectors. ” It was also the realization that we are no longer looking at our trees and forests that motivated her to react: “I was wondering why there was no one in the woods. I had this feeling that they were abandoned, that they were no longer part of our lives. My children were even afraid to set foot in the woods. I asked myself: how can we reintegrate this vital element? “ That’s why Audrey wanted to remind others of the importance of taking care of them, looking at them and thanking them. Finally, the initiative took shape as well out of empathy for people who no longer walk, who no longer take a bowl of fresh air and are locked in their homes, who no longer have contact with nature. At what point within the day do you get oxygen? At what point do you give your body the opportunity to move, your blood and lymphatic circulation to become active? “After 30 minutes in a forest, the brain gets better oxygen, the alchemy has set in and the energy of a group has transformed. Without fail, people leave with a smile and more warmth in their hearts. “ I’ll be there in spring 2020.