When submerged in water we are touched completely and in the most intimate way.
Water caresses our skin with the gentlest of touch.
With its touch, water can awaken our senses and relax them too.
The memory of water touches us deeply with waves of emotions stored just under our skin.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we are so lucky to be working in such a wonderful medium – thank you water!
The sense of touch
Touch is our first sense and our primary sense as it is linked to all our other senses. What we experience through touch is also felt through our balance and body awareness senses. It is our balance between our inner and outer worlds.
Water and baby swimming classes, in particular, legitimise intimate touch in public at a very early age. In baby swimming classes we often focus on movement and holds and bubble, bubble breathe.
But what about touch? Do we ever actually focus our classes on the quality of our touch?
Have you ever wondered how to purposefully use touch in the pool?
When in water with our skin so exposed, it seems like such a profound opportunity for us all to bring our awareness to the quality of our touch.
Without the lack of gravity, it is easier to soften those hands which are so used to holding on. Water’s hydrostatic pressure creates a multidimensional layer of touch which is often soothingly akin to the womb.
The reason why at Aqua Sensory we place such an emphasis on touch is that touch is closely linked to our emotions and sensory preferences.
Through touch we learn to regulate our emotions, we develop our sense of self and what our preferences are. Touch is not just physical.
The quality of a parent’s touch or even the teacher’s will convey that person’s emotional state to the child being held. Are they stressed or relaxed, nervous or even fearful themselves?
Touch in class
In our aquatic classrooms, both children and their parents can be touched by the tone of our voice, the words that we use or the softness of our smile.
Fundamental to how we introduce the theme of touch at Aqua Sensory is consent. Consent is when we ask a baby’s permission before using them for a demonstration.
Consent is when we move a child through the water at a speed that is chosen by them. Consent is when I touch you with water’s drops having asked you first.
This is why at Aqua Sensory we Wait, Watch and we Wonder. What are a child’s sensory preferences? How do they like to be touched, how to support and where? What cues are they using to show me what he/she likes or doesn’t like?
This is only possible to truly see and feel when we slow down ourselves and take the time to notice.
Skip over to our Tribe Learning Platform and download some practical ideas of how to play with TOUCH in the aquatic classroom. We are looking at the theme of TOUCH this October.
You’ll also find some interesting touch teaching points to back your practices in the pool too.