5Rhythms : A Journey to Spirit through dance


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I recently had the opportunity to experience my very first 5Rhythms dance retreat at a fabulous Maui resort called Lumeria. Today, I would like to tell you a little about the 5rhytms practice. Tomorrow, I will tell you more about my experience at the retreat.

“Dancing the 5Rhythms is a practice…a dynamic way to both workout and to meditate in the same breath. They teach us that life is energy in motion, freeing us from any fixed notions about people, places, objects or ideas.”

The concept behind the 5Rhythms practice is simple: the body holds emotional trauma. Every feeling has an impact on the body, every emotion has an affect on your physical health. When we are under stress, these feelings and emotions can wreak havoc on our physical health. Emotions and feelings have great power. They are energy in motion.

While science is just beginning to show these mind-body connections, several spiritual practices have held this theory centuries. Blocked emotions become trapped in the body, blocking the flow of energy, which over the long term can make us sick.

This is the theory behind several spiritual, medical and physical practices to include: Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) (aka Tapping) and ecstatic dance. This is also the philosophy behind the 5Rhythms.

“Each of the Five Rhythms is a practical tool of awakening that will release us to dance on the edge, to be outrageous, to transform suffering into art, and art into awareness. Embracing the rhythms as spiritual practice is a dynamic way to free the body, to express the heart, and to clear the mind.” – Gabrielle Roth


The 5Rhythms practice combines the body, mind and soul using movement and breath to create a container, if you will, a meditative space that allows you to find those energy blockages and release them through dance.

If you are a spiritual person and love to dance, this practice was created just for you!

photo source5rhythms medicine wheel

Through the rhythm of flowing, we explore the feminine energy and explore the fluidity of our bodies in movement.

In the Staccato rhythm, we find explore the power of masculine energy and boundaries.

In chaos, we completely release control of the body and allow it to move to the rhythm of chaos. Liberation is the best word to describe dancing in chaos. This rhythm is what we most think of when we refer to ecstatic dance. Imagine just allowing your body to thrash and flail about in the rhythm of chaos.

“Visually we look like a big, hot, giant, sweaty mess overflowing with cathartic energy. This is our big dance, our break out dance, our break through dance. “

Dancing in the rhythm of chaos is an amazingly cathartic experience. When in a 5rhythms class or workshop and you get to chaos, the entire room releases into this safe space, where it is safe to just let the body act out all of those crazy, chaotic emotions.

At the exhausting end of chaos, we arrive to a beautiful lyrical rhythm and place. We find a fluid rhythm, creativity, repetition. Suddenly, where we had just been thrashing about releasing pent up emotions, we are now floating gracefully, flying across the floor in a lyrical ecstatic experience that can only be compared to the after glow of wild passionate sex with someone you are deeply in love with, it is the after glow.. the flight that comes after you have released the ball and chain.

Finally, we arrive in stillness. Similar to silence, we slow down, suddenly, all of that blocked energy we released in chaos begins moving through us.

“Shapes from the past, the present and the future come through us—shapes of the Feminine and the Masculine and the magic dance they do together. Moving in Stillness and being still in motion fuses the accumulation of our bodies’ life experiences into our true wisdom. Eventually we dissolve into sitting meditation, where all the other Rhythms of our journey converge in the vital resonance of Stillness. “

In 5rhythms, I feel as though I have found a spiritual home. It is a spiritual practice I can show up for again and again, I can feel free to express myself creatively through the dance.

I am not a professional dancer, but I have always loved to dance. I have loved ballroom dance, line dancing, break dancing, salsa dancing and free dancing at the club. In this practice, you do not require any formal training, you need only to show up and to move. They rhythms will move you through the waves of the 5rhythms and the instructors will pump you up and help you purge your blocked emotions. Leaving a 5rhythms class, I felt as if I were floating, flying free from every ball and chain that has held me back. I was Free!


If you love to dance, if you love music. If you are still looking for your spiritual home.. or just another way to augment your spiritual journey, 5rhythms may be exactly what you have been searching for. Find a class right now! Find a workshop! Download some of Gabrielle Roth’s music. (I highly recommend you start with Endless Wave as Gabrielle herself talks on the track leading you through the 5rhythms.) I also highly recommend you read her book, “Sweat your Prayers”

“In dancing 5Rhythms you can track perceptions and memories; seek out gestures and shapes; tune into instincts and intuitions. They reveal ways to creatively express aggressiveness and vulnerability, emotions and anxieties, edges and ecstasies. They reconnect us to cycles of birth, death and renewal and hook us up to the spirit in all living things. They initiate us back into the wisdom of our bodies and unleash movement’s dynamic healing power.

In dancing 5Rhythms the body becomes our spiritual path.”

Like I have said, if you are looking for a new spiritual practice, or if you are just wanted a fresh workout, as long as you love music and dancing, you will find a new Tribe in the 5Rythms community. For more information on 5Rhythms, please visit their website. https://www.5rhythms.com/


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