Book Review: Sweat your Prayers

Wow! I know I say this every single time I post about a book, but this one was literally life changing.  Sweat your Prayers by the late Gabrielle Roth is like the Bible of the 5Rhythms dancing I described previously. While I have posted in depth about the 5Rhythms, in this book review, I would like to share a little of Gabrielle’s wisdom with you.

In her words:

“To sweat is to pray, to make an offering of your innermost self. Sweat is holy water, prayer beads, pearls of liquid that release your past, anointing  all your parts in baptism by fire. Sweat burns karma, purifying body and soul”

“Sweat is an ancient and universal form of self healing, whether done in the gym, the sauna, or the sweat lodge”

“The more you dance, the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more you pray. The more you pray, the closer you come to ecstasy.”

These powerful words describe the experience that is 5Rhythms. I became interested in ecstatic dance at a recent retreat and went hunting for anything I could find. That is when I came across Gabrielle and her astonishing creation; 5Rhythms. Sweat your prayers grabbed me in and introduced me to the waves. This is another book that I couldn’t put down until I was finished. I immediately downloaded Endless wave and started dancing around my bedroom, the music lulled me in, her words empowered me to dance without a care, to literally sweat my prayers!

Gabrielle’s Religion was the dance, her prayer was her sweat, her bible: her body, her master, the rhythm.

“There is no dogma in the dance. When you let your body dance you immediately strop away the lies and the dogma until all you’re left with is the spirit of life itself.  Movement is medicine and I trust that if you put the psyche in motion, it will heal itself.”


“I want to take you to a place of pure magic, where everything goes and nothing stops, like a twenty four hour roadside cafe with the best jukebox you can imagine. Only in this place, you don’t listen to jazz, you become it. All your parts jam. It’s the place athlete’s call the “zone,” Buddhists call “satori,” and ravers call “trance.” I call it the Silver Desert. It’s a place of pure light that holds the dark within it. It’s a place of pure rhythm that holds the stillpoint. It’s a place within you.”

I can attest to having been to that place with Gabrielle and with Lucia. I have found the calm in the center of the storm while dancing alone in my bedroom to the Endless Wave.

Gabrielle spent her life dancing and was fascinated with the energy of emotions in the body. Years ahead of her time, Gabrielle describes concepts of quantum physics using only words like rhythm, music and dance.


“The five rhythms” is the surest way to move beyond your baggage to a new you, a new body, one that is fueled by its soul.”


“Working out should be like having a conversation with your body and spirit; it should be personal, intimate, and holy not boring and painfully repetitive.”

“Today I felt energetic so I chose to move to the drum workout on my Endless Wave CD which begins with a Rumi quote: “Dance until you shatter yourself,” A reminder of why I dance— not to look pretty or perfect a series of steps, but to surrender myself to the spirit of movement.”

While those words come to us from Gabrielle herself, they describe perfectly the experience that reading this book and subsequently finding 5Rhythms for myself.  Not only was my very first dance an ecstatic one, but each subsequent dance, like each subsequent chapter of this book, my journey revealed more delicious layers. Each dance has been a journey for me.

While I have included Amazon affiliate links for the book and CD in this post to support my blogging activity, I cannot emphasize to you how powerful this experience has been for me. I am not paid by anyone (unless you purchase the book or CD through the link), these opinions are truthfully my own.

energy waves

This program has changed my life. It has revealed for me pieces of my puzzle, it has given me  a religion. I believe I have found my tribe. I feel inspired by this dance. I feel cathartic from my dance.  I have indeed sweated my prayers on the dance floor and I have felt the power of chaos surge through my body. I am not a paid advertisement, if 5rhythms was a church, I would be in the front row!

This book and the subsequent experience of the dance and the workshop and working with Lucia has been truly transformational for me!


I cannot tell you the role this 5rhythms will have in the rest of my life, but it will have a role in some way, for the rest of my life.

As I have said of the 5Rhythms program itself, if you are on a spiritual journey, if you are looking for your spiritual home, if you love music, if you love to dance, if you believe emotions are energy in motion; this book is for you.

It is the theory behind Tai Chi and Qi Gong and Acupressure, Acupuncture, Emotional Freedom technique and Reike among other ancient practices. Ancient cultures and First Nation Cultures have included dance in their spiritual practices for centuries. Quantum studies are proving it, Emotion is stored in the body when it is not expressed.

In this book Gabrielle outlines a pattern of rhythms as a map to ecstacy. Dance is meditation in  motion. This book and this practice offer an alternative to yoga, in a much more active format than traditional meditation and prayer.  She offers a map directly to the runner’s high.

While I appreciate the support, if you purchase this book through my affiliate link, I sincerely mean it when I say, if you love to dance, if you love music, if you are intrigued by the idea of ecstatic dance without the drugs, but as a spiritual practice, a transformational tradition, please, please, by this book and check out their website for more information on a class near you.

I have vowed to make this blog about my spiritual journey and I believe my journey has taken a major turn as a result of this book. Add this piece to your puzzle, if it fits, for me, this practice was like finding a keystone piece.

While I have never met Gabrielle, I have danced with someone close to her, I have learned from someone who learned from Gabrielle, this practice is the real deal and Lucia Horan is the real deal! What an amazing practice!