Introduction to the 5 Rhythms

Gabrielle Roth, creator of the 5 Rhythms movement meditation concept and self-proclaimed Urban Shaman, rest her soul, was one of my teachers. While I never had the pleasure of meeting her, her books; Maps to Ecstacy and Sweat your Prayers turned me onto the movement meditation, an experience that ultimately changed my life.

Ancient texts identify 5 Sacred Rhythms which enabled the healers to reach enlightenment. Gabrielle called her version of these Sacred Rhythms, 5Rhythms.

As a teacher, Gabrielle invites us to dance the Dance of Life and embody these sacred rhythms. Using lessons from the 5 Rhythms and corresponding archetypes she provides us with what she calls, Maps to Ecstacy. This book quite literally was life-changing for me, it was the portal down the rabbit hole of sound healing. On a search to experience meditation, without the ability to sit still, I found the idea of moving meditation to be promising for me, as I have always loved to dance. Dancing has always been in my blood, although I never took any dance classes as a child. Every weekend in my teen years and early twenties was spent working out all of my angst on the dance floor. I was a regular at the hottest dance clubs in town, sweating my prayers on the dance floor without knowing that is what I was doing at the time.

I see the influence of Gabriell’s 5Rhythms movement meditation everywhere, as those influenced by her work develop their own Maps to Ecstacy. We see her influence in programs such as ecstatic dance evolution, Azul, Dance Church, Soul Motion to name a few.

This month, we are exploring the concept of rhythm, each week, we will review one of each of Gabrielle’s 5Rhythms: Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, Stillness.

Over the next 6 weeks, we will explore Gabrielle’s Medicine Mandala, which will take us through the 5 Rhythms, exploring what Gabrielle Roth calls the Shamanic tasks on the Dancing Path: Free the body, Express the Heart, Empty the Mind, Awaken the Soul and Embody the Spirit. In my personal experience, the 5Rhythms has achieved these 5 tasks and so much more! I hope you will stay with me on this journey as we explore the 5 Rhythms.

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