How 5Rhythms Dance Meditation Helped Me to Connect with Myself and Others


I feel butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it.  I get so excited that I feel that I could touch the sky. Yet I somehow feel happy, calm and content. I want to touch, feel, hug, kiss, and experience…and I just want to feel it over and over again. It feels different every time, yet it feels the so familiar. It feels like home. It only gets better and better. I feel connected and safe. I want to share my joy with everyone. I have most certainly have fallen deeply in love.

No, I am not talking about a new boyfriend or a long-time lover. I am sharing my deep passion for dance of love: 5Rhythms.

Several years ago I was volunteering in the Turkish mountains. One day after a rather upsetting situation I had the sudden urge to go out into the forest and dance. I just needed to dance. I dance without music, in nature, in the middle of the forest, in peace, and in safety. It was a magical experience that soon became a habit. Dancing in the forest became my friend. There I connected with nature and connected with myself. Sometimes I had music on in my headphone, but most of the time I just listened to the wind and the birds. Sometimes I danced fast and jumped around, but other times I moved slowly, almost not at all. Though it was a life-changing experience at the time, I quickly forgot about it after leaving Turkey, and I stopped dancing.

I am not a natural dancer. I was kicked out of jazz ballet, as well as classical dance lessons. I was poked fun of by classmates that eventually I skipped school dances, discos, and other dancing events. Being embarrassed by the lack of my rhythm, lack of flexibility, and lack of dance skills, I felt sort of embarrassed by my dancing practice in the Turkish forest, and turned it into a forgotten memory.

About six month later, a friend of mine shared her new passion for a dance meditation practice called 5Rhythms. Her face lit up as she spoke about this dance. She compared it to life, to sex, to rebirth, and to a happy flow. I knew in my heart it was for me, and as someone who follows her intuition, a few weeks later I signed up for a class. I completely fell in love.

Last summer a friend of mine was passionately sharing her experiences at a dance meditation class she was taking. I am still not sure why, but I just knew in my heart it was for me. I had to try it. I found a class, went, and completely fell in love.

Turns out I am a dancer afterall. We all are.

5Rhythms, developed by Gabrielle Roth, is an experience that is nearly impossible to put into words, as it is a dance without any instructions, following the music and the rhythms. [1]

The 5Rhythms is a moving meditation practice, an improvisational form of dance. The 5Rhythms are states of being. They are a map to everywhere we want to go on all planes of consciousness. In dancing them the body becomes our Spiritual path.

It is nearly impossible to put this experience into words. 5Rhythms is a form of movement meditation, a movement medicine, or dance meditation, a dance without any instruction. The music follows five different rhythms and you just move, dance (or don’t move) as you feel like, as your body guides you, without thoughts, without judgement, being aware, being present, yet letting go, being yourself, being connected. It is a true meditation in a sense. I have never felt so free, so safe, and so present in the moment as during 5Rhythms. During my first class I knew I have found my meditation practice.

Once your body surrenders to movement, your soul remembers its dance. (Gabrielle Roth)

5Rhythms is a complete let go for me. There are no predetermined motions: I move as it comes and it is all okay. I am completely present without thinking. Thoughts come and go, but I acknowledge them and wave good-bye. I don’t analyze. I feel. I experience. I connect. I love.

If you just set people in motion they will heal themselves. (Gabrielle Roth)

5Rhythms is incredibly healing, as well as a beautiful way to experience self-love, to connect with myself, to connect with others, and to connect with life itself.

Through my practice I’ve learned how to connect with and to be in my body effortlessly with a beautiful flow. When I dance I experience my body as something connected to and part of a beautiful bigger whole rather than as a lonely and disconnected object. Dancing among other bodies I also realize every time that we are all beautiful, in body and spirit.

I’ve learn that it is okay to change directions and to do my own thing. If a move doesn’t feel right, I can do something else. I can follow my heart as I move along with the music. It doesn’t matter what others are doing, we can dance along each other as our heart dictates. It is true for life as well. The best way to live is to trust myself and to follow my intuition. As long as I choose love and practice kindness towards others, I can live my own life, do my own thing, and dance my own dance.

I don’t need to compare myself to others – not in the dance room, but not outside of it either. I am good enough as I am. I am perfect in my own perfect way. Like dancing, life’s a journey of trials and errors, beautiful experiments, an opportunity to connect with others, a chance to connect with myself, a prospect to find my true self, and an on-going choice to be myself.

Energy moves in waves. Waves move in patterns. Patterns move in cycles. A human being is just this. Nothing more. Nothing less. A dance. (Gabrielle Roth)

Dancing is an opportunity to release my negative emotions, like sadness and anger, and to experience my positive ones, like joy and excitement. It is a way of feeling my emotions in an authentic and vulnerable manner. Vulnerability and authenticity are both powerful and important in life. Just like in dance, living an authentic life from my heart provides a tremendous amount of freedom, because it’s only in acknowledging and showing my true feelings that I am capable to work through them.

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence? (Gabrielle Roth)

Besides 5Rhythms, there are several other powerful movement meditation practices, including ecstatic dance, open floor, biodanza, and NIA.

With or without dance meditation, go find you dance, you song, your stillness, your peace, your connection, your freedom, and your love. To live free and happy, remember to live from your heart.

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