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In the 1960’s Gabrielle Roth created a meditation movement, called 5 Rhythms. It is a form of therapy that uses dance and movement as a way to heal the mind and body. Roth created this movement as a “soul journey, a way to move the body, releasing the heart, and freeing the mind, so that one can connect to the essence of the soul.” The practice focuses on putting the body in motion in order to still the mind and allow the student to connect to the spiritual world. The fundamentals of this dance are the 5 essential rhythms which one must gradually come to; flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness. When each of the five rhythms are completed it is called a wave. Classes usually last up to 90 minutes, spending 10 minutes on each rhythm with new revitalizing music each time. The dances are conducted with minimal instruction, with the music leading the pace of the class.

There has been research conducted by the Integrative Body Psychotherapy Institution that proved the effectiveness of this new movement practice on physical and mental health. The study showed that 5Rhythms is a form of Psychotherapy that is an extremely helpful tool for healing. Repeated movement through the Wave increases considerably our ability to experience, integrate and tolerate different states of being alive. It is also an essential component of restoring full health. Not only does this type of movement open the body to a new sense of freedom, but it also opens the mind in taking more risks. It is the practice of letting go of the fear and losing yourself in the music and the movement.

Written by Robin Downes’ Yoga Flava for

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