What is the 5Rhythms?

Mmm, a good question. One asked of me frequently. And one that still, after 14 years, catches me at a bit of a pause every time. The pause of “How can I really convey the enormity of what this practice is, does and means to my, and your, possibility of freedom”. Really how can I convey this? Still stumps me.

I’ve called it dance, which doesn’t, for me, really convey IT. Yes it is dance, and, it is generally music you move to and moves you…but…it’s more.

I’ve labeled it movement; however, that too misses the full essence of what it is. At the end of a class or workshop you’re altered because you’ve been moving.  When you move, things are released, things that are in the way (emotionally, physically, spiritually). Still, the word movement, by itself, seems to fall a bit short of the ‘bigness of this practice’ mark.

Then there’s the moving meditation description, which is close but may not prepare people for the music aspect. I’m not sitting on a cushion observing my mind, I’m moving my body and in the process my mind gets, for lack of a better term, reconfigured. By the end of the session I’m here in the present moment, my head connected to my body versus my thoughts running my show.

It’s also healing and it’s exercise, did I mention that? Whew, so what do I say?

You’d think I would have my one-minute elevator speech dialed tight and ready to go…but no, not so much. I feel that I can do the practice, and those that ask me, so much more justice in the explanation of the 5Rhythms than I generally come up with.

What if I was at a party (or in a longer elevator ride) and someone says, after a few minutes of ‘what do you do’ small talk, “Ok, so, what is the 5Rhythms?

What I don’t ever say (and let me tell you, it would feel somewhat intense to dump out, with crazy monologue evangelistic conviction, all the things I’m really sitting on), and frankly, maybe I should say is:

“Truthfully? My life depends on it. It helps me stay on the fast path, no, really, it’s a freeway, to freedom. If the 5Rhythms weren’t in my life I know I would be sitting in a pit, or a sinkhole, or on a mental suffering-filled, messy-ugly boulevard waiting for the mind cops. Without the 5Rhythms I would be trapped in my mind: stuck, wedged, caught, jammed. Real good.”

“Do you want some freedom? Of course you do, why wouldn’t you? You can have it too. There’s so much more potential in all of us for letting go, for being real, and for being more and more brilliant as we are, in our own uniqueness. This practice is powerful, transformational, profound, yet so unassuming. Dude, come on, get yourself some of this medicine. What are you waiting for? Freedom is calling. Get moving with the 5Rhythms…get on the freedom train. Amen”

…Ahhh, that would freak people out.

Or, perhaps, it really would be so passionate, authentic (and slightly disarming) that they would say, “Sure I’d like me a side of some of that, how can I get some?” Maybe it’s not so bad to take a bigger risk in revealing what this practice really is to me…

The 5Rhythms: It is dance, movement, meditation, exercise, healing and a freeway to freedom. It’s for anyone. Try it. It works.