the 5Rhythms in detail
The 5Rhythms – FLOWING – STACCATO – CHAOS – LYRICAL – STILLNESS – are states of being.
They are like a map that guides us to where we want to go: To all levels of consciousness – internal and external, forward or backward, physical, emotional and intellectual. They are signposts on the path back to a true self – vulnerable, wild, passionate and instinctive.
FLOWING is the first rhythm in which we become familiar with our body and its instincts, perceive ourselves through our senses and sensory impressions, feel our weight, where we settle into ourselves, so to speak, in soft, flowing movements. Flowing connects us to our inner world and our own truth. It causes us to follow the flow of our own energy and stay true to ourselves – in perceiving and satisfying our needs. In doing so, we remain equally open to the inner and outer worlds. When we follow the free-flowing energy in our body, all paths spread out before us.
In STACCATO we direct our energy outward – clear and focused. It’s about opening up and being seen, but also about setting boundaries. Here we practice the power of masculine energy. It teaches us how to face the world – in contact with our feet and feelings. This rhythm orders our linear world. Staccato is the gateway to the heart. This is where the warrior in us comes into his own, the part that articulates clarity and truthfulness and that professes what is important to him, whom he loves and what he loves.
In CHAOS we practice the art of freeing the body completely. We let go of the head, spine, hips and feet, moving faster than we can think. Chaos throws us headlong into the beat, bringing us back immediately into the body, into the moment. This rhythm frees us from all notions of who we are and allows us to directly experience what it means to be total, free, intuitive and creative. Chaos is the gateway to that which is greater than our little ego self. Dancing chaos means jumping into the unknown without fear of what may come. It looks like a big, hot, sweaty mess overflowing with cathartic energy. This is our very big dance, our breakout and breakthrough dance.
In LYRICAL, we practice getting out of the chaos again. It is the danced rebirth – physically, energetically, emotionally and spiritually. Lyrical teaches us how to step out of destructive patterns and surrender to the flowing, creative repetitions of our soulful selves. These repetitive movements rise from our innermost layers like bubbles and finally expose that integrity and dignity within us that we too often forget. In Lyrical, we expand and connect with our humanity, as well as the timeless rhythms, repetitions, patterns and cycles. Lyrical is a state of being rather than a rhythm, as it can be a crystal clear expression of any of the rhythms in its lighter version: The feet become light, we become like birds in the air. But no mistake – even in the lyric we remain grounded and powerful.
STILLNESS is the place where we sink deeply into ourselves through movement and breath and yet remain connected to everything. Being in silence and doing nothing are fundamentally different from each other. Stillness is moving. The dance is only the medium, the goal is the rhythm stillness. The challenge here is to remain a vessel that is constantly moving and continually changing. The movements in Stillness are slow, in slow motion – like highly unpredictable, meditative Tai Chi masters.
Forms from the past, present and future move through us – forms of the feminine, the masculine and the magical dance they do together. Moving in stillness condenses the life experience accumulated in the body into real wisdom.
Only at the end do we enter into a sitting or reclining meditation, where all the other rhythms of our journey merge with us in a living vibration of stillness.
Each time we dance into silence, we practice the art of making humble and mindful endings. This can then affect all of our “endings” in life – the end of this dance, this day, this relationship, or this life cycle. Ending well means taking responsibility for the entire journey, distilling wisdom from our experience so that we can begin the next wave or cycle cleanly and not carry the past with us.