What is Five Rhythms and How Can it Help?


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What is Five Rhythms and How Can it Help?



Meditative practice shines through in many ways. For some, it can mean sitting cross-legged on the floor and emptying the confines of their mind. For others, it may be using crystals on a spiritual journey to higher plains, and for others – it’s the pure, raw and unbridled power of movement.


What is the Practice of Five Rhythms?

Five Rhythms is one of these movement-based meditations. Founded by Gabrielle Roth in the 1970s, it is a practice that Roth says - “is a journey towards freeing the body, expressing the heart, emptying the mind, awakening the soul, and embodying the spirit.”

Five Rhythms practice is all about putting down the masks and using movement to access our deeply authentic selves.


Finding the Five


Flowing is the first of the five – a movement that helps us to physically practice what it feels like to be within our own bodies. Its focus is on tuning in and becoming attentive to our own needs. It is about surrendering and letting the body lead with the supple flexible fantasy of ‘being’.


Staccato is the second – the percussive beat of masculine energy. It is how we step into the world and stay grounded yet in a way that doesn’t forgo our own hearts. It’s said to be the ruler of our linear lines, connected to the warrior, and the teacher of boundaries.


Chaos is the third – the freedom of release comes thick and fast. Break the illusions, dive headfirst into the swirling charge of the cosmos and shake off all those labels you had pinned to yourself. This is the dance that helps you enter The Big Mind. This is how you break out of confinement.



Lyrical is the fourth – after the chaos, we return to the soft fluid energy that cracks open our creative hearts. Lyrical is all about emerging from destructive patterns and being able to use our soul sense to connect to humanity, patterns and cycles that serve us. It’s about staying grounded and empowered but free to fly.


Stillness is the final of the five – it is the last destination. To be still doesn’t mean the world around you stops in its tracks. The energy of the wider world still flows through; it’s the place where the past, the present and the future meets. Stillness helps us to stay mindful, connected and is proof that we come through the storms. Stillness is where we sit in meditation and where we learn to let go of all the movements that came before.


What are the Benefits?

Movement can be a medicine, and this is what five rhythms can truly be about. Weaving in all that wonder, following the roadmap back to the self. Those who say yes to the rhythms and incorporate it in their spiritual practice will find that they may be more centered, balanced, and able to process the waves that roll through the day.



Five Rhythms is all about delving into the dynamic, its how we work through our perceptions and memories, where we learn how to let go, and where we reach deep to find the true wisdom of our own bodies.

Beyond the spiritual borders, Five Rhythms is also about loosening our limbs and making our hearts beat that little bit faster. It’s a glorious way to exercise, to build upon our cognitive reserves, and can even help us to strengthen and sharpen our memory skills. Improved balance, increased energy, and a more intuitive connection with the bodily self – five rhythms can be a tour de force of creativity and connection. Whether you join a local five rhythm group, dance at home, or join an online group – the aim is to get moving.

Have you had any experience with Five Rhythms? Share in the comments.


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