Julie Forsey writes…
Sometimes when we have been through a crisis, it can be more than we can deal with and we are left with feelings of sadness, fear, anger or depression. The 5Rhythms™ provides a gentle and effective framework for processing and releasing trauma from our bodies and from our minds – the effect of the trauma just lifts off, leaving us free and unencumbered.
So whether it is something that has happened to us – a physical injury, or a crisis situation we have been involved in, or whether it is a more distant source of stress such as seeing TV footage of a major disaster on the other side of the world, then we can release the trauma through our dance, so that it no longer distresses us.
I remember one day at work in Edinburgh, I was involved in the care of a man who collapsed unexpectedly and sadly died. Everything was done that could have been done, but to no avail. That night at the local 5Rhythms class I danced out my grief, my frustration, my feelings of powerlessness in a dance that was so intense and strong, releasing all of these feelings so that I did not carry them over into my life and into my work.
How much we all need a practice like this!
The Inner Wave provides a framework to support us in recovering from a traumatic experience. It allows the body to soften and open releasing anything that we have not processed, anything that we have been holding on to. It is a very gentle process, and yet very deep and powerful. In a sense this is what 5Rhythms is all about, this is what we do in one way or another every time we step onto the dance floor and are carried by the Wave.
Here are some notes to help you practice at home. Choose a time and place where you feel comfortable and safe, where you won’t be interrupted and can relax into the process.
Suggestion for music: Endless Waves Vol 1 by Gabrielle Roth, or create your own Wave from your favourite music, lasting about 30 minutes. Start with a Body Parts meditation, bringing all parts of your body into movement, gently ‘listening’ or feeling in to each part of the body, and allowing it to move as it wants to, allowing it to tell its story.
Softening, Grounding, letting your weight down,
Sensing how you are feeling at the moment, and accepting yourself however you are. Noticing the places in your body that are most in movement and allowing them to lead your dance. Allow the movement to be different from how you would ‘normally’ dance Flowing, let go of the outer form of the 5Rhythms, and let your dance arise from within.
Bringing what you are feeling into expression
Whatever part of you wants to move, whatever feeling is being expressed, give it full permission, give it your full attention and get yourself completely behind it,
Be completely committed to your dance whether it wants to be big or small.
There may be a lot of energy or power coming through in your movement, and you may feel anger. This is really useful for putting a boundary back in place. When the body is injured there is a breach of our physical integrity, and Staccato helps us to heal that breach and come back into wholeness.
Releasing down, Letting go
Shaking loose any last places that are holding tension or ‘holding on’.
Allow yourself to surrender to your dance, follow the thread of your own movement, let your dance be big or small, high energy or a more internal shaking and releasing.
It is our intention that guides us through Chaos.
You may feel sorrow, there may be tears, let them release without holding onto any story that might come with them, they are just meltwater from a part of you that is thawing out.
Aaah! After releasing you have more freedom in your movement, enjoy exploring new ways of dancing, let it be creative, expressive, playful. Allow yourself to lighten up physically and also emotionally.
You may notice a sense of relief, or joy, or there may be a mixture of feelings – allow it all to be there.
As your dance slows down, allow your body to pause in still shapes, just as it wants to. While you rest in each shape, receive any message or insight that arises, and allow the shape to dissolve into movement until another still shape arises.
This is a time of assimilation of everything that has gone before in the dance, allow any last ripples of movement to come into expression, completing your dance with kindness and gentleness to yourself. Give yourself some time to integrate and assimilate the experience.
From Stillness, the dance leads into flowing as we begin the Wave again, either on the dance floor or as you take the experience out into your life.