5 RHYTHMS MOVEMENT & AURA-SOMA
For a number of years I have been attending ongoing movement workshops. I originally became involved by accident (and we all know there are no accidents!). I had attended a weekend on the Celtic Goddesses which I expected would be explored through art. We began with some movement. I threw myself into it expecting it to last only 5 -10 minutes at most. After 2 ½ hours we were still moving and I was exhausted. It eventually dawned on me this was a MOVEMENT workshop and I had 1 ½ days to go! By lunch time I was ready for the grave and had decided to go home as soon as I told the facilitator. Luckily the session in the afternoon started on the floor so I stayed. 2 hours into it the facilitator introduced a rhythm which she called the Child. Out of nowhere I began to move with great energy in a particularly mad way which I used to do as a child and which I loved. I often ran all the way to school like this and enjoyed it immensely. I was stunned by the energy and enthusiasm which emerged, all aches and pains forgotten. I realised there was something happening I could not explain.
Subsequently I sought out a movement workshop called the 5 Rhythms (and also the Wave) to attend regularly. This was developed in the US by Gabrielle Roth. I know a number of other people involved with Aura-Soma also attend these types of workshops. The 5 rhythms involved are Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness. During a workshop one moves through them all in sequence and it feels like a Wave of movement/energy building to a climax and then becoming still. I have personally experienced this as being on the shore - at the end, in stillness, it is a question of what has been washed up on the shore after the Wave has receded?
While attending the Intermediate training in Aura-Soma we had been working with numerology and I thought the first 5 numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4) shared a lot in common with the themes of the 5 Rhythms. Someone requested me to facilitate a session around this. While I am no expert either on numerology or movement, I am in the habit of creatively experimenting with the unexpected and so I had a go at this for the group.
At first we warmed up using Roth's "Bodyparts" tapes. Then we went through each movement with appropriate music (which is usually played very loudly) connecting to the main themes of the numbers and rhythms. What emerged was:
0 - FLOWING: when we are unconsciously attached to the world, we feel connected to the world, comfortable with what is familiar, regardless of whether it makes us happy. We connect in circles, the connection is in darkness, we are unaware of what is beneath, the deep mystery out of which all things come. Spiritual Rescue, Royal Blue and Deep Magenta.
1 - STACCATO: Staccata is definite, moves in straight lines, it is the masculine principle. It begins to assert itself out of the circle. It is the beginning of "I Am", the dawn of a new creation. It has a sense of deliberately getting the energy up, of "get out of my way, I am going somewhere". Physical Rescue, Blue and Deep Magenta.
2 - CHAOS: Chaos is not without pattern, it is a matter of finding the pattern within it and then it can be maintained indefinitely creating a stillness that is unexpected. 1 is joined by another, the feminine principle. It creates conflict and raises the energy further. It brings the possibility of creation. Peace, Blue.
3- LYRICAL: In Lyrical we are uninhibitedly creative. The lyrical is the child within, what has been created, the third which has arisen out of the 1 & 2. It is creative and original, light, fresh and enthusiastic. The Heart, Blue and Green
4 - STILLNESS: Stability and form. Sunlight, Yellow and Gold. A return to the 0 with what has been left on the shore. This in turn will become the 5th, the quintessence, what has been distilled from the experience, transcending the limitations of 4. And so the Wave will repeat itself in the future with another forward movement, each time bringing more out of the dark, moving more into what it is to be human.
Catriona Ni Ghiollaphadraic teaches the 5 Rhythms throughout Ireland. She can be contacted at Finnisglen, Recess, Co. Galway.