About 5 Rhythms®

The 5 Rhythms® is a movement meditation practice that contributes to physical,mental and emotional health.

Anyone can practice the 5 Rhythms® regardless of age, size or physical ability. There are no steps to follow, no way to do it wrong. The only requirement is a body that is breathing, a heart that is beating and mind that is curious!

The 5 Rhythms® are – Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, Stillness


Rivers flow along in a continuous stream of movement; day follows night as night follows day; trees allow their roots to spread out into the earth in order that they can grow up strong and well supported.

Flowing is a state of continuous movement, of being fluid, flexible and rooted.  Flowing movements are rounded and fluid with lots of curves and circles which have no definable beginnings or ends. It is the rhythm of being grounded, earthed and attuned to oneself and others.

In flowing we learn how to “go with the flow” and not to build our lives around resisting or wishing things were different. We  learn to tune into our own needs and instincts, knowing when we are tired, hungry, happy, sad, bored or lonely.

The shadow side of flowing is apathy, inertia and at its darkest, depression.


Rocks have shape, mountains rise up with confidence from the earth’s core, sunrises and sunsets fill the skies with fiery red glows.

Staccato is a percussive, pulsing beat. The movements are clear and definite and flexible.

Staccato is active, not just being, taking action, not just thinking about it.

Staccato knows our limits, draws boundaries, makes and keeps commitments.

Staccato is makes plans and carries them out. In staccato we have the confidence to state our opinions and to follow our heart’s desire.

Staccato supports us in being centred and paying focussed attention.

The shadow side of staccato is rigidity, being right all the time. At its worst it is the autocratic dictator.


Waves break as they come to the shore; waterfalls are created when water lets go down small and large cracks in the earth; leaves fall from the trees in the autumn as a way to allow new growth to happen.

When the rhythms of flowing and staccato collide they create the rhythm of chaos. Chaos embodies a deep sense of relaxation. We cannot ‘do’ chaos or use effort in chaos.

Chaos is about  letting go and emptying out, releasing whatever it is that holds us back from being  free spirits.

Chaos supports us to let go of people when they die, of relationships when they fall apart, of emotions when they threaten to destroy us, of thoughts when they sabotage us, and of memories when they hold us back.

In chaos we learn how to get beneath our logical, rational mind into our deep intuitive mind. It allows us to dance our own dance without being concerned with what others think of us. It is the gateway to real freedom.

The shadow side of chaos is confusion and at its worst, destruction.


Flowers appear in the cracks of rocks; light shines through clouds in wondrous formations; daffodils appear even on dull, dark windswept days.

Lyrical is the rhythm of air. It comes in the aftermath of chaos. If we truly let go in chaos of our physical resistance, our emotional baggage, our attachment to our thoughts we begin to lighten up and the rhythm of lyrical moves through our bodies. Lyrical movements are spacious, light and airy.

Lyrical is the rhythm where we learn the deep meaning of acceptance of the present moment and the profound joy that can come from that acceptance. We learn to make space for all that can happen in our lives without the need to control each experience. We learn the lessons of impermanence, where nothing stays the same for very long. We come to realise that the only thing we can rely on is change.

In the shadow side of lyrical, we run the risk of getting caught up in our fantasy or daydream or need to escape that we disconnect from our bodies and become spaced out.


The tree forms a perfect reflection in the still water; silence allows the inherent sounds of nature e.g. bird song, to be clearly heard;.

Stillness is the rhythm of slowing down, pausing, stopping. We focus our attention on the ebb and flow of our breath and the beat of our heart. We learn to explore the silence within and without. We access the lessons of stillness: wisdom, compassion and empathy.

Stillness is the rhythm where we truly ‘see’. We stop so we can feel our feelings, hear our thoughts  and see how we are actually living our lives. It is the gateway to resting.

The shadow side of stillness is being numb, cold and cut off from our feelings and life force.