Ecstatic Transformation: The 5 Rhythms Method

Feb 27, 2023
Ecstatic Transformation

 The body says what words cannot.

— Martha Graham

In the early 1970s, Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls told his student Gabrielle Roth to "come up with her own way of doing Gestalt therapy." Out of this directive, the 5 Rhythms were born. This revolutionary method of dance and self-expression has the potential to change your life. Here's what you need to know about the 5 Rhythms method.


Photo credit: Kyle Head @ Unsplash

The Five Rhythms

Flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness are the five rhythms that make up the 5 Rhythms method. They are all Modes of Communion that help us attune to different aspects of our lives. Each has a different emotional tone and tenor. Let's take a closer look at each one.

Flow is the first rhythm and is all about moving with the flow of energy. It's characterized by a feeling of ease and effortlessness. When we're in flow, we're in the zone and everything seems to come naturally. We're able to access our creativity and our intuition more easily. Flow is often associated with the element of water.

Staccato is the second rhythm and is all about taking concise actions with intention. It's sharp and focused. When we're in staccato, we're very present in what we're doing. We're not multitasking or letting our minds wander. We're fully focused on the task at hand. Staccato is often associated with the element of fire.

Chaos is the third rhythm and is all about exploring possibilities without attachment to any particular outcome. It's characterized by a feeling of freedom and spontaneity. When we're in chaos, we're open to whatever comes our way. We're not attached to any particular outcome or result. We're simply enjoying the moment for what it is. Chaos is often associated with the element of air.

Lyrical is the fourth rhythm and is all about moving freely and expressively without restrictions. It's fluid and flowing like a river. When we're in lyrical, we're in touch with our emotions and our creative side. We're able to express ourselves freely without judgment or self-criticism. Lyrical is often associated with the element of earth.

Stillness is the fifth rhythm and is all about centering ourselves in silence and stillness. It's characterized by a feeling of peace and tranquility. When we're in stillness, we're able to connect with our inner wisdom and guidance more easily. We can access a higher state of consciousness more easily when we're relaxed and free from distractions. Stillness is often associated with the element of ether or Spirit.



The 5 Rhythms method provides a framework for exploring different aspects of our lives through movement and self-expression. These rhythms can help us attune to different parts of ourselves so that we can experience more joy, creativity, intimacy, and peace. If you'd like to explore more about this transformational methodology, I highly recommend reading Gabrielle Roth's book "Maps to Ecstasy." This quote from Roth sums up the power of this work perfectly:

"The 5 rhythms are like a medicine wheel for the soul."

 Yes, indeed, Gabrielle, yes indeed.

Photo credit: Michael Williams II @ Unsplash

Sign up for our Newsletter

Keep up with our latest offerings and events. Stay connected with community.

No spam. Ever.