Dancing Dialogue: Gestalt Therapy and 5Rhythms by Helena Kallner

January 20, 2014

Below is a beautiful piece written by 5Rhythms student & Gestalt Psychotherapist Helena Kallner. It was printed in the British Gestalt Journal.

Gabrielle Roth, founder of the 5Rhythms dance and movement meditation practice, died of lung cancer in October 2012, at the age of seventy-one. Gabrielle was a dancer, author, teacher, artist, mother and a musician – with a special interest in shamanism and healing. Her work is practised by thousands of people all over the world, and her institute ‘The moving centre school’ has certified over 300 teachers. Gabrielle was very much inspired by Gestalt, which is evident in her work. In this text I will briefly introduce you to Gabrielle, the 5Rhythms, my experience of the work, and links I make to Gestalt.

‘Do you have the discipline to be free?’

Heavy snow is falling over the winter-cold city. It has already been dark for hours; I am tired after a day at work and very tempted to go home. But, I don’t. There is a 5Rhythms class this evening and my love for dance calls me. The music is already playing as I enter the room, it smells rich of incense, and candles meet me with a warm light. All around are people warming up, gently moving their bodies – stretching, softening. I take a deep breath, and I drop into myself – as if I could feel my bones, my joints and my muscles. Feeling into how I want to move right there, right then. I follow my breath, trusting that I will find my dance. Trusting that I will surprise myself, and knowing that no matter how I feel myself now I will feel different, be different, after a few hours of sweating and moving with the music and the beat of other dancers.

I surrender myself to the dance.

I first met the 5Rhythms in a Gestalt therapy group about thirteen years ago. Then, I felt sceptical to begin with. During a life crisis my way to cope had been, like for many others, to make a split between ‘me’ and ‘my body’. Movement at that time meant extreme exercise, and noticing my body in therapeutic settings was synonymous with pain, shame, demands, and struggle. But that morning in the therapy group I discovered something new. As the music started we were gently guided to notice our different body parts, and invited just to pay attention to our movements and the beat. Surprised, I found myself relaxing, curiously exploring how I wanted to move my spine, my knees, my hips, my hands, my arms . . . I felt playful and curious. No one asked me to ‘feel’ or ‘do’ anything with my movements….READ MORE

British Gestalt Journal.

“I believe that movement is our first language, and that movement is our primary support for all contacting. The Rhythms offers me a vocabulary within this language, that helps me to listen, sense, feel, explore, communicate and express myself in relation to others, myself and all that is around me. Through the Rhythms I have also found a community, a worldwide family of dancers. For all this I am always and ever grateful”.
~ Helena Kallner.

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