by OneDanceTribe

Silence in practice by Adam Barley

When I was first getting into the 5Rhythms I was living in a converted van, so my practice often happened in forests or on mountains where I was parked up. There were no evening classes to be found anywhere either, so I had to figure it out for myself. Coming from ten years of sitting watching my breath for an hour a day, it came naturally to me to move in silence anyway, and I still love it. There’s a silence inside our breath that’s easier to pay attention to when there’s no music, as well as there being nothing to guide us except our inner landscape, so these aspects of the practice are actually easier – to move within the emptiness of the breath and from the fullness of the body. Less distractions.
It’s also great for home practice in the midst of busy lives because you can have a productive session in as little as ten or twenty minutes, and you can practice before the kids are up without disturbing anyone!!
Of course it’s more difficult in some ways too: you’ll be faced with your own psyche more nakedly, so your weaknesses, lack of focus and discipline, and mental confusion will all be more apparent. That’s all good stuff to work with though. If you’re uninspired it can be tough, but if you find your way through that blindspot, you’re really onto something.
Some possible guidelines for practice without music:
– work with any or all of the rhythms, or the body-parts meditation
– or just throw out the maps and simply move, curious as to what arises and where you go
– pay close attention to the natural flow of your body and be disciplined enough to follow it
– remember it’s OK to move on purpose, to change what feels ‘natural’ on purpose and just try something different, throwing yourself out of a rut
– move with your breath, and breathe with your moves
– music provides focus, so without that it can be great to add a particular focus, such as going through a whole wave following one part of your body (e.g. a part that hurts, or is unusually energized), or going through all the rhythms within one rhythm, or just working with one rhythm in an unusual way e.g. expansive, or slow
– allow the possibility of your movement being very different to what you’re used to in a class or with music
– stay alert to what your ‘blocks’ are: you may find yourself in a phase of being very lethargic, or bored, or spaced out….. what’s going on? Can you find the root? Find out by going in: go into the state you’re experiencing as a dance. Go into it until you find the emotion underneath, then let that move. Keep going in until you come through. ‘Difficulties’ are likely to become the breakthrough point of your session.


Adam came across the 5Rhythms® in ’88 from a background of meditation and encounter groups. He began studying in ’91, teaching in ‘93, and had 5 years of mentoring with Gabrielle to teach the Heartbeat level of her work. 

“I have faith in us human beings, and am passionately committed to being part of the evolutionary jump we are engaged in. I am dedicated to helping the 5Rhythms unfold their extraordinary potential for awakening, which I believe has barely begun. I’m a rock and roll monk with a love of depth, and a clear, honest, uncompromising teaching style.”


About OneDanceTribe
OneDanceTribe is an international community of people practicing conscious movement as a pathway for personal and global transformation. It is a portal to a unified field where teachers and dancers of different modalities and walks of life come together to celebrate the power of Moving as One.
Silence in practice by Adam Barley