Kathy Altman

We are continuing our series on the practice of 5Rhythms – a moving meditation, a dance without steps; a practice introduced in the early 1970s by Gabrielle Roth. We invite you for an insightful conversation with a long-time 5Rhythms practitioner, Kathy Altman.

As Co-Director of The Moving Center School, Kathy was the first person asked to help Gabrielle bring her work out into the world. Over the past 20 years Kathy’s teaching has brought thousands of people back to the joy of their own, original movement. Using dance as the medium, Kathy illuminates for her students “as on the dance floor, so in life”. She is devoted to inspiring people to live the teachings of presence, patience and practice long after the music ends.

In this episode, we touch upon the following topics:

  • 5Rhythms as a spiritual discipline
    • Most people medicate (drink), rather than meditate
    • “I’m just a <qualifier>” – we are bigger than that
    • It takes great discipline to move with our emotions rather than freeze
  • Practices for embracing emotions
    • Recognize them as energy, not a static thing
    • Let it in, let it through, let it out
  • Fear of your own greatness
  • How can this practice help us understand our reason for living?
    • Learning to connect, despite of everything else. Err on the side of liveness, connection.
    • Can I dance in a group of complete originals, just like me?
    • Three types of relationships – to myself, to another, and to the community
  • Naming the rhythms
    • Flowing – a grounded way of moving without stopping. No manipulation; following the needs and desires of the body in motion.
    • Staccato – start to organize. Having a clear beginning, middle, and end to our movements. Finding natural physical boundaries. Moving with no force, but lots of power.
    • Chaos – mind, and its watery nature. It’s where the build-up starts to crash, and we cannot control the uncontrollable.
    • Lyrical – where things re-pattern themselves, bigger than we could have imagined. Let go of letting go, and see what remains. Discovering our own patterns, as opposed to the external patterns that shape us (as in Staccato).
    • Stillness – the “dessert” after the “meal”. Being.