Awakening my body, Awakening my soul

I feel sad tonight. I found out Gabrielle Roth passed away. It’s a bit weird when I think about it.

She’s the creator of 5Rhythms and to be honest, up until about 6 months ago I hated it. My old flatmate Kristie use to go to 5Rhythms full moon dancing in London each month and her Facebook updates about it sounded a bit woo-woo but still … they intrigued me enough to give it a try.

So last year I went twice. And twice I hated it. I felt bored. Didn’t really enjoy it. The whole thing of women just going nuts dancing in a church (yes a church) during the full moon just felt a bit odd really.

Different levels of feeling
And then after I attended Eli Buren’s workshop in May (it changed my life), I realised how much time I spend living in my head. Analysing my thoughts and feelings. I realised how foreign it is for me to feel my body. And I’m not referring to “I feel angry” … “I feel sad” because the guys I work with know I’m quite good at that : ) I’m referring to … when I walk down the road to buy a pint of milk, can I feel my body as I’m walking. That’s a whole different level of feeling and requires a whole different skill.

So I decided I wanted to get out of my head and back into my body. I love dancing so it sounded like the perfect vehicle.

So I gave 5Rhythms another go. This time without judgement. My only intention was to feel my body and to dance into whatever I could feel (even if that meant not much).

Finding my dancing body
And boy, with my new intention and improved no-judgement attitude things really changed the ‘second’ time round. The session was lead by Julie Rose who is based in Cornwell and damn she was so good I’m considering going to Cornwell just to attend another one of her sessions (the full moon dancing in London is led by different teachers).

I went home that night after Julie’s session and went to Gabrielle Roth’s website, listened to the song “Eternal Dance”, purchased it, downloaded it and I’ve been dancing to that song for the last 6 months! The beat and rhythm gets me right into my hips and body.

It sounds a bit dramatic but that song has had such a profound impact on me, in the way I feel, relate to and move my body.

So much so that when I heard Gabrielle Roth passed away I was genuinely moved and saddened by it. She’s responsible for connecting so many women (and men) around the world to their bodies and their hearts.

A legacy beyond this dimension
She started the 5Rhythms movement in the 1960s and dedicated over 50 years to teaching and sharing the power of movement and dance to heal ones body and soul. Seeing and feeling her legacy on this planet makes me really wonder what the hell I’m contributing to the world … and that maybe it’s time to consciously contribute something worthwhile. *sigh*

Dance in peace Gabrielle Roth.
(San Francisco February 4, 1941 – New York October 22, 2012)

“For me, being rooted means finding my feet, rocking in the rhythm of the world beat. When we dance, we wake up, we get down and juicy with ourselves, we have fun and forget all the heavy shit we carry around. In the dance we get real, get free, get over ourselves. Movement kicks ass.

When you truly surrender to your own rhythm, you look so cool, so mysterious, so seductive-the way you deep down really want to look but don’t trust that you do.”
– From “Connections”

“Movement is the movement of change. In my experience, if you put your psyche in motion it will heal itself. Movement is the medicine. Each of us has the power and responsibility to heal ourselves, to be our own medicine man or woman. Awakening our innate powers of being, loving, knowing, seeing and healing involves ongoing work at all levels and in all dimensions of our self. In your deepest center, you are the stillpoint. You are the rhythm beyond stillness, the feeling beyond compassion, the sexual energy beyond celibacy, the life force beyond death, the vibration beyond inspiration. The moving center is within you.”
– From “Maps to Ecstasy”

Gabrielle Roth in her “Waves” and “Heartbeat” teachers trainings
Image from

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2 Responses to “Awakening my body, Awakening my soul”
  1. Fi Ivin says:

    I have loved reading a couple of your blogs today. Not been here for a while . You use language in a beautiful evocative way that catches the heart strings and tugs to make one take note. And you have access to beautiful people with interesting stories – how rich is that! Thank you for sharing.x

  2. Tennille says:

    Hi Thao,

    What a fantastic, real, honest blog I have come across here! I have flitted around your David Deida post, your engagement page, your vimeo vid on your work and have enjoyed what I have read so far.

    I have just finished reading this post on 5 Rhythms, which I also recently discovered myself. What has lead me to comment is when at the end of your post you said… “Seeing and feeling her legacy on this planet makes me really wonder what the hell I’m contributing to the world … and that maybe it’s time to consciously contribute something worthwhile. *sigh*”

    What are you contributing to the world? Firstly, you are sharing your amazing talents of photography, creativity and writing with the world through this blog and through your work. This is much more of a contribution than many people do because you ARE following and sharing your heart and though that, you are inspiring the world (and me ;)! This IS something worthwhile. The talent you show and share, the stories and moments in time you capture with your clients, the words you write and the insights you gain for yourself and others, are contributing more than you realise. I don’t believe that contributing something worthwhile has to mean it needs to be on a large, public scale. I believe people that are simply following the calling of their heart and share it with the world are consciously and unconsciously contributing something worthwhile – whether that be Gabrielle Roth style or your own amazing way.

    So, keep on shining and sharing sista!!! It’s exactly what the world needs, so they to can create a life they LOVE from their own hearts.

    Love Tennille 🙂

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