02/11/2010 15:57 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

5 Rhythms: Meditation On The Dance Floor

Like the idea of meditation being more like clubbing than a monk-like endurance test? You need to know about 5 Rhythms. It rocks.

Flickr: gnuckx

Imagine up to a 100 people dancing their tooshes off to great tunes for 1.5 hours. And all without the usual sexual games and competition - "does she look better than me? Does he fancy me?" It's just you dancing your stress away, your emotions supported by a big group of likeminded others doing exactly the same.

This is 5Rhythms - the most popular social meditation in the UK. Think of it as transformative group therapy, meditation and a great night out in one.

Created by musician and master dancer Gabrielle Roth , 5 Rhythms is brilliant for mindfully releasing conscious and unconscious tension in the body, heart and mind. (And getting a bit sweaty while you're at it!) For some people, it provides a lifetime of self discovery and awakening.

The 5 rhythms of life

Flowing, stacatto, chaos, lyrical, and stillness - the five rhythms are danced in turn in a sequence called a wave, and guided by an accredited instructor who usually also plays the role of DJ.

Chloe de Souza regularly attracts up to 80 dancers to her women-only 5Rhythms evenings in a cavernous old church in London. She explains: "Each rhythm has its own feel and your body responds accordingly. For example, in flow you can really be with yourself, introspective or grounded.

In staccato you can get fiery and straight to the point, while the chaos stage is fantastic for shaking it [your stress] all out and letting rip!

Lyrical allows you to be playful, leading to stillness, where you can move deeper into whatever's there for you in the moment, whether it be a body prayer, emptiness, joy, tears, whatever."

Perhaps what heals and brings people back the most is that there's no right or wrong. Whatever you're feeling - shy, awkward, stressed, upset, giggly - and however you're moving or not moving is welcome. You're accepted just the way you are.

I always leave calmer, mentally emptier, and more in my heart than when I arrived. I'm always wonderfully knackered, too! It's a work- and clear out on every level.

To find a 5Rhythms class near you, click on 'Teachers' at The majority of 5Rhythms classes and workshops in the UK are in the capital. For a list of London waves, visit