As women, we are not encouraged to take up space. Our culture praises us for being thin and lightweight. With this conditioning, it be can be challenging to find a way to connect with our own sense of knowing and power.
The music begins and bodies start swaying, moving side to side, forward and back. Our teacher, Lucia Horan (luciahoran.com), instructs us to feel our feet. She guides us to connect with gravity through the full weight of our bodies. “Feel the energy of the earth connecting through ‘bubbling spring’; where your arch meets the ball of your foot,” she calls as we begin to move around the room.
I am exploring the 5Rhythms dance with a group of twenty women from around the world. We are in the yoga shala at Lumeria, and the space is filled with natural light and powerful music. It’s our first day together, and there is a sense of curiosity, both with each other, and with this movement. Horan, who grew up with the 5Rhythms and creator Gabrielle Roth, moves effortlessly around the room, shifting seamlessly through the bodies.
We are dancing the first rhythm, which is called flowing. Sinking into our full weight, and harnessing the power of our breath at the same time, allows for a fluid form of movement around the room. “Flowing is about giving yourself the permission to return to your own intuitive nature,” insists Horan, “it’s a state of being, not a dance we do.”
Horan explains that in order to harness your full power, you must be able to feel your full weight. Finding power in movement, and in life, requires grounding. If you’re not feeling your feet and connecting to the earth, you will be off-balance, and unable to access your power. Culturally, we don’t tend to embrace our full weight as women, so there is a tendency to move lightly, often with our heels disconnected from the earth.
As we begin to move the full weight of ourselves around the room, there is a shift in the energy. Each woman in the room explores her own connection with what it feels like to really breathe into her weight, to use it as a source of power. Horan guides us to take up more space, to widen our steps, which is, again, a shift in how many of us normally walk through our days.
We feel our way into this movement. The flow of momentum from one foot to the other; the flow of breath. I feel that sense of knowing that inhabits this space of inner connection. I am able to access a filling up and a filling out into my full physical self. I do feel powerful. It feels like that power that we all want: the power to be present, the power to know our truth, the power to move with the rhythm that life is moving at.
We have this power available to us at all times. Gravity is a constant companion. We can learn to lean into it, to allow each step to ground us in the present moment, and to fill ourselves with the energy of the earth. With each step, feel your weight. With each moment, notice your breath.