Beat Medicine

I am sure you know the feeling when at times your thoughts get too loud and overwhelming and your head is spinning. For me that often happens when a person or a situation triggers me. My reaction and related thoughts take over the present moment and send me for a spin.

I have done years of sitting meditation and know how to direct my attention onto my breath or a mantra / concentration. I know how to chant and how to do Ujjayi breathing. And sometimes none of that helps. My thoughts take me for a ride if I want to or not. I call it my “head of hell”.

Gabrielle Roth, the founder of the 5Rhythms practice taught me about rhythms and beats. Beat medicine to be exact. “The fastest way to quiet the mind is to move the body,” she taught, how to surrender oneself to the rhythms of life: flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness.

Rhythm is our mother tongue. The easiest way to enter them is to dance … to bring our whole bodies into motion, to connect with our essence and to surrender to the beat. The beat helps us to anchor ourselves into the present moment. It is only alive in the NOW.

On those days when the voices in my head get loud and annoying, I find a song with a seductive beat and offer myself to it. It is a prayer … “Please take me” I whisper. I let my body meet the beat, my hands, my shoulders, my hips, my feet. It helps me shift from thinking into sensing, from planning or judging into presence. The thoughts begin to quiet, the pulsing of my dancing body takes over and leaves me with a sense of aliveness and gratitude to be here.

I invite you to join me at The Haven, July 6-9 for Body, Breath and Beat, to dive into beat medicine together and to drop below the voices of the mind into states of enhanced awareness and freedom.


Bettina Rothe is passionate about bringing community together to co-create sacred space in which she invites conscious embodiment and heart centred intimacy. As a somatic coach and licensed 5Rhythms® dance teacher, she draws from a variety of healing movement arts, psychology, meditation, and shamanic practices. She has been teaching workshops internationally since 1998. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

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