Interview with Amber Ryan
Can you tell us something about how your relationship with 5Rhythms began, how did it develop, has it changed and where is it now?
My relationship began when a theatre teacher of mine handed me Gabrielle's book saying, 'I think you should read this." She knew that my way in to my acting roles was through movement. Her instincts were right on. As I started to read the book there was such a strong resonance, an excitement that lit me up from the inside, and a feeling of a deep returning home. After relocating to California a few months later, I dove in head first and attended Gabrielle's first month long offering.
I was relatively young when I began to practice, so in a way, I have come into maturity through this practice, surrounded by the incredible people of the tribe as my elders and guides. I was overwhelmed with purpose and direction when Gabrielle suggested that I should move to NYC to do theatre with her there. The course of my life changed with that invitation.
I feel now, after 15 years of practice and close proximity to the source, the maps of the rhythms are my mirror, my language, my teachers, and my ally. These days, I feel deep honor to share what was passed to me with all whom are ready to drink from the deep well of these maps that are well integrated within me.
I have seen myself shift from needing the rhythm of chaos in my youth, having such a wild and full on dance, to loving and craving the all encompassing energy field of stillness. I would stay that is one of the most evident shifts in my personal practice.
What is your biggest challenge in your personal practice of 5Rhythms?
I suppose sometimes it is quite simply just showing up for it. I am on the road alot and with groups of people alot, so when I arrive to a home space some times I just want to be there in my own space, to be quiet, to be still. Aside from that, I would say partnerships are still challenging for me at times, because I feel I have so much to dance with within myself that unless the partnership is completely organic and integrated, I would rather dance with myself in the collective field, rather than in
partnership in the group. So dancing in partnership remains my challenge.
Can you tell us something about the workshop‚ 'Breath of the One' (and about the evening class 'Presence')?
Many years ago, I had a visionary dream, and in that dream the concepts and practices that we as 5Rhythms students understand to be our "tribal work" were so integrated, organic and effortless, that we all began to fly. The dream inspired me to focus on this part of the work, to play with it, and develop it. So very simply, we will be taking a journey that will guide us into a space of such deep intuitive interconnectivity that we will hopefully have a glimpse of the experience of truly becoming 'One.' Presence is the first step into that. Without presence there is no where to go.
How would you invite people who never experienced the 5Rhythms to this workshop. What would you say?
I would invite them to get to some classes as soon as possible, and to attend "Presence", as Breath of the One is a workshop experience where the foundation of the 5Rhythms practice needs to be intact. And for those who are interested and curious about the 5Rhythms who have never stepped in, simply that the hardest part is to get there. To move past all the reasons
of why not, into allowing the curiosity to help them cross the threshold.
Interview by Stefanie Maddens (a big thank you Stefanie!), who is a 5 Rhythms teacher in training herself and wants to add this:
"I love to work with Amber. Amber's deep knowledge of the rhythms underpins the simplicity of her teaching. She has a unique gift to create a safe space to dive in deep to explore known and unknown territories. She teaches with strength, simplicity and clarity but keeps bringing a refreshing perspective and rich vitality to the Rhythms."