The Five Tibetan Rites
I sat next to a lovely lady after golf the other day and we got chatting about fitness amongst other things and she told me to look up the 5 Tibetan Rites. She explained a bit about them and said they were five yoga-esque moves that are great for keeping your body in shape when you have limited time or space.
Sounds great doesn’t it? It turns out these could well be “super moves”, known to deter the signs of ageing so sometimes referred to as the Fountain of Youth and I want to share them with you.
The Five Tibetan Rites are a form of Tibetan yoga, said to be over 2,500 years old. They take between 5-25 minutes depending on how many times you repeat each exercise.
A book by Peter Kelder claims many benefits of these exercises including:
Improved physical strength and coordination
Reduction in the speed of ageing
Relief from joint pain and arthritis
Improved sense of wellbeing
Improved emotional and mental health
Sleep more soundly
I want some of that so let’s begin……
There are 5 exercises. You begin on day 1 by doing 3 repetitions (reps) of each exercise.
Then on day 2 you add 2 reps, so a total of 5 reps for each exercise.
Then continue to add on 2 each day and build up slowly to a maximum of 21 reps.
There is no rush, it’s a lifelong practice so listen to your body, don’t force or strain anything. If you need to stay at 5 reps for a couple of days that’s fine, YOU ARE IN CONTROL!
If you haven’t done any exercise for a while I suggest doing exercises 1 to 3 for a week or two before attempting 4 & 5.
I have been doing these every morning as I get up and they really do get the body ready for the day. Sometimes I only do 7 or 9 reps as a warm up before my main exercise session, and other days I manage the whole 21 reps.
Always consult a medical professional before commencing exercise if you have any health issues.
Rite 1 – Clockwise spin
Stand tall with arms outstretched horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Your arms should be in line with your shoulders. Spin around clockwise slowly until you become slightly dizzy. Gradually increase the number of spins from 3 spin to 21 spins.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you do the spins.
Rite 2 – Leg Raise
Lie flat on the floor, face up. Fully extend your arms along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor. Raise your head off the floor tuck your chin into your chest. As you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, extend the legs over the body towards your head. Do not let the knees bend. Then slowly lower the legs and head to the floor, always keeping the knees straight. Allow the muscles to relax, and repeat.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs and exhale as you lower your head and legs.
Rite 3 – Kneeling Backbend
Kneel on the floor with the body erect. The hands should be placed on the backs of your thigh muscles. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking your chin in against your chest. Then throw the head and neck backward, arching the spine. Your toes should be curled under through this exercise (unlike mine in this photo!). As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the thighs for support. After the arching return your body to an erect position and begin the rite all over again.
Breathing: Inhale as you arch the spine and exhale as you return to an erect position.
Rite 4 – Table Top
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12″ apart. With the trunk of the body erect, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside your buttocks. Then tuck the chin forward against the chest. Now drop the head backward as far as it will go. At the same time raise your body so that the knees bend while the arms remain straight. Then tense every muscle in your body. Finally let the muscles relax as you return to your original sitting position. Rest before repeating.
Breathing: Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down
Rite 5 – Pendulum
Lie down with your face down to the floor. Place hands palms down against the floor and the toes curled under. Throughout this rite, the hands and feet should be kept straight. Push up so your arms are straight and the spine is arched and the body is in a sagging position. Now throw the head back as far as possible. Then bend at the hips to bring the body up into an inverted “V”. At the same time, bring the chin forward, Tucking it against the chest
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, and exhale fully as you lower the body.
Let me know how you go on if you give these a go 🙂