I recently attended a Tyler Tolman workshop where he introduced us to the ‘5 Tibetan Rites’. This is a set of 5 yoga style moves that stimulate the entire endocrine system and is great to add to your morning ritual or ‘self love’ practices.
The Five Tibetan Rites is also known as the "Fountain of Youth," because this practice effectively strengthens and stretches all the main muscles in your body.
Having done this for a few weeks now, I love how it warms the body up and gets your energy moving. The nature of the moves gets you breathing deeply and fully which is great to do early in the morning to oxygenate your cells as well as detox when you breathe out. Tyler instructed us to do 5 rounds of 21 reps of each of the rites, you can do 7 or 14 and build up to 21 when getting started (7 is significant to the 7 chakras).
They 5 rites only take 10 minutes and can be done on their own or I do them as warm up before a strength training, yoga or qigong session. It is best to play around and see what works for you or even if you feel a difference in your day. It is worth doing for a week and you be the judge. Remember, the focus is on how it feels and works for you.
So what are the Five Tibetans?
They are the 5 movements of rejuvenation, yogic exercises said to be over 2500 years old. Each exercise stimulates a particular hormonal system and revitalises certain organs. These are also known as ‘The fountain of youth’, credited with the ability to heal the body, balance the chakras and reverse the raging process. The secret is to practice for 10 minutes each day, every day. It is the small habits we do every day that shape our destiny, the small succession of actions we do each day that carry us on our path, our success journey through life.
The sequence is a simple yet incredibly, even deceptively powerful one that creates a dynamic energetic effect in the body increasing the flow of prana or chi up the spine and through the chakras, energising every cell in your body.
According to the Tibetan lamas, the only difference between youth and old age is the spin rate of the chakras (the body’s seven major energy centres).This specific routine is said by lamas to stimulate all seven chakras to spin rapidly at the same rate.
“The Five Tibetans is simple, practical, effective and certainly mind/body altering. If you would love to become rejuvenated, remain calm, feel more vitality, be more flexible and simply look your absolute best, then now there is a new way to experience a greater state of wellbeing that takes just minutes a day, but lasts a lifetime.” … Dr. John F. Demartini
How to practice the Five Tibetans
Stand erect with arms strong, outstretched and horizontal with the shoulders. Now spin around in a clockwise direction, focus on a spot in front of you so that you can count your rotations. You can employ a ballet-like technique of keeping your eyes on one spot and then returning to that spot when you turn your head in a full revolution.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you do the spins.
To loose the dizzy feeling when finished, I close my eyes and visualise while moving my arms, gathering up earth energy, taking a long slow breath in and
move the breath and energy upwards to the sky feeling my body grounded to the earth and my inner energy expand into space above. One or two breaths doing this does the trick.
Lie flat on your back on the floor. I lie on a towel folded over a few times to cushion my back. Fully extend your arms along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor. If you have lower back issues, place your fingers underneath your sacrum. As you inhale, raise your head off the floor, tucking your chin into your chest. Simultaneously lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, extend your legs over your body toward your head. Then slowly exhale, lowering your legs and head to the floor, keeping your knees straight and your big toes together.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs, and exhale as you lower them.
Kneel on the floor with the body erect. Again I use a towel folded to kneel on. 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 fold the the head and neck backward, arching the spine. Your toes should be curled under through this exercise. 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.
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. Place your palms on the floor alongside your sit bones. (I experiment with hands facing forwards, out or backwards, you will also feel different stretches in your wrists) As you gently drop your head back, raise your torso so that your knees bend while your arms remain straight. You are basically in a table-top position. Slowly return to your original sitting position. Rest for a few seconds before repeating this rite.
Breathing: Breathe in as you rise up into the pose, hold your breath as you tense your muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.
Kinda like downward dog. Lie down on your belly with your palms face down and in line with your chest. Press up into an upward-facing dog by curling your toes under, lifting your heart, and drawing your shoulders back. Your arms should be straight. Look straight ahead of you, or if you are a little more flexible, gently draw your head back, taking your eyes toward the sky. Then draw your hips up and back, extending your spine, into downward-facing dog pose. Repeat by moving back and forth between downward- and upward-facing dog. I sometimes alternate with ‘cobra’ forward movement to work my shoulders and triceps more and feel more invigorated.
Breathing: Breathe in as your rise up into upward-facing dog; breath out as you push back into downward-facing dog.