I know that none of us ever have time for anything these days and that time is precious indeed. Living a fast paced life as we do, affects our stress levels, without us always realising it and in turn affecting every aspect of our health. I don’t always have time to do a full yoga lesson every day and when I am short on time I practice the ancient practice of the Tibetan Monks called The Five Tibetans. These take around 20 min per day, relatively easy to do, easy to remember and can dramatically increase our physical strength and suppleness as well as mental vision. It is so energising and invigorating , I absolutely love doing this practice. It gives me energy , allows me to continue my yoga practice when I don’t have much time and helps to keep me centred.
In 1985, a book called The Ancient Secret of Fountain of Youth written by Peter Kelder was published and which for the first time fully described an exercise ‘youthing’ program. This program has been used for many years by Tibetan Monks in order to live a long and vibrant life. The author goes on to provide many examples of the benefits of The Five Tibetan Rites including looking much younger, sleeping better, waking up energised and refreshed, release from serious medical problems including difficulties with spines, relief from problems with joints, better memory weight loss, improved vision , improved emotional and mental health , improved physical strength and the list goes on.
How the Five Rites work
The Tibetan monks teach that this system affects the mind, body and emotions. They work on the nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems of our body.The Five Rites attract the Universal energy into our body balancing the 7 Chakras which promote the free flow of prana revitalizing our body and mind. Regular practice of these exercises relieves muscular tension and nervous stress, improves respiration and digestion, benefits the cardiovascular system and leads to deep relaxation and well-being.
This works on your inner ear and your balance. This practice is great for fighting ageing.
Stand erect with arms outstretched horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Your arms should be in line with your shoulders. Spin around clockwise until you become slightly dizzy. Gradually increase number of spins from 1 spin to 21 spins.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you do the spins.
This practice strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the internal organs. It also strengthens the digestive system and lower back.
Lie flat on the floor, on your back. Fully extend your arms Along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor, keeping fingers close together. Then raise your head off the floor tucking 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 21 times .
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs and exhale as you lower your head and legs.
This practice is very beneficial for the digestive and reproductive systems. It stretches the stomach and the intestines, which helps to alleviate constipation. The backward bend loosens the vertebrae and stimulates the spinal nerves, relieving back ache. By stretching the front of the neck , the organs in the neck region get toned which also regulates the thyroid gland.
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. 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.
This practice tones the spine and is great for the nervous, digestive, respiratory , cardiovascular and glandular systems. In women it also influences the hormonal secretions which helps to relieve a variety of gynaecological disorders.
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you about hip width 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. Repeat 21 times.
Breathing: Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.
This practice relieves backache and helps to keep the spine supple and healthy.
Lie down with your face down to the floor. You will be supported by the hands palms down against the floor and the toes in the flexed position. Throughout this practice, the hands and feet should be kept straight. Start with your arms perpendicular to the Floor, and the spine arched, so that the body Is in a sagging position. Now throw the head back as far as possible. Then, bending at the hips, bring the body up into an inverted “V”. At the same time, bring the chin forward, Tucking it against the chest. Repeat 21 times.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, and exhale fully as you lower the body.