The Five Tibetan Rites are a sequence of five exercises possibly over 2500 years old. It is referred to as the “Fountain of Youth”. I try to do the exercises every morning and will tell you in this blog post why.
But first a little bit of background information on the Five Tibetan Rites…
The book Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth tells a story of old men who strangely started looking healthier, younger and stronger after visiting a particular lamasery. The writer of this book, named Peter Kelder, wanted to know what was going on. So he went to live at the lamasery where he was taught the Five Rites or also called The Five Rites of Rejuvenation.
In his book he also describes seven energy centers in the body. These energy centers, or maybe better known as chakra’s, are located at the same place as the endocrines system’s organs. The endocrine system is responsible for the overall functioning of the body and aging process. It influences the body, spirit and mind.
These chakra’s resemble spinning vortexes which, as we grow older, slow down their spinning rates resulting in less vitality and health. By performing the Five Tibetan Rites on a daily basis the chakra’s can increase their spinning rates, thereby increasing vitality and health.
Whether you believe in this or not, doing the Five Tibetan Rites will improve your strength and flexibility making you feel lighter and more energized. I choose to do the Five Rites in the morning for a great start of my day rather than later in the day, because of the increased energy I get from it.
When I perform the Five Rites I breath deeply, I am present and aware of the movements my body makes. Afterwards I feel awake and alive. My body is prepared for the day. I notice myself being more centered and balanced.
How To Do The Five Rites of Rejuvenation
The Five Rites consist of five yoga-like exercises that should each be performed 21 times. If you are not familiar with yoga and breathing exercises, I recommend you to start with a repetition that is most comfortable for you. Then try to add one more repetition each day.
Speeds is not of importance. What matters is your form and your breath. Don’t look at this as a vigorous exercise, but rather as a way to energize and take care of the body.
I love doing the Five Rites outside in the open air. Preferably in the forest at a comfortable spot in the grass. I recommend you to find a place that gives you enough arm space to stretch them out sideways horizontally. Think about your bedroom, living room, balcony, hotel room, whatever is most practical in that moment is fine. It will just take up to 15 minutes of your time. Maybe even 10 when you are familiar with the movements.
This is my favorite rite. It makes me feel like a kid again. When you grow older you stop playing around like kids do. Jumping, crawling, twirling, spinning, climbing are not part of your daily routine anymore. So it is not weird when we get dizzy after a roller coaster ride or even a bumpy car ride.
Stand up straight with your legs hip width apart. Extend your arms to the side at shoulder level, horizontally to the floor with your palms facing downwards. Before you start spinning pick one spot in front of you on which you can focus every time you make a turn. Do not focus on anything else.
Spin in a direction that feels good to you. Breath deeply in and out of your stomach while doing so. Carefully stop when you start feeling dizzy. To help center yourself place your hands in prayer position and look at your thumbs until the blurring of the vision passes. Keep breathing deeply.
What is it good for: this rite will help you train your balance and reduce your vertigo. Your body functions like a centrifuge by spinning and helps remove impurities and toxins.
Tips: if spinning around feels really uncomfortable, do it as slow as possible. If you can only do one, that is fine. Build from there on your own pace. Speed is not important.
Rite two might be a more familiar exercise if you have trained your abs sometimes. You will be basically tucking your tummy with the use of your legs and head.
Lay down on your back with your arms next to you, palms facing down. You are going to lift you legs and head off the ground simultaneously. Take a deep inhale, put your chin towards your chest, lift your legs as high as possible and engage your muscles. Then exhale, drop down your legs and head and return back to laying flat on the floor.
Every inhale: raise legs and head
Every exhale: lower legs and head
What is it good for: strengthening your core muscles, back muscles and digestive system. It massages your organs.
Tips: to make this exercise easier bend your legs until you get strong and flexible enough to straighten your legs. It also helps to place you hands underneath your bum to support your lower back. Don’t do this exercise too fast, but focus on engaging your muscles consciously on the way up and down.
The third rite can look somewhat similar to the Camel Asana in Yoga. I find this one to be the most relaxing of all poses. It makes me feel really good.
Kneel on the floor with your arms alongside your body and palms on the back of your thighs. Curl your feet, or lay them flat on the floor. Feel which stabilizes you best. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and start with a deep inhale. At the same time slide your hands down your thighs as you look up into the sky by carving your head backwards. Relax your lower spine and only bend from your upper back. Then exhale while you come back forward. Softly drop your chin to your chest. Repeat.
Every inhale: go backwards
Every exhale: come forward
What is it good for: stretching of your stomach and intestines. It softens up the spine and stimulates the nerves system. Your digestive system, thyroid and reproduction organs get stimulated. It also helps against constipation.
Tips: avoid forcing the movement with your neck, but rather follow the weight of your head. Do the exercise slowly to not give any unnecessary pressure on your spine and neck.
For me this rite might be the toughest one to perform. It requires arm, leg and glute strength to do it correctly. It also requires some wrist and neck flexibility.
Sit down on the floor with a straight back. Leave some space in between your legs and place your hands along side your sit bones with fingers pointed forward. Place your feet flat on the flour and begin to inhale deeply. Engage your muscles and start pushing your pelvis up. Let your torso rise of the ground into a flat back. Your knees are bend with the weight on your arms and feet.
Exhale while going back to your first position. You can either sit with your bum on the flour or let your legs and bum float as you hold yourself up with your heels and hands. Take a moment and hold your breath before you go back to your first position.
Every inhale: raise off the ground
Every exhale: go back to first position
What is it good for: this rite is supposed to be good for the hormones. It strengthens the digestive, nervous, respiratory and lymph system.
Tips: do some wrist exercises if you are having trouble with them. Take your time to get from the first position to the next one, don’t rush.
Yogi’s are definitely familiar with the downward-facing dog and the upward-facing dog. This final rite consists of doing both of them in a steady and flowing motion.
Lay flat on your belly with your hands placed next to your chest. As if you were to be doing a push up, but with your elbows against your body. Inhale deeply and press yourself up by straightening your arms, opening your chest and curving your back. Your legs are straight, shoulders down and away from your ears. Look up by drawing your head back slightly.
Start exhaling when lifting your hips up and back into the air. Elongate your spine and drop your heals as far back into the floor as possible. Rest your head by looking at your knees. Once you are ready repeat in a flowing motion.
Every inhale: downward facing dog
Every exhale: upward facing dog
What is it good for: alleviating back pain and keeping your spine healthy. It also helps circulation and strengthening of the nervous system.
Tips: if you are not flexible enough then slightly bend your knees in a downward facing dog. Try to find a spot where your hands and feet are at a comfortable distance to flow into each pose.
Potential Benefits of the Five Rites
- Calming of the mind
- More vitality
- Increased energy
- Improved and deeper breathing
- Improved flexibility and strength
- Feeling younger
- More mental clarity
- Better focus
- Supports hormone balance
- Feeling more at peace
- Improves digestion and elimination
- Creates better posture
There are many more benefits that might occur to you when you start doing the five rites every morning. So I really encourage you to do this in the morning as frequent as you can. From my own personal experience they are very helpful. I feel energetic afterwards, rather than exhausted.
I hoped this blog post helped you out. Let me know your thoughts about it in the comment section below.
The Five Tibetan Rites YouTube Video