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20 Jan 2016

The Five Tibetan Rites You Should Add To Your Self-Love Routine

While visiting my family in Florida and practicing the art of self-love, I met a very intriguing and lovely man Dr. Raja Merk Dove.  Althought this man had lost his wife in recent years who was the love of his life, he radiated with happiness, harmony and joy and had the spirit of an innocent child.  I asked him what exercises he did to stay so well and to sustain his positive energy and that’s when I first learned about

The Five Tibetan Rites

. He told me he did a system of exercises that is more than 2,500 years old, also known as the “Fountain of Youth,” so as soon as I got home I went to do my research to see if it’s worthy adding to the art of self-love rituals.. I learned that The Five Tibetan Rites is a yoga routine based on a ritual of exercises. They were discovered in the early 1900’s, by a British army colonel, Colonel Bradford who was living in a Himalayan monastery, and were first publicized by Peter Kelder in a 1939 publication titled “The Eye of Revelation – The Original Five Rites of Rejuvenation” Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, 1989, ISBN 0-945685-04-1. Medical professions explain the benefits based on their personal perspective and I suggest you read the books for a broad overview. However, the majority share the view that the rites represent a system of exercise that affects the body, emotions and mind. The Tibetans claim that these exercises activate and stimulate the seven key chakras that in turn stimulate all the glands of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for the body’s overall functioning. This means that the Five Rites will affect the functioning of all your organs and systems, including the physical and energetic systems and that includes the aging process. The 5 Tibetans also represent a great way to keep your body in shape when you have limited time for a physical workout or limited space for a complete yoga routine.  You can do the whole routine in 15 minutes and only need enough floor space for your body while laying down and enough air space for your arms to be outstretched. I recommend doing the rites in the morning rather than the evening, because they do stoke your energy.

Tibetan Rite # 1

Stand up straight with your arms outstretched to the sides, fingers together, palms open and facing downward. Holding this arm position, spin full circle in an anti-clockwise direction (clockwise if you are in the northern hemisphere), head in line with your heart and pelvis. Repeat the spin 21 times without a break. When you’ve finished spinning, stand with your feet in line with your sit bones, hands in the pray position (Namaste) and stare at your middle fingers. The interim breath: To breathe effectively, put your hands on your lower rib-cage draw into the centre to align your spine, let your breath move through your rib-cage. This breath is performed 3 times only after each of the Five Tibetans. Stand up straight with your feet sit-bone distance apart, with your hands on your lower ribs. Take a long, full, deep breath inhaling through the nose. Exhale through the mouth with your lips pursed in an “o” shape. You may experience some dizziness when you first practise this exercise. Be careful, and don’t push it. This exercise strengthens the vestibular apparatus, the balance mechanism residing in the inner ear. With regular practice the dizziness will stop, and the spin will become easy and fluid, even at very fast speeds.

Tibetan Rite # 2

Lie on your back on a mat. Your legs are fully extended, ankles flexed and touching. Arms are by your side with the palms flat on the floor. Contract abdominal muscles, inhale through nose, lift your legs a little past a 90-degree angle and raise your head, tucking your chin into your chest. This is all done in one smooth motion. Your toes point towards you and your lower back should remain flat on the ground. Exhale through your nose while bringing your legs and head down to the ground. Repeat the entire motion 21 times in a steady, unbroken rhythm. The interim breath: To breathe effectively, put your hands on your lower rib-cage, draw into the centre to align your spine, let your breath move through your rib-cage. This breath is performed 3 times only after each of the Five Tibetans. Lie straight with your feet flopped out, with your hands on your lower ribs. Take a long, full, deep breath, inhaling thorough the nose. Exhale through the mouth with your lips pursed in an “o” shape.

Tibetan Rite # 3

Kneel with the balls of your feet resting on the ground. Your knees are in line with hips. Place your palms against your buttocks, your spine erect, with your chin tucked into your chest Inhale through the nose, arching back from the waist. Drop your head as far back as you can do comfortably. Your hands will support you as you lean back. Then exhale through your nose, as you return to the starting position. Repeat the entire motion 21 times in a steady, unbroken rhythm. The interim breath: To breathe effectively, put your hands on your lower rib-cage, draw into the centre to align your spine, let your breath move through your rib-cage. This breath is performed 3 times only, after each of the Five Tibetans. Kneel in starting position with your hands on your lower ribs. Take a long, full, deep breath inhaling through the nose. Exhale through the mouth with your lips pursed in an “o” shape.

Tibetan Rite # 4

Sit up straight with your legs outstretched in front of you. Place the palms of your hands flat on the ground beside your hips. Positioning of the hands is very important; they must be placed exactly alongside the hips. Tuck your chin into your chest. Inhaling through the nose, raise your hips as you bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet flat to the ground and dropping your head all the way back. You will come into a position in which the torso is parallel to the ground while the arms and legs are perpendicular. Exhale through the nose as you come down to the starting position. Repeat this motion 21 times in a steady, unbroken rhythm. Do not let your feet slide. The feet should stay in the same place through this whole exercise. Also note the arms should not bend; the movement is instead accomplished by pivoting at the shoulders. The interim breath: To breathe effectively put your hands on your lower rib-cage and draw into centre to align your spine, let your breath move through your rib-cage. This breath is performed 3 times only, after each of the Five Tibetans. Sit up straight, your hands on your lower ribs. Take a long, full, deep breath, inhaling through the nose. Exhale through the mouth with your lips pursed in an “o” shape.

Tibetan Rite # 5

Begin this exercise ‘in plank’, by supporting yourself on the palms of your hands and the balls of your feet, with your shoulders stacking over your wrists. Your head is up and back. Keeping your arms and legs straight, inhale through the nose and wave back from your front body, bringing your body up into a perfect triangle. (Downward facing dog). Exhale through your nose as you wave forward from your front-body to take you back to the starting position. Grounding down your hands and the balls of your feet, your centre-body remains off the ground during the entirety of this exercise, and your arms and legs do not bend at all. Repeat the entire motion 21 times in a smooth, unbroken rhythm. The interim breath: To breathe effectively put your hands on your lower rib cage draw into the centre to align your spine, let your breath move through your rib-cage. This breath is performed 3 times only, after each of the Five Tibetans. Sit with your buttocks on your heels with your hands on your lower ribs. Take a long, full, deep breath inhaling thorough the nose. Exhale through the mouth with your lips pursed in an “o” shape. 5-tibetan-rites Final Relaxation When you have finished performing all five exercises, lie down on your back and relax for several minutes. Let the breath be gentle and easy. Notice any new sensations in your body. Your Yoga practice is a personal one. You may have your own body history, your own tweeks and places of tightness; those spaces that you’d love to avoid, and those places where it’s easy for you to fly. So get on the mat, find out what your truth is for that moment, breathe into the spaces that are asking for attention, nurture yourself, experience it. Take this time to listen to your body’s messages on the gross physical plane and the softer space of subtle sensations. All you do is go inside on your journey towards health, peace and harmony: Enjoy.