Since time immemorial, the east has always been the direction to turn to for things concerning the mind and metaphysical space. Yoga is based in the idea of mind-body control. The concept of chakras is constantly used in meditation to serve as a reminder of where our energies lie. The Tibetan Rites are often considered to be an extension of yogic practice. It is believed that yoga was brought to lands further north of India, where the practicing monks modified it to gain certain distinct advantages. The most significant advantage is that of anti-ageing. Practicing the five rites takes just a few minutes each day, but it is said to have tremendous impacts on the body and mind, so much so that it may even be able to slow down ageing!1 After each rite, it is advised that you stand erect and breathe deeply.2 Without further ado, here are
1. The First Rite
This rite is often compared to the spinning of a dervish. Stand erect with your arms at shoulder level, and begin to spin gently in a clockwise direction. The key is to find your own body’s rhythm.3 There is no such thing as spinning too fast or too slow as long as you enjoy it. Continue spinning for a few minutes at a time. Stop and take a deep breath.
2. The Second Rite
Lay down on the ground on your back, and place your arms by your side, palms facing down. As you breathe in, raise both your legs and your head
3. The Third Rite
This rite is quite akin to what you would do if you have a crick in your neck. Kneel on the floor or the mat and let your arms drop to the sides, palms facing your thighs. Bend your neck and upper back backwards as far as you can, while supporting the things with your hands.5 Only bend as far back as you can without injuring yourself or toppling over. When you bend backwards, breathe out and as you bend back into position, breathe in.
4. The Fourth Rite
This position, for those who practice yoga, is a modified upward plank. Sit down on the floor with your feet stretched out and together. Place your hands by your side, palms pressing downwards. Then, gently raise your torso upwards and bend your knees. Move back into the original position. Breath in as you raise yourself off the ground and breathe out as you lower yourself back.6
5. The Fifth Rite
This is the last one in the sequence. Again, for those familiar with yoga, this is a continuous upward and downward dog pose. Start with the downward dog pose, wherein you bring your body into an inverted ‘v’ while supporting with your hands and feet on the floor. Then, gently ease yourself into the upward dog
All of these rites need to be completed in sequence, so don’t exhaust yourself in the very beginning itself. After you finish the five rites, you can lie down on your back and continue to breathe until you feel completely relaxed. Quite akin to the surya namaskars of yoga, these five Tibetan rites have an impact on the entire body and mind. If you have any medical concerns that prevent you from exercising, discuss these poses with your doctor before you begin.
|↑1||Kilham, Christopher. The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1994.|
|↑2||Kelder, Peter: Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth. Harbor Press; (1985,1989)|
|↑3, ↑4, ↑5, ↑6, ↑7||5 Tibetan Energy Rejuvenation Rites. Life Events Shamanistic Studies.|