The Five Tibetans, also known as the Five Rites of Rejuvenation, is a system of yoga exercises that is believed to be 2,500 years old. The five exercises are also known as the “fountain of youth” because of their ability to heal the body, balance the chakras (the body’s seven major energy centers) and reverse the ageing process. Each exercise stimulates a particular chakra in our body and revitalizes certain organs, and the combination of the exercises give the entire body and its chakras a workout. The Tibetan lamas believe that the only difference between youth and old age is the spin rate of the chakras. If any chakra is blocked or its natural spin rate slowed down, the vital energy in our body will be unable to circulate, which results in illness and ageing. The Five Tibetans routine is said to stimulate all seven chakras to spin rapidly at the same time, and this unblocking and activation of all the chakras slows down the ageing process. The entire sequence takes about 10 minutes a day, and can easily be fit into a daily routine. The exercises are simple, and with practice, can add more energy and vitality to your body. Below are the 5 Tibetan exercises:
The First Tibetan
Stand with your arms outstretched and horizontal to the floor with your palms facing downwards. Keep your arms in line with your shoulders, and your feet at your hip’s width apart. Start spinning in a clockwise direction until you feel slightly dizzy. Focus on a spot in front of you to be able to count the number of your rotations. Be cautious about your limits, as becoming too dizzy can affect the efficiency of the exercise. Gradually increase the number of rotations. It is also important to remember that the rotations must be done in a clockwise direction only. Inhale and exhale deeply as you spin.|
The Second Tibetan
Lie flat on the floor or the bed, completely extend your arms along your sides, and place the palms of your hand against the floor. You can place your fingers underneath your sacrum if you have lower back problems. Raise your head off the floor and tuck your chin into your chest as you inhale. Simultaneously raise your legs while keeping your knees straight into a vertical position. If it is possible, extend your legs over your body towards your head. Next, as you exhale, lower your head and legs onto the floor with your knees still kept straight and your big toes touching. Remember to breathe in deeply as you raise your head and legs, and exhale deeply as you lower them.
The Third Tibetan
Kneel on the floor with your toes curled under your foot. Place your hands on the back of your thigh muscle, and tuck your chin in towards your chest. Slide your hands down your thigh muscles as you arch your shoulders back and raise your head towards the sky. The point of this exercise is to arch your upper back more than your lower back, and move your head slowly as if you are drawing a line with your nose on the ceiling. Return to an erect position and repeat the sequence again. Remember to inhale deeply as you arch your shoulders, and exhale deeply as you return to an erect position.
The Fourth Tibetan
Keep your feet about 12 inches apart as you lay your legs straight out in front of you as you sit. Place your palms on the floor alongside your sitz bones. Raise your torso so that your knees bend while your arms remain straight, and gently drop your head backwards as you do so. This is essentially the yogic table-top position. Return slowly to your original sitting position, and rest for a few seconds before you repeat this exercise. Breathe in deeply as you raise yourself off the floor, hold your breath when you tense your muscles, and exhale deeply as you come down to your sitting position.
The Fifth Tibetan
Lie down flat on your belly with your palms facing downwards and in line with your shoulders. Keep your toes curled under, lift up your heart and draw your shoulders back as you push your upper body off the floor in an upward dog position. Your arms must remain straight. Look straight ahead of you, and if you are flexible, you may gently draw your head back and look towards the sky. After this, draw your hips up and out, and extend your spine into the downward facing dog position. Breathe in as you raise your shoulders, and breathe out as you raise your hips. Slowly keep switching between the upward facing dog and downward facing dog positions.