Friends, my intention with this title is not to deceive you into just doing exclusively yoga. However, the reasons why you are about to read up on an exercise that is not necessarily yoga is because one it is very similar and CAME from yoga.
In fact the rites are more of a Vinyasa style of yoga if anything. Either way it goes, it’s still yoga or yoga-esque, easy to execute and not time consuming oh, and inexpensive; considering the state of the economy as of the time of this writing!
The whole goal is to keep with body-weight exercises that are easy to perform and have a set order for their proper execution.
For an idea of what they are, the Five Tibetan Rites is a system of exercises reported to be more than 2,500 years old which were first publicized by Peter Kelder in a 1939 publication entitled The Eye of Revelation.
Furthermore, The Rites are said to be a form of Tibetan yoga similar to the more well-known yoga series that originated in India
Now, the same principles that I outlined for a yoga practice
(ventilation, clothing, focus etc) do still apply here.
I have practiced these exercises on occasions and found them to be satisfactory enough for an alternative, hence the reason why I am presenting them to you now.
So here we go:
The Five Tibetan Rites
Remember the following when doing the Tibetan rites.
1. The maximum number of repetitions for any exercise is 21.
2. The minimum is 3, (However for rite #1, I will say 1 cycle is fine, you will see why upon reading up on it)
3. The Principles of a counter or recovery pose still applies to each rite. (Hence the reason why it is presented as a Yogic alternative to Hatha Yoga. (Remember, The Rites are more Vinyasa style of yoga if anything)
4. Use a “yoga” mat NOT the bare floor or carpet!
Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal to the floor.
Spin around clockwise (you must turn from left to right) until you become slightly dizzy.
Personally, even though I have seen people on youtube do the spins really fast (think of a ballet dancer doing pirouettes) I think whoever is just starting out with the yogic 5 Tibetan rites should take it slow.
With the arms outstretched, keep the focus of the eye on the right palm (this facing up) and the left facing the floor, then turn ever so slowly, about a step per second.
I mean, I just don’t want you to get dizzy cause the first time I did the rites, boy, being dizzy was not that great a feeling. So I had to find an alternative, did some research and came up with the afore-mentioned points in the previous paragraphs.
Gradually increase practicing from 3 up to 21 repetitions per day for each rite.
Counter Pose/Recovery Pose to Rite #1
I have found that standing in the mountain pose (like the one I prescribed as the counter pose to the headstand) for a few breaths, looking straight ahead (with eyes closed), with the palms of the hands gently pressing the back of the thighs, helps to alleviate the momentary dizziness that is created, by the first rite.
Moreover, since you are going to be beginning the next right from a laying down position, you can go ahead and engage in the Yoga corpse pose for about a 2-3 minutes. Remember the Square Breathing mechanism folks)
After you have engaged in the recovery pose from rite number 1, we shall now go on to rite #2.
For this one, First lie flat on the floor, face up.
Fully extend your arms along your sides, and place the palms of your hands against the floor.
Then, raise your head off the floor, however as you do this lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position.
Hey, wait a minute, I’m doing crunches Foras?
Yes, you are my friend, at least something quite similar, but don’t get to excited now, remember the following for this rite:
1. Before you begin the rite, empty the lungs then take a deep breath for about 3 seconds, then when the legs are lifted, exhale for 3 seconds.
2. Stop at the 21st repetition (as with all rites)
Counter Pose/Recovery Pose to Rite #2
A simple 2-3 minutes corpse pose will suffice for this.
Just remember to exit on the right as described in my previous articles.
Now to learn the third rite.
Kneel on the floor with the body erect.
Try to keep the hands placed against the thigh muscles.
Now, place the chin against the Chest like the yoga chin lock I discussed in the shoulder stand and prayayama articles
Empty the lungs.
Now Inhale and throw the head and neck backward, arching the spine.
As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the lower end of the buttocks.
After the arching, return to the original position, and start the rite all over again.
Breathe in deeply as you arch the spine, breathe out as you return to an erect position
Counter Pose/Recovery Pose to Rite #3
The Child’s Pose that preceded and comes after-as the case may be-) the Headstand previously discussed.
Folks, this particular exercise is going to look like you are performing push-ups in reverse.
Instead of moving to-and-from the ground floor.
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart.
With your upper body erect, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside the buttocks.
Now apply the same chin lock you did in rite #3, then 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.
The trunk of the body will be in a straight line with the upper legs, horizontal to the floor.
Then, tense every muscle in the body.
Now, relax your muscles as you return to the original sitting position, and rest before repeating the procedure.
The breathing pattern is as your body is stretched out (head going back), inhale, as you return to the sitting position, exhale.
Counter Pose/Recovery Pose to Rite #4
A simple 2-3 minute corpse pose will suffice.
Folks, this is my personal favorite.
Well, for a guy, doing push-ups is always a “man-thing” that boosts your testosterone, moreover, it is a reminder of the ‘downward facing dog’ and ‘upward facing dog/cobra’ poses in yoga (namely the afore-mentioned sun exercises) and Hindu-Push ups which are soon to be discussed.
In fact the differentiating motions between the Hindu Push-ups and the fifth rite are simply
1. Your feet are as wide as possible in Hindu Push ups, while in the fifth rite they are about as wide as the mat you should be using.
2. In hindu push-ups, there is a pushing/flowing motion that involves your arms, whereas in the 5th rite, it’s more in the hips.
Needless to say, both increase your sex drive and endurance and I don’t need to explain why after you have tried them!
When you perform the fifth rite, your body will be face-down to the floor. It will be supported by the hands, palms down against the floor, and the toes in a flexed position.
Throughout this rite, the hands and feet should be kept straight.
Now, Raise the Body Into an inverted “V”,(think of the afore-mentioned downward facing-dog), then lower into an upward facing dog/cobra pose.
Now for the prescribed breathing pattern, when you are inverted, exhale, when you are looking towards the ceiling, inhale. 3 seconds each way.
Counter Pose/Recovery Pose to Rite #5
Some schools of thought say you should do a child’s pose then a final corpse pose fully covered, while some say go straight to a corpse pose and even still some don’t even prescribe any recovery poses.
However, from my own experiences, a simple corpse pose at the end will suffice.
Well, there are some other additions to the 5 rites , as a matter of fact, it is exactly what Uddiyana Bandha (the Yogic Abdominal Lift) mentioned in my previous articles looks like.
You can reference the 6th rite on your own on google, or refer to my article on the Yogic abdominal exercise or you can, like I chose to, play it safe and simply stick with the five provided.
So, there you have it folks; all the helpful information needed on the 5 tibetan rites of rejuvenation as culled from Vinyasa Yoga.
To Health and Youth,
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This article is written by Foras Aje, an independent researcher and author of “Fitness: Inside and out”, which provides tips on how to improve and maintain your health using all natural methods. For more information on these guidelines: