The 5 Tibetans are Exercises for Rejuvenation and Renewal
Tibetan Rites is the name given to a series of 5 exercises that originated in the Himalayas. These simple, yet powerful exercises, when practiced everyday, increase one’s energy levels, help calm the mind and reduce stress, increase flexibility and enhance one’s overall health and well-being.
Some Benefits of the 5 Tibetans
- Increased Physical Strength and Mental Acuity
- Enhanced Energy
- Better Muscle Tone
- Improved Respiration and Digestion
- Hormonal Balance
- Enhanced Bone Mass
- Tighter Abs
- Improved Posture and Flexibility
How to Perform the Tibetan Rites
Each of the below five exercises are to be repeated 21 times for maximum benefit. However, if one is not used to yogic postures, it’s better to start slow and build up to 21 repetitions. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to practice these exercises. Many yoga schools use these exercises to warm up before a rigorous yoga practice.
- Tibetan #1
Stand up straight, arms stretched out, fingers together and palm facing downward. Start spinning in the clockwise direction. (If you turned your head to the right, that is the direction to spin. Repeat this spinning 21 times without stopping. After stopping the spinning, breathe deeply from the stomach until balance is restored and the head stops spinning.
- Tibetan #2
Lie on your back on your yoga mat. Legs are extended, feet flexed. Hands are by your side, palms downward, fingers together. Inhale through the nose, lift the legs a little past vertical or 90 degree angle, and raise your head tucking your chin into your chest, in one motion. Then exhale through the nose, bring the legs and head to the starting position. Repeat this 21 times. Take a couple deep breaths before starting Tibetan #3.
- Tibetan #3
Kneel with the ball of the foot on the ground.Place your hands on the back of the thighs below the buttocks. The chin is tucked into the chest. Inhale through the nose, arch the back from the waist and drop the head back as much as possible. As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to keep the eyes open, when the head is dropped back, as one might feel giddy if one is not used to the feeling of the change in blood pressure. Exhale and return to starting position. Repeat 21 times. A few deep breaths are recommended before moving to Tibetan #4.
- Tibetan #4
Sit with a straight spine, legs extended forward. Hands are by the side, flat, beside the hips. Tuck your chin into your chest. Inhale through the nose, raise your hips and buttocks as you bend the knees and bring the soles of your feet parallel to the ground. Let the head fall back. The final position looks like a table. Then, begin exhalation and return to sitting position. This is repeated 21 times. As in other postures, a couple deep breaths will be beneficial.
- Tibetan #5
This is similar to Yoga’s Up-Dog and Down-Dog. Get down on your hands and knees, or table-top position. Begin inhalation, straighten your legs, arch your back, lean your head back, do not let any of your body touch the ground except for your toes and hands (Cobra or Up-Dog in Yoga). Then begin exhalation, push the buttocks into the air, make an inverted V shape with straight arms and legs, tuck your chin towards your chest. Repeat this 21 times.
After completing the 5 Tibetans, lie on your back, for several minutes, relaxing and breathing deeply. This is similar to “Shavasana” of yoga and is essential to complete the Tibetan Rites and derive the maximum benefit from doing them.
As with any new physical exercise, it’s always a good idea to consult your physician before taking up the Tibetan Rites as part of daily routine.