The five Tibetan Rites have been practices by Buddhist monks in Tibet for 2,500 years, they made their way to the western world in the 19th century when a British soldier learned them from a group of Lamas as while on a search for eternal youth. The soldier returned to Britain and told of the rites to Peter Kedler who wrote about them in his book The Eye of Revelation
While this origin story varies and may not be entirely true, the long line of people boasting of the five Tibetan rites power of rejuvenation is definitely not false.
Some of the improvements those who follow the Tibetan rites boast are:
- increased physical strength
- relieve stress
- improve respiration
- enhance bone mass
- improve digestion
- eliminate fat around midsection
- strengthen core muscles
- heal back pain, strengthen spine
- oxygenate the body
- think more clearly, become more alert and improve memory
- improve sleep quality
- improve eyesight
- reverse signs of physical degeneration, look younger
- arthritis relief
- enhanced sexual performance
- increase endurance and stamina
- attain a great boost in energy of the body and mind
And probably much, much more!
The Tibetan Buddhist monks do all five rites at morning, noon, and night to live the healthiest and most peaceful of lives. Of course their lives are much less stressful than our own, it's been said for years that there is something to the spiritual side of yoga that helps us not only mentally but physicall as well.
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Science Behind the Five Tibetan Rites
Many in the scientific and medical community have come to conclude that meditation and exercise has profound and direct benefits on the seen and unseen forces at work with in our bodies and minds.
Regular deep meditation changes the brain in positive ways, research is now showing. This type of meditation seems to be associated with gamma waves (the electromagnetic rhythm of neurons firing very rapidly in harmony).
“These findings may help explain the beneficial health effects of mindfulness meditation, and suggest, for the first time, an underlying reason why mindfulness meditation programs improve mood and health,” said UCLA psychologist. From the standpoint of neuroscience, meditation can be characterized as a sequence of mental exercises by which one strengthens their command over the workings of their own brain.
In fact, science went as far as to invite the Dalai Lama in 2005 to lecture at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C. In his speech, the spiritual leader of Tibet highlighted the areas of similarity between neuroscience and Buddhist teachings about the mind.
When and Where Should I do the Five Tibetan Rites
As with any sort of Yoga, the exercises can be preformed at anytime. However, the spiritual side behind the exercises suggests that they should be done at sunrise and/or sunset. Those are the best times to honor your body with hard work. The exercises should be be done in no more than 21 repetitions per exercise, but they can be done two to three times a day.
If you have not exercised in awhile, take it slow. Do 5 reps or 10. Don't feel like you have to rush right away for the full 21 reps. If you can't do the rites as recommended, do what you can. If you do these every day you will be able to work up to it.
The exercises can be preformed anywhere you have room. It recommended that you do them on a yoga mat or carpet as a hard floor can be extremely uncomfortable. Yoga instructors would suggest doing them someplace relaxing, perhaps outside on a beach.
Stand upright, extend your arms at shoulder level away from your body and spin clockwise (if looking at a clock face on the floor). Keep your eyes looking directly in front of you, do not focus on any one point, let your vision blur as you spin. Turn up to 21 times or until you feel unstable or dizzy.
Lay down on your back with your arms to your side, palms up, keep your legs straight, begin your inhalation, raise your legs off the ground until as high as possible and pick your head off the ground, bending your neck with your chin falling toward your chest. Begin your exhalation and return to laying flat on the ground. Repeat up to 21 times.
Kneel with your legs together, arms extended, palms of your hands on the side of your thighs, drop your chin to your chest, begin your inhalation, raise your head and lean back, move your hands to the back of your thighs and let them drop lower and support your weight, crane your head and neck backward, relax your lower spine. Begin your exhalation, start to come forward back to kneeling position with your head back up in the straight position. Repeat up to 21 times.
Sit on the floor, legs a little less than shoulder width apart, arms to your sides with hands extended flat on the ground and fingers pointed forward, drop your head toward your chest, begin your inhalation, raise your buttocks off the ground while bending your knees, shift your weight to your arms/hands and legs/feet, continue to raise your buttocks until your trunck and thighs are parallel to the ground, let your head fall back. Begin your exhalation and return to sitting position with your head dropped forward. Repeat up to 21 times.
Get down on the floor on your hands and knees (in push-up position) with hands and legs a little less than shoulder width apart. Begin your inhalation, come up on your toes with weight in your arms, 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 in Yoga). Begin your exhalation, bend at the waist, bend your knees, push your buttocks up into the air, make an inverted V shape with your legs and arms straight, tuck your chin toward your chest (Downward Dog in Yoga), try to put your feet flat on the ground. Begin your next inhalation and repeat up to 21 times.