Also known as the Fountain of Youth, Five Tibetan Rites are 5 yoga poses which have physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. They activate and stimulate the chakras which, in turn, stimulates all the glands of the endocrine system. These 5 movements also improve circulation, alleviate joint pain, boost strength and coordination, reduce anxiety and increase energy.
Thought to be more than 2,500 years old, this practice attributed to Tibetan monks was introduced to the West by Peter Kelder’s book “Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth” in 1985.
Each rite is meant to be practised for 21 repetitions, although you can start with a lower count and increase the number of repetitions as you grow stronger.
In Rite 1, you stand up straight, stretch your arms out, palms facing down. You spin your body clockwise, neck straight, eyes open but gazing to the ground. You breathe in during the first half of the rotation and breathe out as you complete one cycle.
In Rite 2, deep rhythmic breathing is practised. You lie flat on your back, place your arms at your sides, palms on the floor. You breathe in, bringing your chin to the chest while you raise your legs straight up. As you breathe out, you put your head and legs back on the floor.
In Rite 3, deep rhythmic breathing is practised. You stand on your knees, hips aligned over the knees. You place your palms on the back of your thighs. With the inhale, you arch your spine back, opening your chest and dropping your head back. With the exhale, you straighten your spine, drop your head forward, bringing the chin to the chest.
In Rite 4, also known as reverse table pose, you sit on the floor and extend your legs, feet shoulder-width apart. You place your palms firmly on the floor at your sides, fingers pointing forward. You first bend your neck down, drop your chin toward your chest. Then inhale and lift your hips, knees bent, head gently tilted back. Deep rhythmic breathing is practised in this move as well.
In Rite 5, we alternate between downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog poses. Get down on all fours. Your hands are shoulder-width apart, parallel to each other. Palms touching the floor, fingers separated. Your feet are parallel to your hands, hip-width apart. As you breathe in, come to the downward-facing dog, rising on the tip of your toes. So, we’re standing in an inverted V shape. Push your hips up as much as you can and stretch your arms and legs. Tuck your chin to your chest.
As you breathe out, push your body forward and lower your hips. Your toes are curved; your legs are straight and parallel to the ground, knees not touching the mat. Ears are away from the shoulders. Tilt your head back.