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The Five Tibetan Rites

The Five Tibetan Rites are a system of dynamic asana exercises thought to be more than 2,500 years old. These Rites are said to be a form of Tibetan yoga similar to the yoga series that originated in India. Through daily practice, practitioners have claimed many benefits, such as increased energy, stress reduction, an enhanced sense of calm, and increased strength and flexibility. Thus, the Five Tibetan Rites are often referred to as “A Fountain of Youth.”

We will start with three rounds for each rite.

The First Rite is called “Spinning”

  • Stand straight with your arms outstretched, horizontal with the shoulders.
  • Spin clockwise three times, with your eyes looking gently towards the ground.
  • When you have completed three rounds, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips until any dizziness you feel has disappeared.

The Second Rite is called the “J”

  • From the standing position, lay down on to your back.
  • Place your hands flat down alongside the hips.
  • With an inhalation, raise your feet until the legs are straight up, and at the same time, raise your head… thus creating a J with the body.
  • With an exhalation, slowly lower the feet and head to the floor and allow all of the muscles in your entire body to relax completely.
  • Perform two more rounds.

The Third Rite is called “Arching”

  • Kneel with your knees and feet shoulder-width apart, and your palms below your buttocks.
  • Open up your chest and drop your head back.
  • Inhale while dropping your chin to your chest and crunching your abdomen.
  • Exhale and open up your chest while dropping your head back.
  • The hands will remain on the upper legs at all times.
  • Perform two more rounds.

The Fourth Rite is called “The Tabletop”

  • Sit in Dandasana with your legs perfectly straight, place your hands flat on the floor directly besides the hips, with your fingertips facing towards your feet.
  • Drop your chin to your chest.
  • Inhale and gently raise your hips towards the sky and allow your head to gently to fall backwards, forming a tabletop with the body.
  • Exhale and bring your hips back to the hands and your chin back to the chest.
  • The hands and the heels will never shift from their original placement.
  • Perform two more rounds.

The Fifth Rite is called “The Two Dogs”

  • Sit in Sukhasana and place your palms on the ground in front of you.
  • Bring your feet behind you, shoulder-width apart.
  • Come into upward facing dog as your starting position.
  • Inhale as you come into downward facing dog, looking towards your navel.
  • Exhale, coming again into upward facing dog.
  • Perform two more rounds.
  • Then come into Childs pose for a few resting breathes.

Start with a small number of rounds such as 3, then increase the number of rounds every few days in multiples of 2 and in odd numbers, such as 3, 5, 7 and so on. The optimal number of rounds is 21 for each rite. Perform these rites along with your asana practice, or even as a stand-alone practice, and experience the overall improvement in your health and well-being!

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