Friday, December 3, 2010

The Tibetan rites - The Original Five Rites of Rejuvenation

Introduction to the rites 

The Five Tibetans are a yogic system of highly energizing postures and exercises that originated in the Himalayas. The Rites were supposedly discovered in the early 1900's, by a British army colonel, Colonel Bradford, who was living in a Himalayan monastery. They are practiced around the world and are said to prevent aging.

Two thousand years ago, Tibetan monks claimed that the aging process could be reversed. They developed the Rites, by condensing 21 yoga exercises into 5. What would easily take a couple of hours to perform, could then be completed in 10-20 minutes. It was not uncommon for Tibetan monks to live to be 120 years of age, while still enjoying exceptional health!

For thousands of years, healing practitioners have maintained that the body has seven principal energy centers which correspond to the seven endocrine glands. You may be familiar with these centers as chakras. Recent medical research has uncovered convincing evidence that the aging process is hormone-regulated.

It is interesting to note that this explanation finds some support in recent scientific advancements. Kirlian photography shows the body surrounded by an electrical field or "aura." It is also true that the Kirlian "aura" of a young, healthy person's is different from that of an aging, unhealthy person.
The Five Tibetans stimulate full energy flow through the chakras and enliven the corresponding nerves, organs, and glands. When all of the endocrine glands are functioning in harmony, a person has more energy, more vitality and less discomfort. Often when one gland is not functioning correctly, so too the other glands are not communicating properly with each other. When the hormones are out of balance, one is more prone to mood swings and illness.

The five ancient Tibetan rites are able to normalize hormonal imbalances present in the body, thereby holding the key to lasting youth, health, and vitality. A way to regain youth, health, and vitality is to start these energy centers spinning normally again. These exercises accomplish that. These exercises also tone and strengthen the major muscle groups, contributing to a strong, resilient physique.

The Rites are easy and enjoyable. Once you are familiar with the exercises, practice of the Five Tibetans will take about 10 minutes daily. However, for beginners, it is suggested to start with 3 repetitions a day, for the first week, and to increase the number of repetitions by 2 a day every week, until you reach the full 21 repetitions. The Rites may be performed anytime. It is not necessary to do the movements more than 21 times, unless you are truly motivated to do so.

Many people feel dizzy or nauseous when first starting to do the exercises and some of us feel this from time to time. Not to worry. Go slowly, when this happens. The reason for these feelings is that your body is de-toxing, while the toxins are being flushed.
The Tibetans help to
  1. Enhance bone mass, since the Tibetans are weight bearing on every bone in the body. 
  2. Eliminate double chins.
  3. Tighten the abs.
  4. Oxygenate the body - Oxygen is a necessary component for burning fuel. The more you oxygenate the body, the higher your metabolism, which translates into weight loss. These exercises require full inhalation and exhalation of air -- the result -- complete breathing and more oxygen.
  5. Enhance muscle tone.
  6. Drain the lymph system - The lymph system moves toxins out of the body. But, unlike other body systems it does not have a pump. The very actions of the Tibetans, as they compress and stretch the various organs, glands and muscles, assist in draining the lymph system. So,  you flush toxins faster.
  7. Improved posture.
  8. Flexes the spine.
  9. The Tibetans stimulate the reticular activating system of the brain and balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. So, you think better and more clearly.
Don't expect big results right away. You took years to become the way you are today. So expecting to reverse the process in a month is unrealistic, to say the least.

While some of the claims about the benefits may seem exaggerated,  people usually report increased energy and mental alertness. Hey, that in itself is a heck of a lot for such a small time investment, right?

I personally try and do them just before my pranayama and meditation sessions. It definitely enhances the experiences in a big, big way!

How to do the Tibetan Rites

Rite - 1

The first rite is the practice of spinning, which effects the emotional body by speeding up the vortexes. Children naturally spin while playing. As one spins clockwise, Lamas say that negative residues are flung out of the body and the bridge is strengthened between the left and right hemispheres. Spinning stimulates the body's energy system and wakes up the chakras.

Extend your arms out to the sides and spin (in a clockwise direction). Go as fast as you can without losing control (slow down or stop if you get dizzy). Try to do 21 revolutions.

When you finish spinning, stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a full, deep breath, inhaling through the nose. Exhale through the mouth. Repeat the inhale and exhale, completing two full breaths before moving on.
Rite - 2

Rite two is similar to Western abdominal exercises. By raising the head to the chest, you create an extra stimulus to the solar plexus chakra.

Lie on your back on a mat or rug. Your legs are fully extended, ankles flexed and touching. Arms are by your sides with the palms flat on the floor. Inhale through the nose, lift your legs a little past a 90_degree angle, and raise your head, tucking your chin into your chest. This is all done in one smooth motion. Your toes point toward the sky; your lower back should remain flat on the ground. Exhale through either your nose or mouth, bringing your legs and head down to the ground.

Repeat 21 times, inhaling as you raise your legs and head, exhaling as you bring them down. When you are finished, stand with your feet together and hands on hips. Take two full, deep breaths inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
Rite - 3

Rite three opens the solar plexus and heart. All kinds of emotional energies enter in through the Solar Plexus. Psychically, we attract negative emotions that relate to those we ourselves are carrying. Thus, fear or anger inside us acts as a magnet to people who are carrying the same kind of energies.

Kneel on the floor, with the body erect. The hands should be placed against the thigh muscles. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking the chin against the chest. Then, throw the head and neck backward, arching the spine. As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the thighs for support. 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. Repeat 21 times.

Rite - 4 

This rite causes a pleasant stimulation throughout the sacral area which stirs the meridians and the energies going to and from the groin and down the legs. This rite strengthens and tones the legs and glutes.

 Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. With the trunk of the body erect, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside the buttocks. Then, tuck the chin forward against the chest. Now, 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. Finally, relax your muscles as you return to the original sitting position, and rest before repeating the procedure. Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, breathe out completely as you come down. Continue breathing in the same rhythm as long as you rest between repetitions. Repeat 21 times.
Rite - 5

Rite five brings an immediate change in the energy currents of the body. It makes one feel strong and invigorated and brings a happy glow to the face. This is the most powerful rite in terms of speeding up the chakra vortexes.

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. Start with your arms perpendicular to the floor, and the spine arched, so that the body is in a sagging position.

Now, throw the head back as far as possible. Then, bending at the hips, bring the body up into an inverted 'V'. At the same time, bring the chin forward, tucking it against the chest. Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, breathe out fully as you lower it. Repeat 21 times.

That’s it then folks. There you have the five rites. Now just go ahead and do them day after day and find out from your own experience what the benefits are. What do you have to lose? Just 10 minutes a day!

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