The Five Tibetan Rites

May 8, 2009 · 1 comment

Yay Twitter.  Sometimes I see a link in someone’s post on Twitter that speaks to me, but I’m reticent to post here about it because I think the world already knows.  I forget how many people are on Twitter, and how many tweets happen each minute (a lot and a sh*t-ton).  So that’s as close as you’ll get to a citation for this one, dear reader.  Whichever post I pulled this one from is off in the Twitter aether at this point.

As you probably already know, I’m an amateur yoga practitioner.  The (beginner) classes I attend are generally about an hour and a half long and cover about 11 postures (not including chanting, eye movements, the sun salutation and the variations and repetitions of the postures).  I sometimes yoga it up at home when I have time, but it’s rare that I have an entire 1.5 hours to spend – I can abridge a bit and squeeze the contents of a class into about 45 minutes, but I feel like I’m rushing and don’t enjoy it as much.  Rushing absolutely kills the meditative benefits I get from yoga – and that’s my main reason for the practice.

In the Five Tibetan Rites, I think I’ve found the answer to my time-constraint issue.  In the same way that counting my exhalations helped me to learn the rudiments of meditation, so does the counting aspect of this version of the Rites allow me to maintain a meditative state as I go through these exercises.  I’ve reproduced below the version I found in the link from the nameless one’s Twitter post.  After that is a short video I found on YouTube, demonstrating the Rites, and finally some links for your clicking pleasure.

My apologies for not including the original link – I copied and pasted it to Word and printed it out, to my short-lived shame.  I’ve also modified some of the text, because I didn’t like the way it was originally written.


The Tibetan Five Rituals or Rites is a series of yoga exercises designed to refresh the body and mind.  They synchronize all of the body zones so that they work together instead of against each other.  Done regularly, they can make you look and feel younger and healthier.

First Rite

Spinning is the first of the Tibetan Five Rites.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms spread at shoulder height.  Start to spin as fast as you can, while still maintaining control.  Spin as many times as you can without getting dizzy.  The goal is to spin 21 times.  This movement is meant to strengthen the link between the right and left hemispheres of the brain and stimulate the body’s energy.

Second Rite

This movement is very similar to leg lifts.  Lie flat on the floor.   Tuck your chin to your chest and slowly lift your legs – knees straight – as far as you can.  Try to get them to extend over your body.  Then slowly return them to the floor and straighten your neck.  Again, the goal is to do this 21 times.

Third Rite

Start this movement in a kneeling position.  Place your hands on the back of your thighs.  Arch your back forward as far as you can, tucking your chin into your chest.  Then arch backwards as far as you can.  Repeat 21 times.

Fourth Rite

This movement requires some strength; you may need to work up to it.  Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you, hands on the floor beside your hips.  In a single movement, raise your hips up off the floor while bending your knees.  The goal is to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.  Allow your head to dangle backwards in a relaxed state.  Work up to being able to do this 21 times.

Fifth Rite

Laying on your stomach, raise your body, supporting your weight on your hands and feet.  Raise your hips up as high as you can, trying for an inverted V position.  Slowly lower your hips until they sag and your back is arched backwards.  Repeat 21 times.



Links for Reference:

MKF Projects Print Version, Life Events Version (helpful animation), Benefits, Wikipedia article (good history information; also linked above).

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

scott May 8, 2009 at 07:18

Awesome!!!!! I’m going to try it as soon as I.get a chance but I don’t think anyone wants to see the fat vegan bending himself into funny shapes ontop of his desk so it will have to wait till after work


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