I start my second blog in the series ‘Wanky things I do” with “The Tibetan Five Rites”.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about the Tibetan five rites, yet I do them practically every day. My husband Shaun told me how they came to be about, or at the very least I know what my interpretation of what he told me is.
There was this guy, he lived a stressful life, he did all the things humans shouldn’t do too much of, and he did them in regular amounts, think; the smoking, the drinking, the eating like crap. He was 85 in body but only actually 50 years old in actual age.
Anyway, so this guy, hell bent on getting healthier and living a long life opened his laptop and googled “Longest life expectancy in the world” and up popped Tibet.
So, he packed his shit and spends the next something-something years there.
He ate what they ate and exercised like they did, cue The Tibetan five rites.
I’m also assuming they meditated too? Sounds like something they’d do.
Then he went home and the doctor gave him a sticker and a lollipop.
Now, excuse me so I can go confirm my spiel…on google…
Ah yes, somewhat accurate, well done husband (apart from the part where I make up the guy doing some googling in 1930.)
This form of this Tibetan yoga, which likely isn’t Tibetan, dates back before traditional India and its forms of Yoga by at least 700 years, that means it’s about 2500 years old!
Peter Kelder, a mostly unknown guy heard about these Tibetan blokes whom had discovered the fountain of youth. A British Army officer, who had previously retired and had gone and lived with these Tibetan Lamas (not to be confused with an actual Llama) told Peter all about it. Peter then published a 37 page booklet about it called ‘The Eye of rejuvenation’.
The booklet describes the five rites of rejuvenation (there is a sixth rite for those who lead a more celibate life, I don’t need that one), the booklet also claims that this army officer had gone there an old man with a cane and come back still his age but a rejuvenated version of the old man whom left.
I’ve not read this booklet… I probably should but lets be honest… I won’t.
Anyway, the Tibetan five rites or The five rites of rejuvenation claim many benefits, many obvious and some, not so much.
One of the claims is that it can reverse your greying hair…I can tell you right now, my greys are only becoming more prominent as time goes by.
Another, is that it can assist you in growing back your balding scalp…
Tibetan hair… yeah yeah.
While I doubt these two things, the obvious effects of doing anything that resembles yoga such as the five rites are; a general sense of well-being, stress relief, anxiety relief, increased strength and flexibility and general better physical health and mental well-being.
There are many proven benefits to most forms of Yoga, google it if you don’t know why, then do the yoga.
So, here I am, 8-9 months in, moving into the same 5 slow yoga like movements, 7-21 (you build up to 21) times each at 6:10am after my wanky meditation, almost everyday.
For the most part I’m purposely wagging my butt in the air at my husband to distract him, while my braless morning boobs slap my ribcage skin, while thinking about breakfast.
And If I’m honest again, it’s a pretty piss weak amount of fitness, it takes us all of about 10-15 minutes to complete, but combined with the meditation it just feels right in my soul. And while I do not reap any of the hair benefits (thank you, genetics), I do reap many of the others: my body is super flexible, my mental health has improved and I go about my day guilt free because I know I’ve looked after myself.
AND I can also now to 10 push ups on my TOES mofo. I spent a year at the gym once, well, not all at once, but in that time wasn’t even able to do 5 push ups!
I find that I have more strength and mental clarity, especially when paired with my wanky meditation, plus it keeps my tense little body somewhat relaxed and fit.
My spine has never been so whimsically flexible and my down ward dog has never been so downward.
Why do I do it?
For me personally, getting up super early and doing these brief exercises actually just gives me peace of mind. I don’t spend my day feeling guilty because I haven’t done my ‘self-care’ yet and I know how beneficial exercise is for the mind and body. I go about my day without having that cloud looming over me and it can get to 7pm and I don’t need to guilt myself for the walk I didn’t take in the middle of the day. I also won’t have to stress about finding time between cleaning lunch boxes and cooking dinner. I think they key to maintaining exercise (or anything that relates to self-care in your life) is to do it as soon as you get up. Doing this early in my day means I escape the need to find an excuse for not taking care of myself later on.
One of the main benefits for me has been gaining core strength .BE (before exercise) at a certain part of my cycle Every. Single. Month, days before or after my period begins my back would slip out at the smallest task, things like bending to put a folded t-shirt in a drawer which would render me a complaining useless human for a week or so.
However, within months of starting my back issue had just disappeared. Magic right?
So how does one do these exercises?
First Rite: (this one is weird and I have no clue as to what it does, but I do it anyway)
“Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal with the shoulders. Now spin around until you become slightly dizzy. There is only one caution: you must turn from left to right. A tip for this is to look at the end of your right hand as a reference point.”
“Lie full length on rug or bed. Place the hands flat down alongside of the hips. Fingers should be kept close together with the finger-tips of each hand turned slightly toward one another. Raise the feet until the legs are straight up. If possible, let the feet extend back a bit over the body toward the head, but do not let the knees bend. Hold this position for a moment or two and then slowly lower the feet to the floor, and for the next several moments allow all of the muscles in the entire body to relax completely. Then perform the Rite all over again. While the feet and legs are being raised it is a good idea also to raise the head, then while the feet and legs are being lowered to the floor lower the head at the same time.”
“Kneel on a rug or mat with hands at sides, palms flat against the side of legs. Then lean forward as far as possible, bending at the waist, with head well forward—chin on chest. The second position of this Rite is to lean backward as far as possible. Cause the head to move still further backward. The toes will prevent you from falling over backward. The hands are always kept against the side of the legs. Next come to an erect (kneeling) position, relax as much as possible for a moment, and perform Rite all over again.”
“Sit erect on rug or carpet with feet stretched out in front. The legs must be perfectly straight — back of knees must be well down or close to the rug. Place the hands flat on the rug, fingers together, and the hands pointing outward slightly. Chin should be on chest — head forward.Now gently raise the body, at the same time bend the knees so that the legs from the knees down are practically straight up and down. The arms, too, will also be vertical while the body from shoulders to knees will be horizontal. As the body is raised upward allow the head gently to fall backward so that the head hangs backward as far as possible when the body is fully horizontal. Hold this position for a few moments, return to first position, and RELAX for a few moments before performing the Rite again.When the body is pressed up to complete horizontal position, tense every muscle in the body.”
“Place the hands on the floor about two feet apart. Then, with the legs stretched out to the rear with the feet also about two feet apart, push the body, and especially the hips, up as far as possible, rising on the toes and hands. At the same time the head should be brought so far down that the chin comes up against the chest. Next, allow the body to come slowly down to a ‘sagging’ position. Bring the head up, causing it to be drawn as far back as possible.The muscles should be tensed for a moment when the body is at the highest point, and again at the lowest point.”
And like I said, there is a 6th, but its for those of us who lead a celibate life…
So what are you waiting for?
A snack? You can have the snack after the exercise.
(The images and instructions above were brought to you by the number 5, Wikipedia and
By J. Lunau – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31308028