If you look at Tibetan monks, most of them seem to age very slowly. 60-year-olds look like they’re in their 40’s, 70-year-olds in their 50’s, and so on. So why is that? The key, they claim, is their lifestyle; but they also credit The Five Rites of Rejuvenation.
The Five Rites is a system of five Yogic exercises said to be over 2500 years old. Flowing through the exercises is almost a meditative dance. Each exercise stimulates a particular chakra or hormonal system and revitalizes certain organs so that the Five Rites together form a complete workout for the body as a whole.
This series of movements also known as “The fountain of youth” are credited with the ability to heal the body, balance the chakras and reverse the aging process in just ten minutes a day.
How to practice the Five Tibetans
This is basically just a spinning motion with deep breathing. Moving clockwise, extend your arms out to your sides and twirl until you become slightly dizzy. You can choose to move the gaze with your spin, or stay focused on a single point like they do in ballet. There is only one very firm rule: you must move from left to right, clockwise.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you spin.
Lie down on the floor or a mat, with your hands flat down alongside the hips. Fingers should be pretty close together and turned toward one another. Now raise your feet until they’re straight up. Hold this for a few moments and bring your head up away from the ground. Then slowly lower the feet and head to the floor, allowing yourself to completely relax. Then perform the Rite all over again.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs and exhale as you lower your head and legs.
Kneel on the floor or mat with an erect spine, curling your toes under. Place your hands on the back of your thighs. Drop your head and bring your chin to your chest. Then extend the chin up toward the sky and gradually walk your gaze back along the ceiling. Lift up your heart as high as you can. This should feel like a deep stretch in your belly and throat. As you arch, brace yourself using your hands on your thighs. After your full arch, return to the starting position and begin again.
Breathing: Inhale as you arch the spine and exhale as you return to an erect position.
Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your arms resting at your sides in Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana). Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands several inches behind your hips, shoulder-width apart. Press your palms flat, and turn your fingertips inward so they point in the same direction you are facing (toward your toes). Inhaling, press firmly into your hands and feet. Straighten your elbows, and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Draw your shoulder blades firmly into your back and lift your chest. Try to bring your chest, torso, and knees into one straight line, parallel to the floor. Keep your legs active and firm, but do not squeeze your buttocks. Press down through all ten toes. If you are comfortable here, then gently drop your head back so the crown of your head faces the floor. Gaze gently at the wall behind you.
Breathing: Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.
Come into a downward dog. Begin by pushing the hips up as far as possible, rising on the toes and hands. At the same time draw the chin to the chest. Then allow the body to slowly come down into an upward dog while still on the toes. Bring your head up and draw it back as far as you can. You can avoid straining the lower back by bringing a strong flowing movement to the upper shoulders. If you have lower back sensitivities, you can bend the legs as you go into upward dog.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, and exhale fully as you lower the body.