Self Care, Yoga

What are the 5 Tibetan Rites?

March 4, 2021

The 5 Tibetan Rites are some of the oldest exercises known to man. To learn more about them, keep reading.

The 5 Tibetan Rites are some of the oldest exercises known to man. Reported to be more than 2,500 years old, these rites are said to be a series of Tibetan yoga poses that have been passed down through the ages. 

I mean, just picture it – Tibetans from yesteryear were performing these exact same rites way 2,500 years ago! It’s quite unfathomable really, and many believe that we owe it to those original Tibetans to keep those sacred rites alive. 

Though the 5 Tibetan Rites are said to be some of the oldest rites known to man, they weren’t discussed in much depth in the west until the publication of Peter Kelder’s The Eye of Revelation. Though we don’t expect you to scour Kelder’s book for information about the Tibetan Rites, he does share stories of living in a Tibetan Temple and learning ancient arts from the Tibetan monks that occupied the area. 

Now, that history lesson is all very well, but you might be looking for more information on the rites themselves. What do they entail? What would they be now? How can you recreate them on your own? 

Though we appreciate the enthusiasm, we do encourage patience! All in good time.

What can the 5 Tibetan Rites do for me?

Well, in addition to being a great meditative workout, the 5 Tibetan Rites can also benefit you in other ways too. As these poses are said to be particularly ‘potent’, they can bring about the following:

  • Balanced chakras
  • Greater memory
  • Improved sleep
  • Greater mental clarity
  • Reduction in joint pain and arthritis
  • Improved strength
  • Improved balance

If you’re struggling with flexibility and general mobility, these exercises are bound to be an excellent addition to your current routine. 

Though this list isn’t totally exhaustive, it’s a pretty good summary of why so many individuals choose to practice the 5 Tibetan Rites. I mean, who doesn’t want better sleep and greater mental clarity? Anyone?

Realistically, all you need is 10 minutes out of your day to perform the 5 Tibetan Rites, so it’s not a big ask if you wish to incorporate it into your daily routine. 

So, what exactly ARE the 5 Tibetan Rites

Now that we’ve got your attention and brought you over to the Tibetan side, we thought we’d run through the 5 Tibetan Rites and how to practice them! 

A key takeaway from this is that you need to practice each rite 21 times. You heard that right, 21 times!

Rite 1: 

To perform the first Tibetan Rite, simply stand with your feet slightly apart with your arms at shoulder height and palms facing down. Then, spin in a clockwise direction and try to keep your breath easy and regular as you move around. Though your speed isn’t important, you do want to make sure you’re moving in a clockwise direction – it really is key! 

Repeat 21 times.

Rite 2: 

Lie flat on the floor and have your palms on the floor at your sides. As you breathe in, lift your head and tuck your chin into your chest. At the same time, lift your legs whilst keeping your knees straight and your feet flexed. Slowly exhale and bring your legs and head back down. 

Repeat 21 times.

Rite 3:

Begin this rite on your knees, with the feet roughly shoulder-width apart with your palms on the back on your upper thighs. Drop your head back and open your chest as you breathe in and lean forward as you breathe out. 

Repeat 21 times.

Rite 4: 

Sit with your legs straight out in front of you and have your palms on the floor alongside you. Tuck your chin into your chest and drop your head back whilst raising your body so that your knees bend, and your arms are straight. You should aim to hit a table position.

Repeat 21 times. 

Rite 5:

The final rite involves two yoga poses that you’ll probably be familiar with – phew! 

Simply lie down on your belly with your palms down. Press upwards into upward-facing dog and curl your toes under whilst drawing the shoulders back. Look straight ahead of you and then draw the hips upward and back into downward-facing dog. 

Move through these poses for a total of 21 repetitions. 

Be sure to take a few minutes to rest after you perform these exercises, taking the opportunity to reflect upon the day. 

Though it’s tricky to add yet another item onto your busy to-do list, we highly recommend including the 5 Tibetan Rites into your routine. Taking barely any time to complete and offering numerous benefits to the yogis that choose to perform them, it’s truly a no-brainer!

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