The “Fountain of Youth” that is the Five Tibetan Rites are great for enhancing body flexibility. This practice efficiently strengthens and stretches all the main muscles in your body. But it also helps with body balance and equilibrium.
Everyone knows at least three elderly women who keep themselves limber and sturdy by performing these rites daily. I recommend you do this simple practice on a daily basis, preferably in the morning rather than the evening. All it takes is just 10 minutes to stoke up your energy for the day!
Stand with your arms outstretched and horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Align your arms in line with your shoulders. Your feet should be about hip distance apart. Draw the crown of your head up toward the ceiling.
Focus on a spot in front of you so that you can count your rotations. Spin around clockwise until you become a little dizzy. Gradually increase the number of spins from 2 to 21.
Breathing pattern: Breathe in and breathe out deeply as you spin.
Advice: If you feel woozy, interlace your fingers at your heart and stare at your thumbs. Also have a chair very nearby to get hold of, to steady yourself in case you need it.
Lie flat on the floor. Fully extend your arms along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor. If you have lower back issues, place your fingers underneath your sacrum.
As you breathe in, raise your head off the floor, tucking your chin into your chest. Simultaneously lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position.
If possible, extend your legs over your body toward your head. Then slowly breathe out, lowering your legs and head to the floor, keeping your knees straight and your big toes together.
Breathing pattern: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs, and breathe out as you lower them.
Kneel on the floor with your toes curled under. Place your hands on the back of your thigh muscles. Tuck your chin in toward your chest.
Slide your hands down the back of your thighs as you draw your shoulders back and your head up toward the sky. Bear in mind that you are arching your upper back more than your lower back.
Move your head back as if you were drawing a line with your nose. Slowly return to an upright position and go for another round.
Breathing pattern: Breathe in as you bend your spine and breathe out as you return to the vertical position.
Sit down on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches separated. Place your palms on the ground.
As you gently drop your head back, raise your upper body so that your knees bend while your arms remain straight. You are basically in a table-top position.
Slowly return to your original sitting position. Have a rest for a few seconds before you repeat this rite.
Breathing pattern: Breathe in as you rise up into the pose, hold your breath as you tense your muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.
Lie down on your stomach with your palms facing the ground and in line with your bra strap. Press up into an upward-facing dog by curling your toes under, lifting your head, and drawing your shoulders back.
Your arms should be straight all the time. Look straight ahead of you, or if you are a little more elastic, gently draw your head back, rolling your eyes toward the sky.
Then draw your hips up and back, extending your spine, into downward-facing dog pose. Redo by moving back and forth between downward and upward-facing dog.
Breathing: pattern Breathe in as your rise up into upward-facing dog; breath out as you push back into downward-facing dog.
The rounding off activity that I recommend for bettering suppleness and toning is body rolling with a roller. If you are a very sensitive person, you may use a foam roller. But if you prefer something harder, you may go with a piece of PVC pipe or buy one of the many great body rollers offered online.
Why is rolling awesome?
Well, it stretches muscles and tendons and helps release the fascia-structure of connective tissue surrounding muscles, joints, and tendons. Rolling before a hard exercise increases blood flow to your soft tissue, and rolling after an exercise helps loosen up your muscles. While body rolling isn’t a workout in itself, it is precious for keeping your muscles soft and pliable.
Advice: Begin by practicing 5 to 7 cycles of rites, and build up to 21.