“Take care of your body so that your soul will want to stay in it...” - Indian Proverb
Experienced yogis will tell you that you’re never bored during yoga. There are between 300,000 and 460,000 people currently practising yoga in the UK. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, you may have heard of the Five Tibetan Rites, a sequence of yoga exercises that you can do repeatedly.
So what are the main principles of the Five Tibetan Rites? How will doing yoga help you?
In this article, we’re going to have a look doing the Five Tibetan Rites, the benefits of practising them daily, how you can improve your mindfulness through them, and how to improve your inner balance.
Doing the Five Tibetan Rites
The Five Tibetan Rites are an ancient practice which brings together five yoga poses as part of a system of rituals. These rites were made more famous by Peter Kelder when he published them in the early 20th century.
The Five Tibetan Rites come from the Himalayas and Tibetan monasteries more precisely. While they'd been practised by Tibetan monks for centuries, it wasn’t until 1939 that the rest of the world found out about them!
Thus, one of the main principles of the Five Tibetan Rites is to respect the ritual of doing the five poses, one after the other, in the same order, to ensure that your life force energy flows. The five positions are as follows:
- Tibetan Spin
- Prone To Upward Staff Pose
- Rabbit To Camel Pose
- Staff To Upward Plank Pose
- Upward Dog To Downward Dog
It’s essential that you do these 5 steps in this order.
There’s a cyclic effect on your breathing, emotions, and insides.
While the Tibetan Spin focuses on your balance and removing negative energy, Prone to Upward Staff Pose can help you master your breathing and work your abdominal muscles. Rabbit to Camel Pose will help you relax your muscles and the chest cavity. This can help you better achieve mindfulness. The Staff to Upward Plank Pose allows you to reach a higher state and strengthens your shoulders and your back but keep in mind that not everyone will be able to manage on their first go. Be patient and listen to your body and everything will be fine. Finally, the Upward Dog to Downward Dog is the end of the cycle and a breathing exercise.
You should know that some yogis include a sixth rite that’s linked to your sexual energy. However, a lot of people agree that this isn’t essential for your life force energy.
By following the first principle of the Five Tibetan Rites, following the rites in this order, you’ll be able to regenerate your chakras and work on your inner balance.
Let’s have a look at the second principle of the Five Tibetan Rites.
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Practising the Five Tibetan Rites Daily
The second principle of the Five Tibetan Rites is that you practise them regularly.
Doing this will help you achieve fulfilment! Much like with losing weight, you’ll see a difference between going to the gym once a month and going regularly (if you eat right).
The same is true for mindfulness and yoga. By practising the Five Tibetan Rites regularly, you’ll achieve physical and emotional balance. It’s recommended that you do the Five Tibetan Rites:
- In the morning or evening. You can do them during the day but you won’t get the greatest benefits in terms of mindfulness.
- Between 3 and 21 times. The more you do it, the more you’ll enter a state of mindfulness.
- Every day if you can or at least 4 or 5 times a week.
- Not more than once a day.
The rites are particularly useful for those just starting out with yoga who need to get into a good routine.
So what are the benefits of practising the Five Tibetan Rites regularly?
Put simply, improved physical and emotional health:
- Improved breathing
- Toning muscles and improving flexibility
- Inner balance
- An improved figure
- Improved concentration
In order to improve, it’s recommended that you gradually increase the number of sets that you do. Start with 3 in your first week and then move onto 5, 7, 9, 11, etc. However, this isn’t really a workout but rather a gymnastic exercise that allows you to work on your mindfulness.
Let’s look at the third principle of the Five Tibetan Rites.
Working on Your Mindfulness through Yoga Exercises
The Five Tibetan Rites aim to improve your wellbeing and help you to relax through the different poses that improve how energy circulates around the body. Thanks to the order of the different poses, the ritual encourages mindfulness and can improve your body, mind, breathing, and motivation.
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What is mindfulness?
It’s living fully in the moment and disconnecting from everything else. Mindfulness is focusing your consciousness on the present and everything currently around you. It’s a way to fully experience now and in yoga, it’s particularly good for your mental health. Mindfulness is an active state in the present.
The goal of the Five Tibetan Rites isn’t to achieve mindfulness but they help regardless. Generally speaking, yoga is an activity designed to improve your breathing and your connection to yourself.
The Five Tibetan Rites are the same.
So how can you improve your connection with yourself and achieve mindfulness?
Bit by bit. By starting with a few minutes of concentration and then a full ritual, you’ll get there.
Did you know that the idea of mindfulness also comes from Tibet?
Thus, in addition to the effects on your body, the Five Tibetan Rites also help you reflect and improve your mental balance. Let’s have a look at the next principle of the Five Tibetan Rites, inner balance.
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Improving Your Inner Balance with the Five Tibetan Rites
Put simply, the Five Tibetan Rites are designed to give you more energy. This might seem simple, but it’s really important. This isn’t about physical energy like you’ll have after a nap or a good night’s sleep but rather your internal energy.
Your body is said to be made up of energy and it’s not always balanced. The Five Tibetan Rites are a tool to improve and correct your vital energy.
Let’s have a look at the fundamentals behind the Five Tibetan Rites.
Did you know there are 7 main centres of energy in the body?
These centres are known as chakras. They’re responsible for achieving equilibrium. Now imagine that these chakras aren’t working properly. This means that you could have health problems.
It’s important to highlight a few important characteristics of these chakras. For one, they diminish over time. This is the same as with our cells; we get older and it’s unavoidable. The same is true with your chakras, which naturally decline. By regularly doing the Five Tibetan Rites, you can slow the ageing process.
The Five Tibetan Rites is a ritual that only takes a few minutes each day and it’s a very small amount of time in comparison to what you’ll get out of it. This is why the Five Tibetan Rites is also sometimes referred to as the fountain of youth. Studies have shown that regularly doing it can have many benefits for your body.
By improving on the inside, you’ll see it on the outside and by doing the Five Tibetan Rites regularly, you’ll improve your mindfulness, inner equilibrium, and have more energy.
So are you ready to add the Five Tibetan Rites into your morning ritual?
If you need more help with the rejuvenation of the body and mind, improving your vitality, or yoga in general, consider getting in touch with a private yoga teacher on Superprof! Whether you're interested in hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, or Tibetan yoga, they can put together a personalised programme for you. There are three types of tutorials available from the tutors on Superprof: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.
Face-to-face tutorials are personalised sessions with a single student and the most cost-effective type of tutorial available. However, they tend to be the most expensive, too.
Online tutorials take place over webcam using video conferencing software and allow you to get tutorials from anywhere with a decent internet connection at any time of the day.
Finally, group tutorials include several students and are useful for those needing to share the cost of private tutorials. If you and some friends are interested in yoga, you should consider giving it a go!