The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation

Meditating has been proven to do wonderful things to your brain waves, calm you down, enable peaceful sleep and give you the energy to begin a new day without carrying the stress from the previous day. Before meditating it is always good to do some exercise to open your body’s energy centres and put you in a space of centred awareness. Eventhough the practises are simple, the hard part is beginning a new way of starting a day and sticking to it. Along my path to healing I have found a wonderful meditation technique and these five simple physical exercises called the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation. Practised every day they revive and revitalise you and do loads to keep you in great physical shape. You don’t need any equipment and can even do the exercises outside. Without fail, they energise and refresh you in a way that running on a treadmill never will.

Getting started:

Each exercise is done 21 times. Rest between each movement for a total of five slow breaths. If you have not been exercising for some time you can build up to the full count of 21 times for each movement but certainly by day seven you should be up to speed and able to finish all five steps 21 times.

Number 1:
Spin clockwise – arms outstretched. Do this slowly to begin with and ‘spot’ one place on a wall to keep your gaze steady so as not to get too dizzy. This activates your energy centres and helps to strengthen your neck muscles. Rest and take five deep breaths – exhaling through your mouth like a big sigh.

Number 2:
Lie flat on your back and lift your legs (both at the same time) into the air like a right angle. Lift your head at the same time but keep your lower back on the floor and arms next to your sides. Inhale as you lift your legs, exhale as you lower them.
Rest and take five deep breaths.

Number 3:

Kneel on the ground, place your hands in your lower back and lean as far back as you can without needing to support yourself (or strain your lower back). Do this slowly and consciously.
Rest and take five deep breaths.

Number 4:
Refer to the diagram to help you set yourself up for this move. From a seated position use your hands to lift your body off the ground like a table top. Make sure your hands face down your body and you don’t overstrain your shoulders. This opens up all the energy centres in your body and gets your heart rate active.

Rest and take 5 deeps breaths.

Number 5:
Refer to the diagram. Place your hands on the floor a few feet on front of your body and ‘stand‘ on your hands and feet creating a V shape (downward facing dog pose for those who do yoga) Then sweep yourself forward so that your upper body is raised off the ground, giving a slight curve to your back. Do this slowly and with care and it will strengthen your whole system and activate the endorphins to carry their happy energy all the way around your body.
Rest on your back and take five deep breaths and give yourself a big hug for making the time to do something wonderful for your body. You will feel the results.

With thanks to Ethan Indigo Smith for his original article that I adapted based on my own experience of the rites.

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