These excellent exercises called the Five Tibetan Rites, or the “Fountain of Youth” are very good for enhancing the flexibility of the body, stretching and strengthening the main muscles in the body, and helping the body with equilibrium and balance. They are recommended to be practiced early in the mornings each day for about 10 minutes so that you stoke up the energy for the day.
- Rite 1 – keep your arms outstretched and horizontal to the floor aligning them with the shoulders while you are in a standing position and place the palms downwards. Distance the feet apart drowning the crown of your head up toward the ceiling. Focus on one spot in front and spin around clockwise until you get dizzy and then gradually increase the number of spins from 2 to 21. Breathe in and out deeply as you spin. If in case you start feeling woozy, then interlace the fingers at your heart staring at the thumbs. Make sure you have a chair near you, to hold and steady yourself in case you need one.
- Rite 2 – lie on the floor and extend your arms along your sides placing the palms of your hands against the floor. If you have lower back problems, then place the fingers under the sacrum. Raise your head off the floor as you breathe in and truck your chin into the chest. Lift your legs simultaneously keeping the knees straight in a vertical position. Extend the legs toward your head if you can and then breathe out slowly, lowering the head and legs to the floor, while keeping the knees straight as well as the big toes together. As you lift the legs and head up then breathe in, and breathe out when you lower them.
- Rite 3 – curl the toes and kneel on the floor placing the hands on the back of the thighs and tuck the chin towards your chest. After that, side the hands down the back of the thighs while drawing the shoulders back and the head up towards the ceiling. Move the head back like you are drawing a line with the nose and then slowly return to an upright position. Repeat the same thing one more time. While you bend the spine, breathe in, and breathe out when returning to the vertical position.
- Rite 4 – sit on the ground placing the legs straight in front of you and separate the feet for 12 inches. Place the palms on the ground as well. Drop back the head gently raising the upper body as your knees bend and the arms remain straight positioning yourself like a table-top. Afterward, return slowly to the previous position, rest for couple of seconds and then repeat the rite once again. While you rise up to the pose breathe in, holding the breath as you tense the muscles, then breathe out fully as you come down.
- Rite 5 – lie on your stomach and put your palms so that they face the ground in line with your bra strap. Curl your toes under, lift your head, and draw your shoulders back holding the arms straight all the time. Watch forward, and if you are more elastic then draw the head back rolling the eyes towards the ceiling. Extend the spine by drawing the hips and back into downward-facing dog pose. Repeat the pose couple of times. As you rise up, breathe in, as you go back into the downward-facing dog position, breathe out.
Rolling of the body
You may use foam roller if you are a more sensitive person for the rounding off activity, but if you prefer something harder, then you may take a piece of PVC paper, or buy a body roller.
Rolling is excellent as it helps in stretching the muscles and tendons, as well as helps in releasing the fascia-structure of the connective tissues which surround the tendons, joints, and muscles. By implementing rolling before any hard exercise you’ll increase the blood flow towards the soft tissue, while rolling after exercises you’ll loosen up the muscles. It is not a workout, but rather an activity which will help you keep the muscles soft and pliable.
Practice 5-7 cycles of rites gradually increasing them up to 21.