The Five Tibetan Rites As Flexibility Exercises

In the Tibetan tradition, they are called rites rather than exercises. They were first publicized by Peter Kelder in a 1939 book titled "The Eye Of Revelation." Interest was again ignited by the publication of "Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth: Book1 and Book2." by Peter Kelder. A book by Christopher Kilham, "Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power," is also popular.

Click on the links below for a discussion of each exercise and illustrated examples. The tradition is to do each exercise in sequence. It is also the tradition to do these exercises in a slow, continuous motion rather than holding each position in a static manner.

Number One

Number Two

Number Three

Number Four

Number Five

The theory is that these exercises start and keep the energy centers of the body spinning normally, and allow this energy to flow outward throughout the body. It is believed that this energy spin and flow increases bodily strength, improves overall health and retards the aging process. It is believed that a reduction in this energy spin and flow promotes ill health and aging.

These five exercises are believed to speed up the spinning of the chakras, which are wheel-like vortices or spinning energy centers located at the center line of the physical body. There are seven major chakras:

1 - Muladhara or Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine.

2 - Swadhisthana or Sacral Chakra is located two finger widths above Muladhara.

3 - Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra near the navel.

4 - Anahata or Heart Chakra and is near the heart area.

5 - Vishaddha or Throat Chakra, and is located near the throat area.

6 - Ajna or Third Eye Chakra and located near the eyebrow region.

7 - Sahasrara or Crown Chakra and is located above or at the top of the head.

I am not a follower of Hindu or a yoga practitioner, but I believe that the Five Tibetan Rites are flexibility exercises that can increase strength and range of motion. The original book recommended that you start the first week doing three of each exercise per day. Each week add another two repetitions of each exercise until you reach twenty-one repetitions of each exercise.

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