The Five Tibetans are for the express purpose of restoring health and youthful vitality to the body. Other factors also play an important role, two of these being attitude and desire.
The point is that we have in these exercises a simple Yoga routine that has immense potential value for those who will clear ten minutes in their day to practise.
The Five Tibetans are a tool that can enable you to achieve your own personal miracle. After all it is the simple things of life that are the most powerful and effective. If you practise these exercises to the best of your ability you will be richly rewarded.
The Five Tibetans: Exercises for Healing, Rejuvenation, and Longevity
In essence The Five Tibetans are one of the best kept secrets for improving health.
The Five Tibetans is a system of exercise reported to be more than 2,500 years old which were first published by Peter Kelder in 1939. The Five Tibetans are a form of Tibetan Yoga, similar to the traditional Hatha Yoga. The Five Tibetans emphasise a continuous sequence of movement.
The Five Tibetans open up and balance the body/mind energy system. They take a minimum of daily time and effort but can dramatically increase your physical strength and suppleness as well as mental alertness. Even newcomers to yoga will experience The Five Tibetans liberating effect on the innate energetic power of the human body and mind.
The Five Tibetans are comprised of five different exercises (with a sixth added for good measure), with each exercise performed up to 21 times.
For thousands of years, healing practitioners have maintained that the body has seven principal energy centres (chakras) which correspond to the seven endocrine glands.
Recent medical research has uncovered convincing evidence that the aging process is hormone- regulated. Chakra is an Indian Sanskrit word that translates to mean “Wheel of Spinning Energy”. The speed of the chakra spin is a key to vibrant health. It is also key that they are clear of negative energy and not distorted. Chakras are powerful electrical and magnetic fields. Chakras govern the endocrine system that in turn regulates all of the body’s functions including the ageing process. Our bodies contain seven major chakras and 122 minor chakras. The Five Tibetans are said to normalize hormonal imbalances in the body, thereby holding the key to lasting youth, health, and vitality. The theory behind The Five Tibetans is that your Kundalini (vital energy) is stored and lies at the base of your spine and that these exercises access that energy in a very efficient, fast, and user-friendly way.
Many examples of the benefits of The Five Tibetans exist, including: looking much younger; sleeping soundly; waking up feeling refreshed and energetic; release from serious medical problems including difficulties with spines; relief from problems with joints; lymph drainage, release from pain; better memory; arthritis relief; weight loss; improved vision; youthing instead of aging; greatly improved physical strength and flexibility, endurance and vigour; improved emotional and mental health; enhanced sense of well being and harmony; and very high overall energy.
The Five Tibetans Exercise Program
Beginning The Five Tibetans Exercise Program
- For the first week, and only if you are relatively healthy and fit, do each exercise three times.
- If you are inactive, overweight, or have health problems begin these exercises doing one of the first three each day, and only if you feel totally comfortable doing this. Later in this article I will describe exercises you can do to help yourself strengthen so you can begin to do The Five Tibetans . If you have any concerns whatsoever, please consult with your physician. Individuals on serious medications should consult with their physicians.
- If you are overweight do not do exercises 4 and 5 until you have developed some strength and endurance. Do the substitutes for 4 and 5 until you yourself feel ready to begin doing 4 and 5 of The Five Tibetans.
- Do only what you feel comfortable doing. That may be only one of each exercise for the first week. Build up to two of each exercise the second week, three of each exercise the third week, etc. or at a faster pace only if your body does not hurt when you do these exercises.
- 21 is the maximum of each exercise you should ever do. If you want to enhance your program, do the exercises at a faster pace, but do not so more than 21 of each exercise each day. Doing more than 21 repetitions of each exercise in any day will affect your chakras negatively and can create imbalances in your body.
- The Five Tibetans may stimulate detoxification and often creates many unpleasant physical symptoms. This is why it’s recommended to increase the number of each exercise gradually on a weekly basis.
- If you have not exercised for some time, prepare to begin your Five Tibetans exercise program by walking daily, for a half hour each day if possible. Another alternative in preparation for The Five Tibetans is a stretching program with a gradual increase in the types of stretching exercises and the duration of this program.
- A healthy diet is an important support when integrating The Five Tibetans exercise program into your life.
- Do The Five Tibetans exercises every day. The maximum you should skip is one day each week. If the exercises are done less than six days each week, the results will be greatly reduced.
- If on certain days your time is limited, do 3 repetitions of each exercise. This takes less than five minutes.
- For maximum benefit, do the exercises before breakfast in the morning, if at all possible. If this is not possible do them anytime during the day, on an empty stomach.
Five Tibetans Exercise Program
SPECIAL CAUTION: Spinning and stretching through the following exercises can aggravate certain health conditions such as any type of heart problem, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons’s disease, severe arthritis of the spine, uncontrolled high blood pressure, a hyperthyroid condition, or vertigo. Problems may also be caused if you are taking drugs that cause dizziness. Please consult your physician prior to beginning these exercises if you have any difficult health issues or if you have any other concerns.
“After leaving the Lamasery, I went to a number of the larger cities in India, and as an experiment conducted classes for both English people and natives. I found that the older members of either felt that unless they could perform a Rite perfectly, right from the beginning, they believed no good could come from it. I had considerable difficulty in convincing them that they were wrong. Finally I persuaded them to do the best they could and see just what happened in a month’s time. After a good deal of persuasion I was able to get them to do their best, and the results in a month’s time were more than gratifying.” Colonel Bradford
The Five Tibetans
Stand erect with arms outstretched horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Your arms should be in line with your shoulders. Spin around clockwise until you become slightly dizzy. Gradually increase number of spins from 1 spin to 21 spins.
Lamas say that negative residues are flung out of the body and the bridge is strengthened between the left and right hemispheres. Spinning stimulates the body’s energy system and wakes up the chakras. Lamas do not carry the whirling to an excess. The Lamas only do it 21 times, just enough to stimulate the vortexes into action.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you do the spins.
Lie flat on the floor, face up. Fully extend your arms along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor, keeping fingers close together and slightly turned in. Then raise your head off the floor tucking your chin into your chest. As you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, extend the legs over the body towards your head. Do not let the knees bend. Then slowly lower the legs and head to the floor, always keeping the knees straight. Allow the muscles to relax, and repeat.
Tibetan two is similar to Western abdominal exercises. By raising the head to the chest, you create an extra stimulus to the solar plexus chakra and the “conception vessel” moving through the centre of the trunk.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs and exhale as you lower your head and legs.
Kneel on the floor with the body erect and toes curled under. The hands should be placed on the backs of your thigh muscles. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking your chin in against your chest. Then rest the head and neck backward as you arch the spine. As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the thighs for support. After the arching return your body to an erect position and begin the exercise all over again.
Tibetan 3 opens the solar plexus and heart. We begin life by drawing energy in through the umbilical area. Lamas believe we continue the habit of sucking into the solar plexus, which is the seat of the emotional body, without being aware of what we are taking in. All kinds of emotional energies enter in this way. Psychically, we attract negative emotions that relate to those we ourselves are carrying. Thus, fear or anger inside us acts as a magnet to people who are carrying the same kind of energies.
Contraction interferes with the functioning of the solar plexus ganglion that relays messages to the brain relevant to our sense of safety and stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ reflex. This exercise provides an extension and a powerful lifting of the entire trunk, which is the opposite of a defensive, contractive stance. By performing this motion, you are reversing the energy flow and raising the energy to the heart area.
Breathing: Inhale as you arch the spine and exhale as you return to an erect position.
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. With the trunk of the body erect, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside your buttocks. Then tuck the chin forward against the chest. Now rest the head backward as far as is comfortable and at the same time raise your body so that the knees bend while the arms remain straight. Then tense every muscle in your body. Finally let the muscles relax as you return to your original sitting position.
This exercise causes a pleasant stimulation throughout the sacral area which stirs the meridians and the energies going to and from the groin and down the legs. This rite strengthens and tones the legs and glutes.
Breathing: Breathe in as you rise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.
Lie down with your face down to the floor. You will be supported by the hands palms down against the floor and the toes in the flexed position. Throughout this exercise the arms and legs should be kept straight. Start with your arms perpendicular to the floor, and the spine arched, so that the body is in a sagging position, resting on hands and toes, turning head so the eyes gaze skywards. Now bring the chin to the chest as you come into Downward Facing Dog (Inverted V).
Tibetan five brings an immediate change in the energy currents of the body. It makes one feel strong and invigorated and brings a happy glow to the face. This is the most powerful exercise in terms of speeding up the chakra vortexes.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lower the body, and exhale fully as you raise the body.
Tibetans say that this special sixth rite will make you into a super-being.
Stand comfortably and exhale as you bend from the waist, placing your hands on your knees. Expel the last bit of air from your lungs and without taking in new breath, return to an erect position. Place your hands on your hips, with fingers to the front and draw the abdomen in and up. This will raise your shoulders and chest. When you feel the need to take a breath, breathe in through your nose and then exhale through the mouth as you drop your arms down to your sides to relax. Take in several normal breaths through the nose and mouth before beginning again. Repeat a maximum of three times.
Tibetan 6 – Progressing to Uddiyana Bandha and Nauli
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that Nauli stimulates the digestive fire, thereby removing toxins, indigestion, and constipation. It is considered a Shat Karma, which is an internal cleansing to aid with excess phlegm, mucus, or fat. The Gheranda Samhita, which predates the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, claims that it destroys all diseases and increases the bodily fire. In addition, Nauli tones the abdominal muscles and massages the internal organs.
- Stand with feet a little more than hip width apart;
- Take a deep breath in through the nose and then exhale through the mouth, emptying the
lungs as much as possible. Bending the knees and bending forward as you do this;
- Keeping the knees slightly bent and leaning forward, place the palms of your hands on the thighs just above the knees. The fingers may point either inwards or outwards. The weight of the upper body should rest comfortably on this area above the knees. The arms should remain straight. Bring your chin to the chest (Jalandhara Bandha) and remember you are still maintaining retention of exhalation (Bahir Kumbhaka). Suck the abdomen inwards and upwards (Uddiyana Bandha). Contact as much as possible without straining. Rest with this
contraction for as long as is comfortable as you continue to retain exhalation;
- When ready, release the contraction, raise the head and return to an upright position, inhaling
slowly and deeply. Relax the whole body;
- When the heartbeat returns to normal repeat the exercise. Practise up to three rounds.
Tibetan 6 – Progressing further with Uddiyana Bandha and Nauli
Practise as above, only this time:
As you retain the exhalation release the contraction of the abdomen and then engage the contraction of the abdomen. Continue to do this for as many times as is comfortable before raising the head and returning to an upright position, inhaling slowly and deeply. Relax the whole body;
Exercises in Preparation for Doing the Five Tibetans
The following group of exercises has been developed as a preparation for doing the Five Tibetans, or as an alternative when you are unable to do any of the exercises. Doing these exercises will help you strengthen and become more flexible to be able to do the Five Tibetans as they have been described above.
Do these alternative exercises in the sequence from one to five and when possible, substitute the Five Tibetans into this alternative program until you have fully integrated them.
As with the Five Tibetans, begin by doing two or three of each exercise daily, until you are able to do ten each day. Once you are able to do ten of these alternatives, you should be ready to begin doing the Five Tibetans themselves.
Alternative To Tibetan 1
Stand with your feet about 12 inches apart. Swing your arms to the right, letting your slapping your left hand against your right shoulder, with your right hand slapping against the small of your back. Then swing your arms in the opposite direction, having your right hand slap against your left shoulder and the back of your left hand slap against the small of your back. As you swing back and forth allow your torso and legs to follow the movement. Allow your heels to lift from the floor but do not allow either foot to completely leave the floor. As you swing right turn your head right, and turn your head left as you swing to the left.
Breathing: Breathe in rhythm to your swinging Movement.
Alternative To Tibetan 2
Lie down on the floor and elevate your head and shoulders propping up on your elbows keeping your forearms flat on the floor, palms facing down. Keeping your legs straight, hold them off the floor For 20 or 30 seconds.
Breathing: Inhale as you raise your legs, breathe in and out normally while holding your legs up, and exhale as you lower your legs.
Alternative To Tibetan 4
Lie flat on your back, your arms straight, palms down, feet flat, and knees bent. Press your pelvis up a few inches off the floor and hold it for 10 seconds. Release and lower your pelvis to its original position.
Breathing: Inhale as you lift your pelvis and exhale as you lower your pelvis.
Alternative To Tibetan 5
Begin in the table position. Curl your toes under and bend your hips raising your buttocks so that your body forms an inverted “V”. Your knees will lift up off the floor, your legs will be straight, and your outstretched arms will be in a straight line with your back. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
Breathing: Exhale as you raise your buttocks, breath slowly and deeply while resting in the position, and inhale as you return to the table position.
The following group of exercises has been developed to open, relax, release tension, to strengthen various parts of the body, and to provide toning to different parts of your body.
If you are overweight, in poor physical condition, or experiencing serious illness, this group of exercises is an excellent to help you begin your journey towards physical fitness. I suggest you do these warm-up exercises prior to the Five Tibetans if you are overweight or have not exercised in a long time.
Begin this group of exercises by doing 2 of each exercise and then gradually increase the repetition until you are able to do 10 of each warm-up exercise.
Warm-Up Exercise 1
Stand upright, tilt your head sideways towards your left shoulder and hold it for five seconds. Bring the head back to the centre. Tilt your head towards your chest and hold it 5 seconds. Bring the head back to the centre. Tilt your head towards your left shoulder and hold it five seconds. Bring the head back to the centre. Lastly tilt your head backward and hold it five seconds. Bring the head back to the centre.
Breathing: Exhale as you move your head around, and inhale as you return to the upright position.
Warm-Up Exercise 2
Stand upright, slowly rotate your shoulders in a forward circular motion 5 times, then reverse the movement and rotate your shoulders in a backward circular motion 5 times.
Breathing: Breathe normally but deeply as you do this exercise.
Warm-Up Exercise 3
Stand upright with your arms held up, your elbows bent, and your hands together in front of your chest, with your fingertips touching and palms apart. Press inward on your fingers until their inside surfaces are almost touching. Your palms should not be touching. Release and press your fingers again.
Breathing: Breathe normally.
Warm-Up Exercise 4
In a relaxed standing position, hold your arms in front of you. Clasp your right hand around your left wrist, with your thumb against the inside of the wrist. Squeeze gently but firmly five times. Repeat the procedure with the left hand squeezing the right wrist.
Breathing: Breathe normally.
Warm-Up Exercise 5
Get down on the floor on your hands and knees with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Curl the tailbone up, dip the lumbar spine downwards, and turn the neck and head so the eyes gaze in front of you. Then curl your tailbone under, arch the spine like a cat and turn the neck and head so the eyes gaze towards the belly.
Breathing: Inhale as you move your tailbone up and exhale as you move your tailbone down.
The daily practice of the exercises I have described in this article is an essential element of vibrant health.
These exercises will stretch muscles you haven’t felt in years so approach this program gently and begin with one or two repetitions each day, increasing each exercise by one repetition every week. After you are able to do ten repetitions of the Alternate Exercise program, you should be able to begin to do the Five Tibetans.
Add a half hour of a brisk walk on a daily basis. Not only will it contribute to your physical health, it will give you the opportunity to enjoy all of nature around you. You will feel younger than you have felt in years.