health and fitness, self help

5 TIBETAN RITES

5TR

5 Tibetan Rites is a series of exercises that I learnt while doing my Yoga teacher training. I practiced them for a few weeks and felt great. Then I stopped and moved on to something else.. as you do..

Two weeks ago one of my class participants mentioned the Rites and said she had been doing them for a couple of days and never felt better. And I thought I’d share the practice with you.

The Five Tibetan Rites is a system of exercises that dates back to more than 2,500 years old. They were first mentioned in a publication called The Eye of Revelation by Peter Kelder in 1939.

The Five Rites is a form of Tibetan yoga, which is similar to the Indian yoga practice. The difference between the two is that traditional Tibetan Yoga style as well as the Five Rites is more of a flow or Vinyasa style, with movements flowing rather than being held as “static positions” traditionally practiced in India.

It is said that they aid in improving health and support emotional well-being as well as enhancing mental clarity, memory and balancing hormones.

So how exactly does it work and why are these exercises so good for you?

I’d like to ask you to read this with an open mind and if you do believe in chakras then you should be quite comfortable with the terminology. If you are on the fence or a non believer then just refer to them as energy centres.

‘The rites stimulate the energy system of the body, wake up the chakras, and get energy moving throughout every cell in your body. The lamas believe that the Five Tibetan Rites stimulate all seven chakras to spin rapidly at the same rate. They believe that the aging process can be defined by the level of activity in one or all of the chakras. If any one of the chakras is blocked and its natural spin rate is slowed, then vital life energy cannot circulate, and illness and aging set in.’

The 5 Rites should be performed as a sequence and you should start with 3 repetitions of each exercise in the first week and then add 2 more per week up until you manage to do 21 repetitions of each rite (21 is considered to be a sacred number to Tibetans)

They should preferably be performed in the morning on an empty stomach.

You can watch a video on how to perform the movements or read the description below.

You can access the video by clicking here.

This is a description taken from one of the blogs online (the link to the article is just below the description)

5tr1
Rite 1

Stand with your arms outstretched and horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Make sure your arms are in line with your shoulders. Your feet should be about hip distance apart. Draw the crown of your head up toward the ceiling. Focus on a spot in front of you so that you can count your rotations. Spin around clockwise until you become a little dizzy. Gradually increase the number of spins from three to 21.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you spin.

Tip: If you feel super dizzy, interlace your fingers at your heart and stare at your thumbs. Also have a chair very nearby to grab onto to steady yourself if you feel as if you are going to fall.

This movement is known to release negative energy and balance the emotions.

Rite 2
Lie flat on the floor. Fully extend your arms along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor. If you have lower back issues, place your fingers underneath your sacrum. As you inhale, raise your head off the floor, tucking your chin into your chest. Simultaneously lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, extend your legs over your body toward your head. Then slowly exhale, lowering your legs and head to the floor, keeping your knees straight and your big toes together.

Breathing: breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs, and exhale as you lower them.The second rite strengthens the abs and stimulates the energy center associated with the pancreas.

Rite 3
Kneel on the floor with your toes curled under. Place your hands on the backs of your thigh muscles. Tuck your chin in toward your chest. Slide your hands down the backs of your thighs as you draw your shoulders back and your head up toward the sky. Keep in mind that you are arching your upper back more than your lower back. Move your head back as if you were drawing a line with your nose on the ceiling. Slowly return to an upright position and repeat.

Breathing: Inhale as you arch your spine and exhale as you return to an erect position.This exercise opens the solar plexus, heart and throat. It also helps cleanse and balance the emotions.

Rite 4

Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. Place your palms on the floor alongside your sitz bones. As you gently drop your head back, raise your torso so that your knees bend while your arms remain straight. You are basically in a table-top position. Slowly return to your original sitting position. Rest for a few seconds before repeating this rite.

Breathing: Breathe in as you rise up into the pose, hold your breath as you tense your muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.This pose increases energy to the sacral region and is a gentle way to strengthen the thighs and glutes.

Rite 5

Lie down on your belly with your palms face down and in line with your bra strap. Press up into an upward-facing dog by curling your toes under, lifting your heart, and drawing your shoulders back. Your arms should be straight. Look straight ahead of you, or if you are a little more flexible, gently draw your head back, taking your eyes toward the sky. Then draw your hips up and back, extending your spine, into downward-facing dog pose. Repeat by moving back and forth between downward- and upward-facing dog.

Breathing: Breathe in as your rise up into upward-facing dog; breath out as you push back into downward-facing dog. This is the most vigorous of all the rites and is a great way to revitalize the energy centers in the body (https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/1022837/anti-aging-yoga-poses-the-5-tibetan-rites/amp)

I have also found a very good article on the rites, its benefits and feedback from people practicing it. Click here to access it. 

Give it a go and see what you think about it! It does not take a lot of time and you do not need a lot of space to perform the rites either.

Have fun with the practice and let me know how you are getting on!

Love & hugs,

Natallia

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Bibliography:

  1. http://www.mkprojects.com/pf_TibetanRites.htm
  2. http://www.t5t.com/pages/What-Are-The-Five-Tibetan-Rites
  3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Tibetan_Rites
  4. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/1022837/anti-aging-yoga-poses-the-5-tibetan-rites/amp)
  5. wordswords.com.au/…/26282930-Tibetan-Rites-131.indd_.pdf
 
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WALKING: THE MOST UNDERRATED ACTIVITY

walking

Despite being on the most underestimated activities, walking has many benefits for your health and fitness.

Although many of us have changed our perception on walking, it still remains one of the most underestimated activities out there. The main reason for this stems from the illusion that a few exercise sessions a week (especially if they are high intensity ones) or going out on runs eliminate the need for taking a walk.

So what is that miracle benefit that can only be achieved by walking?

If fat loss is your goal, incorporate walking into your lifestyle! If you are dealing with too many stresses, going for a walk might be that miracle cure you have been missing! If you want to rebalance your hormones to multiply the post-training/weightlifting/cardio effect, walking is the key to all of the above!

Walking and high-intensity exercises like intervals and weight training are synergistic in their actions. “This is not a calorie phenomena but rather a hormonal one. In order for the body to recover properly, age well, build muscle and burn fat, it needs the correct balance of stress producing hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline) compared to growth promoting hormones (testosterone and human growth hormone,)” (HGH). During an exercise session, the desirable effect is to raise all of these hormones together to maximise fat loss.

However, in the days and hours following an intense workout, it is most beneficial to maximise the levels of growth hormones while minimising the levels of stress hormones. To keep stress levels low, walking should be done at a leisurely pace.

Many fat loss seekers misunderstand that changes in the way your body looks has much to do with changing the way you feel. Stress lowering activities such as yoga, Tai Chi and meditative practices are wonderful at this. A lower cortisol level along with lower perceived feelings of stress will have a positive impact on fat loss directly through less cortisol activity, and also indirectly through potential decreases in hunger and cravings for sweets or fatty foods, which cortisol will impact. The effect of walking is magnified in a nature setting as feelings of relaxation and comfort are enhanced.

So if fat loss is your goal you should maybe look into:

  • Changing your power walking to leisure walking
  • Whenever possible walk in nature-based settings

walk1Walking anywhere is better than no walking, so if you are nowhere near nature-based settings, any type of leisure walking will still help to balance the nervous system and make you feel more relaxed. In those cases when it is possible, go for a walk in a nature setting like the woods as it seems to have an even greater impact on rebalancing our hormones and making us feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.

Another big problem with walking is taking that first step and actually going for it. If you are very new to walking, start small with a 5-10 minute walk and gradually increase the time and the distance. Have a step goal you want to achieve daily and try and beat it if you can.

This feature is available on a variety of tracking devices (Argus being one of them), which are a great help to stay on track and be accountable for your actions. It all depends on how much you would like to invest into your tracker (or get a free app!), but I would certainly recommend having one.

10,000 steps per day should be the minimum step goal for a more or less active individual. A considerably lower number of steps is ok for those who are just starting to make changes to their lifestyles.

A few tips on how to make walking more fun

  1. Listen to Podcasts. I am a big fan of them and with a busy lifestyle, walking is the only time I can listen to podcasts. They are free and it is amazing how much new up-to-date information you can get out of them. There are so many podcasts out there ranging from comedy to science. (My personal favourite is Tim Ferriss’ podcast).
  2. Get a dog. With a dog, you will have no choice but to take the dog out! Can’t have one? Borrow a dog from somebody or join your friends on a doggie walk! Time flies when you have a walking companion.
  3. Walk different routes. If you can, avoid walking the same route daily to prevent yourself from becoming bored!
  4. Join a local walking group.
  5. Walk on your lunch break and whenever you can get around not using the car!
  6. Walk your kids to school and from school.

There are absolutely millions of ways you can get in these 10,000 steps into your day without even thinking of it or making any effort!

Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Achieving small goals brings big satisfaction! Make little changes and you’ll be surprised how easy and quickly it is to reap all the benefits of walking!