When you read a book that says, Do Exercise X, and You’ll Become Thirty Years Younger! It’s hard to believe.
But like everyone else, I want to believe. So when I began doing these exercises, I won’t lie — it was because I thought they would shave decades off my life since that’s what the book The Eye of Revelation: The Ancient Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation promises.
Dry skin? Gone! Sluggish bowels? A memory! Dull marriage? Not any more!
What are the Five Tibetan Rites?
To put the “rites” part into context, it’s helpful to understand that Tibetan people are very religious — so they aren’t shy about naming nearly everything a “rite.” They probably have Washing the Dishes Rites and Taking out of the Trash Rites. In other words, this isn’t a religious practice.
They are five simple exercises, similar to yoga, that you do every day. The purpose is to make you younger and there are three explanations for WHY they make you younger. But first, I will briefly describe each rite, with a photo that should clarify.
1. Spin, clockwise. Put your arms out in “airplane” posture, palms down. That’s it. Don’t go too fast or you’ll get dizzy. Ever hear of the whirling dervishes? Those were real people!
2. Lie on your back, totally flat. Lift both legs, as straight as you can, until they are perpendicular (or more) to the ground. At the same time, lift your head till your chin nearly touches your chest.
If you can’t get your legs perpendicular, keep your knees somewhat bent but try to get your hips, at least, perpendicular to the ground. (The photo below does not show head lifted but her legs are correct).
3. Get on your knees, putting feet behind you with toes curled forward and your torso straight. You want the bottom of your toes touching the ground. Lean forward, chin to chest, then lean back, while dipping your head back and opening your chest. You should feel a stretch in the upper and lower back, and neck. (The photo below shows toes down; you want them up so you balance on them. She is also keeping her head up).
4. Sit on the floor with legs out straight and both hands on the floor, palms flat, about at your hips. Make a “table-top” with your body such that your legs are up, feet flat, at a 90-degree angle. Meanwhile, your arms are straight and perpendicular to the ground, and head lolls backward, and your whole body — from knees to shoulders — is parallel to the floor. When you are done, sit back down.
5. This is similar to “downward dog.” Begin on all fours, with hands two feet apart and feet the same. Make a “V” with your body (feet close to flat, palms flat, butt up) then swoop forward so that your head is up, looking at the ceiling, with pelvis and belly near the floor.
You will be holding up your weight with your arms as you swoop forward. Do not make it a goal to get your belly to touch the earth.
These youth-inducing exercises work but you must start slowly. Do three repetitions of each exercise, daily, for the first week.
Each week, add two repetitions. Your final goal is 21 reps of each exercise, which takes six weeks. When you reach this goal, the whole routine will take about 12 minutes.
It is very important to always do the exact same number of each exercise (except, you can vary the spinning if you wish).
Why They Work
The Tibetan explanation for why the rites are effective is simple: you have chakras, and as you age the spinning discs at each chakra or “energy gate” start to slow down. The rites cause the spinning discs to go faster and, just as importantly, spin at the same rate of speed.
The translation into western medicine is that we have hormones produced by glands. The rites directly target our glands. Listen up, menopausal peeps! Those glands matter, as we are well aware since they aren’t as active as they once were.
The third explanation, which parallels the “gland” theory, is about the spine. A supple spine goes hand in hand with youth. These rites will improve your spinal flexibility.
Just How Many Years I’ve Shaved Off
I’ve been doing the rites for four months. My hair is still gray (darn!) but I have noticed I can do something now I couldn’t do before.
You might be familiar with what I like to call the “getting up off the floor test,” which predicts your longevity. In short, scientists have figured out that if you can get up off the floor without using your hands (or your knees, or elbows) beyond the age of 50, you are likely to live another 20 years, at least.
The floor test has always been tricky for me, but now I can now bound off the floor hands-free, without resorting to using my knees.
The only other difference I’ve noticed (so far) is more flexibility and strength as I do the exercises. I’m not leaning back like that gal on the pink mat is for exercise #3, but I’ve improved. I can bend back farther than I used to, close to where the young man in the video below is. In exercise five, I definitely have more bend in my spine.
Now, let’s all go practice!
I am a freelance writer at www.jxcampbell.com. If you love true crime, here are few popular and recent pieces:
The Strange Death of an Oklahoma Housewife
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