12th February 2022
Explore yoga’s Fountain of Youth
Regulars to my classes will know that no two lessons are the same and this week (17th and 17th Feb) are no different.
We are going to work through a practice called the 5 Tibetan Yoga Rites. Also known as The Fountain of Youth, these moves have been practiced for more than 2,500 years.
The Rites are a series of five exercises designed to increase mobility and flexibility and help the body stay that way as we age.
Most of the moves will be familiar to my regular students (and they are all very accessible) with their emphasis on spinal mobility and rhythmic breathing. The difference when you are working through them as a ritual is the number of repetitions of each posture. You work through each Rite between 3 and 21 (!) times. We’ll be taking it easy though so please don’t be put off.
I’ll be working through these Rites in the classes this week.
Do note that these classes will be suitable for anyone – even those new to yoga and we will take each pose nice and slowly. There will be adaptions given for each posture so that the practice is accessible for everyone.
Whilst the concept of a Tibetan ‘rite’ sounds a bit weird, these are really very regular yoga postures and there is no chanting or anything else that you might find a strange. Once you know these five Rites you have a 20 minute yoga practice at your disposal to use any time or in any place. Print out the hand-out and pop it in your suitcase when you go on holiday.
The classes will be on Wednesday at 10am and Thursday at 6pm. You don’t need to be a regular at my classes to attend – a one off class is fine. The price is £10 and you book via the booking app Booking Hawk (book for the normal Wednesday or the Thursday class).
Tibetan yoga rites hand-out
I have put together a Tibetan Yoga Rites hand-out with images and descriptions of each of the rites as well as instructions on the breathing.
This includes a set of adaptations for people that are not able to manage all the postures in their traditional form.
The Tibetan names of each rite
The Tibetan names are really very beautiful and descriptive of each rite:
1st rite – Following the rotation of the universe
2nd – The root pushes through the soil
3rd – A stalk is both thin and strong and it sways yet remains standing in the wind
4th – A river flows following the contours of the land
5th – The waterfall spills a powerful current into the waiting pool
Benefits of the Tibetan rites
There are a lot of fairly wild claims made for the results of a regular adoption of this practice and the story goes that the westerner who first discovered them went to Tibet as a stopped greying man with a walking stick and returned with restored hair and looking like a young man in the prime of life.
The benefits I’d flag include:
- Raised energy levels
- Stress release and mindfulness
- Addressing backache
- Strengthening the whole body, in particular legs, hips, abdomen, back, arms and shoulders
- Enhanced flexibility
- Improved breathing (in fact I first came across the Tibetan Rites in the fantastic book Breath by James Nestor)
- Improved posture
- Help with weightloss
- Improved digestion
- Relief of menstruation and menopause symptoms
- Improved sleep