The Five Tibetan Rites: 5 Easy Exercises You Can Do Every Morning

The Five Tibetan Rites: 5 Easy Exercises You Can Do Every Morning

You know you’re supposed to exercise every day. It’s one of those things that most of us have an idea about, like drinking a lot of water or eating vegetables.

You know you’re supposed to do it, but building it into your life as something you do consistently can be a different story.

Exercise consistently? Yeah, okay…

I know I have learned so many different exercises over the years, and I haven’t kept up with most of them at all.

Most get forgotten. Maybe for some I’ll write notes down to try and remember, but then they get put aside for that time in the future when I’ll do all the things I think I’m supposed to.

Sometimes I go through a phase where I have a pretty specific routine of which exercises I’m going to do in the morning. Sometimes I don’t know what exercises I want to do so I will stare into space for way too long waiting for something to come to me.

But whenever I decide to stop spacing out, there’s one set of exercises that jumps out most frequently.

The Five Tibetan Rites are five simple exercises that provide a complete workout.

These exercises stand out to me because they’re easy, they feel good, and they can all be done in less than ten minutes total.

Before Getting Started

Whether you’re used to doing different kinds of exercises, make sure to start off slow. Only do each exercise a maximum of three times to begin, and you can add a few repetitions each week as your body adjusts.

If the 4th and 5th exercise feel like they’re beyond your current level of ability, that’s okay. Do the first three and when you feel like you’ve built up more strength doing those you can try doing the 4th and 5th exercises.

The Five Tibetan Rites

Here are the instructions for doing each of the five exercises.

As you’re starting off, repeat each one about three to seven times (depending on your current fitness level) and you can build up from there. 

How to do each exercise*:

1. Spinning Clockwise 

Five_tibetan_rite_1
By J. Lunau – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Stand up tall, with your arms stretched out at shoulder-level. Your palms are facing down with your fingers together.

Start turning clockwise (to the right).

Keep your eyes focused on your right hand while you spin around. This will help you to not get dizzy.

Keep your eyes focused on a point so that you can count how many times you’ve spun around.

2. Leg/Head Lifts

Five_tibetan_rite_2
By J. Lunau – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Lie down on your back, with your hands lined up next to your hips.

Lift your feet up as high as possible, with your legs stretched out, knees not bent, and (if possible) letting them extend towards your head.

At the same time (if possible) lift your head up so that it’s moving towards your legs.

Hold here for a moment.

Then relax back down, allowing yourself to relax on your back completely before repeating the exercise.

3. Kneeling Arch 

Five_tibetan_rite_3
By J. Lunau – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Kneel on a comfortable surface (a rug, mat or thin pillow), so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your toes are folded under, and put your palms flat against the sides of your legs.

Lean forward so that your neck bends down.

Then lean backwards, opening and lifting your chest, bending your neck backwards.

Then come back to kneeling tall in the center, and relax for a moment before repeating the exercise.

4. Table Glide 

Five_tibetan_rite_4
By J. Lunau – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you, and your palms on the floor with your fingers pointing towards your feet, and your chin bent towards your chest. Try to get your knees as close to the floor as you comfortably can.

Then bend your knees up as you lift your hips, and support yourself with your legs and arms, letting your head gently fall back.

Hold here for a moment and tense up every muscle in your body.

Then bring your hips back down to the ground, unbend your knees, and relax for a moment before repeating the exercise.

5. Triangle Arch 

Five_tibetan_rite_5
By J. Lunau – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Put your hands on the floor, about shoulder’s distance apart. Make a triangle with your hips in the air with your feet on the floor, about the same distance apart as your hands.  Let your neck relax, so that your head hangs down.

Then drop your hips towards the ground, hold yourself up on your hands and toes while you let your body sag down, while you arch your back and bring your chest and neck up so that your head is reaching up and backwards.

Tense all of your muscles at the highest and lowest point of each round, and then relax for a moment before repeating the exercise.

*The names listed for each exercise were made up by me to help remember them all.

 

You Can Do It!

This exercises set is only made up of five exercises, but if you do it every day it will give your whole body a tune up, physically and energetically.

You don’t need to go to a gym or need special equipment, or even too much space to be able to do these exercises.

I’ve used this in the past as something I could do for 5-10 minutes in the morning, and then I know I did some exercise for the day. When I know that, I feel accomplished. Then I have a mindset of wow, if I did some exercises this morning, what can’t I do?!

And it’s really wonderful to be able to start out the day with a sense of accomplishment, of knowing that I’ve done something to take care of my body, and I didn’t even have to try so hard to do it.

One of the hardest parts (aside from the leg lifts) is just deciding to do it, and creating a few minutes in the morning to go through the set.

Customize Your Exercise

One thing that’s nice about it, is even though it’s five exercises, you can change the amount of repetitions you do to accommodate your current fitness level.

Although you want to start off slow, as you build up over time you can increase the intensity of the exercises. Over time you can increase the number of times you repeat each exercise, building up to a maximum of 21 times.

For me, doing each exercise 5-7 times is enough to start feeling it. Sometimes I do 10 repetitions of each one if I really feel like going for it. But feel into it for yourself! If you feel like after doing each exercise 5 times that you want more, next time try 7, and you can steadily build it up from there.

 

One of the great thing about this set is you can customize it to what feels right for you. By increasing or decreasing the number of repetitions you do, you can make it easier or more challenging for yourself.

Does it seem like too much? Just don’t do as many.

Does it seem like not enough? Then do more!

However many you end up doing, just give it a try and notice how you feel.

Next week we’ll take a deeper look at where these exercises came from and what they actually do to your body.


Send us a note saying how it’s going for you. Or if you have any questions about your experience with it, feel free to ask, and we’ll get back to you.

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