Thanks to my mother’s wonderful influence, I’ve been doing the five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation since I was a little girl. The Tibetan Rites are a sequence of five poses believed to be several thousand years old that have been called “a fountain of youth.”
First introduced to the West in 1939 in a quirky book called The Eye of Revelation by Peter Kelder, the Tibetan Rites are being embraced more and more as a rejuvenating, simple, portable, cost-free exercise program that can keep your chakras open (Kelder called them “vortexes”), your circulation flowing, your balance fine tuned, and your muscles fit and strong until well into your golden years. You’ll notice that several of the poses are very similar to yoga!
Throughout each of the exercises, please breathe only through your nose with your mouth closed. “Pump” your breath through your nostrils. If you’re doing it correctly, your breath will be loud — don’t be embarrassed! This is the way it should sound. The sound of your breath will also help your concentration.
No matter where I am in the world, I do this sequence every single day without fail; it is my touchstone, my center. Sometimes, when I need an extra boost, I’ll even do it twice a day. I do 21 repetitions of each pose, which the original text stated was the optimum number. Start slow, with increments of three repetitions, and work up to 21. Between each exercise, lie on the floor and take three deep breaths in and out through your nose.
Before you first practice the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, find (or clear) a space in your house that’s just for you — a comfortable, clean, quiet area where you can do the light exercises. Have handy a yoga mat or blanket or towel (or even something special like a sarong from a tropical voyage) that you can lie on. Consider turning part of this area into a small altar with candles or incense, a healthy plant (for extra oxygen), a photograph of someone you love, and perhaps some beautiful fabrics and cushions or rose quartz (a symbol of love and protection). Make this sacred space warm and lovely.
Are you ready? Let’s begin.