Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans

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A form of yoga practised by Tibetan lamas for centuries? Postures that make you feel younger and stronger? Five rites of rejuvenation – Core strength Another type of yoga? Surely we have enough, don’t we? These days I here seem to be yogas of every flavour imaginable, most of which are difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to perform. New schools crop up all the time, there are new twists to old ones, and conferences, sponsors, special diets and yoga accessories all make good business sense, right? It’s a powerful package on offer — physical, mental and emotional emancipation. !.Looking good and feeling even better is more enticing than a TV commercial. It’s hip. Commercially viable, sexy, sweat drenched and offers a ringside view of the inner consciousness. What’s more, it works most of the time! But away from all this hoopla, the legendary secret of a long and healthy life reportedly developed by Tibetan lamas is slowly creeping across the world. It’s known as the Five Rites of Rejuvenation. Centuries ago, it’s believed, a group of Tibetan lamas took hundreds of Asanas (yoga postures) from India to their homeland. There, they modified and reinvented them into five dynamic asanas — the Five Rites. The lamas practised the Rites for centuries but no one knew of this until Colonel Bradford, a retired British army officer, travelled to Tibet and chanced upon the monastery where the lamas resided. He lived with them and practised the Five Rites for two years. His backache and arthritis were cured within months; he began to feel and look younger and could run up mountain slopes, where previously brisk walks had been difficult. Colonel Bradford then returned home and shared his experiences with Peter Kelder a writer who detailed the Rites in his book, the ancient secret of the fountain of youth. How do the Five Rites, work? There are seven major chakras or vortexes (energy centres) in the body. When we are young, these vortexes spin very quickly, allowing energy to move rapidly through the body. But as we age and due to our irregular lifestyle, the chakras slow down or get blocked, inviting fatigue and sickness. The quickest way to regain youthful vigour, optimal health and vitality is to get them spinning quickly again; in other words, balance the chakras. This is what the Five Rites achieve. The seven major chakras are along the spinal column. Secondary chakras Are located in the palms, the soles of the feet and at major joints arms and legs. The Five Rites stimulate the chakras. They are five simple yogic exercises that take about 5 minutes, don’t require supervision, can be learnt easily and be done anywhere, provided your stomach is empty.

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Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans)
“Tibetan yoga is popular in the USA, Europe and Russia and is now fast spreading in India. Adds Razia. She learnt Siddha Yoga meditation in a retreat in Ganeshpuri and has been teaching meditation all over India for the last 20 years. She learnt 5 Rites and Chi Gong and Pilates in the USA and has been imparting the knowledge to companies like ONGC, Indian E. Bharat Petroleum. Orange, call centres like Datamatics, Health Prime and ICICI among others. Rustom Patel, her husband, has been practising Siddha Yoga for 30 years. He learnt yoga from Dhirendra Brahmachari, and also from B.K.S.lyengar. Razia does the Five Rites in the early morning because it suites her. “But they can be done any time,” she says. “Just remember to keep your stomach empty you can do the Rites 90 minutes before or after meal.’ Razia Patel who is nudging 60 and Rustom, who at 80, stands ramrod straight and is astonishingly fit for his age, have always been a couple interested in yoga, exercise, meditation and seva. They have been regular attendees of a mind-body retreat in Ganeshpuri near Mumbai. It was during one of their regular visits about 10 years ago that they chanced to meet a gentleman who had three heart attacks and was looking for a cure. As it happened, a Tibetan yoga practitioner was also one of the attendees of the Ganeshpuri camp. When he heard of the man with multiple heart attacks, he took him under his wing and treated him hack to health. Razia and Rustom were so astonished at this that Razia immediately decided to learn this form of yoga — Tibetan Yoga and its Five rites. She attended classes on the Five Rites in the US, Brought back a book and a CD and trained to be an instructor. The couple, who had a few health problems of their own (Rustom was suffering from slipped disc and Razia was having trouble with spondylitis) tried the Rites and were cured. Today they both teach the Five Rites at clubs, colleges, schools and companies in India and overseas. Calling it Tibetan yoga, their classes include positive thinking, medication and stress-releasing Chi Gong (a form of traditional Chinese medicine), stretching and breathing exercises. “The workshop can be done in just four hours and it takes only I5 minutes of daily practice” says Razia. “After 21 there is a follow-up class in which people share their experiences of performing the five Rites”. The results are immediate, she says. “All the students feel very energetic and can work better and longer without tiring. There is a visible release (of negative stress) from the back and neck. Arthritic pains, diabetes and blood pressure arc brought under control, and (the students) all feel physically and mentally stronger.”

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Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans)

Invigorated inside out Razia does the Five Rites each morning. I results have been significant. Previously, she would go to a physiotherapist for her backache. But now the pain has disappeared. “I also feel very energetic,” she adds. “I recently hiked 28 km in the Himalayas and I feel young, positive and enthusiastic. My skins condition has improved, my hair has stopped falling and because the hormones are balanced I don’t feel the onset of menopause. My memory and concentration arc also better.” How do you begin? “You have to start with five repetitions. Don’t rush it,” warns Razia. YOU may not be ready for it. Add two repetitions every week till you reach 21. It doesn’t help if you do more than 21.” In terms of diet, she says, “It is advisable to cut down on fat and sweets. “It also helps to eat more fresh fruit, fruit juices, raw vegetables, nuts and dried fruits like dates, apricots and figs. Many people have benefited by eating small meals at short intervals instead of three large meals.” The Tibetan yoga workshops she conducts also include positive thinking exercises, breathing exercises, stress- releasing exercises and meditation. “If someone is already doing other forms of yoga or other exercises he or she can continue and add Tibetan yoga too,” says Razia. I have been doing Tibetan yoga along with the breathing exercises and meditation and this gives me enough exercise for my body. I feel it works on all four systems of our body — cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and nervous — which leads to the integrated functioning of mind, body and spirit. Can anyone do it? “It is always advisable to consult a doctor before doing any form of exercise, especially if have medical problems,” says Razia, who has taught more than, 7000 people. “People suffering from heart problems and lower back problems should consult their doctor, do the exercises very slowly and learn them correctly,” she explains. “There are three categories of people who should not do the Rites: those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, those who have recently had heart surgery and pregnant women. Very overweight people are unable to do the Fourth Rite. “We have done classes for senior citizens up to the age of 80 but they have to do the Rites slowly and under supervision.” Page3/8 Compiled and published by Capt.M.J.Thavapunithan John

Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans)
Razia has conducted workshops in Kenya, South Africa, England, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Mauritius, Dubai, Singapore and the USA. New Zealand is the next halt. Pharmaceutical companies like Novartis, Biotronics, Johnson & Johnson and ONGC have also invited her to do workshops for their international conferences in Switzerland, France and the UK. “My mission is to pass on this knowledge to as many people as possible because everyone needs to be stress free and to live a healthy and happy life,” she says. “The best thing about Tibetan yoga is that there are only five postures which have been practised by the lamas and which have been passed on undiluted to modern times. “They have not been modified or changed. I hope they stay the same so that coming generations can inherit them in the purest form. “We are teaching Peter Kelder’s version without any alteration,” says Razia. Razia can be contacted at tibetanyoga@yahoo.co.in

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Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans)

Spread and spin … The 1 st Rite of rejuvenation, also known as Tibetan yoga, a series of dynamic postures that take 15 minutes to perform. 1ST RITE (Spinning) Stand straight with arms outstretched to the sides. Keep palms open and facing downwards with fingers close together and head straight. Now, begin spinning your body 360°. Begin with 5 repetitions and increase frequency over a period of time to 21. You might feel dizzy but keep your breathing steady.

2ND RITE (Leg raises) 1. Lie flat on your back. Extend legs fully with your ankles touching. Arms must be at the side with palms flat (facing down) on the floor. 2. Inhale, raise your head and tuck it into your chest. 3. In the same motion, gently lift your legs. Your lower back should remain flat on the ground. Exhale slowly and gently bring your legs and head back to the starting position. Repeat 21 times, inhaling as you raise your legs and head, exhaling as you bring them down.

3RD RITE (Camel) 1. Kneel with the toes of your feet flat on the ground. Your knees must be about 10 cm apart, your spine erect and your chin tucked into your chest. Place the palms of the hand on the sides of the thighs and move them to the back of the thigh. 2. Inhale and arch back from the waist. Your hands should remain in place. Drop your

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Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans)
head back as much as you can comfortably, then exhale and slowly return to the starting

position.Repeat 21 times. 4TH RITE (Table Top) Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Upper body erect, feet 12” apart, flexed, palms flat on the floor next to your hips, fingers pointed towards your feet. Tilt your head as far back as you can comfortably, and at the same time bend your knees and push your torso upwards into a tabletop position. Straighten arms. Your trunk is now parallel to the ground. Tense every muscle in the body, relax, exhale and slowly return to starting position. Do not let your feet slide or bend your arms.

5TH RITE (PENDULUM) Lie with your face down. Rest your body on your palms and your toes in a flexed position. Ensure your arms and legs are about 60 cm apart. Do not bend your arms. Arch your upperbody, slowly throw your head back, letting your arms support your body. Then, slowly lower your chest and head towards the floor even as you raise your behind towards the ceiling. Now your body should be in an inverted ‘V Tuck your chin into your chest. Pause, lower your behind while pressing palms on the floor until your legs are back to a flat position, parallel to the floor. Inhale on your way up, exhale while lowering your body to the starting position. Avoid bending your arms and legs. Start with 5 and

gradually build up to 21 sets. Note: Beginners should consult a doctor before attempting these exercises. Begin with 5 and gradually build up to 21 repetitions.

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Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans)
WHY 21 “The reason for 21 repetitions has been lost over time,” says Witt. “From my experience, doing more than 21 repetitions does not seem to make any difference. Colonel Bradford says the same thing in the original text — 21 repetitions seem just perfect.” The Five Rites with a twist AN AUSTRALIAN HEALTH PROFESSIONAL has adapted Tibetan yoga to make it more user-friendly, says Rajendar Menen For Carolinda Witt, alternative health is both a passion and a meal ticket. Based in Sydney, Australia, Kenvan-horn Witt has taught alternative healing at colleges of advanced education. She has diplomas in clinical hypnotherapy, magnetic therapy, Reiki and several other fields and has practised yoga since the age of 18. But her life, and her vocation, changed six years ago when a friend introduced her to the Five Rites. “Despite being fit at the time, I noticed an immediate increase in energy” says Witt, via email. “I also looked forward to practising them every day. My hot flushes dramatically improved and found that I could think much more clearly. After I had been practising for a couple of weeks, I really noticed how much calmer I had become as well as feeling more positive and motivated.” Today Witt is the founder and developer of T5T (The Five Tibetans), an adaptation of the Five Rites which she says is safer for people’s backs. In consultation with other health professionals, she created the T5T programme, which strengthens the body “from the inside out”. She has written a book on this and today conducts instructor training programmes throughout the world. Witt says the programme isn’t a radical departure from the Five Rites, just an improvement. “When I also started teaching the Rites exactly as described and illustrated in the books, I noticed some people would develop lower back or neck pain. I realised that the monks would most likely have practised the Rites from a very young age and would have lived a much more active lifestyle than the typical modern Westerner! So I took the sequence to physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, occupational health, Pilates and Feldenkrais practitioners and asked for their suggestions. “1 took their ideas and tried them out in my classrooms and came up with a step-by-step process to learning the Rites that enables people to develop strength from the inside out. I have added core stability to each of the Rites… The result is a safer and more effective way of learning the Rites which I call T5T “Incidentally, having strong core muscles also means strong pelvic floor muscles. One of the problems people face as they age is an inability to control their bladder ... it is best to exercise the inner and the outer muscles. They are all meant to work!” Having taught T5T to thousands of people, Witt says she’s seen some incredible turn-around. “We are constantly amazed at the benefits people achieve in such a short period of time. These include increased energy, less stress, Page7/8 Compiled and published by Capt.M.J.Thavapunithan John

Tibetan yoga T5T (The Five Tibetans)
greater focus and better concentration. Over time, they get stronger, more toned and have a more positive outlook on life.” Witt is the author of T5T: The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites (Penguin), published in the US as The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House). She can be contacted at carolinda@t5t.com On Rites Rite No 1 (The Spin): ‘I am full of energy’; Rite No 2 (The Leg Raise): ‘My mind is clear and calm’; Rite No 3 (The camel): ‘I am flexible and receptive’; Rite No 4 (The Tabletop): ‘I am strong and balanced’; Rite No 5 (The Pendulum): ‘I am positive and motivated On breathing “Breathing is so often taken for granted. Yet most people don’t realise how well you breathe literally dictates your lifespan. Findings resulting from a 5,200 clinical study group observed over a 30-year span enabled researchers to foretell how long a person was going to live by measuring their forced exhalation breathing. “According to Michael Grant White (a breathing development consultant in the US) the average person reaches peak respiratory function and lung capacity in their mid twenties. Then they begin to lose respiratory capacity: between 10 per cent and 27 per cent for every decade of life! So, unless you are doing something to maintain or improve your breathing capacity, it will decline, and with it, your general health, your life expectancy, and for that matter, your spirit as well. “Breathing comprises over 99 per cent of your entire oxygen and energy supply. Poor breathing causes or worsens chronic maladies such as asthma, allergies, anxiety, fatigue, depression, headaches, heart conditions, high blood pressure, sleep loss, obesity, harmful stress, poor mental clarity plus hundreds of other lesser known but equally harmful conditions. All diseases are caused or worsened by poor breathing.” On health benefits “I have observed a psychological aspect to those who perform the Rites. They are not only healthier but they are more powerful than they were previously. They procrastinate less, are more decisive and willing to make change. They feel happier, more purposeful and more positive in outlook. They are less emotionally volatile and feel ‘more themselves They are also wiser:’

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