The Five Tibetan Rites (a Possible Source of Eternal Youth)
Of uncertain origins, these five simple exercises just may be the key to eternal youth.
The fountain of youth is a fantastic place within legends and myths from around the world. It’s also a metaphor for the unsuccessful quest to detach oneself from the passage of time. In 1939, a small manual of exercises, “Five Tibetan Rites of Eternal Youth,” was published with the promise that it would restore youth to the elderly and give more vigor to young people. Unlike most textbooks, the booklet seems to have worked (at least partially) for many people.
According to legend, a young Peter Kelder, the later author of the manual, met a retired army colonel who claimed to have lived in a retreat with monks (their exact location was never divulged). In the monastery, the monks taught the colonel a series of initiatory techniques among which are these five rites. They bear some resemblance to the practice of Vinyasa yoga, although the origin and meaning of their practice remains a matter of dispute among yogis even today. What we know (at least according to Kelder’s account) is that the colonel went from being a gray-haired old man to regaining vigor and strength of his youth. His hair began growing back as his memory improved, and the fat and the sagging disappeared. Perhaps Kelder exaggerated the advantages (including the relief of sinusitis, arthritic pain, improved digestion, etc.), but there’s no better proof than to try it yourself.
Below are brief descriptions of each of the rites, which are nothing more than aerobic exercises. The manual doesn’t suggest a specific type of breathing, nor an exact number of repetitions, but doing them daily for a few minutes is recommended. It’s also important that if you decide to practice them, consult a health professional if you have any previous injury which may be aggravated by physical exercise.
The First Rite
Stand up and with your arms extended at shoulder height. Rotate your entire body clockwise (from left to right), until you feel a slight dizziness.
The Second Rite
Next, lie down on the floor, with your hands on both sides of the body and your fingers together. Try to raise your legs as high as possible, without bending your knees. At the same time, tilt your head forward in an attempt to bring the chin lightly into contact with your chest.
The Third Rite
On your knees, with your hands at your sides and your palms flat against your legs, push your head forward so that your chin touches your chest. Then, lean as far upward as possible, pulling out the chest and bending at the waist.
The Fourth Rite
Start from a seated position (with the body forming an L), legs together, with the toes pointed upward and arms at your sides. Palms should be placed flat on the floor, with the fingers together and facing forward. We’ll then bring the chin to the chest. Raise your body, little by little, bending the knees and keeping the soles of your feet on the ground, throwing your head back, to form the shape of a bow. The manual reads that the arms “should remain vertical while the body, from the shoulders to the knees, is to be horizontal.” Then we return to the initial position and repeat, at will.
The Fifth Rite
Here, yoga practitioners will recognize the sequence of movements such as the position of the snake and the dog face. We stand with the face down and the hands at shoulder height, feet slightly apart. Then stretch forward as we draw the chest in, looking upward and stretching the back. Without moving the palms of the hands or the feet, lift the hips upward, stretching the limbs and allowing the head to fall without tension, by its own weight.
When ancient rituals became religion
The emergence of religions irreversibly changed the history of humanity. It’s therefore essential to ask when and how did ancient peoples’ rituals become organized systems of thought, each with their
Seven ancient maps of the Americas
A map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski Maps are never merely maps. They’re human projections, metaphors in which we find both the geographical and the imaginary. The cases of ghost islands
An artist crochets a perfect skeleton and internal organs
Shanell Papp is a skilled textile and crochet artist. She spent four long months crocheting a life-size skeleton in wool. She then filled it in with the organs of the human body in an act as patient
A musical tribute to maps
A sequence of sounds, rhythms, melodies and silences: music is a most primitive art, the most essential, and the most powerful of all languages. Its capacity is not limited to the (hardly trivial)
The enchantment of 17th-century optics
The sense of sight is perhaps one the imagination’s most prolific masters. That is why humankind has been fascinated and bewitched by optics and their possibilities for centuries. Like the heart, the
Would you found your own micro-nation? These eccentric examples show how easy it can be
Founding a country is, in some ways, a simple task. It is enough to manifest its existence and the motives for creating a new political entity. At least that is what has been demonstrated by the
Wondrous crossings: the galaxy caves of New Zealand
Often, the most extraordinary phenomena are “jealous of themselves” ––and they happen where the human eye cannot enjoy them. However, they can be discovered, and when we do find them we experience a
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider habitual. Using a fork to eat, for example, or walking down the street and being
The sky is calling us, a love letter to the cosmos (video)
We once dreamt of open sails and Open seas We once dreamt of new frontiers and New lands Are we still a brave people? We must not forget that the very stars we see nowadays are the same stars and
The sister you always wanted (but made into a crystal chandelier)
Lucas Maassen always wanted to have a sister. And after 36 years he finally procured one, except, as strange as it may sound, in the shape of a chandelier. Maassen, a Dutch designer, asked the