Hidden in the high Himalayas 2,500 years ago, Tibetan Lamas developed five simple range of motion exercises they called "Rites." These Rites have remarkable powers of rejuvenation; indeed, they have rightfully been called a "Fountain of Youth.
Actual reported benefits from the Five Rites include: Greater energy, increased sex drive, a more youthful appearance, diminished grey hair, hair re-growth, weight loss, improved eyesight, better memory, enhanced sense of well-being, longer life.
Peter Kelder first introduced this practice to westerns and claims that while stationed in India, British army officer Colonel Bradford (a pseudonym) heard a story about a group of lamas who had apparently discovered a "Fountain of Youth". The "wandering natives", as he called them, told him of old men who inexplicably became healthy, strong, and full of "vigor and virility" after entering a particular lamasery. After retiring, Kelder's Colonel Bradford went on to discover the lamasery and lived with the lamas, where they taught him five exercises, which they called "rites". According to the booklet he wrote, the lamas describe seven spinning, "psychic vortexes" within the body: two of these vortexes are located in the brain, one at the base of the throat, one on the right side of the body in the vicinity of the liver, one in the reproductive anatomy, and one in each knee. As we grow older, the spin rate of the vortexes diminishes, resulting in "ill-health". However, the spin rate of these vortexes can be restored by performing the Five Rites daily, resulting in improved health.
Timing and repetition
The Rites are to be done at a very slow pace. The way you know if you are doing the Rites at the right pace is by listening to your breath. Your movements should be so slow that you do not even hear the in and out of your breathing. You should be resting in between each and every rep enough to keep your breath in check.
Start by performing one to three repetitions of each of the movements one time each day. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and do not strain or force any position that causes pain that indicates possible injury. A little soreness is perfectly okay but really you should start out slow enough not to have any physical hindrances the following day.
You want to work toward performing each of the movements 21 times. When you first begin, try to do 1 or 3 repetitions of each exercise. After a week, try to do 3 repetitions, then pause and try 3 more. You will certainly feel stronger in some of the movements than others. If you have trouble performing a complete set of 21, try to break it down into 3 sets of 7 repetitions with a pause between each set. Once you've achieved 21 repetitions of each exercise, you don't need to go on to more repetitions. These exercises are for restoring energy, not necessarily building strength. If you feel great after doing 21 repetitions of each movement, feel free to add another session later in the day to perform another set of 21 repetitions each.
Stand upright, extend your arms at shoulder level away from your body and spin clockwise (if looking at a clock face on the floor). Keep your eyes looking directly in front of you, do not focus on any one point, let your vision blur as you spin. Work your way up to 21 spins. Speed is not so important, just try to spin 21 times and stop.
Breath in and out of your stomach. An opera singer, stage actor/ actress or yogi experiences the benefit of breathing from this point of the body. When you stop spinning, breath even more deeply from your stomach until your head stops spinning and your balance returns to normal.
Lay down on your back with your arms to your side, palms up, keep your legs straight, begin your inhalation, raise your legs off the ground until as high as possible and pick your head off the ground, bending your neck with your chin falling toward your chest. Begin your exhalation and return to laying flat on the ground. Repeat up to 21 times. Breath in while raising your legs and head and breath out while lowering your legs and head.
When starting out, bend your legs until your stomach strengthens. If your feel discomfort, place your hands (palms facing down) under your buttocks to support your lower spine. As you progress, straighten your legs and try to raise and lower them at the same speed. Once you have worked up to 21 repetitions, try to move at a nice steady rhythm without stopping.
Kneel with your legs together, arms extended, palms of your hands on the side of your thighs, drop your chin to your chest, begin your inhalation, raise your head and lean back, move your hands to the back of your thighs and let them drop lower and support your weight, crane your head and neck backward, relax your lower spine. Begin your exhalation, start to come forward back to kneeling position with your head back up in the straight position. Repeat up to 21 times. Breath in while going backward and breath out while coming forward.
When you start this exercise, use the weight of your head to come forward instead of forcing your chin to your chest with your muscles. When you lean back, avoid craning your neck, simply let it drop with its own weight. Eventually, you can bring your shoulder blades towards each other when you're in the back position. Keep a steady movement while going backward and forward. Keep your eyes open to maintain balance. Later, try the movement with your eyes closed to feel the difference and see if you can relax even more in the backward position.
Sit on the floor, legs a little less than shoulder width apart, arms to your sides with hands extended flat on the ground and fingers pointed forward, drop your head toward your chest, begin your inhalation, raise your buttocks off the ground while bending your knees, shift your weight to your arms/hands and legs/feet, continue to raise your buttocks until your trunck and thighs are parallel to the ground, let your head fall back. Begin your exhalation and return to sitting position with your head dropped forward. Repeat up to 21 times.
Breath in while raising off the ground and breath out while returning back to sitting position.
When you begin this exercise, just try to get from the starting to ending posture. It's easier to do it than read about it. In the beginning, you might not be used to your body weight on your wrists. Doing some wrist warm-ups before you begin can prevent discomfort. Once you have worked your way up to 21 repetitions, try to perform the movements without stopping.
Get down on the floor on your hands and knees (in push-up position) with hands and legs a little less than shoulder width apart. Begin your inhalation, come up on your toes with weight in your arms, straighten your legs, arch your back, lean your head back, do not let any of your body touch the ground except for your toes and hands (Cobra in Yoga). Begin your exhalation, bend at the waist, bend your knees, push your buttocks up into the air, make an inverted V shape with your legs and arms straight, tuck your chin toward your chest (Downward Dog in Yoga), try to put your feet flat on the ground. Begin your next inhalation and repeat up to 21 times. Breath in raising hips up into an ^ shape - downward dog and breath out while hips down & head coming up into cobra.
In the beginning, you will need to find where to place your hands and feet to make a complete inverted-V shape. You may do this exercise for years and never get your feet flat on the ground (a symptom of western living and always sitting in a chair). Once you've worked your way up to 21 repetitions, work on keeping a steady rhythm while going in and out of each position.