Tibetian Rites Of Youth

Anything that is not in use deteriorates, just as a nail rusts. By the same logic, our body also begins to show signs of rusting if we do not use it well. In this case, using the body is just another way of saying that the body needs exercise. As we have already seen, exercise is the key to fitness and youthfulness. There are hundreds of exercises devised for the purpose of keeping the body fir and most of them are quite effective, too. I am across this set of exercises that are not too difficult to perform once the body has loosened up and the muscles are toned.

From ancient times, the Tibetan Lamas have been performing some exercises, which are almost like rituals for them. Have you ever wondered why the monks remain youthful looking and have an enviable longevity of life? Well, the secret for their youthful looks is the set of exercises they perform, unfailingly and with the same devotion the observe for the other religious rites. The principles, on which the exercises are centered, are the seven 'Chakras' or the 'Vortexes'. Most Asains have believed that these Chakras are the energy centres and are connected with the functioning of the endocrine glands. Anyone can perform this set of five exercises or rites, which are very simple.

Firstly, one must understand what is the significance of each Chakra and what they represent.

The Seven Chakras are:-

1. Muladhara, the base Chakra, Seat of the will to live, corresponds to the sacral plexus and the adrenals, which rouse the body to action.
2. Swadhishthana, corresponds to the prostatic plexus, and the gonads which rule our sexual nature and activity.
3. Manipura stores prana, and corresponds to the solar plexus, and the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar, the body's fuel.
4.Anahata, the heart chakra, corresponds to the laryngeal plexus and to the thyroid, which governs the body's metabolic rate.
5. Vishuddha, the throat chakra, corresponds to the laryngeal plexus and the thyroid, which governs the body's metabolic rate.
6. Anja, the brow chakra corresponds to the cavernous plexus and the pituitary, the master gland, which rules the endocrine system.
7.Sahasrara, the crown chakra, seat of the highest consciousness, corresponds to the pineal, a mysterious gland thought to govern sleeping and waking.

Rite No:1- It is a very simple exercise. Stand erect with your arms out stretched, palms facing the floor. Now spin around till you are a bit dizzy. It is important that you turn from left to right. To get it right, place a clock on the floor; face up, in front of you. Turn in the same direction as the clock arms. Spin slowly six time to sart with. If you feel dizzy, sit down and relax for some time. Gradually increase the number if turns till you feel slightly dizzy. A dozen times is good enough as the vortexes get excited and the aim is achieved.

Rite No 2- This exercise further excites the vortexes and is comparatively simpler than the first. Lie flat on the back on the floor, which can be covered, with a rug or a carpet to insulate the body and provide cushion. Keep the arms by the side. Now raise the head and the legs together slowly. Tuck the chin against the chest, and raise the legs, without bending the knees, to a vertical position. Return the head and the legs to the original position slowly and relax. If the legs tend to bend, try to keep them as straight as possible. Breathe in as you raise your head and legs and breath out as you lower them.

Rite No 3- Rite no 3 should be done immediately after no 2. Kneel on the floor with the body erect and the hands placed against the thigh muscle, by the side. first bend the neck forward, tucking the chin against the chest. Then throw the head and neck back as far as they can go, and at the same time bend backwards, arching the spine. Hold the thighs for support with your hands as you bend backwards. Breathe in as you bend backwards and breathe out as you return to the upright position. Keeping the eyes closed during the exercise avoids distraction.

Rite No 4- Sit down on the floor with the legs stretched in front of you along the ground, approximately a foot apart. With the trunk of the body erect, place the palms along the body on the floor. First tuck the chin forward against the chest, and then bend backward. At the same time, taking the weight on the arms raise the body, keeping the arms straight. The body should be in a straight line along with the thighs, parallel to the ground. Repeat this exercise a couple of times, keeping in mind that systematic breathing plays a major role.

Rite No 5- Lie flat on the floor with your face down. Place the palms flat on the floor by the side of te chest. The toes should be flexed on the floor. Look up and raise the chest so that the body arches and the weight of the body is on the toes and palms. Next, bend your head down and raise the hips so that the body forms an inverted" V". Do this rite slowly, breathing in as you raise the body, and out as you lower it.

The Frequency and Duration

The rites should be performed only once a day, and the best time to perform these rites is the early hours in the morning. One can do them at night also. As regards the number of times, one should do the exercises as many times as possible but remember not to overdo them and stop whenever you experience any feeling of discomfort. Repeating each rite three times in the first week is good enough. The number should be increased by two each week. i.e. five times in the second week, seven times in the third week nd so on. The aim should be to do each rite 21 times daily ate the end of ten weeks. If that seems too much, restrict the numbers to your comfort degree.


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