Fourteen years ago when I happened onto the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation in a book by Peter Kelder, I knew instinctively these exercises would help me grow younger, and they have.
Known as The Five Tibetan Rites, this series of movements affects the body, mind and emotions, activating and stimulating key chakras (energy centers) as well as all the glands of the endocrine system. Since the endocrine system is responsible for the body's overall functioning and aging process, these exercises affect all our organs and systems.
The Five Tibetans can be considered a form of yoga similar to the more well-known yoga series that originated in India. However, these are designed to reverse aging and they really work.
I know because The Five Tibetans are part of my daily practices for growing younger and living happy, and they're certainly working for me.
To begin, you should do each one three times, gradually working up to 21 of each. I've posted a brief video in which I show the correct way to do the five primary exercises. You can watch it by going to ellenwoodspeaks.com and scrolling down to the third video on my home page.
Studies of societies with populations that live long, active lives report that they remain physically active in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. As practically any doctor will tell you, we must keep moving. The only thing that might seem unusual about my practice is that it dates back more than 2000 years.
The Tibetan Rites were introduced to the Western world by Peter Kelder. He learned of them in the 1930s from a retired British army colonel who told him of his travels to India and Tibet. Kelder published "The Eye of Revelation" based on his conversations with the colonel. It was later retitled, The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth.
Although I have been practicing The Five Tibetans daily since 2004, about six years ago I discovered a new edition of Kelder's book, edited by W.J. Watt and published in 2008. This book, based on a recently discovered manuscript of Kelder's from 1939, gives additional detail and information on the correct way to do the exercises and their benefits.
One of the details is that they should be performed very slowly. What a difference that makes. Initially, I had to cut back to just six a day of each and my muscles were sore. Now I'm back up to 21 of each with no soreness.
When beginning this practice, as with any new exercise program, please use caution. If you don't already practice yoga or something similar, I suggest you first get your doctor's permission.
Sometimes we really can learn from our elders. In this case, ancient elders!
Ellen Wood of Questa is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of "Think and Grow Young: Powerful Steps to Create a Life of Joy." Her new book is "Joy! Joy! Joy! 7 Mind Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress and Anxiety, Reverse Memory Loss and Live Happy." Contact Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org.