Do you know what are the 5 Tibetan rites? They are one of the secrets of longevity of Tibetan monks and now famous even in the western civilisations, they help to keep in shape and live longer;

Tibet is famous for the Dalai Lama, for its monks but only a few know that also yoga is studied, in a more dynamic variation but always very effective. Studying with the Monks is an exciting experience but also very intense; the monks are in fact more dynamic than you would actually think and every day they begin their day with the 5 Tibetan rites.


The 5 Tibetans or tibetan rites are a system of exercises whose origin is rather dubious, but according to various sources we know that already 2500 years ago they were practiced on the Himalayan mountains right by the inhabitants of Tibet.


Observing well especially by listening to the monks these exercises are part of yoga from which then the positions carried out are differentiated during the 5 rites, they are performed dynamically and not held long as instead done in the classic hatha yoga.

These exercises have remained confined in Tibet until a Westerner, Peter Kelder, published in 1939 the famous book named “The Tibetan 5”.

Before we see how to carry them out lets discover the benefits of the 5 TIBETAN RITES


Just the same as the sun salutation, the 5 Tibetans should be carried out every morning so as to start the day in the best of ways by restoring a bit of balance in the body that has been stretched for too long.

According to the Tibetan monks if you take the habit of carrying out these exercises on a daily basis both body and mind will stay young longer and you will feel considerably better and have considerable benefits.


  • Raise the energy levels to balance the chakras and start your day.
  • Soothe your mind and fight stress.
  • Fight backache.
  • Strengthen the whole body, in particular legs, hips, abdomen, back, arms and shoulders.
  • Enhance flexibility.
  • Improve breathing.
  • Improve posture.
  • Help you lose weight
  • Improve digestion because they are working on all the abdominal organs.
  • For women improve symptoms both of menstruation and menopause.
  • Rebalance all chakras and therefore also all the endocrine glands associated thereto.

The benefits of the 5 Tibetan rites are many, but obviously if the facts with constancy.


the 5 tibetans

We will now look at the 5 exercises that compose the sequence, one by one and how to carry out the 5 Tibetan rites.


Just 10/20 minutes per day are required to see great results they should preferably be carried out in the morning but any time will do provided that it is not after lunch.

Each rite should be repeated well 21 times but, as already previously suggested, this number is to be considered a point of arrival and not a starting point for which its better starting with just 3 repetitions and then gradually increase the number slowly until you the 21 times.

The First Tibetan Rite
– Start by putting yourself in what is a variation of Tadasana, the position of mountain: feet parallel to each other and at the same width of the pelvis, hands along your sides.
– Bring your arms up to the same height of the shoulders with the palms of your hands facing downwards.
– At this point start to turn towards the right in a clockwise direction by turning your feet about 90° degrees at a time trying to always return to the position from which you started. (an actual rotation practically)
– If you can do it for 21 repetitions but the first times that you carry it out you may feel dizzy.  Do not worry because it is quite normal. Get to the number of repetitions you can without feeling dizzy, and then return into Tadasana.
– Stay in this position for some breath.
– To ensure  that your head turns less you can try to gaze at a point in front of you for most of the rotation.

The First Tibetan rite is very beneficial because it activates all chakras and allows the flow of energy between all energy centres.


The second Tibetan Rite
– Lay on the ground as if going into Savasana

– At this point exhaling bring your legs to a right angle, as if you had to carry out the staff pose in yoga, but your hands remain on the ground with the palms facing the floor. Your feet slightly bent backwards like in a hammer position.

– Simultaneously raise your head as if you want to see your. Keep your chin towards the neck.
– Inhaling return both legs and head to the ground. The feet this time are not a hammer but the tips are extended forward to lengthen the back of the foot.
– This exercise can be quite demanding for the lumbar area. I therefore recommend that you begin doing so by bending your knees between one movement and the other. In this way you will keep the lumbar area safe.

This second rite acts mainly on the first 5 chakra, strengthens the legs, the neck, the abdominal muscles, stimulates the members which are located in the abdomen and lengthens the whole back.

the second tibetan

The Third Tibetan Rite
The third Tibetan rite is a sort of dynamic version of Ustrasana, the position of the camel.

– Get on your knees with your pelvis above your knees and shoulders above your pelvis. The balls of your feet are on the ground. Hands must be above the buttocks.
– Inhaling fold back only the upper part of the back without moving the pelvis that should always remain perpendicular to the ground. Bring your head gently backwards and your gaze upwards. To keep your neck safe I suggest you to bring your chin slightly towards your neck. Push you elbows one towards the other to open your chest and shoulders.
– Exhaling gently return to the starting position.
– Repeat this exercise for 21 times or until you feel that you are able to carry it out without feeling any tension.

This exercise works on the 3rd, 4th and 5th chakra, opens the chest and shoulders, lengthens the throat, relaxes the abdominal organs and improves breathing.

the 3rd tibetan

The fourth Tibetan Rite
– Sit down on the ground with your legs stretched in front of you, feet bent backwards in hammer position, back quite straight, shoulders open and gaze facing forward. Your arms are instead along your sides, the palms rest on the ground and the fingers are directed towards the feet. In the traditional yoga this position is called Dandasana.
– Inhaling press with your hands and heels on the ground and raise your hips upwards to form a bridge.

– Your knees must be above your heels and your shoulders above your wrists. The Pelvis should be at the same height of the shoulders and knees. The head slightly backwards. This position in yoga is called Ardha Purvottanasana.
– If you have problems with your neck avoid bringing your head backwards or else look up.
– Exhaling lower the pelvis and return to the starting position.

the 4th tibetan

The fifth Tibetan Rite
The fifth rite can be considered as a dynamic transition between two of the more known yoga postures, the downward dog and the upward-facing dog.

– Start on all fours with your shoulders above your wrists and your pelvis above your knees.
– Exhaling raise your your glutes and straighten your legs assuming Adho Mukha Svanasana, the position of the downward dog. The legs are extended, your heels should touch the ground, fingers are well open, elbows rotate outwards and shoulders are relaxed.
– Inhaling lower your pelvis to almost touch the ground, bring your shoulders above your wrists and arch your back upwards. If you manage look upwards otherwise you can also look forward. This position is a variant of Urdhvamukha Shvanasana, the upward-facing dog pose.
– Continue carrying out the transition between these two positions for 21 times or until you manage.
The movement between the downward dog and the upward-facing dog can be quite demanding.

So if you just started practicing yoga I advice you to go slowly and gently. Once learned well you can also do them faster.

the 5th tibetan

These rites are quite challenging but very effective, but attention to all the contraindications, they are not suitable in fact:

  • If you suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you suffer from heart problems
  • If you have one or more hernias, or other similar pathologies as for example a slipped disc.
  • If you suffer from hyperthyroidism.

If you want to deepen into the yoga positions from which the 5 Tibetan rites are derived (or better that are part of the 5 Tibetan rites) we recommend this page.

If you want to deepen and start with the basics of yoga take a look at our ebook yoga for everyone