Back in 1939, Peter Kelder published a book called ‘The Eye of Revelation’ that described five exercises reportedly developed in a lamasery in Tibet 2,500 years ago, which were based on the Tibetan practice of Kum Nye. The exercises, known as the ‘Five Tibetan Rites’, were to taught to a British Army officer ‘Colonel Bradford’ (a pseudonym) who had learned, while serving in India in the 1920s, of a group of monks who had apparently become full of “vigor and vitality” after entering a particular lamasery on the Indo-Tibet border. After retiring, the colonel, in a quest for the ‘Fountain of Youth’, sought out the lamasery in the Himalayas where the monks taught him five anti-aging exercises they called ‘rites’.
The whereabouts of the particular lamasery has never been published nor has the true identity of Colonel Bradford. The original 1939 book and Keldor’s reprint in 1946 were also nearly lost. However, interest in the Five Tibetan Rites was reignited in the West with the publishing of Chris Kilham’s 1994 book ‘The Five Tibetans’.
The exercises are based on the belief that there are seven spinning ‘vortexes’ in the body known as Chakras. The seven Chakras correspond with seven glands: Reproductive glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, thymus gland, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, and pineal gland.
The lamas claimed that the ‘spin rate’ of the vortexes slows as we age, but this can be restored by practising the Five Tibetan Rites, hence, the anti-aging effect.
The exercises are meant to be practised 21 times each and take about 10 minutes to complete. They must be done in the following sequence. It is suggested to start with 3 repetitions of each and work up to 21.
- Stand upright with hands outstretched and horizontal to the floor. Spin from left to right, 3 times to start, then working up to 21 times.
- Lie flat on the floor, palms down. Raise your neck, then raise your legs on the in breath keeping both legs straight. Slowly lower your neck and straight legs to the floor on the out breath. Repeat as before.
- Kneel on the floor, back straight with hands on the outer thighs. Tuck the head and neck toward the chin. Then breathe in and move the head and neck backwards arching the spine backwards. Hands can be on the thighs or buttocks. Return to the upright position and continue with repetitions as before.
- Sit on the floor upright with legs straight out in front of you 12 inches apart. Keep your body erect and place the palms of your hands beside the buttocks, fingers facing forwards. Move your chin down towards your chest, then breathe in and drop the head backwards while raising the whole body upwards and bending the knees, forming a table top position. Tense the muscles here while you hold your breath, then breathe out while lowering your body to the floor in the original seated position. Do your repetitions.
- Lie face down on the floor with elbows bent and palms on the floor. Feet should be flexed and toes tucked under on the floor. Breathe in, raise the head then upper body in ‘Cobra’ or ‘Upward facing dog’. Exhale and bring the body into ‘Downward facing dog’. Go straight into ‘Upward facing dog’ as you continue your repetitions.