The Five Tibetan Exercises
Doing the Tibetans
We recommend that you do the Tibetans every morning when you wake up. They're easiest to do on an empty stomach. If the exercises seem too strenuous at first, refer to the book Ancient Secrets of the Fountain of Youth, Part 2, published by Doubleday, for starter exercises so that you can slowly build up strength to do the full recommended set.
For beginners, just start with three or four repetitions of each exercise for the first week. Then increase the number of repetitions by a few every week until you reach the full 21 repetitions. Do the repetitions of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise. If you never work all the way up to 21 each, don't worry; they will still deliver results.
The five Tibetan exercises can be performed anytime and virtually anywhere. It isn't necessary to do each exercise more than 21 times to receive all their benefits.
Exercise 1: Standing with arms extended outward to the sides at shoulder height, spin your body toward your right hand. Go slowly at first and be sure to stop if you feel dizzy. Should you get dizzy, pick a spot on the wall and look at it until you feel clear-headed. Eventually, you will be able to spin quickly without getting dizzy. In the beginning, just spin three complete rotations, eventually working up to 21.
Spinning seems like an odd exercise, and in a way it is. But it wakes your body up and seems to stimulate proper hormonal balance. There's a reason why children love to spin—because it feels good and it's good for you.
Exercise 2: First lie flat on the floor, face up. Fully extend your arms along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor, keeping the fingers close together. If you want, place your hands under your hips to brace your movement. Then raise your head off the floor, tucking the chin against the chest. As you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position, perpendicular to the floor. If possible, let the legs extend back over the body toward the head, but do not let the knees bend. Then slowly lower both your head and legs, knees straight, to the floor. Breathe in deeply as you lift your legs and breathe out as you lower your legs.
Exercise 3: Kneel on the floor with the torso of your body erect. Place your hands behind your back either in the middle back or lower back. Bend your neck and head forward, tucking the chin against the chest. Then move the head and neck backward slowly, arching your spine. As you arch, you brace your hands against your body for support. Go backward until you are looking up at the ceiling and your neck feels fully stretched. After the arching, return to the original position and start the second repetition. Breathe in deeply as you arch the spine and breathe out as you return to an erect position.
Exercise 4: Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. Sit up straight and place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside your buttocks, fingers pointed toward your toes. Tuck your chin forward against the chest. Then slowly drop your head backward as far as it will go. At the same time, raise your body so that the knees bend while the arms remain straight. The only body parts touching the floor are the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet.
The trunk of your body will be aligned with the upper legs, horizontal to the floor. Your body will be in the shape of a bench. Then tense every muscle in the body. Finally, relax your muscles as you return to the original sitting position and rest before repeating the procedure. Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, and breathe out completely as you come down.
Exercise 5: When you perform the fifth exercise, your body is facing the floor with just your toes and hands on the floor. Make a tent shape out of your body, with your head tucked between your arms and your bottom up. Then move your torso toward the floor so that you are flexing the spine in reverse and look up at the ceiling. Breathe in deeply as you raise your body and breathe out fully as you lower it.
The five Tibetans are an exercise “extra” to boost your fitness progress. They're a great way to start the day, and they fit nicely with other parts of your exercise program. Clients rave about the results they get. You'll love the results, too.
More on: Exercise Tips
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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