Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Waking up in Tibet

Remember spinning as a kid? How you'd twirl as fast as you could until you fell down on the ground, hugging the earth while it spun under your belly? It was freeing and fun and utterly frivolous. When was the last time you felt like that... without a hangover?

Believe it or not, spinning is the first move in an ancient ritual called The Five Tibetan Rites. A quick morning exercise routine consisting of five yoga-based moves, the Five Tibetan Rites has been performed by Tibetan monks for over 2500 years. And it's said to have numerous benefits like looking younger, sleeping soundly and feeling refreshed, among others. 

Each of the the five movements is performed up to 21 times before moving on to the next and is designed to awaken specific parts of the body. When performed together the exercises rouse the whole body to life. The philosophy is that they get the energy moving outward from the core and help the chakras spin normally (the link above explains this in detail). Here's a short demonstration.

I tried it for the first time yesterday morning (I did each movement 12 times and plan to work up to 21). It made me feel alert, awake, strong and focused. And the spinning (the first move of the ritual) was just plain fun! Last night I couldn't wait to go to bed so I could wake up and do it again!

20 minutes ago I woke up, put up my husband's coffee, made my tea, fed the cats and did the routine in my jammies. It was quick and relatively easy and already I can feel that it loosened up my neck and shoulders, opened my chest and abs, and stretched my glutes and quads. And I feel really awake.

There's something incredibly liberating about giving yourself permission to twirl as an adult. Probably because it's not something grownups typically do. So you might feel a little silly at first. But as you get into it you realize that it's a challenge that requires focus and balance. And the exercises that follow the spinning sequence are amazingly efficient at opening the body.

Who needs coffee? In the time it takes to brew a pot you can do these exercises. I promise they'll make you feel awake, alert and alive all day!