"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

September 13, 2011

For Better Health, Consider “The Five Tibetans”

Occasionally I will publish health-related posts here on Dharma Nuggets.  This is my first.  I want to tell people about an exercise I’ve used for several years now called “The Five Tibetans.”

I can attest to the health benefits of these simple exercises. I just feel so much better when I do them. Click on this link from Wikipedia for some background on the “Five Tibetan” practice:

Five Tibetan Rites

Whatever the controversy over the origin of the ”rites,“ as a system of practice, they’ve proven themselves over the years to thousands of people.  As I said, I’ve really noticed benefits from them—better flexibility, less stiffness, a feeling of invigoration when I'm done.

Of course, if you already do Yoga, or Tai Chi, or Qigong, these exercises might look pretty basic.  But for many people, it’s someplace to start, and you can easily do them in your home.  (Standard disclaimer: As with taking up any new exercise program, or diet, you should consult with your physician if you have health issues.)

Here’s a link that gives a very good illustrated introduction to The Five Tibetan exercises that you can print out:

The Five Tibetan Rites: Exercises for Healing, Rejuvenation, and Longevity 

I found a number of videos on YouTube showing how to do The Five Tibetans, but I got the most enjoyment from a 73 year-old (now several years older!) woman named Ellen Wood, who advocates doing the exercises very slowly. (I liked the accompanying music, apparently from her son, Peter. Lovely lyrics and a nice voice!)

Ellen Wood "Five Tibetans" Video 

Give the Five Tibetans a try!  For a very short investment of time, I found that one gets a very big return in terms of how good you feel when you do them regularly.

With metta, and best for your good health,

Steve Goodheart

For more in-depth dharma articles and instruction, visit:  METTA REFUGE

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