The Five Tibetan Rites have a reputation for being the fountain of youth, and they were my baptism of fire into Yoga, I did a one-day workshop in Sydney about 4 years ago, and did the exercises for 6 months, building up to 21 repetitions of the rites.
During that phase I felt my core muscles build up helping my posture in general, as well as a better, deeper, fuller, slower breathing pattern, and more energy in general. When I first did the training, only the book and an audio CD was available, now a complete comprehensive DVD package is available. I moved away from the Five Rites and more towards traditional Yoga and Qi Gong. Somehow you body knows what it needs, and I revisited the Rites again by getting the updated DVD program, now I could look at the Rites again, but this time with a new perspective and understanding of Yoga and Qi Gong.
Most of us are not yogis or monks and in this day and age, we live stressful lives, we have poor postures, we have poor diets, we have poor breathing patterns. We have little time for exercise and spiritual fulfillment; we rely on addictive band aid health care solutions to fill in the gaps. Carolinda seems to understand this and provides a week by week progression building up to the whole rites after a period of 10 weeks.
The DVD comes with two E-Books (The Original Eye of Revelation book both the 1939 and 1946 version combined) and detail supplementary 82 page course material. It is particularly well structured. I particularly liked how the rites are taught in a detail incremental week by week progression, the integrated energy breathing technique, the warm-up exercises and the affirmations.
Detailed Week by Week Progression
Looking at the DVD I must say it is a thorough, detailed, step-by-step, week by week explanation on how to do the rites correctly. From Qi Gong, I know that “forms” evolve over years getting better and better as generations improve it. Carolinda has certainly evolved the rites, however still keeping true to the original essence and form, but adapting it to today’s environment, considerations and lifestyle.
There is great attention to detail in the instructions given; this is a prime example on how to do a proper training course without the aid of any physical instructor. The author is quite active on her Facebook page and seems to be very responsive on any questions raised. She also maintains a very informative blog site […] which has a wealth of free material on the rites.
A week by week program is provided, allowing one to build up to the strength, flexibility and focus slowly, which is required to do the rites properly over 10 weeks. For example the leg raises start with 1 leg at a time, breaking down the sequence from the breathing, to the first head movement, then the single leg movement up, the flex of the leg straight up.
The author focuses on alignment, awareness, breaking down the steps and sequencing them into smaller learning elements, then bringing all elements together incrementally. Particularly key is the focus on safety, as the rites done wrongly without developing the strength and flexibility first could be unsafe. Even steps on how to get down and get up are covered.
I liked the intermixing of various other elements of yoga to the original rites, for example rocking on the back before the leg raises, and the cat and cow pose after the leg raises in the week 1 training. The pendulum uses both the down dog and the up dog as a base to build the more dynamic pendulum movement.
The Integrated Energy Breathing Technique
The energy breathing is based on the complete yogic breath, including the diaphragms, the rib cage and the clavicles, the good thing is that it is not forced, a relaxed breath is emphasized, no breath should be ever forced, as subtle pranic elements are associated with the breath. I like the way the breathing is combined into the core stability “tight jeans” exercise, I have never quite seen the pelvic floor incorporated into a breathing exercise before.
The Warm up Exercises
I really like the warm up exercises. I feel they can be used separately by themselves. The shaking and tapping seem like they have been borrowed from Qi Gong. In Qi Gong they use shaking to expel negative Qi, I feel that this mental visualization can be adopted while doing the exercise. The tapping is particularly powerful exercise, these stimulate the meridian points all over the body, the demonstrations show how to do this properly, even getting to difficult to reach places such as the lower back.
On the warm up exercise with the spinal twist, according to Qi Gong a twist should be done moving from the waist.
The affirmations are a particularly powerful compliment to the exercises. I feel that you could probably use these affirmations by themselves and they would still be useful. I think an audio affirmation track to do the rites would be very valuable. These are:
– I am flexible and receptive
– My mind is clear and calm
– I am full of energy
– I am strong and balanced
– I am positive and motivated
Overall the rites pack a lot of punch in a 10-15 minute workout, Carolinda has improved the rites by adding a great energy stimulating warm-up, related affirmations, integrated core and breathing exercises, insider teacher tips all into a tight little package. It would be hard to get this sort of expertise in a live teacher, unless Carolinda or one of the Monks is teaching the class themselves
If you read about the rites and its reputation for being the “Fountain of Youth”, and want to learn this, this DVD program is probably the most comprehensive instructional material available.