In this first of a two-part feature, London based yoga instructor Jamie Heseltine introduces us to the Five Tibetans workout.


Whilst many Yoga styles have taken on different shapes and guises down the ages, the Tibetan Yoga Rites have remained unchanged for thousands of years.


Considered an ancient secret to the fountain of youth, perhaps the ‘youthing’ effect may be down to the stimulation of the endocrine system which has direct effects on the ageing process.

Where to begin

There are five rites and each is practised up to 21 times.

It is a good idea to do it first thing in the morning before breakfast. It might sound a lot but it is possible to complete each rite 21 times with one-minute corpse pose breaks between each in just 15 minutes. So, if you have to, just get up 15 minutes earlier – it is worth it!

It’s a good idea when starting out to do a few repetitions of each rite first and build up to the full 21.

This is particularly the case with the first Tibetan ’21 spins’. The first Tibetan has a real Marmite effect on new practitioners…its a 50/50 love hate relationship. Spinning on the spot can make you very dizzy.

But just look to children to get an idea of the youth enhancing benefits… They do it often just for fun. Enjoy! Should you have any health conditions you may want to check with your doctor before undertaking the first rite.

Tibetan no.1: 21 spins

tibetan yoga_2Make sure you have plenty of space all around you and there are no sharp objects or corners nearby.Standing with your arms out at shoulder height, look to the middle finger on one of your hands.

The idea is that you will be a constant in a spinning world and this is achieved by having a fixed focus on your finger.

Plus you need one external reference in the room (e.g. a tall lamp, a window or a picture) so that you know when you pass it you have completed one full spin.

tibetan yoga_3Please note that if you don’t focus and just look out into the room you will get dizzy quickly! Once you have your focus point on your finger and the one in the room you are ready.

Start to slowly turn around on the spot. Count up to 21 times.

Very Important:

When you have completed your turns bend your knees and, with locked out elbows, push your spread hands into your mid thighs and exhale sharply. Take more deep long exhalations if the room is still spinning. Then continue to lower yourself down to the ground.

Take a one minute corpse pose.

* Please note: It is recommended you have someone else in the vicinity when you first start this practice since dizziness can come on quickly.

Tibetan no.2: core strengthening from corpse with leg and head raises

tibetan yoga_4Laying on your back with your arms down by your sides or slightly underneath your torso for more support, start to raise your head and your legs into the air. You can raise your legs as high as is comfortable with the optimal being a little short of vertical.

Then lower head and legs back down. Inhale to lift. Exhale to lower.

Repeat up to 21 times.

tibetan yoga_5Very important:

Should you have a bad back or this feels too tough start from a bent knee position, raise the legs and take them back down to a bent knee (feet to standing) position. Should you have a bad neck then keep the head on the floor, perhaps on a pillow and just focus on the legs.

Take a 1-minute corpse pose.

Jamie completes The Five Tibetan Yoga Workout in Part 2 tomorrow…

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