5 Tibetan Rites

By Greg Finch

morning

The Five Tibetan Rites is a system of exercises reported to be more than 2,500 years old.

The Rites have been really beneficial to a consistent morning mobility routine for me. Remember consistency over perfection every time. In other words don't let not completing something "ideal" keep you from small incremental improvement everyday

Feel free, as I do on particular days, to modify the exact flows and exercises here to address your specific needs and focus on that day.

First Rite - 360 Turns Clockwise (I then also do counterclockwise)

Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal with the shoulders. Now spin to the right and then back again to the left. Smooth controlled movements not abrupt swinging.

Identify tension or tightness that you can address with other mobility after the rites.

Second Rite - 90 Leg Raises

Lie full length on a mat or carpet. Place the hands flat down alongside of the hips. Fingers should be kept close together with the finger-tips of each hand turned slightly toward one another. Raise the feet until the legs are straight up. If possible, let the feet extend back a bit over the body toward the head, but do not let the knees bend. Hold this position for a moment or two and then slowly lower the feet to the floor, and for the next several moments allow all of the muscles in the entire body to relax completely. 

While the feet and legs are being raised it is a good idea also to raise the head, then while the feet and legs are being lowered to the floor lower the head at the same time.

Third Rite - Back Stretches

Kneel on a rug or mat with hands at sides, palms flat against the side of legs. Then lean forward as far as possible, bending at the waist, with head well forward—chin on chest. The second position of this Rite is to lean backward as far as possible. Cause the head to move still further backward. The hands are  kept against the side of the legs. Next come to an erect (kneeling) position, relax as much as possible for a moment, and repeat.

Fourth Rite - Table Stretch

Sit erect on rug or carpet with feet stretched out in front. The legs should be  straight. Place the hands flat on the rug, fingers together, and the hands pointing outward slightly. Chin should be on chest -- head forward.

Now gently raise the body, at the same time bend the knees so that the legs from the knees down are practically straight up and down. The arms, too, will also be vertical while the body from shoulders to knees will be horizontal. As the body is raised upward allow the head gently to fall backward so that the head hangs backward as far as possible when the body is fully horizontal. Hold this position for a few moments, return to first position, and RELAX for a few moments before repeating.

Fifth Rite - Down Dog to Up Dog Flow

Here are comprehensive descriptions of Up Dog and Down Dog where you can dive deeper into the postures

Down Dog

Up Dog

My stamina and paddling are really improved and that allows me to surf longer and stronger

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I've noticed a big difference in really two main things. One is my pre-surf warm up gets my body loose and ready to surf. I feel like I'm not step-tripping over to myself as much. Doing those dumb falls that just waste a bunch of waves.

Second my stamina and paddling are really improved and that allows me to surf longer and stronger.

Josh Beckett - Winemaker

My Surfing Has Improved On So Many Levels

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My surfing has improved on so many different levels working with Greg. I have developed much more confidence in the water. I feel more comfortable & strong out there. I can paddle longer, pop-up faster, and turn with more power.

Heather Miller - Acupuncturist for WSL

Those aches & pains after a sesh aren't there anymore

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It really gave me direction of what to do to get my body feeling better. Some of those aches and pains I would get after a sesh aren't there anymore. I could see my body becoming much more reliable for me because of the exercises and techniques that were taught.

The personal service was awesome! Greg was very knowledgeable and easy to reach whenever. If I ever had a question he was there to help quickly.

Scott Williams

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