The 5 Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation: 108 Movements to a Meditative Mind State

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By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

It just so happens that one of the quickest and simplest sets of meditative movements and one of the easiest to integrate as your own, is also one of the most powerful. The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation take about twenty minutes or so depending on how long you meditate, the longer the better of course.

There are many ways to do the Five Tibetans and the movements will benefit you in multiple ways also. As with all meditative movements, part of the reason people are adverse to beginning it – part of the reason we allow our ego to convince us we do not need to do such practices – is because we see that they take time. But remember meditative movements make time, they give you more energy and more efficiency.

The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation were not designed as beginner yoga, nor are they, but the fact they only take twenty minutes or so makes them totally accessible to our busied mind and active lifestyle that prevents us beginner yogis from beginning. I have described some finer points of each in the following.

5 Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation

There are 5 movements done 21 times and 1 movement done, most frequently, 3 times, equating to 108 breath coordinated movements. Each of the Tibetans are followed by taking two breaths so as to balance out the energy just moved. The Sixth Tibetan is only performed after you are capable of doing 21 breath coordinated movements of the Five Tibetans and doesn’t have to be included otherwise. One can begin doing any number of each Rite that you feel comfortable with, but try to do an equal number of each.

The first Tibetan is simply spinning clockwise with the arms active to the sides. The first Rite is done clockwise in unison with the sun for the chakras are said to spin clockwise. When held up such activates and opens up the arms, shoulders and neck. Try going excruciatingly slow. The Five Rites strengthen and activate the abdominal area and neck. These areas are considered the most problematic and clogged in terms of energetic and chakra understandings too. The Rites open up the chakras.

Then take two breaths like Superman, that which devoted practice can turn you into. Hands are at your hips. Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth with lips shaped in an O like Superman blowing out cold air.

The trick to the second Tibetan is to lift up and set down the legs and neck in unison. Each Tibetan is done in unison with the breath and as with all meditative movement, the inhale is tension/activation and exhale is relaxation/release. So each movement begins with inhale and returns with exhale. The easiest way to count is to count 1 on the inhale and 1 on the exhale, counting each twice so you are less likely to lose track.

A trick with the third Tibetan is to think about using your hands as support and about bringing bring your back so that it returns to being perpendicular or just slightly past perpendicular, a degree or two forward. Go slow.

The trick to the fourth Tibetan is to initiate the movement with your neck opening the throat chakra.

As you progress you will eventually be able to do the fifth Tibetan with opened joints and ligaments doing Hindi pushups where your face glides along just above the floor and then rises up, like a cobra, on the return/release.

Remember to breathe twice like Superman in between each Rite.


The 6th Tibetan

The trick with the sixth Tibetan is to not do it unless you can do 21 of each of the first Five. I find three of the sixth Tibetan is optimal and no more than five is advised. For more specifics on the Five Tibetan Rites check out  108 Steps to Be in The Zone

108 Steps to Be In The Zone

108 steps to be in the zone - ethan indigo smith

Want to learn more about the metaphysical relationship of 108, and how it can help you live “in the zone”? Check out Ethan Indigo Smith’s book 108 Steps to Be in The Zone.

In this work, Ethan  provides a set of 108 meditative practices and steps toward self discovery and individual betterment, including techniques to develop balance, transmute sexual energy and better the self.

“Ethan’s work on meditation achieves a level of  rarefied  quality so necessary to metaphysical writing and teaching. The 108 Steps is simple and profound, and rich in details and analogies that bring the inner truths of diverse traditions into usefulness in the present time. Ethan’s writing…  lays out a system that can be used beneficially to reveal one’s inner nature and the truths we all seek sooner or later.” ~  Laura Peppard, Founder and Director of the Reno Psychic Institute.

“108 Steps to Be in The Zone” is available here on

About the author:

Ethan Indigo SmithAuthor, activist and Tai Chi teacher  Ethan Indigo Smith  was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity,  Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.

Ethan’s publications include:

For more information, visit Ethan on  Facebook  and check out  Ethan’s author page  on

Recommended reading by Ethan Indigo Smith:


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  • Ommamma

    …and the 6th Tibetan is?

  • Dimitri

    “…spinning clockwise with the arms active to the sides.” What does this mean? I can’t start to visualize this. Having read this I concluded that this rite of rejuvenation has been denied to me. Anyway, the movements as drawn are pretty much some of the stuff I do already. And “rites” are a turn off.

    • J

      They have to be done in this order and the exact way they are done here.

    • There’s a great interview with Chris Kilham, the author of the book “The Five Tibetans” where he explains the purpose behind the spinning. There’s also a number of other videos that illustrate this as people actually do them.

      Interview on the Five Tibetans

      See related video clips on the side of YouTube.

  • I echo “Ommamma’s” question, please:
    “…and the 6th Tibetan is?”
    Care to share? Or is this just a hook ?

  • Ethan Indigo

    I apologize it took me a while to answer this…I saw it before and I admit I hesitated partly because this is a hook!), but honestly, mostly because it’s not really needed and not optimal to do necessarily.
    I really like this video above btw! In it Chris mentions that he does not do the sixth…
    You really don’t need/want to do it unless you can do 21 repetitions. And can do them every day. And have done them everyday for a bit…If you already meditate/practice meditative movements you can integrate the sixth quicker…if not do the five 21 each for a week or two straight before doing the sixth, so work your way up to integration. After doing the five, ring the bell (tai chi) or walk around for a little…catch your breath…
    The sixth is a bandha as opposed to an asana. The position starts the same basically as the bandha done in between each Rite where you take two breaths, hands at your hips. However it is more complex and counter intuitive and really strong. It raises sexual energy into life energy and you literally have to be prepared for it or one will experience peaks and valleys instead of a plateau in your energy/being…
    anyway, feet four inches apart, hands at hips, inhale and exhale as you bend forward and grasp the inside of knees, not forcefully but just as pivot points, with your pinkys down. Exhale completely! And do not inhale as you rise back up to standing to start position hand at you hips, with your lower abdominal region contracted. Hold your breath, for as long as is comfortable…take a breath or two then do again… twice is not enough, four is too much three times is just right…That’s the sixth. Work your way up too it and consider checking out one of my books whereupon I might make a dime, literally a dime!) Peace on Earth…enjoy

    • Thank you !

    • Thanks for the article Ethan. I have practiced the 5 rites on and off for 15 years. It is very simple yet very powerful and effective. However, it is most important you do it correctly in every sense from movement to breathing. Breathe in and out through your nose during the exercises and then do the Superman technique after each rite. The 1985 Peter Keller book, Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth is very good and more recently people like Chris Kilham or Carolinda Witt at have produced informative instructional DVD’s. If you combine this with the Living Life Breath designed by Ken Page at and spin 21 times, three or four times a day, you will literally grow wings and fly. I personally recommend you refrain from the 6th rite unless you intend to abstain from all sexual activity.

  • jeff

    I also dont understand the first one. Do we spin in a full rotation of just as much as our body allows us?

  • jeff

    I also dont understand rite 1. Do we make a full rotation or only what our body allows? And also, do we take 2 breaths each rite, or in between each rite? or 1 breath with each rite and do the movement twice? please help i need clearer instructions!!