In our rediscovery series on health, we examine the benefits of Peter Kelder’s Five Tibetan Rites. As we document our experience and progress, we hope you could observe and benefit from our experiment. Or maybe learn from our mistakes and hopefully look forward to the results, if we do see them in us!
The book arrived. Mira and I read with much delight. It was simple. I couldn’t wait to get started. We made a pledge to practice the Five Tibetan Rites (5 Rites) for a period of 10 weeks. This will be our personal journal.
It took no time at all to complete the 5 Rites. We follow the book as suggested. 3 repetitions of the 5 Rites were easy for me. However, after I took a shower – strangely I felt refreshingly awake. At night, I noticed my heart was beating rather fast.
The 3 repetitions was very easy for me. I did not feel any strain or exertion at all. Is it going to benefit me?
Increased the repetition to 4 – Again, the 5 Rites were easy and in no time we finished.
Read the 2nd half of the book. An interesting exercise caught my eyes – learned that one could use butter to message the scalp to increase blood circulation and stimulate hair growth. I was excited. After breakfast, I immediately took to the task. I applied a few teaspoons of butter into my palm and proceed as instructed. After a short period, I took a glance at my hair and noticed I had more hairs in my palm then on my head. Gosh, I hope I will gain more hairs then I have lost this morning.
We completed the 4 repetitions in the morning. In the afternoon, I felt an insurmountable wave of sleepiness, I took a nap and ended up sleeping for more than 3 hours! It felt kind of similar to the ‘detox effect’ I experienced a few years ago when I increased my supplemental dosage of anti-oxidants and minerals. I also felt a bit of ‘muscle ache’ in my biceps later in the evening. I did not expect that as I did not feel much exertion during the exercise. I guess the ache might be due to Rite number 4.
Early morning I wanted to increase the repetition to 5 instead of 4. Mira thought that we shouldn’t. I argued that the books were written for people older than 50. Why can’t we ‘push it up a notch’? We increased it to 5.
I finished the book – not too comfortable with the 6th Rites along with other practices. However, the part on food confirms with my other readings. I thought about putting more efforts to control my diet.
Some observations: I normally take short naps but for some reasons it was very difficult for me to wake up. My eyes were tired. I felt as if it is easier to stand straight. Normally, hunching was more of my comfort posture.
I felt some strain in my lower back for the first time as I did the 5 Rites. I felt tired doing 5 repetitions. Again, I felt really sleepy in the afternoon and took another 2 hours nap. I just could not pull myself out of bed.
I thought about recording my weight on a weekly basis. It was very difficult for me to wake up this morning. We increased the repetitions of the 5 Rites to 6 times. I felt like going back to sleep. I was dragging my feet. However, I did it anyway. It was rather difficult for me to finish. I think 5 repetitions is my limit at the moment.
I noticed that I was not as hungry for some reason. I had a late lunch today. After lunch I noticed my stomach is bigger than usual – it was rather rounded. Mira mentioned that I might have done the number two rites wrong. Instead of sucking in my stomach as I raise my legs and head, I might have pushed my stomach out causing the stomach to bulge. That was it. I will need to do some crunches before I sleep to flatten my stomach. In all, I’m terribly tired today. At night, my body was night an oven – heating up the bed, almost like a mild fever.
I was very tired in the morning and had to push myself to do the rites. 6 repetitions was not much different for me from 5 repetitions. I did not feel anymore muscle ache.
I failed to do any crunches before I slept the night before. I woke up rather tired. The exercise was more bearable today. I was more in control. I noticed that I had a lot of gas in me. I wasn’t hungry as often. Still very tired. I took a walk around Time Square – did not help much. The bottom-line; tired, bloated, and a general lack of appetite. I did not see any changes to my hair – hope this really works.
We stayed with 6 repetitions which was a breeze today. I was uncertain about some nuances in the rites, especially Rite 2 and 4. As explained in the books, the Rites should not be regarded as a form of Yoga even though the positions are similar. I remember one of my Yoga teachers, Karen, who is extremely particular of small details in our positions. Many times, little corrections she made in my posture made a hugh difference. Applying the same theory, I decided to read the five Rites instructions in detail again. I went to Youtube to check out some of the videos on the rites. It’s amazing how many varieties there are. Well, I think at the moment, we should just stick to the book we bought.
I realized that I did not do Rite 2 correctly. Even though I raised my legs slowly until it is extended beyond perpendicular, I did not “hold the position for one moment or two”. Correction noted.
The second mistake I made was in Rite 4. It was instructed that the second position (which I called the ‘staple position’) is to be held for a few moments before returning to the first position (the ‘L’). I did not. And when you are at the first position, you are supposed to “RELAX” for a few moments before performing the Rite again. (written in all caps in the book). Again, I did not do that. It was also further elaborated that you are to “tense every muscle in the body” when you are in the second staple position. I will take note tomorrow.
PS: Did not take nap today. Felt normal.
From Mira’s observation yesterday, I wanted to be more careful as I do the exercise – slowed down and paid more attention to the details. I made an effort to relax after each repetition. In general, I felt not as tired doing the exercise. However, after the exercise, it was a different mater; I felt tired. I’m not sure if my fatigue is a result of the exercise or a lack of sleep. I normally get enough sleep – do not to make any changes to this variable for the duration of the 10 weeks. I think the general tiredness is related to the exercise, perhaps some form of detoxification effect.
I noticed that my stomach is still big – this could be normal. However, before I started the exercise, the fat was more distributed on the sides, now it looked like the bulk of the fat has relocated to the front. Mira pin-pointed exactly how I have been feeling these past few days – very similar to jet lag.
We did 6 repetitions. I incorporated the changes today. I took more time to complete the Rites and surprisingly, I did not feel more strain. Two observations: (i) I felt a teeny bit of muscle ache in my lower belly. (ii) Felt that my upper arms, especially the shoulder muscles (Deltoids) are firmer and definitely stronger. Is it Possible? Just after 6 days?
This entry completed my practice and observation for the week. Please check out our results for next week.
I continued to stay with 6 repetitions. The Rites are getting easier as I’m very hesitant to increase the repetition; don’t want to experience the jet lag feeling as before. The book did mentioned to practice without strain – I will follow this advice. Some positive observations are: noticed that I’m getting stronger and my posture is improving. I’m hesitant to declare any positive effects from the butter message to my scalp. But I noticed my dandruff problem is reducing (very much unanticipated but welcomed nevertheless). Also, my hair is much more smother.
The 7th day! I stayed with 6 repetitions. It’s getting easy but I realized that I cheated unintentionally in Rite 2! The book did not mention about titling your pelvic. I sort of ‘cheated’ as I tilted my pelvic so that the legs can go passed perpendicular. Anyway, mistake noted. One more observation, I am not as giddy now after ‘spinning’ in Rite 1. Still, I cannot imagine doing that for 21 times as we aim to do in a few weeks!
Check out our progress in Week Two.