This is for Angela and all of you who want to remain young forever and ever and ever.
You can get books on THE TIBETAN FIVE, you can find the exercises on the internet.
The story I heard was that two men were about to go to the Himalayas to find the secret of eternal youth. One man declined and the other, old, relying on a walking stick, and really not mobile, went alone.
Up into the monks world he went and was taught the five rites.
Some four years later he went a-knocking on his friends door. On opening the door his friend saw a man of youth. Standing erect, looking young, elegant and as youthful as a Shaolin monk. And so the myth continues, the decrepit wil rise again.
Now for a long time it was a huge hit in Germany, my German acupuncturist friend told me about them years ago.
My Swedish acupuncturist has been doing them for 27 years and looks younger than her 67 years. Much younger, indeed a magazine have just asked her to be interviewed because they thought she was 40.
My writing partner’s mother did them and died peacefully aged 90, Bruce Forsyth does them, etc. etc.
I do not do them because I want to look like Audrey Hepburn dressed as lamb, I do them because they are easy, and take no longer than 20 minutes. because they utilise all the bendy bits of a body that make you feel better about yourself.
The theory is that all the Chakra points – vortexes of energy in the normal body – get a work out.
No point in me trying to describe the positions but if I tell you what they are you can research them for yourself on the t’internet.
Working up to 21, i.e. doing 3 a week, then 5, then 7, then 9 and so on unti you are strong enough to do the magic 21. Evidence says that that is the optimum number.
1. You spin, clock wise 21 times. I look at my middle finger on my right hand when I spin. Not too fast and not too slow.
2. Lie on your back. Legs up in the air. Head to chest. Then lower legs and head. Simple. Remember to breath. It’s all about taking in the oxygen.
3. Kneel up, curling your toes under you. Then bend backwards. I tend to keep my eyes closed throughout.
4. Sit up. hands down by your sides. Then hoike your body up like a table.
5. Stand up. Feet flat on the floor. hands on the floor. You look like an inverted ‘V’. The downward dog pose from yoga. Up and down for 21 times. It’s tricky to start with but after a few weeks it really is easy peasy lemon squeasy.
I do mine in the garden so I have arm room when I spin.
The old git does them. And trust me exercise, unless it’s got a golf ball involved, is not the ‘oosbinds finest hour.
Dear Angela, they help, they really do. I don’t know whether I look younger, but I do feel more alive when I do them.
So there we have the Barnett version of the five rites, alright? Right!