Wellness dictionary

Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...

In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.

Five Tibetans

Why the name "Five Tibetans" - a story about the origin

The ‘Five Tibetans’ were mentioned for the first time in a book published in approximately 1939, which was dedicated to the American globetrotter Peter Kelder. However, only the 1989 US edition by Harry R. Lynn has been proven. It describes the journey of Colonel Bradley, a retired officer, who was looking for everlasting youth while spending time in a monastery in the Himalayas. A few years later he turned remarkably younger, crediting it to the special rituals and exercises which helped him to rejuvenate his body and mind.

However, these supposedly ancient traditional exercises are completely unknown to Tibetans.

The name ‘Five Tibetans’, also called ‘Five Tibetan Rites’,

stands for a sequence of five physical exercises: the circle, the candle, the half moon, the bridge and the mountain, which keeps the body and mind healthy. These include a combination of gymnastics and yoga like exercises as well as a particular breathing technique. The aim of the ‘Five Tibetans’ is to improve the health and vitality of every human being with regard to both  the physical and spiritual wellbeing. The traditional theory behind the ‘Five Tibetans’ allows a person to regenerate the energy reservoir and to gain strength, which fades during daily life.

The performance of the ‘Five Tibetans’ is quite straightforward. The daily practice of the ‘Five Tibetan’ exercises is important and should start with three repetitions of every exercise, which is increased every week up to a maximum of 21 repetitions per exercise.

The ‘Five Tibetan Rites’ are practised by an increasing number of people due to the recommendations of doctors, gyms and wellness hotels.

The "Five Tibetans" exercises - a guide

The rhythm of breathing plays a decisive role in the execution of the five different exercises. The various exercises, all of which originate from Hatha Yoga, are based on this rhythm.

The spinning top

In the exercise "The spinning top", the feet are positioned hip-wide. The person performing the exercise stands upright, but with slightly bent knees on the floor. The arms are stretched out horizontally at shoulder level. The elbows point backwards and the palms of the hands point down. Now the person turns on his own axis and counts his turns.

The candle

For this exercise, the person doing the exercise lies flat on their back with their arms positioned close and parallel to the body. The chin is moved towards the sternum, while either one or both legs are stretched vertically in the air when breathing in. Parallel to the exhalation, the head and legs move down slowly until the person performing the exercise is in the starting position. If you decide to lift one leg, it is important to change the leg after half the exercises. The back must lie flat on the floor for the entire exercise.

The crescent

In the third exercise of the "Five Tibetans", the practitioner kneels on the floor pelvis-wide and keeps the upper body straight in the air. Then he pushes his hips forward, while at the same time inhaling, lets his shoulders circle backwards and goes into the hollow back. Now he tries to touch the feet behind him with his hands. The head should be placed as far back as possible in the neck. Then he slowly returns to the starting position.

The bridge

The performer sits on the floor with the upper body straightened and legs stretched out. The hands are supported next to the hips, then the head is slowly lowered backwards when breathing in. The knees are bent and the buttocks and upper body are raised. The arms should remain straight during this exercise. The chest, hips and knees should be positioned in a horizontal line. Ideally, keep this position in bridge form for a short time and return to the starting position with the exhalation.

The Mountain

The exercise "The Mountain" begins in a prone position. The hands are positioned shoulder-wide at chest height next to the body, the feet are stretched out hip-wide at the same time. The person performing the exercise stretches their arms through, goes into the hollow back and puts their head back into the neck. When breathing in, the pelvis and buttocks are released from the floor and moved upwards. At the same time, the person stretches his or her legs through and allows the heels to keep contact with the ground. At the same time, the chin should be pulled towards the chest and the back should be kept stretched. While exhaling, the exerciser must return to the starting position.

The effect of the "Five Tibetans" - what do they achieve?

If done regularly, practitioners experience numerous positive effects. These include:

  • Training of muscles, tendons and joints
  • Activation of metabolic processes
  • Balance of the hormone balance
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Stabilisation of the nervous system
  • Stimulation of the detoxification of the body
  • Deep relaxing effects
  • Strengthening flexibility
  • Focus on the breath

As the "Five Tibetans" have an energising effect, it is recommended not to do it in the evening.

Related topics: Asanas Fasciae Meditation Stress Management Yoga