Written by Nancy Ash, DD, PhD, Worldwide Director of NewEarth University, a new-paradigm learning initiative of the NewEarth Project
(Excerpted from her book, Doing a 360: Turning Your Life Around to Follow Soul’s Purpose, page 67.)
Have you ever noticed that Tibetan monks look youthful? I have.
It was a blessing to sit at the lotus feet of these youthful masters as a longtime student of two renowned (and inseparable) Nyingma Lineage Lamas, known simply as the “Khenpo Brothers” from the remote region of Kham, Tibet.
Since then, the older sibling (my beloved mentor), His Eminence Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, passed consciously from his mortal coil as a seasoned master of the Dzogchen. At the end of his last meditation he calmly and mindfully announced: “My karma is now finished.”
In essence, what an extraordinary being of light he was, and is, now residing on another plane.
In this very brief article I share a basic exercise that was a secret in the isolated Himalayan Land of Snows. A secret — in that it was known only in ancient monasteries of Tibet — until discovered in the 1920s by a retired British army officer named Colonel Bradford, who was allowed to observe, practice, and subsequently bring the secret out to the world.
The exercise is a practice of Tibetan Yoga, known as The Five Tibetan Rites.
It is the First of these Five Tibetan Rites that is quite unique (especially for a classic raja / hatha yoga teacher/therapist like me) because it’s not a traditional asana (posture). In fact its departure is enormous in that you essentially stand and rotate your body — that’s it! (In this article we’re only going to explore the First of The Five Rites, not the entire set of movements.)
Well, before you start spinning around… let’s look at the purpose of this discipline. Actually, when there are many ways (these days) to stay healthy, why would one entertain the idea of rotating? Sounds weird maybe? Well, as a youngster I did this often. It seemed instinctual — and certainly was fun to circle around and around and around until falling gently to the grass giggling as the big blue sky whirled above. Do you remember doing that as a child, too?
Regular practice of this exercise has helped me tremendously throughout the years. As we age our vibratory frequency starts to wane. The vortexes (or chakras) begin to slow down and sort of, you might say… go out of whack, which is not good. You’re probably familiar with the word chakra, which means wheel in Sanskrit (it’s pronounced CH akra…as in chalk or church, not sh, as in shed or share). This spinning meditation-in-motion First Rite (of the Five) energizes and strengthens our vibratory tonality. It boosts and balances all of the chakras for vitality and long life to the body (which is, of course the Soul’s temple).
A tip from a great Yoga Master:
“An ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory.”
– His Holiness Sri Swami Śīvananda Saraswati
* Note: Before you begin… please consult your health care provider before starting any exercise program, especially if you are on medications, are inactive, frail, or have health issues (e.g., inner ear imbalances, etc.).
The First Tibetan Rite
Create a sacred space.
You need enough room to safely rotate without bumping into a coffee table, or practice outside. You’re preferably barefoot standing with feet slightly apart (about hip’s width). Feel the blessed Mother Earth beneath you. Meditate in this awareness for a minute or two, as guided.
Outstretch your arms, shoulder level, palms down. Relax your neck area — avoid creating any tension there. Focus your mind on the sacred… feel the subtle energies within as well as in your surroundings. Breathe through your nose slowly and completely.
Recite a prayer or mantra as you wish or just quiet your mind…
Suggestion: I Am Energy … I am filled with Cosmic Flowing Energy
Carefully spin clockwise ONLY 1-3 times slowly, breathing deeply while staying in place — not losing balance. (Make sure you spin clockwise to flow with the natural energy of your body-field.)
Tip: I like to look at my right hand first as that is the direction of rotation, i.e., turning to the right. Then I gaze at a point of reference in front of me on the wall. If outside in nature, I gaze at something that is easy to look at, like a flower or tree, etc. and use that as a focal point for each rotation.
STOP and mindfully bring palms together at chest-level gazing at your thumbs (as in the traditional Namasté prayer mudra). Breathe calmly as you steady yourSelf. Pause in post-meditation, as you feel guided observing and attuning to any sensations without attaching to them.
Initially you may feel a little bit dizzy or light-headed, so be very careful in what you are doing. It’s totally normal to feel this way, but if you are tremendously dizzy then ensure you’re not going too fast.
Tip: Have a chair nearby to grab if you feel unsteady – stay safe!
Practice daily with confidence and then you may gain some speed and add one or two more rotations. This ritual takes only moments but it’s powerful. As the ancients taught, eventually (with much practice) a maximum of 21 rotations is performed. Do not do more than 21 rotations as this may negatively affect the flow of energy with your chakras, which negates its rejuvenative purpose. It took me many weeks to comfortably perform 21 reps.
So, that’s truly “Doing a 360” … going full-circle on a journey for a new you.
Tip: When finished you may wish to lie on the floor practicing the classic hatha yoga pose, śavasana.
May you live a long life!
An ocean of heartfelt blessings in peace, namasté
* The author recommends seeking a qualified instructor to learn The Five Tibetan Rites. An excellent video is: Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth, with Jille’ Gleason and Rory Reich.
A longtime practitioner of Raja Yoga, and Dzogchen of the Vajrayana Path in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Dr. Nancy Ash is known as a vajra-yogini pioneering midwife to the new paradigm since the 1970s. Her heart-centered voice is heard worldwide as a passionate new-thought-leader, author/poet, web TV host of Kaleidoscope, and a former radio co-host championing peace for all women, men and children on this planet. Dr. Ash is currently director of the NewEarth University, a planetary hub for wisdom-keeping of the NewEarth Project; and is the president of New Earth Theological University (online), working as a professor and graduate/postgrad advisor for its School of Interspiritual Studies. In tandem with decades of multi-dimensional work as a Oneness Advocate in the field of evolutionary consciousness, Nancy is deeply honored to serve as a founding Trustee for the International Tribunal for Natural Justice (ITNJ), to ensure that human rights are fairly and nobly upheld, restoring justice-making to the people. She resides in the enchanted mountains of New Mexico, USA, and has authored two books: Garland of Grace: Sitting with the Dying Sun, and Doing a 360: Turning Your Life Around to Follow Soul’s Purpose. Learn more here