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Yoga For Stress Relief: The 5 Tibetan Rites

Yoga For Stress Relief: The 5 Tibetan Rites

Aug 15, 2023

Yoga’s physical, mental, and spiritual benefits can help you manage stress. Follow our step-by-step instructions to complete the 5 Tibetan Rites.

You may have heard that yoga is a good exercise to help you reduce and manage your stress. If you're looking to find a new way to stretch the stress away and improve your clarity and focus, we recommend trying the 5 Tibetan Rites.

The 5 Tibetan Rites are a series of yoga poses thought to be practiced for more than 2,500 years. Each rite combines a simple stretching exercise with focused, rhythmic breathing. The combination of physical movement and concentrated breathwork can help you release pent-up tension and anxiety.

Why these poses are great for stress relief

The 5 Tibetan Rites are a great way to relieve stress for a few reasons. Yoga has a number of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits which can help you manage stress, including:

  • Relief from joint pain and muscle tension
  • Better circulation and flexibility
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved energy
  • Increased feelings of focus and relaxation

The Tibetan Rites in particular are each fairly simple, and require little space and no specialty equipment to practice. So, they’re an easy way to release stress and tension you can come back to time and time again.

How to practice the 5 Tibetan Rites

Getting started

When to practice

The process of practicing the 5 Tibetan Rites shouldn’t take you too long; you’ll probably only spend 10-15 minutes completing the rites. So, they should be easy to fit into your schedule just about anywhere. Here are a few suggested times to get you started:

  • When you first wake up to start your day calmly and with intention.
  • Before cardio exercise to serve as an energy-boosting and centering warm-up.
  • Just before bed to relax and clear your mind before sleep.
  • Any time you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress. Just take a quick break from what you’re doing to practice the rites instead. 


Each of the Tibetan Rites are meant to be practiced once a day, with 21 repetitions for each rite.Remember, performing the rites should relieve your stress, not add to it. Move at your own pace!

Rite 1

Steps to perform Rite 1:

  1. Stand up straight, with your feet slightly apart.
  2. Stretch your arms out parallel to the floor, so your body makes a T. Your palms should face the ground.
  3. Spin in place a full rotation, clockwise.
  4. Complete 1 to 21 rotations.

Tip: It’s common to feel dizzy when you first begin this exercise. Focus on an object or point in front of you when you start and continue to look at the point every turn. Do not look anywhere else. Be careful and don’t overdo it on the spinning. (You don’t have to spin fast!) You’ll be able to complete more rotations over time.

Rite 2

Steps to perform Rite 2:

  1. Lie flat on your back, with your arms to your side and your palms resting on the floor.
  2. As you inhale, lift your head, moving your chin towards your chest. At the same time, raise your legs straight up in the air. (You’ll form a J shape with your body.)
  3. As you exhale, lower your head and legs back to the ground, relaxing your muscles.
  4. Complete 1 to 21 repetitions.

Tip: If you can’t perform this exercise with your knees straight at first, that’s ok! Work on trying to straighten them a little more each time.

Rite 3

Steps to perform Rite 3:

  1. Kneel with your knees shoulder-width apart. Ensure your back is straight and your hips and knees are aligned.
  2. Place your palms on the back of your upper thighs.
  3. As you inhale, move your head backward, arching your spine and moving your chest outward.
  4. As you exhale, move your head forward, bringing your chin to your chest.
  5. Complete 1 to 21 repetitions.

Tip: Closing your eyes during this rite can help you redirect your focus inwards, adding to your sense of calm.

Rite 4

Steps to perform Rite 4:

  1. Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you, your feet shoulder-width apart. Ensure your back is straight.
  2. Place your palms on the ground at your sides, fingers pointing towards your legs. 
  3. As you inhale, drop your head back while lifting your hips and bending your knees, creating a “tabletop” position.
  4. As you exhale, relax your muscles as you return to your original seated position.
  5. Complete 1 to 21 repetitions.

Tip: Your hands and heels should stay planted in place during the entire rite, allowing you to move fluidly between the positions.

Rite 5

Steps to perform Rite 5:

  1. Kneel and place your palms flat on the ground in front of you, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend your feet behind you while straightening your arms, creating an upside-down V shape with your body. (It’s also called the Downward-Facing Dog pose.)
  3. While inhaling, move your shoulders forward over your hands and your hips forwards towards the ground. (This is called the Upward-Facing Dog pose.)
  4. As you exhale, slide your shoulders and hips back into the Downward-Facing Dog pose.
  5. Complete 1 to 21 repetitions.

Tip: If transitioning between poses puts too much strain on your lower back, bend your knees while moving between Upward and Downward Dog.

Stretch to de-stress

The Tibetan Rites can’t prevent you from ever feeling stressed, but they can help you feel more capable of dealing with it. When we include stress-relieving strategies in our daily routine, we can keep our stress levels manageable so that we don’t feel so frustrated, overwhelmed, and anxious about stress. Try incorporating the 5 Tibetan Rites into your schedule, and see how they improve your relationship with stress!

Want one-on-one expert advice on managing stress and optimizing your life?

With the right techniques, you can embrace stress, improve your lifestyle, and optimize your cognitive health. If you know it’s time to not just work around your health challenges, but to do something about them, check out My RBI Academy. We’ll send you new tips and tricks for improving your cognitive health each month, all backed by our years of medical expertise and grounded in our holistic six pillar approach.


Learn more about My RBI Academy