June 8, 2020

T5T Five Tibetan Rites Warm-Ups

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In the T5T method of learning the Five Tibetan Rites, we recommend doing our warm-ups until you are up to 21 repetitions. They will add around 2 to 3 minutes to your routine.

When you are learning, it is useful to warm up the muscles you are about to use. This prevents strain and feels great. Whether it is first thing in the morning, after exercising, sitting at work, or unwinding at the end of the day - doing the T5T warm-ups feel terrific before doing the Rites.

There are two other warm-ups to loosen specific muscles, carried out immediately before Rites 2 and 3.

As you get more ‘in tune’ with your body and its day-to-day variations, you can concentrate on those warm-ups you feel beneficial and eliminate those that you don’t think are necessary.  For example, if you have just gone walking and your body is warmed up - you may wish to eliminate the shaking & patting exercise we are about to do.

five-tibetan-exercises-warm-ups-poster
t5t warm ups poster

Download this poster free

Instructions are included as well as described below.

Print and place this poster next to where you practice for easy reference.


1. Shaking

  • Start by gently shaking your hands, then your arms.
  • While still shaking, slowly lift your arms up over your head and then down again. As your hands and arms come downwards, let the gentle shaking motion spread to your upper body, neck, shoulders, and chest.
  • Continue shaking all the way down your body, until your hips are shaking side to side.
  • Continue that movement for a few minutes and then raise each leg in turn, shaking the whole leg, foot, and ankles.  The whole body will now be shaking.
  • Pause afterward to notice the tingling in your body.

2. Patting & Small Fists

  • Begin by gently patting your arms, from your wrists up to your shoulders, and then up to and behind your back.
  • Spread your fingers and continue to pat areas of your upper back - particularly where there is tension.
  • Make your hands into small fists, and using the opposite arm, gently pound all around the stiff muscles around your neck, upper back, and shoulders.
  • Continue to use your small fist to gently pound across your chest, sternum and down your sides, stimulating the area around your lungs, stomach, hips, buttocks - and then down the back of each leg as you bend forwards – and up the front of your legs as you stand upright again.
  • Pause afterward to notice any changes in your body.

3. Swinging

In this movement, make certain that you lift the opposite heel to the direction you are turning.  Build your swinging speed slowly.  If you feel any pinching in your lower back – reduce how far you turn or stop completely.  

I do this swinging movement every day before practicing the Five Tibetan Rites. There are no twisting movements in the 5 Tibetans, so this is a fantastic all-round muscle stretch. It feels good too.

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
  • With your palms facing downwards, raise your arms straight up in front of you at shoulder width and height.
  • Start to swing to the right by lifting your left heel of the ground and gently swinging your right arm straight behind you and your left arm across your chest.  Keep both arms inline with each other.
  • Now swing to the left, lifting your right heel off the floor and bringing your left arm straight behind you.  Allow your head & eyes to follow the movement.
  • Synchronize your breathing with the movement - by breathing in as you turn and breathing out as you come back to the middle.
  • Without effort, allow your swing to gradually widen and continue this side-to-side swinging movement until you feel loosened up.
  • Start by gently shaking your hands, then your arms.
  • While still shaking, slowly lift your arms up over your head and then down again. As your hands and arms come downwards, let the gentle shaking motion spread to your upper body, neck, shoulders, and chest.
  • Continue shaking all the way down your body, until your hips are shaking side to side.
  • Continue that movement for a few minutes and then raise each leg in turn, shaking the whole leg, foot, and ankles.  The whole body will now be shaking.
  • Pause afterward to notice the tingling in your body.

4. Shoulder Rolls

  • Stand up straight, with your arms hanging loosely by your sides.  
  • Make little circles with your shoulders in a backward direction three times.
  • Breathe in and lift your shoulders, breathe out and lower your shoulders
  • Come back to the middle and then repeat the same action forwards three times.

5. Neck Stretch

  • Interlace your fingers behind your neck with the little fingers touching the base of your skull.
  • Do not push or pull on your head; use your hands as a guide only.
  • Slowly and gently, make circles with your head in a clockwise direction, and then in an anticlockwise direction.  Let your eyes follow the movement.
  • Breathe in as your head rotates upwards and breathe out as your head rotates downwards.

6. Legs To Chest Warm-Up - Carried Out Before Rite No. 2 - The Leg Raise

This warm-up is done before carrying out the posture to loosen up your lower back. It stretches and releases tension in your lower back, sacrum, and hips in preparation for the Leg Raise.

  • Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and hip-width apart.
  • Bring one knee to your chest, and then the other knee. Place your hands around your knees (or shins) and gently pull them towards your chest.
  • Breathe out and relax your spine, shoulders, neck, and head onto the floor. Relax your hips and allow them to drop further towards your chest.
  • To further release tension in your back - make small circular movements with your knees (or rock side to side) - gently massaging your sacrum and the back muscles either side of your spine. This movement will take about 10 seconds.

7. Cat/Cow Warm-Up - Carried Out Before Rite No. 3 - The Kneeling Backbend

cat-2-t5t-the-five-tibetan-rites-warm-up-t5t
cat-stretch-t5t-warm-up-rite-no-3-five-tibetan-rites

This two-part stretch allows you to release any tension in your lower back before doing the backbend. 

  • Balance on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are directly underneath your shoulders, and your knees are directly underneath your hips.
  • Engage your pelvic floor and pull your lower abdominals in towards your spine.
  • Breathe out and let your back sag in the middle and look upwards.
  • Pause momentarily, then keeping your abdominals engaged, breathe in and arch your spine upwards, tucking your chin into your chest.
  • Repeat the two-part stretch three times.

Yoga Practitioners:  For those of you who are familiar with this posture from practicing yoga – you will notice that the breathing is done in the reverse order. We do this to avoid confusion. In T5T, all the breathing is done in the same rhythmical sequence. 

Breathe in all the way up into the first part of the posture - breathe out all the way down into the second part of the posture.

If you prefer to do this warm-up (Cat Pose) the way you have learned and are familiar with practicing it - feel free to do it whatever way you prefer.

You should now be nicely loosened up to begin practicing T5T - The Five Tibetan Rites.

Click links to Download

  1. FREE eBook, The Eye of Revelation
  2. FREE Five Tibetan Posters
  3. Learn The Five Tibetan Rites

© This work is the intellectual property of its author and is fully copyrighted. It may not be copied or republished in any medium (including but not limited to electronic and print media) without the express permission of the author. All rights are reserved.


Carolinda Witt


Author of a number of books about The Five Tibetan Rites, including "The Illustrated Five Tibetan Rites," and her bestselling T5T Five Tibetans DVD. Carolinda has been practicing and teaching the Five Tibetan Rites for 20 years. She is one of the world's foremost experts on the Five Tibetans Rites. She has further developed the original teachings to create a safer, more complete version of the Five Tibetan Rites called T5T® (The Five Tibetans.)


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