July 10, 2019

The Tibetan 5 Rites and The Five Elements

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At the time of the development of the Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, the ancients believed that their world was composed of Five Elements; water, earth, air, fire, and space (energy). According to Traditional Tibetan medicine, health and harmony are produced through the balance of the five elements.

The traditional colors of Tibetan prayer flags represent the elements and are always arranged in the same color sequence: blue for sky (space), white for air, red for fire, green for water, and yellow for earth. Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. 


In psychology, the Five Elements are used to personify different human traits, such as the personality types categories by Carl Jung (feeling, sensing, intuiting, and thinking) and those associated with the astrological signs of the zodiac. I experimented with the concept of assigning an element to each of the Rites and found the results to be amazing.

In each case, the physical movement of the Rite was a metaphor for what we were trying to achieve mentally - awareness in a different aspect of life. For example, the Spin takes the element energy, and the vortex that the movements create allows you to replenish your body from the larger energy all around us. The Tabletop takes the element earth, and its movements focus on stability, foundation, and balance, giving us a solid base from which to form new ideas.

In holistic exercise, it can sometimes be hard to marry the physical state with the mental state, and having a metaphor helps people enormously to align the two, and to present a clear picture of what they are working towards.

Having assigned an element and a modern name to each Rite, I then experimented with creating an affirmation that expressed the 'energy' of each movement. The result is a method of reinforcing and focusing upon the positive benefits of each Rite physically, mentally, and spiritually. This has a ripple effect on every area of your life.

  • Rite # 1 (Energy) - The Spin -- "I am full of energy."
  • Rite # 2  (Air) - The Leg Raise -- "My mind is clear and calm."
  • Rite # 3 (Water) - The Kneeling Backbend -- "I am flexible and receptive."
  • Rite # 4 (Earth) - The Tabletop -- "I am strong and balanced."
  • Rite # 5 (Fire) - The Pendulum -- "I am positive and motivated."

Try using them when you practice next time - they really work! You can download a Free Poster with these affirmations and place them next to where you you do your Five Tibetan Rites daily practice.

In T5T emphasis is also placed on the mind/body connection. The physical movement of each Rite is a metaphor for the desired mental state.

ENERGY - The Spin posture replenishes & energizes the mind & body.      
AIR - The Leg Raise posture  promotes clear, focused thinking.
WATER - The Kneeling Backbend posture unlocks the power of the subconscious mind.
EARTH - The Tabletop posture creates stability and balance.
FIRE - The Pendulum posture focuses on finding the motivation, courage, and energy to follow one's intuition.

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 23 years. She is one of the world's foremost experts on the Five Tibetans Rites, and has further developed the original teachings to create a safer, more in-depth method of learning the Five Tibetan Rites called T5T® (The Five Tibetans.) Adding natural full breathing and core stability to increase vitality, and strengthen the lower back and neck.

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