The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Five Tibetans Challenge

Mushtaq has gotten me interested in talking about the Tibetans again. You can find them at:

I've been looking for the simplest way of communicating with students via internet, and the challenges people face in claiming ten minutes a day to take care of their bodies is a perfect microcosm of the total picture. I'm looking for people who have no real physical program now--especially those out of shape. If you're in shape, you're going to think they are calisthenics, and they are not (although they have a calisthenic effect). So if you've tried them already and not found them particularly useful, fine...this call isn't for you. But I'd like to open this conversation and see what results. I'm looking for people willing to do the Tibetans daily, seven days a week, starting at three repetitions per Tibetan. Takes five minutes or less to begin. Keep with it for ten weeks.

My guess? Anyone combining this with any kind of dietary discipline at ALL will have tremendous results...but I want to perform the experiment and see what happens.

And the question of the day there anyone interested in trying this?


Post2 said...

Okay, I'm in.

I'm definitely outta shape.

How is this to be tracked?

And um...what dietary discipline?

Anonymous said...

I tried the five tibetans for a month. They hurt my back and I quit. Maybe the spiritual gains were so powerful they happened below my level of perception.
Is there something to watch for when you do them? -the five tibetans, that is.
Bruce Purcell

Elzabet said...

Sure why not.

And, as was stated above, what dietary disciplines?

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, greetings from Indonesia. I'm regular reader of your blog.. but mostly lurking.
Have been trying the Tibetan-5 for more than a year, on and off, 2 or 3 times a week at most. I would agree with the feeling of more energy. I play badminton and I don't feel tired as easily as before.

I'm interested to try it daily, but something in my mind tell me it might be difficult or that I may not have the time.. :)

Reluctant Lawyer said...

I'm in. It looks pretty easy and five minutes doesn't sound like much, although with the birth of the second child rapidly approaching, five minutes on my own per day may be difficult to reclaim. I'll try it. how do you plan on tracking?

Dan said...

Oh, sure, I'll set my alarm a bit earlier and give it a go.

Anonymous said...

I'm in! But I'm starting tomorrow, 'cause today we're going to Disneyland and this is not the day to expect my children to be patient with anything that isn't getting us closer to our destination.

tcastleb said...

I'll bite . . . generally I just go to work and sit in front of a computer and come home and do the same, so, yeah, I'm out of shape. And I'd do better if someone was there to make me do it. And dietary discipline would be a good thing too. Not that mine's really bad, but it could be better.

Pagan Topologist said...

Steve, do you have a link somewhere to what the five Tibetans are?

Anonymous said...

I could (and might) do it, but I don't think I fit your requirements. While I'm by no means in great shape (25-30 lbs too much), I do walk everyday, usually about 2 miles, sometimes upto 5 miles. Also I've started doing Dance Dance Revolution for cardio, but at this time I only do about 30 minutes once a week.


mjholt said...

Thank you for the link to The Five Tibetan Rites: Exercises for Healing, Rejuvenation, and Longevity, By Mary Kurus

I am amazed and inspired by how much like a series of hatha yoga exercises I did long ago these are.

Pagan Topologist said...

Sorry. I found the link in your post.

Trudchen said...

I would be willing to try this.
I'm out of shape and currently my only exercise is treading water 30 minutes twice aweek to work thru Tendonitis of the knee. I have been wanting to add in something else.
I live in Oregon, and Jonna says hi.

Trudchen said...

I would be willing to try this.
I'm out of shape and currently my only exercise is treading water 30 minutes twice aweek to work thru Tendonitis of the knee. I have been wanting to add in something else.
I live in Oregon, and Jonna says hi.

Elzabet said...

So...we start today?

Chris said...

I am going to give this a go.

I'll be continuing my IF routine.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

I'm going to take another crack at it, though I don't exactly meet your specs. I'm not completely out of shape, and I'm not especially interested in losing weight.

The good news is that #4 is no longer problematic for me. My hands almost reach the floor in the initial sitting position. I'm pretty sure it's because I was doing this set just about every day for a couple of months.

I could use more energy and mental focus. I'll post about results.

You're expecting the five Tibetans to make a big difference well before people get to 21 repetitions?

Anonymous said...

I will give this a try. I have been on the treadmill and flowfit 6 days a week. however, ( the graduate level but) I have had this chest cold for 5 weeks and this is my first week back to work out.

I will let you know.


Janet said...


I'll be really interested in hearing the results of this challenge you've extended. Mushtaq and I have been enjoyed providing opportunities for in-person trainings of the 5 Tibetans here in Michigan, and I'd love to see it take off elsewhere.

~Janet Zahn

salix said...

I'm 55 and not totally out of shape; and have been doing a few Chinese mobility exercises every workday morning for about six years. But I am TOO overweight and often feeling run down.

I have been doing the Five Tibetans for about 4 weeks, after finally reading about them. On the second day, I felt more mental energy and my back felt great.

After two weeks, my 18 1/2 inch collar, which I once swore I'd rather die than wear, was way too loose... so I reverted to 18". Two weeks later, I'm down to the old 17 1/2; and I can stick two fingers from each hand into the buttoned collar. :-)

I have definitely lost some fat from my stomach and sides. Sexual vitality seems increased a bit. Normal breathing is a whole lot deeper -- that was evident after only a couple days.

I was too lazy to work up from three reps of each rite, so I began at nine each. I'm up to seventeen each.

These are certainly not mere calisthenics. Whether they "balance the chakras" or 'merely' tune up the endocrine system (or whatever), they are well worth trying.

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Rich said...

Hey there, I've recently come out of depression, weigh about 30 pounds underweight, smoke about a pack a day, so I think I may be a fit for this. I'm in for the challenge and can post results.