Yoga Your Way Young

What if the Fountain of Youth isn’t a miracle face cream or a new-wave plastic surgery procedure, but a five-step yoga routine developed 2,500 years ago?

The Five Tibetan Rites—a series of simple exercises immortalized by Peter Kelder in 1939—promise “vigor and virility” by energizing and aligning our seven “psychic vortexes.” What on earth does that mean? Essentially, when a bunch of Tibetan monks developed their ideal yoga routine a few centuries ago, they realized that one particular five-exercise sequence made them feel most fit and youthful, according to Kelder’s book, The Eye of Revelation, which also claims that the rites transformed a gray-haired, cane-carrying friend into a straight-backed lad with nary a silver strand.

While your average rite-performer can’t expect such Benjamin Button-style results, Equinox yogi Stephanie Culen says the thoughtful asana can indeed have an anti-aging effect. “With their back bends, the exercises stretch the spine,” Culen says. “And yoga philosophy says that when the spine is supple and flexible, the whole body is more youthful.” But that doesn’t mean that a few well-intentioned stretching sessions will take years off your life. “The monks did them three times a day for years and years,” Culen says. “Only with consistency, practice and time will you see benefits: healing, rejuvenation and increased energy.” Herewith, Culen walks us through the five rites.