Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Is Soy Good For You or Bad For You?

I've been drinking soy milk for years! After reading this article my beloved soy chai's are no more! See for yourself by clicking on this link. The article is excellent, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.

The Ploy of Soy

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Learning The Five Tibetans from a Book

Books from most recent:

(a) T5T: The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites, (Penguin) & b) The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House) by Carolinda Witt. A modern 'manual' with core stability and breathing published 2006 & 2007 (204 photos, 176 pages)- having originally learnt and taught from the books above, I became very aware of their limitations as well as their benefits. I consulted with the health practitioners mentioned in (b) above. We 'took apart' each posture and found ways to keep the integrity intact, whilst eliminating the elements that could create injury. Core stability was added to protect the spine, and a step-by-step process to build strength from the inside out. Lots and lots of photographs of 'how to do each posture' are included, as well as 'how NOT to do each posture' - and all the common problems and solutions are included. A number of clinical studies have proven that how well you breathe can literally dictate your lifespan. Methods for natural full, deep, slow breathing is included in depth, and practised between each Rite. As the ancients understood the world in 5 elements, an element has been assigned to each Rite, to increase their metaphorical power. See previous post on this blog titled 'What is the difference between T5T and the Five Tibetan Rites' for further information.

(b) The Five Tibetans, by Christopher Kilham. Kilham is a yoga teacher whose popular book has helped increase knowledge about the Rites. It was published in 1994 (14 photos, 84 pages) and gives a brief outline of the original story of the discovery of the Rites. True to the original text, his brief descriptions and photographs are similar to those of the original author, Peter Kelder. He also provides additional information, regarding the human energy system, kundalini, the chakras, breathing and meditation. Same as (b) above with regard to the postures.

(c) Ancient Secret of The Fountain of Youth, by Peter Kelder. The updated version published in 1985 (18 photos, 105 pages)- updated and re-written by the same author as the original story, which includes an extra chapter on the 6th Rite previously omitted. The monks advise celibacy to practice the 6th Rite, so is only of use to those who are abstaining from sex. The text and the photographs are limited, and do not adequately convey the flowing movement of the Rites, nor do they tell you what NOT to do which is just as important. Some of the postures are also performed in a manner which (in the opinion of the physiotherapist, osteopaths, chiropractors, occupational health instructor, breathing expert, Feldenkrais and Pilates and other yoga teachers I have consulted) have the potential to cause lower back and neck strain/injury - in those with no training in the correct way of performing each movement - and those who are unfit - (most modern sedentary Westerners).

(d) The Eye of Revelation, by Peter Kelder. The original story published in 1939 (9 drawings, 30 pages) - tells the story of how Colonel Bradford discovered the monks who taught him the 'secret' of their youthfullness - and brings this knowledge back to the West. Good to read to learn the history of the Rites, but is very simplistic in terms of learning the postures

Here is a comment I received from my website (and my answer) which raises an interesting point.

Hi SON. This is for you to follow up with Carolinda and if you have further interest in undergoing this VERY USEFUL system and that takes less than 25 mins of your time but rejuvenates body-mind and soul. I am sure it will be convenient for you to visit a T5T centre; there is no substitute than to learn it from the exponent and to be a direct disciple. My personal experience tells me that SELFHELP BOOKS/CD's/DVD's are of very little help or frankly NO HELP at all. The technique of physically doing any exercise incuding the proper breathing is both a science as well as an art and the books etc. are compendium of information for reference but ONLY AFTER HAVING LEARNT IT IN THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF THE MASTER. This is, in my considered openion, a very fine art and if done inconjunction with PRANAYAM ( again a set of five breathing techniques) completes and does not need any thing else for perfectly heathy living and what I cal l"LIFE LIVED". You may continue with your GYM also, ift hat is a must - but all this should be done judiously and in consultation with your master and trainer.Take care and greetings...............DAD

Hi there!

Thanks for forwarding me your letter from your father. I'm glad he approves of the system, I certainly do!

Regarding his comments about learning from books etc - I would have to agree that in an ideal situation it is of course better to learn directly from a reputable and knowledgeable teacher, and then use the book as a source of ongoing information. However, this isn't always possible, and all yoga is good yoga - certainly better than no yoga at all! The key of course is the awareness and consciousness that it is practiced along with the yoga. That is a whole other subject.

I believe that the books on the Rites including mine, introduce a whole new group of people who would never attend a yoga class, due to poor self image or false expectations about it being religeous or having to be a vegetarian etc. Having taught so many people, I know that this is the case. Then there are others who can't afford the classes. The Rites are these people's introduction to a whole new world!

I believe the Rites make people better people - more powerful, self disciplined, less emotionally volatile and more conscious. The more people who do them the better - it all contributes to a better, more peaceful world.

I am reminded of the ancient masters who did not have books or other teachers to learn from, who developed these movements in response to their inner guidance and self-healing. In the same way, it is entirely possible for someone who has learnt from books/CD's etc to gain degrees of self-awareness that is generated from within themselves.

Regretably, we only have the original manuscript regarding the Rites, and no Tibetan Lama to teach us. Without the books, this wonderful system would have totally disappeared from our world - too great a loss!

Books have replaced the oral traditions of the past - they are people's desire to record the knowledge and wisdom they have discovered for the use of future generations. It is a noble desire.

The knowledge contained within books has been considered so dangerous in the past, that several rulers have tried to burn and destroy them.I think we have to read and have access to knowledge so that we can take it to new levels. The world cannot stay still!

Best regards,Carolinda

If you wish to publish this article for your website - you may do so, provided you assign the correct copyright and accreditation exactly as shown below:

Copyright (c) 2006 Carolinda Witt - author T5T - The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites (Penguin) and The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House)