Posted by: Trudy Prevost | May 25, 2015

Egyptian Afrikan Kemetic Yoga

 

Pablo Imani – one of my favourite Egyptian Yoga teachers and the founder of Afrikan Yoga.

What keeps yoga alive for me is diving into the different cultures and styles of yoga.

I practiced yoga for over 10 years and never heard anything about African Yoga. Then in the 1970’s I went to visit a museum display on the Egyptian Kings particularly King Tut. As I gazed at the drawings and paintings the first yoga pose I saw was the plow.

plow

That startled me into looking more intensely for yoga poses within the artifacts and I found a lot. From that day onwards I was on the lookout for resources to learn more about Egyptian; African; Kemetic Yoga.

Such a significant source of yoga knowledge yet I hardly ever saw mention of it in the media

Within Egyptian Yoga you can easily find poses recognizable from Indian Yoga like The Wheel; The Plow; The Lotus; The Camel and The Warrior.

But there are also positions like the Kneeling Twist below called The Pose of Immortality – to this date in all my research I have never saw that pose in another style.

Kneeling Twist

As with Indian Yoga and Tibetan Yoga   there are many different styles of Egyptian Yoga and some are religious based and some are not.

Many styles of Egyptian Yoga are based on concepts outlined in an ancient Egyptian text called The Book of Emerging into the Light (originally translated as The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The similarities of the lifestyle described in this ancient text to the lifestyle described by The Yoga Sutras is fascinating.

This book was often commissioned by wealthy families and they had some control over the contents so there are many different variations.

Very interestingly the Egyptian word for ‘Yoga’ ‘Smai Twa’ means union – similar to the Sanskrit word ‘Yoga’ which is considered to mean union.

 

One of the first teachers of Egyptian Yoga based in the US is Yirser Ra Hotep. His websites are a wealth of knowledge on Egyptian Yoga. The following pose is from Yoga Chicago Magazine.

Yirser

Egyptian Yoga Pose, Ka (Spirit)

  1. Begin with feet together, hands at your sides. Step forward on left foot.
  2. Lift arms to sides; bend elbows at right angles, palms forward.
  3. Inhale, then exhale while turning toward left. Keep feet in place, the head centered between your arms. Release in the left hip.
  4. Inhale, then exhale while turning head to the right. Inhale head back to center, exhale to the left, inhale to center.
  5. Lower arms. Bring feet back together.
  6. Step forward with right foot and repeat on the other side.

Model: Yirser Ra’

Dr. Musta Ashby is another early promoter of Egyptian Yoga in the US. He is teaching a ‘vinyasa’ from Egyptian Yoga – The Journey of Ra/The Sun Salutation.

A few of my favourite Egyptian Yoga clips on youtube.

Yoga, African Yoga, Afrikan Yoga, Ancient Egyptian Yoga, Smai Tawi, Kemet Yoga, Khamit Yoga

Kemetic Yoga

Kemetic Yoga for All

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