From Ancient Egypt to Today
Reaching back into the very roots of Egyptian culture, Kemetic Yoga is now being revived at Lotus Center in Sheikh Zayed, with regular classes being conducted by Alisha. Cairo West Magazine reached out to learn more about the benefits, and how this form of yoga differs from the many other disciplines.
The Roots of Kemetic Yoga
The practice of Yoga postures as evidenced in the records and recorded on the walls of the temples of ancient Kemet (Egypt). The guiding philosophy of Kemet is that everything in the universe emerges out of an all pervasive order called Ma’at. The modern incarnation of Kemetic Yoga was developed by Dr. Asar Hapi and Yirser Ra Hotep in Chicago in the mid-1970s, and continued by Yirser Ra Hotep up to the present time. Kemetic Yoga is trademarked and has a particular and specific definition.
The purpose of Kemetic Yoga is not primarily for the body but to benefit the development of the mind. Kemetic Yoga movements and postures place primary emphasis on the control of the breath in order to move and circulate the life force. It is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, if you are living and breathing, it is for you!
What Kemetic Yoga does:
Kemetic Yoga enhances the “energy body”. In the same way that we have a physical body that has a specific anatomy and physiology and that operates in a specific manner; we also have a spiritual or energetic body that has a specific anatomy and physiology and operates on the circulation of life force. This life force is something we are born with and is replenished from a substance in the air that the Indians call Prana, and the sages of ancient Kemet (Egypt) called Ankh. This substance is the force called vital in Latin and that God breathed into the clay after forming it into the shape of a human being. The Chinese call this substance, Chi. In Japan it is called, Ki.
The physical body has a corresponding subtle body or bioenergetic body (non-physical, invisible and energy based). The major energy structures in the physical body i.e., the nerve plexus and endocrine glands correspond to the major energy structures in the bio-energetic body, commonly called the Chakras in India or Karkar (energy circles) in the Kemetic language.
The Benefits of Kemetic Yoga:
You get the benefits of Restorative Yoga, the energizing of Kundalini Yoga, the strengthening, flexibility and health building of Ashtanga, the alignment of Iyengar Yoga and the internal psychic abilities of deep meditation. These techniques engender mind/body integration while stimulating the flow of internal energy that is needed to activate the production of mood altering and consciousness raising hormones, bio-chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain.
YogaSkills Method Is the way of practicing Kemetic Yoga postures or any type of Hatha Yoga. It is also a guiding principle of our system of Yoga that states, “The purpose of Yoga practice is the development skills that can be used and applied to the individual’s development in every aspect of life.” YogaSkills Method or YSM should result in Self Realization followed by Self Actualization. This means understanding your true nature as an infinite being, then actually manifesting your life’s purpose and becoming who and what you came to this plane of existence to become.
Kemetic Yoga’s unique system includes Pose of Immortality, Peaceful Warrior Pose, Goddess Pose, Ma’at Ka, Teken Sequence, and more. In the same way that Yoga postures are supposed to be done in a manner that is in harmony with the physical anatomy and physiology of the body, YSM demands that they also be performed in such a manner as to be in harmony with the exact way that energy moves and operates in the bio-energetic body.
Therefore, YogaSkills Method recognizes that each inhalation of the breath should cause energy to rise up the energy channel that corresponds to the spine and connects to the energy center (chakra/karkar) at the crown of the head. Each exhalation should send energy through the energy channels that corresponds to the arms and legs into the hands and feet. In this manner the entire being is inundated (flooded) with life force, in the same way that the land of Kemet (Egypt) was inundated annually with the floodwaters of the Nile river (Hapi),that deposited fertile soil from the deepest heart of Africa.
Under YSM, we utilize a technique called Rule of Four Breathing and Geometric progression. This means that 4 steps characterize each breath: inhale, pause, exhale, and pause. Each pose is divided into steps that correspond with this breathing pattern. By performing our Yoga postures in this manner, we are developing specific mental skills that should transfer into our everyday life, and provide us with the ability to manifest what we seek to accomplish in life. Some of the mental skills we develop are concentration, focus, patience, self-love, critical thinking, discrimination, independence, withdrawal, etc. We also develop our psychic abilities such as pre-cognition, telepathy and clairvoyance during our practice.
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