When most people think of yoga and its origins, Asia and India are the two countries that come to mind. Many of the yoga traditions we know and love today began in India and are rooted in ancient Hinduism. However, one style of yoga that has just recently began gaining recognition is Kemetic Yoga, a style of yoga that originated in ancient Egypt.
Keep reading to learn more about Kemetic Yoga.
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What Is Kemetic Yoga?
Kemetic Yoga is a system of yoga knowledge based on a combination of physical practices, controlled breathing, and meditation.
Designed for healing and regenerating the body, this style of yoga consists of a series of geometrically progressive poses that encourage alignment of the spine, correcting imperfections in our skeletal muscular system. The practices done in Kemetic Yoga are focused on activating the parasympathetic nervous system, so that the mind and body can heal themselves as opposed to other styles of yoga that are heavily focused on contortions and intense physical postures.
Is Kemetic Yoga Older Than Indian Yoga?
Kemetic Yoga is rooted from ancient Egypt, otherwise known as Kemet, in Northeastern Africa and is one of the most ancient known civilizations. According to the research done by Hotep, a unique style of yoga was practiced by the people of ancient Kemet, predating the yoga of India.
His findings point to the conclusion that the practice and philosophy of yoga in India was informed by the system coming from Africa. Simply put, there are many examples of Indian yoga that can be found in Ancient Egypt, but there are no examples of Kemetic Yoga demonstrated in India. This leads him to believe that Egypt’s yoga came first.
What Is The Purpose Of Kemetic Yoga?
The primary focus of Kemetic Yoga is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system as a means of healing and restoring the body. The poses done in Kemetic Yoga are designed to create alignment in the spine, smoothing out the kinks and correcting any imperfections.
The purpose of Kemetic Yoga is to alleviate stress from the body, improve blood circulation, nutrient and oxygen supply to vital bodily systems. Additionally, this allows internal life force energy and cerebral spinal fluid to flow more effectively throughout the entire body.
What Is Kemetic Spirituality?
Kemetic spirituality, also known as Kemetism, is a neo-pagan religious movement that aims to revive ancient Kemetic/Egyptian religious practices. While Kemetic spirituality is practiced by various races all over the world, it is especially attractive to those of African descent, as it offers a cultural and religious connection to the spirituality of lost societies of African ancestry.
Also referred to as Neterism or Egyptian Neo-paganism, Kemetic spirituality holds Thoth, Ma’at, and Ra (the sun god) as influential deities to be worshipped. Kemetics will often have private alters in their homes to pray and offer food daily. The foundation of Kemetic traditions is created on a cycle from birth to life and death, then back to rebirth. The Kemetic tradition heavily focuses on shifting its adherents from a state of bewilderment to a spiritual rebirth. Some Kemetic traditions use a system that is similar to that of the chakras, equivalent to yoga.
When taking a yoga class that is based in Kemetism, you will surely notice a couple of common yoga poses such as child’s pose and warrior pose, as these poses are natural for the body. However, many of the other poses done in Kemetic Yoga represent Ancient Egyptian traditions, temple carvings, or specific ancient Egyptian gods. While some Kemetics believe in these gods, others just practice the spiritual side of Kemetism. The spiritual principles of Kemetism, which focus on several aspects of health, are the same despite which god you believe in:
- Physical: Stretching and toning the body so that it functions to the best of its abilities.
- Mental and emotional: A clear, peaceful mind is a healthier mind.
- Energetic: Our bodies need energy to thrive.
- Spiritual: When your psyche is in alignment with your body, you have the best chance of achieving spiritual wholeness.
Kemetic Yoga is a style that isn’t as well-known as other yoga types, but has just recently began gaining recognition in the yoga community. Its revival has shed light on a fresh perspective: Yoga can be traced back to ancient Egyptian and Northeastern African cultures as well as Indian and Asian. This refreshing outlook brings an exciting and long overdue sense of diversity to an ancient practice that is adored all around the globe.