Kemetic Yoga is an ancient African practice that has gained popularity in the globally in recent years. This practice has a rich history and is deeply rooted in the cultural and spiritual traditions of Ancient Kemet. However, despite its origins and the fact that it has been practiced for thousands of years by people of color, it is often overlooked in the Western yoga world. This lack of representation is a problem, and it is important to understand why.
Representation matters because it allows for a diversity of perspectives and experiences to be shared. When people of color are excluded from yoga spaces, their voices and contributions are also excluded. This can lead to a lack of understanding and appreciation for the cultural and historical significance of practices like Kemetic Yoga. It also reinforces the idea that yoga is only for a certain type of person, which is not true. Yoga is for everyone.
One of the benefits of practicing Kemetic Yoga is that it is a holistic practice that addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the self. It involves movements that are designed to open up the energy channels in the body, and it also incorporates meditation and breathwork. This combination of practices can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve flexibility and balance, and promote overall wellness.
As an instructor of Kemetic Yoga, it's important to acknowledge and honor the founder of this practice, Yirser Ra Hotep. Yirser Ra Hotep is a master instructor and practitioner with over 40 years of experience in yoga and holistic health. He developed Kemetic Yoga, also known as Smai Tawi, which is based on the African principles and concepts of the Kemetic civilization of ancient Egypt. It was truly inspiring to train and become a certified instructor of Kemetic Yoga through the Yogaskills method, which is the only Yoga Alliance registered school that offers certification in Kemetic Yoga. Through this training, I was able to deepen my understanding of Kemetic Yoga and the importance of representation in the western yoga world.
As someone who is interested in practicing Kemetic Yoga, it is important to seek out teachers and practitioners who are knowledgeable and respectful of the practice's origins and cultural significance. The Yogaskills method of Kemetic Yoga places a strong emphasis on proper form, slow and deliberate movements, and the Rule of 4 breathing technique, which sets it apart from other forms of Egyptian-based yoga such as Smai Tawi. This attention to detail ensures that practitioners are not only receiving the physical benefits of the practice but also accessing the spiritual and mental benefits.
In conclusion, Kemetic Yoga is a powerful and transformative practice that has a rich cultural history. It is important to recognize the significance of this practice and to ensure that it is represented and respected in the Western yoga world. By doing so, we can create more inclusive and diverse yoga spaces that welcome and celebrate all practitioners.