Kemetic Yoga is the Ancient Egyptian system of breath, movement,and meditation that was practiced in order to unite one with his/her divine self or higher consciousness. Originally, this practice was referred to as Smai Tawi, meaning “union of the two lands” and metaphorically meaning union with the divine.
For the Ancient Egyptians, Smai Tawi was incorporated in their holistic lifestyle. They lived as part of a self-regulating, balanced, harmonious system based on the tenets of Ma’at. Ma’at represents the underlying divine order to all things in the universe. One who is able to live in alignment with this order is able to master oneself, elevate consciousness and access divine energies for enlightenment and peace. Although this is an ancient philosophy and practice, Kemetic Yoga is very important and very relevant to today’s world. The modern version of this healing system was developed from primary research conducted by Dr. Asar Hapi and Master Yirser Ra Hotep (Elvrid Lawrence), who coined the term Kemetic Yoga, back in the 1970s. This is a system that if practiced correctly and consistently can bring balance and order back to the world that is full of chaos.
This practice can help to bring back the feminine principles of connection to all things, oneness, harmony and feeling to balance out the masculine aspects of individuality, separateness, aggression and thinking that are currently taking too much weight in today’s world. Kemetic Yoga is a way to restore balance and order to a tumultuous, destructive world.
Benefits of Kemetic Yoga
Increased strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Protection from joint damage and bone deterioration.
Increased blood circulation.
Optimal functioning of organs.
Balanced hormonal system.
Increased energy levels.
Clearer and sharper thinking.
Elimination of stress, tension and anxiety.
Clear sense of self and purpose.
Greater intuition and clarity.
Greater ability to use the mind to manifest what you want in life.
Increased connection to others.
Increased connection to all of nature.
Peace of mind.
True sense of happiness that comes from within and is not based on external factors.
Cultivation of acceptance, self-love and unconditional love for others.
We had a chance to take in some more wisdom from Yirser. There was a Kemetic Certification course in Atlanta hosted @ FireHawks Studio. Personally I’ve never really relied on blocks and straps but I was curious to the benefits of using them. Yirser breaks down his insight on when you should or shouldnt use blocks and straps during your yoga session.
We follow Miingini on instagram and its a pleasure because ever other photo is a Miingini practicing yoga with a beautiful back drop in the tropics of Jamaica! This moment was long overdue here is the Q&A Get focused!
One thing that always draws my attention to yogis are their cool interesting names such as Miingini. How did you come up with that? and does Aïda have a meaning as well?
Miing has been a childhood nick name initiated by my big sister, as a joke. The joke being that I was Vietnamese, adopted and my birth name was Miing. Later as I got more into practicing yoga, I thought of altering it to Miingini, playing off of the word Yogini. In fact my real birth name is Aida Desta Campbell, Aida Desta being the name of Haile Sallassie I granddaughter. Aida, also having an Ethiopian meaning of princess.
What is the best part about being able to practice yoga with your mother @abofa_life and how did the yoga bond develop?
The best part of being able to practice yoga with my mother is that we are a team and give each other support, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Our bond through yoga began during my mother’s healing of breast cancer. I would join in and practice with her for support, and together we both blossomed in ways we never imagined.
How long have you been practicing yoga…. and did you find yoga or did yoga find you?
I have been practicing yoga for about a little over two years. I would say that yoga kind of found me. Along with my mother, I got certified in Kemetic Yoga in August of 2013 in Montego Bay Jamaica. This was an intense ten days for me. I had to grow mentally, You see I needed to make a choice spiritually in order to physically go on with the training. It was In these moments that my mother would give me words of encouragement until I felt empowered.
What has been your toughest obstacle to overcome since you began your yoga practice?
-Breathing off the mat. Applying the rule of four breathing in everyday life situations and not just on the mat when practicing yoga.
You create some interesting “hybrid asanas” that I try often.. what is your favorite and why?
Well some of the poses kind of come to mind as I flow into the movements. Playing around and feeling out my body with regards to new progressions with my flexibility and strength.
How does Kemetic Yoga differ from other styles of yoga that you practice?
Not sure how much Kemetic yoga differs from other styles but I do know that all things are relational However Kemetic yoga and its postures stems from the gods and goddesses of ancient Kemet, today known as Egypt The system promotes and aligns with prescribing to the positive attributes that each god and goddesses is associated with, for example ABOFA focuses on the goddess Maat, who represents truth, honesty, justice, authenticity, reciprocity, balance, righteousness, karma, synchronicity, harmony, and divine order. For ABOFA, Kemetic yoga is all about maintaining the rule of four breathing technique so that one can move with geometric progression on and off of the mat.
The places you are in your photos are always tropical and filled with bright colors… Where in Jamaica do you go to practice and find peace of mind most?
Living in Jamaica, while maintaining my practice, has been an advantage and blessing for me. You see being surrounded by so much nature is so blissful. It is very green and lush and has frequent visits from tropical birds and butterflies and a haven for occasional rainbows. My back yard is the place I go to practice and to find a deep sense of self renewal as well as peace of mind.
What do you love most about the moon?
I love the luminosity of the moon. So quiet and still in the sky but yet, so hard to ignore.
How often do you meditate? and have you experienced any mystical moments or hard to explain sensations during meditation or dreaming? Feel free to share one
Although I do engage in deep breathing exercises during my yoga practice. I do not meditate as often as I would like to. I am working on creating times throughout the day that I can dedicate solely to meditation, as my living environment is perfect to be one with nature.
How was your experience meeting Tao Porchon-Lynch? Did you get to speak with her about anything in particular?
It was quite inspiring to be in the presence of someone who is, for me, an example of yoga being ‘a way of life’ rather than just something you do. I did not get the opportunity to engage in any direct conversation with her but I must say the energy received by her was very uplifting.
What influences your choice of clothing you always have the best colorful flowy outfits for casual days and yoga practice?
Yoga influences my choice of clothing. The freeness that I feel when I practice yoga is liberating and a feeling that I like to feel when wearing clothes. As a graphic artist I am naturally drawn to colors that feel good to one’s eyes. I like to embody, through my choice of clothing, how yoga makes me feel—that is vibrant, refreshed, and full of life.
Does the color you wear affect your feeling during practice?
Sometimes. My mental state, moods, and overall perspective more affects my practice than the colors of yoga outfits. .
What is your favorite Sativa & Indica?
How do you think ganja helps one during yoga?
I think it is more of focusing on breathing and the breath more so than the actual herb itself. However,It calms the mind, body, and soul. Allows for ones breath to deepen, creating more air flow to and from the brain activating the parasympathetic nervous system. For me, my consumption of ganja is not limited to only smoking it; I cook with it A LOT. The medicinal properties are actually more prevalent when the herb is cooked oppose to applying actual fire to it. But there’s nothing like a nice spliff!
30 years from now where would you like to be doing yoga?
I would like to be traveling around the world practicing and sharing yoga, using my experiences to be of service to others as I encourage a holistic life style that includes a plant based live it.
What was your first yogi memory ever?
My first memory ever with regards to trying a handstand for the first time would have to be, ‘Oh sh*t! Hope I don’t fall’
Is there anything else you would like to say or share to everyone on the site?
I am collaborating with my mother in creating a children’s storybook. She wrote the story and I am utilizing my graphic arts skills with the illustration of the book. I’m very excited about this project.
I often try to express the importance of the spiritual aspect of Kemetic yoga while practicing and facilitating a class. No matter what style of yoga, growth and progression will only come with self discipline and a willingness to maintain a diligent practice. Kemetic Yoga is more than just a pose. Kemetic Yoga is a way of life.
Higher and Lower Selfs or One Self lower and higher chakras. Yirser breaks down the general purpose of the chakras and why men should cultivate more feminine energy. He also explains the correlation between goddess and god poses you may often find in some Yoga doctrine.
Ever found something so good that you want everyone to try it. Sometimes it does not always work out that wat and family members are not quick to jump on board to your new found discovery. Sometimes old habits are hard to kick and Yirser touches on a few reasons why changing people may not be the approach you want to take.
YogaSkills.com For more information on YogaSkills Method with Kemetic Yoga. Yirser Ra Hotep offers retreats and training courses as well.
Yirser Ra Hotep is a master instructor of Yoga and the creator of the YogaSkills Method. He is the most senior instructor of Kemetic Yoga in the United States with over 30 years of experience practicing and teaching. Yirser was involved with the original research and documentation of Kemetic Yoga along with master Instructor Dr. Asar Ha-pi in the 1970s
We flew out to Houston to capture the experience of being apart of Yirser’s Certification.
Yirser has trained and certified over 100 Yoga instructors throughout the United States and has been recognized for his innovative Yoga Therapy programs for pre-school children, school age children and teens. Yirser holds a master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and has operated Groups Homes for abused and neglected youth, worked as an administrator for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and operated youth mentoring programs.
The truth is subjective. What you may see as true another person can view as being false… Why? because the agreement of truth between two different people/cultures/nationalities/etc depends on their perspective being in sync. There is evidence and proof of many things in the world that people can not agree on even though there is evidence is in plain sight. I think belief is the fuel to faith and faith is the vehicle that the perspective of “truth” travels in. I heard something interesting the other day during a lecture by Booker T Coleman. He said if you believe something you can un-believe it at some point … if you have faith in something or someone it is possible to lose faith but once you know … you know. You may forget what you know and that is a natural occurrence but you can not choose to un-know something once you learn it. When you hear a piece of information that resonates and you feel inside that it is true it has the power to change your perspective, faith and belief in a flash. Information is one way to transform your perspective. The more information you take in on a subject the more perspectives you can build from to form your truth(s). Being able to change your perspective at will makes it easier to know or see some truth in everything around you. You will feel less of a desire to defend your perspective against others and want to listen and add it to your collection. Sometimes we can get caught up in trying to be/feel right and push people to see things from our perspective but that is a choice they themselves will ultimately have to make and vice versa.
Ending the 7 Chakra video series with The Root Chakra. Discussing a metaphysical break down of this energy point, how to tap into it, what it feels like and a personal experience to give you an idea of what is possible.
We must give credit where credit is due so a big Thank you goes out to the metaphysical scholars such as Bobby Hemmitt, Dr Phil Valentine, Dr Alim Bey, Makalesi, Ra Hotep 13signsastrology, Yirser Ra Hotep, and Brother Panic of OccultLectures. The teachings they have provided helped me take my experience and practice to the next level. I appreciate the time and research you all have put on for us to apply how we see fit. Peace
Every Sunday Free Kemetic Yoga class hosted by Firehawk at the West End Farmers and Artisans Market.
Join us again today from 3-4pm for another great session followed by some more fun sharing.
All ages welcome, no experience necessary, no excuses! See you out there!