Kemetic Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to refine the mind, body, and spirit of the African Spirituality Initiate.
The West has popularized (and commercialized) Ayurvedic style yoga, its postures, and its health benefits.
But when it came to the practice of postures, our ancestors in Kemet called the exercise Tjef Sema Paut Neteru which means “Movements to promote union with the gods and goddesses”. To them, yoga was far more than physical exercise – it was a path to Ascension.
Kemetic Yoga’s Stolen Legacy
There has been a debate in the Black Conscious community as to whether Kemetic Yoga is just a knock-off version of Indian Yoga.
While the world has accepted this claim to be true, students of Black Consciousness are encouraged to look deeper at the origins real yoga practice.
The word yoga itself comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” (pron. “yug”) meaning “to join”, “to unite” or “to subjugate”. Yoga is where we get the English word “yoke”.
The philosophy behind the word suggests it is the goal of the practitioner to join or unite their mind, body, and soul through mental and physical exercises that promote the free flow of spiritual energy.
While the word yoga originates in India, we know that the concepts and practice spread to the area from migrants out of Africa.
India’s Indus Civilization is one of three in the ‘Ancient East’ that - along with Mesopotamia and Ancient Kemet – was a cradle of Civilization in the Old World. It was also the most expansive in area and population. The founders of this Civilization were a group of people called the Dravidians.
The fossil evidence and genetic tests have shown that the Black Dravidian sub-race is the same as the Black East African sub-race which is to be found in the same latitude. Further archaeological and anthropological evidence suggests that around 70,000 years ago, East Africans set sail across the Red Sea, travelled along the coast of Arabia and Persia, and settled in India.
The Black Dravidians laid the foundation of Indian Culture and built a thriving empire that lasted until the invasion of the lighter skinned Aryan culture from the North. These invaders drove or wiped out the original people, assimilated the culture, and labelled their practices ‘Ayurveda’ – a Hindu system of medicine based on the idea of balance in bodily systems through diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.
Waves of Aryan invaders from the North pushed the original inhabitants of the region further and further south.
Today, the first people of India, who have been pushed to the brink of extinction by racism, exploitation, and the brutality of India’s caste system cling to existence on strings of islands
Thus, in the same way that Black Kemet became Arab Egypt, so too did Black Indian culture become Aryan Ayurvedic Yoga.
Thanks to a new generation of scholars like Yirsir Ra Hotep and Dr. Muata Ashby, the stolen legacy that is Kemetic yoga is being restored.
What Is Kemetic Yoga?
Another misconception by the Western world is that yoga is exclusively a physical activity. Having pigeonholed the practice, ‘gurus’ have popped up at every local gym like mushrooms after a rainstorm selling their coaching sessions.
But Kemetic Yoga is so much more than impressive posturing. It is an entire way of life designed to introduce the initiate to the Path of the Hidden Light.
According to Dr. Muata Ashby in his book Maat Philosophy; “Yoga is the practice of mental, physical, and spiritual disciplines which lead to self-control and self-discovery by purifying the mind, body, and spirit, so as to discover the deeper spiritual essence which lies within every human being and object in the universe.”
He continues with the following: “In essence, the goal of Yoga practice is to unite or to yoke one’s individual consciousness with Universal or Cosmic consciousness.
Therefore, Ancient Egyptian religious practice, especially in terms of the rituals and other practices of the Ancient Egyptian Temple system known as Shetaut Neter (the way of the hidden Supreme Being), spiritual disciplines were known in Ancient times as Smai Tawi – or “Egyptian Yoga” – should as well be considered as universal streams of self-knowledge philosophy which influenced and inspired the great religions and philosophers to this day.
In this sense, religion in its purest form, is also a Yoga system, as it seeks to reunite the soul with its true and original source, God. In broad terms, any spiritual movement or discipline that brings one closer to self knowledge is a Yogic movement.”
Yoga is not just physical exercise, but any process which helps one to achieve liberation or freedom from the bondage to human pain and spiritual ignorance.
So whenever you engage in any activity with the goal of promoting the discovery of your true Self, whether it be studying sacred scrolls, exercise, fasting, meditation, breath control, rituals, chanting, or prayer, you are practicing yoga!
New Initiates are rarely prepared to endure the challenges associated with elevation and Ascension towards on the path into the light. Thus, the initiate learns not only a state of physical being, but also how to engage themselves and the world around them using 5 forms of Kemetic Yoga.
Click the next tab below to see all 5 forms of Kemetic Yoga.