The spirituality of Africa is at the heart of Kemetic Yoga. The rhythm of the drum is the same as the cadence of our breathing technique called Rule of Four Breathing. Our movements and postures are geometric and reflect the ancient African principles of Sacred Geometry and the Golden Ratio.
The philosophy behind our spiritual science is that of Ma'at and the Seven Principles of Thoth which seeks to manifest harmony in all things and apply universal law to perception, thought, behavior and creativity. In Kemetic Yoga we acknowledge the existence of the ancestors and seek to honor them, communicate with them, seek their guidance and receive their blessings.
In Kemetic Yoga we recognize the power of the spirit forces that govern the workings of the universe and understand them from the perspective of spiritual science. We recognize that the foundation of the ALL is SPIRIT and that there exists an observable order to nature that is both consistent and able to respond to the power of consciousness. From this perspective we are able to create reality and manifest all that sustains life.
Kemetic Yoga is the totality of existing and not simply placing the body in various physical postures. In fact the purpose of postures and movements is to circulate life force, harmonize with ancestral energy and enhance the process of manifestation and the creation of one's own reality and spiritual prosperity.
Hatha Yoga is the physical practice of yoga. The asana practice of hatha yoga symbolizes the connection of the sun and the moon, bringing the world and the physical body into balance. Hatha also means “to strike,” meaning to strike the body with the challenge of the postures and to “yoke” (the meaning of yoga) the mind into singular focus. Most styles of yoga in the United States are based in Hatha with different philosophies, practices, and terminology that allow yoga to fit the individual practitioner. Its traditional source in relation to the postures is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
There are many styles or schools of Hatha Yoga:
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a fast-paced, flowing series of sequential postures as prescribed by yoga master K. Pattabhi Jois, who was an early student of Krishnamacharya’s. There are six series of asanas that increase in difficulty, allowing students to work at their own pace. Asanas are connected by the breath and are linked with sun salutations. Most classes taught in the United States focus on the Primary Series.
Iyengar Yoga was developed in Pune, India by BKS Iyengar, one of the most influential yogis of his time. Iyengar was a student of Krishnamacharya’s and took what he learned to cure himself of disease through asana and pranayama. In the Iyengar method, special attention is paid to precise muscular and skeletal alignment. Poses (especially standing postures) are typically held much longer than in other schools of yoga to allow for adjustments to be made. The Iyengar system also uses props, such as belts, chairs, blocks, and blankets, to help accommodate any special needs such as injuries or structural imbalances.
Viniyoga means yoga for the individual. As Krishnamacharya aged and taught his son TKV Desikachar, he focused on the adapting asana, pranayama and other yoga practices (ritual, chanting, prayer) to the individual. Viniyoga focuses on the traditional teachings of yoga and the adherence to a practice that serves the individual needs of the practitioner.
Tao (pronounced “dao”) means literally “the path” or “the way.” It is a universal principle that underlies everything from the creation of galaxies to the interaction of human beings. The workings of Tao are vast and often beyond human comprehension. In order to understand it, reasoning alone will not suffice. One must also apply intuition.
In our study of the Tao, our source material is the Tao Te Ching (pronounced “Dao De Jing”) written by the ancient sage Lao Tzu.
Some of Lao Tzu’s most significant teachings are as follows:
Non-contention. Lao Tzu noted that violence and conflict, no matter how minimal or tightly controlled, could not help but cause negative side effects. The Tao ideal is to solve problems through peaceful means whenever possible.
Non-action. The foolish expend a great deal of energy and time trying to do everything, and end up achieving nothing. On the other end of the spectrum, the truly wise don’t seem to do much at all, and yet achieve whatever they want. This magic is possible, indeed inevitable, when one is in tune with the Tao and acts without attachments.
Non-intention. So often we perform virtuous deeds hoping to receive praise or recognition, but that’s actually no virtue at all. True virtue is a state where such actions flow forth naturally, requiring no conscious effort and no need of external approval.
Simplicity. The basis for our reality and existence is elemental and uncomplicated. Human beings create a lot of trouble for themselves by making everything more complex than they need to be. If we learn to simplify our lives, we can experience a profound satisfaction that is infinitely more meaningful than the rewards of the material world.
Wisdom. Logic has its place in human affairs, but it isn’t everything. There is a limit to what we can understand through rationality and reasoning. To transcend that limit, we need to fully engage the intuition. This is the key to insights as opposed to knowledge, and the difference between living the Tao and reading about it.
Humility. The more you learn, the more you realize there’s still so much more to learn. This tends to make you humble. Arrogance and egotism come from ignorance — knowing a little bit and assuming you know a lot.
Yin and yang. Lao Tzu pointed out that all qualities in the world possess meaning only by the existence of their opposites, or their complements. Something can only be big if there is something else that is small by comparison. “Good” exists in the world so long as “bad” exists as well. One cannot do without the other.