Kemetic yoga is a system of practice and philosophy based on ancient Egyptian systems of enlightenment and self development. This yoga style involves a practice of physical poses and flowing movement combined with deep breathing and meditation. The main difference between Kemetic yoga poses and yoga styles originating in India is that movement is created by flowing in and out of a pose, rather than by moving from one pose to another. Some Kemetic yoga poses do not appear in other yoga systems, and some poses vary slightly from those in other yoga systems.
Philosophy Behind Poses
The point of Kemetic yoga is to focus on control of the breath, which is done in conjunction with a series of movements. These movements are performed in a manner that is in harmony with the natural anatomy of the body, as they emphasize alignment and geometric progression. This allows every joint and muscle group to build strength and develop alignment, simultaneously energizing the organs and correcting body defects. Kemetic yoga poses are practiced much more slowly and more methodically than poses in other yoga systems, because they are meant to develop skills of patience and concentration. The emphasis of breath control also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase creativity and productivity.
Standing poses appear in several Kemetic scriptures and images, some of which are found in other yoga systems and some which are not. One of the most basic Kemetic yoga poses that also appears in other yoga systems is Tree Pose. In Kemetic yoga, Tree pose is a series of flowing movements coordinated with steady breathing to increase energy circulation and enhance concentration. Standing poses exclusive to Kemetic yoga are Pose of Min, designed for the revitalization of the male energy system, and Candlestick pose, which is often seen being held by female figures in ancient Egyptian scriptures.
One seated Kemetic yoga pose that can also be found in other yoga systems includes Sesh pose, which is the same as the cross-legged Lotus Pose. Sphinx pose is slightly different in Kemetic yoga than in other yoga systems, because it is performed in a kneeling position rather than flat on the stomach. A pose that does not show up in other yoga systems is the Pose of Immortality. This involves kneeling on one leg with the arms stretched out in opposite directions, and the trunk twisted away from the knees. A representation of this pose was found on a chair that belonged to Pharaoh Tutankhamen, and according to the modern founder of Kemetic yoga, is a definite indication that yoga philosophy was practiced in ancient Egypt.
Backbends and Inversion
Inversions and backbends appear in Kemetic scriptures, in which figures can be seen performing poses similar to Wheel pose and Bridge pose. A back-bending pose unique to Kemetic yoga is Asar Hapi II, which looks a bit like King Pigeon pose performed with the body instead of the legs on the floor. An inversion common to almost all yoga systems is the headstand, known as Selkhet headstand in Kemetic yoga. In Kemetic yoga, the headstand is meant to cultivate stability, balance, strength and power.
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