I have been reflecting on my sixteen year journey with yoga these past few days. As the opening of my first AfriCan Kemetic Yoga Studio approaches. Looking back at what I have learned and gained on this journey has been interesting, at times frustrating, moments of clarity and bliss. But most important, are the loving, supportive friendships I have gained over the years.
While studying my first teacher training in HATHA yoga. I found I could not resonate with the Hindu deities of Shiva, Lakshim or Ganesha. They made no sense to me. My next question was, if Africa (l was later to learn that the name Africa has Greek origins! The origin name of Africa being Kmt) is the birth place of Africa. Then why are there no images, or tarot cards or even oracle cards displaying images of African Gods or Goddess – by the way are known as Neter. And how many times haves one heard the saying the “Africans worshiped Animal gods”? And so this untruth, has never been questioned.
Well, since then I have been awakened to the things which are “hidden”. Happily, knowing that as an African, we hold great mysteries, so carefully kept hidden or distorted to keep us ignorant of our True nature.
So, after completing my second and third yoga teacher training (ISHTA) and being certified as a Kemetic Yoga™ teacher. I realized I had no desire to approach the various yoga studios around Johannesburg with this style of yoga – Kemetic Yoga™. I found it interesting to observe people’s eyes glaze over or become defensive protecting Indian yoga and its philosophies, when I used Kemetic terminology, i.e. Shu, the Paut Neter (Kemet Tree of Life), or Ausar, Auset or Heru (commonly known by the Greek names of Osisris, Isis or Horus). However, it was interesting to observe, people had a understanding of Ma’at – although limited to “Balance or Justice”, or the romantic notion of Isis (Auset)! That I realized that like any style of yoga – Ashtanga, Bikram, Kundalini, Vinyasa or Hatha. Kemetic Yoga™ required a space, where we unapologetically practiced and used Kemetic terminology as would any other studio use the language, customs or terminology of its yoga tradition. I doubt anyone walking into a Hatha yoga studio would question the Om Symbol displayed. And so, I too intended to create a space, where the Aunkh symbol or a Neter statue is displayed, unapologetically.
So, I came to the realization that, if I was having a challenge explaining Kemetic terminology and sciences and I was resisting approaching yoga studios with this style of yoga. What would become of the aspiring yoga teachers I was training to be AfriCan Kemetic Yoga™ teachers? Where would they find a “home” to teach and feel comfortable enough to be understood when using terminology relating to the Paut Neter (Kemetic Tree of life) or the Sesh Metut Neter (the Word of God) or the Nef Aunk (Breath of Life) or a Hekau (chanting). Where the use of the correct ancient names of the a Neter – RA, Ausar, Auset, Tehuti or Herukhuti would be done without censure. A place where people interested in this style of yoga will find it in this space. It became apparent to me that a Kemetic Yoga™ studio was required.
So the dream of a yoga studio began. It seems so long ago that I planted this seed. And now, on my birthday this year, with the wonderful support of like minded friends, students and clients, we prepare to celebrate the official opening of this studio. A yoga studio, perhaps the first of its kind, on African soil, or Southern Africa or in Johannesburg, that offers authentic Kemetic Yoga™ and incorporates the Ausarian Kemetic Sciences, mediations and breathing techniques. And also offers, all styles of yoga in its space, recognizing that we are the rainbow nation and in our diversity is our strength.
It is with Gratitude, humble Thank You to the Neter, to Spirit, my mentors and teachers for opening up the way, to that which is unknown. For providing the space and resources. I am proud to acknowledge, that the AfriCan Kemetic Yoga™ Studio is owned and run by yoga teachers of All African descent and offering a style of yoga that is AfriCan, because as Africans we Can.
Yes We Can!
Aukh Udja Seneb – we strive for Life, Prosperity and Food Health.