Learn About Kemetic Yoga and Meditation From Ancient Egypt

Other ancient cultures also practiced yoga, meditation and movement.

Ancient Egyptian yoga.

(Pikoso.kz / Shutterstock.com)

You probably already know of the yogic traditions from ancient India. But did you know that the ancient Egyptian cultures also practiced yoga? Similar to yoga from India, kemetic yoga, or Smai Tawi, combines postures with meditation and breathing exercises. Using the life force of breath opens the energy centers in your body to attain a divine state of spiritual enlightenment. 

Kemetic Yoga Roots
Are you familiar with those wall engravings, paintings, and murals seen on the tombs and temples of ancient Egypt? Long ago, civilizations told stories by etching walls with paintings and hieroglyphs, (ancient Egypt's writing system). According to Yoga International, these scriptures hold some of the earliest illustrations of yoga which show various sacred geometric positions and postures. 

According to research published in The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, archaeologists found representations of the falcon-headed god of the sky, Horus, and the powerful, crocodile-like Sobek tying rope to symbols of the lungs and spine. Kemetic yoga postures that were practiced thousands of years ago in the Nile Valley, then known as Kemet, may actually predate yoga practices from India.

Ancient Egyptian Mythology
During kemetic yoga, the practitioner channels powerful energies of the gods and goddesses worshiped by the ancient Egyptians. By embodying these deity archetypes through yoga, you can grasp a deeper understanding of divine energy. You don’t have to believe in the deities to benefit from their power. Visualizing a powerful god or goddess helps tap into the energy that they represent. You will feel inspired to embody those qualities that they represent. 

You can pose like Isis, Goddess of fertility, motherhood, protection, and magic. Or, feel powerful with the poses of Sekhmet, the lioness goddess of healing to ward off illness. Horus, the falcon-headed god of power and healing, wards off evil. Osiris is the green-skinned god ruling over vegetation, healing, and fertility. Anubis is the wolf-headed god of the underworld, the dead, and the afterlife. For healing energy, pose like Serket, the scorpion goddess of nature, animals, medicine, and magic.

Kemetic Yoga Poses
By voyaging through a series of these postures as shown on this video for beginners, you can unleash your inner god or goddess. Dive deep into the qualities of each pose to complement your personal journey’s intentions with every practice.

Pose of Isis

Stand upright with your hands in prayer at your heart center. Lift your right foot up and extend it forward. As you place your weight on the right foot, extend the left leg back, with your back foot pointed. Slowly lower to a seated position. Sit with weight on your back left foot. Extend your upper chest as you slowly twist to the left side. Place the right elbow on the inside of the right leg. (Don’t forget to breathe!)  Rotate the palms down, as you remain in a seated twist. On the inhale, raise the arms should heighten. Gaze forward and channel your inner goddess. Exhale and gaze behind you. Hold the pose as desired. Then repeat on the opposite side.

Woman doing the kemetic yoga  pose of Isis.

(Photo by Klaus Nielsen from Pexels)

Pose of Ausar

This twisting pose releases tension in your upper back. To enter the pose, stand upright. Place your right palm in the center of your chest. Take your left palm and place it over your right hand. Open and engage the upper chest as you twist to the right from the thoracic (upper) spine. Repeat on the opposite side.

Woman doing the pose of Ausar.

(Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash)

Pyramid Pose

Look familiar? You may know this pose as the downward-facing dog. In Kemetic yoga, the pyramid pose resembles the impressive tombs of the pharaohs. Enjoy a full body stretch, deep in your spine and along your shoulders.

The pyramid pose in kemetic yoga

(Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

Pose of Selkhet

Harness the power of Selkhet, the scorpion goddess of medicine and healing. Stand upright with your arms by your side. Engage your shoulders to the back. Lift your arms with palms upright, to receive guidance and healing

Seniors practicing kemetic yoga movements.

(Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels)

Pose of Ka

Connect to the divine spirit, your Ka. Stand upright. Bring your arms upward into a cactus like position. Tilt the head back while lengthening your chest and upper body. Gently return your head upright, facing forward. Repeat.

Woman in the kemetic yoga Ka pose

(Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels)