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Afrikan Yoga


Afrikan Yoga: What Is It And Where Does It Come From?

Some people think that the yoga only comes from India, and they get surprised when they hear about Afrikan yoga. This type of yoga is similar to the Indian form of yoga – in theory. However, the details vary greatly. The origins of Afrikan yoga come from Egypt, Ghana, East Africa and even the UK, which combines the tribal dances of the different African tribes with Hudu, which is also known as African tai-chi.

Afrikan Yoga and Its Roots

In ancient Egypt, there is a practice similar to yoga called Smai, and this is a predecessor of Afrikan yoga. This is an ancient tradition that has been practiced even centuries older than the type of yoga done in India. The similarity between the two is that it also involves postures and meditation along with mantras.

The history of Afrikan yoga is best explained by Pablo Imani, an instructor and guru. He has written a whole book on the subject, explaining the practice and its history. According to him, the historical origin of yoga is not in India, contrary to popular knowledge. It actually stems from Africa.

He explains that Herodotus, a Greek historian, has documented that the ancient Indians and the people of Ethiopia were one of the same people. Ancient India was the colony of Ethiopia before, and the people of India were once referred to as Dravidians, who were Kushites. It also helps to remember that ‘Kush’ was the name of a kingdom in ancient Africa.

Difference from “Western” Yoga

How is Afrikan yoga different from western yoga? To be clear, what Pablo Imani calls as “Western” yoga is the type of yoga which originated and is practiced in India. The main difference is that this yoga type has fewer postures. They only have twenty-four to thirty-six posture positions. Likewise, it also incorporates dance and tai-chi.

There is also a great question on why “Afrikan yoga” is spelled with a ‘K’ – Imani explains that the letter of his choice contains the word “KA”, or spirit. Also, Afrikan yoga does not use the Sanskrit; rather, it makes use of Medu Neter or Nuwapic, which is the ancient language of the Egyptians.

Uniqueness of Afrikan Yoga

Afrikan yoga is ‘smai tawi’ – the union of two lands. This refers to the union of the body and the spirit, the balance between the masculine and feminine side of the body’s energy – which we can relate to the yin-yang symbol of the Chinese. There are also several health benefits from Afrikan yoga. Imani says that Afrikan yoga helps improve the energy levels, mental alertness and peace of mind. It can also help normalize the breathing, strengthens the muscles and tones the body. It is also more dynamic since it does not involve postures but also dance-like movements.
Afrikan yoga is an excellent form of exercise which can also give you peace of mind, increased levels of energy to go through the daily tasks, and form a balance between the different aspects of your life.

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Suggest Changes to the Afrikan Yoga Description

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Contributed by: Muyin       Date: April 10, 2012
New Suggested Wording: Afrikan Yoga founded by Pablo M Imani Khonsu Sekhem Ptah is a form of yoga known for it’s use of rhythmic movements, to the sounds of drums which aids in heating up the body in order to perform Sayunaats/Postures. Adequate natural body heat and energy generation minimises the risks of injury or strain when doing static postures.

There is an emphasis of elemental body awareness and breath. The development of flexibility, mobility strength, and endurance are emphasized through dance and postures. Afrikan Yoga is firmly based on the movements of the Neters/Neteru as found on the temple walls at The Temple of Luxor, The Temple of Horus at Edfu and on the scientific methods as mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus Edwin Smith Papyrus Rhind Papyrus the oldest books in the world known as The Pyramid Texts.

The Philosophy

Egyptian Philosophy of Maat as expounded by the Egyptian Book of the Dead known as the 42 Precepts or commonly refered to as the ‘Negative confessions’ or ‘Declarations of Innocence and the Ten Virtues of the Initiates.

These are comparable with the Noble Eight fold Path of Buddhist Dharma. The teachings of Amennakht, Ptah Hotep, Kagemini, Tehuti/ Hermes Trismigistus and Seti I as found in the Tomb of Seti I (1350 B.C.E) predating the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (200 B.C.E).

The yoga sutras yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana and samadhi are integral within the teachings of Seti I and so is established within the disciplines of Afrikan Yoga.

The form of EgyptianYoga, focuses on energy development and emotional cleansing of the physical and emotional body through the development of movement and postures.

Through the practice of a system of Sayunaats/Postures commonly called Asanas, its use of Hanu movements Raagus African Dance and Hudu African Tai chi aims to unite the body, mind and spirit for health and well-being. This discipline is considered a powerful tool to relieve the stresses of modern-day life which in turn can help promote total physical and spiritual well-being.

Afrikan Yoga is characterized by its attention to rhythmic movements and precise focus on breath. Menfesawe-Imani pioneered the use of affirmations, drums, stretch-bands, sticks, crystals and stones held in the hands and the elements Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether, which function as aids for combining body and psycho-spiritual awareness allowing beginners to experience movement and postures more easily and fully than might otherwise be possible without several years of practice.

An emphasis of co-ordinating movement, dance and awareness of muscles, internal organs and emotional effects of movements are emphasized in Afrikan Yoga. They are said to release emotional blockages, increase vitality, improve circulation, libido coordination and balance, ensuring a strong foundation for meditational poses.

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