Happy Yoga Monday!
This morning, I dedicated my yoga practice to the spirit of Trayvon Martin, his parents and family, and everyone impacted by the recent Florida jury’s decision that found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and of manslaughter in the 2012 death of Martin. I used Ahimsa, a Sanskrit word that means nonviolence, as my mantra during my meditation. It helped me quiet some of my anger and disappointment about the not guilty decision.
While I was eating breakfast, I noticed my anger and disappointment began to rise as I thought about Zimmerman being released from jail. That’s when I decided to use Ahimsa as my mantra this week (and as long as it takes) to stay focused on practicing nonviolence, kindness, and compassion towards all living things. I started thinking about ways I could honor Trayvon’s life and promote nonviolence.
Using my blog to share my thoughts was the first idea I came up with. And then more ideas about what I should share followed. Before I knew it, I had written a blog post that promotes Ahimsa and highlights the innovative yoga therapy programs created by Yirser Ra Hotep, a master yoga instructor of Kemetic Yoga and the founder of the YogaSkills Method, for pre-school children, school-age children, and teens who are predominately African American.
Kemetic Yoga is the ancient Egyptian yoga system that focuses on physical movements combined with controlled deep breathing and meditation. Click here to read about the history of Kemetic Yoga. Watch Hotep’s YouTube Channel for more information. See my profile of Hotep below.
During my yoga teacher training at Flow Yoga Center in 2005, I wrote a report about Kemetic Yoga. My report included a discussion of Hotep’s YogaSkills Method. A few years later, I had a chance to take Hotep’s class at The Bellydancers of Color Association Conference held at The Inn and Conference Center located on the campus of University of Maryland’s University College. His class brought me back to the first yoga class I took during an African American study group tour of Egypt in 1995. As I moved through the poses, I noticed I was practicing yoga at a slower and more methodical pace. I discovered I had more patience with my mind and body throughout the class. After the class, I felt more focused.
I think yoga is a great way for people to manage their emotions and take care of their bodies. I also think Hotep’s YogaSkills Method is a great way for African American children, teens, and young adults to strengthen themselves, manage stress, create wellness, and practice self-control. To learn more about Hotep’s YogaSkills Method, visit his website. You can purchase his DVDs online. You can also visit the Kemetic Yoga web site to find a Kemetic yoga teacher to study with in major cities.