HOUSTON - There are all kinds of types of yoga classes, from Ashtanga to Kundalini to Vinyasa, but a Houston studio is teaching a style that isn't widely known -- Kemetic yoga.
"Kemetic yoga is the ancient Egyptian system of yoga enlightenment," said Jill Minard, owner of Yoga House Houston in the 4000 block of Almeda Road. "It is based upon the physical practice of geometric progression movements."
On their website, Yoga House Houston describes the practice this way:
"... the ancient Egyptian system of yoga enlightenment based upon the practices of physical movements combined with controlled deep breathing and meditation. The modern version of this ancient system was developed from primary research conducted by Dr. Asar Hapi and Master Yirser Ra Hotep (Elvrid Lawrene) of Chicago during the 1970s.
"Kemetic yoga emerges from the one of the oldest known civilizations which is ancient Egypt, properly called Kemet, in Northeastern Africa and rivals the evolution of yoga in India. Kemetic yoga was developed by studying, translating and interpreting the commonly called hieroglyphic texts of Kemet (ancient Egypt) and the images of yogic postures that are clearly pictured on the walls of the Kemetic temples.
"Kemetic yoga is both a philosophy and a practice based upon the Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) systems of self-development that fueled the creation of the Kemetic civilization that spawned western science, philosophy and religion."
Classes are offered in the morning, early afternoon and evening, and they sometime feature live African drumming as accompaniment.
"The drums were very relaxing," said Jasma Turner, one of the students. She is a yoga newbie who is only on her second class.
"It's hard it's very challenging," Turner said. "I was sore when I went home Monday night just stretching out muscles that I've never stretched before but I really enjoyed it."
More experienced students praised the physical benefits of Kemetic yoga.
"We focus on breath, so the movement is with breath," said Veon McReynolds, who has attended Kemetic yoga classes at Yoga House for three years. "We don't have fast movements. Our movements are slow and directed. Focusing on the four part breath has been really good for me in my cycling in my kayaking in all the other sports."
Cara Dean came to Kemetic yoga while recovering from injuries she suffered while training for an Ironman competition.
"I love it," Dean said. "I wouldn't do anything else, because it's more about connection with your breath, so when you are that in tune with your body it allows you to experience each pose to the fullest."
Healing mind, body and spirit is a key benefit, according to Minard.
"First and foremost, yoga is to nurture the body, to heal the body, release stress and tension, and from doing that everything begins to function properly," Minard said. "It's a complete science to take care of yourself."
You can see a complete list of classes and schedules by visiting the Yoga House Houston website.
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