Egypt – that’s pyramids, mummies, animal-faced gods, Cleopatra and yoga. Yes, you heard right, yoga. Very few people are aware that the ancient Egyptians had breathing techniques and postures that are comparable with the yoga we know today.
Breathing is of course as old as mankind and has ever since been regarded as a pathway to self-knowledge in many cultures. It has been perceived as a reliable way of strengthening both body and mind, but was at the same time always adapted to the culture and the spiritual beliefs of the region it was practiced at.
Yoga was called “Sema Taouy” in ancient Egypt, which can be translated as “Hatha Yoga”. The unification of spirit and body was the main focus of its practitioners. This desire was symbolically reflected in many ways, for example in the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt or more obvious in various postures of many of the ancient gods.
Ancient Egyptian yoga adds a ‘vertical’ dimension to the form that became known to the Western world by Indian masters: ancient Egyptians felt a strong connection to the stars, being very impressed by their movements resulting in thorough studies of their paths. The ancient yogis wanted to be a channel for the energies flowing between the Earth and the universe: verticality.
You can experience ancient Egyptian yoga at the House of Life Abydos from November 19th until 29th 2015. French yoga expert Caroline Chevat will provide two sessions daily at this very special Healing Hotel in Abydos, the ancient center of religion and healing around the temple of Seti I.