Monday, September 13, 2010

That Hudu That You Do So Well...

Pablo The Afrikan Yoga Instructor puts it this way: Hudu is African Tai Chi. And that's some of what we were doing today on the beach in the morning. I cannot answer the question "What is Afrikan Yoga" yet, and I suspect that a week is too little time for me to understand enough to offer a comprehensive answer.

But here's some of what I have picked up so far: this is not a variant of yoga as we understand it, meaning that it does not spring from Hindu tradition. It is in fact called Tamare Smai and springs from ancient Egyptian philosophy. Did the image of Yul Brynner in a loincloth just pop into your head? That's what happened to me. But we're talking about Kemet here, and further back into exogenic creation mythologies. So why bother with terms like Yoga and Tai Chi? Because these are terms that are more widely understood, saving the Tamare Smai practitioner precious explanation time that could be used for meditation.

Thus, most of the movements I know as sun salutation from my brief affair with Ashtanga Yoga I encountered as the Journey of Ra this morning. Which brings me to the second important point: like any mind-body practice it only looks peaceful and easy to the uninitiated. One of the little secrets that yogic types like to keep to themselves is just how much of a physical wake-up call a person's first lesson is. Your body gets an opportunity to vent at you for all the ills you have put it through.

Apparently the old body's not very happy with me. In our first session I felt every single cigarette, every late night and bad posture, every skipped meal and ill-advised "one for the ditch" in my recent past. I discovered I weigh as much as a baby elephant when trying to do my push-ups off the floor, that no amount of exhaling was going to get my fingers to meet my toes in a sitting leg-stretch and that even my fat-tired Suzuki has a nimbler turning circle than my spine.

And we're going to do it all over again this evening...


  1. sounds lovely. ah yes, the images of moses or ben hur!
    hmm, perhaps pole dancing could be similarly introduced in the near future?

  2. I hope so :) Actually thinking it would be a good thing to intro Afrikan Yoga to Dar and vice versa...


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