Students sat in a circle, starting off the class with deep breaths. | Photo by Silvia Alfonso

Kemetic yoga is food for the soul

Afrocentric yoga that teaches that movements have purpose

Afrocentric yoga that teaches that movements have purpose

Most people think that yoga comes from Asia. Kemetic yoga, however, is one of the original practices of yoga. It originates from ancient Egypt, the proper name being Kemet. What differentiates Kemetic yoga from other types is that it’s a series of geometric postures, almost like there’s math in every movement.

Humboldt State had a Kemetic yoga class taught by Dionna Fletcher as part of Black History Month. This was Fletcher’s first time directing a Kemetic yoga class after completing her training in Jamaica last month.

We sat in a circle as she directed us through each posture. All were welcome, and students trickled in and joined the circle. Kemetic yoga has a breathing pattern to implement purposeful breathing: inhale, pause, exhale, pause. Each of the movements were done three times, following the geometric theme of the activity. Many of the names of the poses were slightly different from what we’re used to hearing. For example, the normal sitting pose is called ‘sesh.’

“It’s a black practice that needs to be spread,” Fletcher said. “It offers something to the POC community that Asian or Indian yoga does not.

Dionna Fletcher directed the class through movement and breathing techniques. | Photo by Silvia Alfonso


Fletcher has been part of a series of fitness sessions going on around campus and town. The series was compiled by Chryste Johnson, interim coordinator for the African American Center of Excellence (AACE). Johnson named the series Soul Fitness as a way of representing people of color during Black History month, and intended to bring in new forms of movement that people haven’t heard of.

“It’s a black practice that needs to be spread. It offers something to the POC community that Asian or Indian yoga does not.

Dionna Fletcher

It is a three-week compilation of different forms of movement. Johnson explained that there’s been hip-hop cardio, there will be a steppin’ class and it’s the same series that made Love Ya’ Self Queen.

HSU student DiOria Woods was one of the students who attended the series.

“I’m a dancer, I’ve never heard of this kind of yoga and I like to try new things,” Woods said. “I’m part of the culture center and I wanted to actually interact with these kinds of events.”

Though it was a small class, it was a relaxing thing to get into after the stress of the day. Fletcher made everyone feel welcomed and comfortable. Even at the intermediate level the people in the class felt comfortable to do the poses no matter how hard it seemed.

Students sat back on their heels, ready for the next movement. | Photo by Silvia Alfonso

Nicole Lamperti was another student that joined in on the Kemetic yoga class.

“I’m in a world cultures class and was curious about this kind of yoga,”Lamperti said.

The lights were off, letting the natural light come in from the sun setting through the windows. This created a more relaxed feel to the class. In the background, Fletcher played music by people of color, supporting the idea of loving yourself and putting yourself first.

Kemetic yoga brings a new form of movement to a common type of activity. Yoga is done all over the world but can be done in different forms. Kemetic yoga reminds us to be purposeful in our movements and reminds us about the different places we come from.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply