Frank Relationships: Kemetic Yoga with Yirser Ra Hotep

Monday, Feb. 29th 2016 12:01 AM
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Are you interested in yoga? Ever heard of Kemetic Yoga? We’ve got the details and the master on this edition of Frank Relationships.

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FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: KEMETIC YOGA W/ YIRSER RA HOTEP
Guests: Yirser Ra Hotep
Date: February 2016

Frank:  Are you interested in yoga? Ever heard of kemetic yoga? We’ve got the details and the master on this edition of Frank Relationships.

Yes. Once again, those are my babies. As always, thanks for getting daddy’s daughter today.

Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid, fresh and frank look in the relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com.

You can also find me on ABC’s Good Morning Washington most Friday mornings during the 9 o’ clock hour. If you’re listening to the show on Blog Talk Radio, please follow us and if via iTunes, please subscribe so that you can effortlessly get each show each week. Also, if you’re enjoying the show and of course you are, please share with your family and/or friends on your favourite social media platform. We are always looking to add new friends to our social media family over the course of the next week so please help us, help our community by spreading the word about the show.

Greetings to my super duper co-host, Nancy Goldring.

Nancy: Hi there, Frank. How are you?

Frank: I’m great. You are the consummate generalist.

Nancy: Indeed.

Frank: What’s up in the world of relationships today? Anything special on the news?

Nancy: Anything special in the news…?

Frank: In the news, in the world, in yours.

Nancy: Oh in mine? Well you know it’s cool that we’re talking to a yoga master because I have started a yoga teacher training program myself. So that’s new but… You know… Stuff is happening, Frank.

Frank: Things are moving?

Nancy: Yeah. What you got?

Frank: I checked out. There’s a study that says 84% of women across 22 countries experience what’s called street harassment or I think it’s otherwise known as “catcalling” before the age of 17.

Nancy: Oh well before the age of 17. And then to the rest of your life… Done right.

Frank: Okay, teach me.

Nancy: Done right, you’ll get it all your life… The question is, will you enjoy it?

Frank: And… Ah, that is the question.

Nancy: Yeah, yeah.

Frank: So what’s been your experience? About how old were you when it started?

Nancy: About 12.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: And how old were the people saying this to you?

Nancy: You know it’s funny, it’s creepy now when I think back on it because I was 12, I was walking to a girlfriend’s house and the guy, well he was a grown man. And I thought I was kind of a little put off by it at first but—

Frank: Grown man like 18?

Nancy: Grown man like driving a car down the street.

Frank: 30? Okay.

Nancy: Like too old for me to even be telling “don’t talk to strangers” moment kind of thing. And somehow, you wonder as a kid—well you don’t wonder as a kid but I wonder looking back where you get aware with all to know intuitively what to do in a moment. So it didn’t feel like a take-off-and-run thing but it definitely felt like a wise-up thing and not to be taken seriously. So as time went on, it just became play. You know, the men were never…

Frank: Nasty?

Nancy: They were never—well, here’s a trick to this thing.

Frank: Oh what’s the trick?

Nancy: The trick to the man not being nasty is responding.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: The man is not—in my experience—he’s not trying to hurt you, he’s not even interested in insulting you, now it doesn’t mean you may not find it offensive or insulting, given the kind of woman you perceive yourself to be. However, I find that if I just smile or wave, in some way acknowledge his existence, he’s playful, he’s—and can be helpful.

Frank: Wow.

Nancy: Oh most definitely.

Frank: Okay, like?

Nancy: Helpful like let’s say, I find myself in a situation where I’m not exactly sure where I am or whether I need directions, I need to know where to get something… You know, just some general stuff and I’m in the mix of day-to-day life and traffic and people and a guy who is catcalling or in some way flirting  with me can turn out to be…

Frank: A helping hand.

Nancy: …a helping hand, yeah. And I almost—in my crazy self, I’m saying ‘well, if he says something to me, if he initiates communication with me, the game is on.’ Because he doesn’t know I’m puzzling over something. So then he says something to me and now I now have an entree in to say you know, “How are you?” “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Maybe you can help me with something.”

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: And then like to be helpful, right?

Frank: You got $5?

Nancy: No, I’m never asking for $5. Maybe that’s the next iteration in this game. It’s all about taking it to the next level.

Frank: Right, right.

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: Step up the game.

Nancy: Yeah, I need to step up my game. I do agree.

Frank: I don’t know if I want to take credit for that.

Nancy: Oh my god. Well, it’s funny, it’s funny. Now this may be kind of in the side but I was actually thinking this to myself on the way over here that there comes a time in your life where you have to stop recovering from things and get to that place where you’re literally going to the next level. You’re not entering into a situation whether it be financially, emotionally… Where when it’s over you’ve got to recover. You’re looking at ‘okay, what did I gain from this experience and how will it catapult me to what’s next in my life?’

Frank: Where I consciously want to go.

Nancy: Where I consciously want to go and then you can look back and be thankful, grateful singing the praises of the people that may be in another part of your life, you would have been weeping and gnashing the teeth. So yes, in the game of catcalling, I could up my game,—

Frank: You can up your game.

Nancy: —I can up my game and say “You got $5?”

Frank: Let me know how that goes. That will be another segment on another day.

Nancy: Indeed.

Frank: Just the result from the $5-question.

Nancy: Yes, it will be ecstatic.

Frank: And that will be the $5-question. You come to the show and say “Frank, I’ve got the response to the $5-question.” Alright. And—

Nancy: And I’ve made a fortune.

Frank: I was listening to another—I think she’s a blogger. Her name is Femenista Jones and it’s been a while and one of the things that she was talking about was catcall and men talking to women on the street.

Nancy: Sure.

Frank: And she was livid.

Nancy: Wow.

Frank: She was really, really against it—

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: —to say that—

Nancy: She found it to be disrespectful?

Frank: Yes.

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: And I couldn’t relate.

Nancy: Of course not.

Frank: I mean, I could relate to that level of anger.

Nancy: Yeah?

Frank: But I also couldn’t relate to why she would be so angry. Now I’m a man so on that side, I can just recuse myself and say what I think doesn’t matter. But on the other side, the level of anger—

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: —just to someone speaking to you on the street.

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: Whether it be—“Hey, sweety. Hey how you doing? Looking good.” That sort of thing to bring about? That—the amount of anger that I thought she had—

Nancy: That happened to me at 7 o’ clock this morning buying this tea.

Frank: Really?

Nancy: “Hey, how you doing? You sure are pretty. Dah dah dah…” What’s the harm? I mean I didn’t announce she may have had some insiding incident at some time that was.. maybe not cool—I got that but that’s something that would need to be resolved, personally. But I think that women—I don’t think we want to get into this game with ourselves where we alienate men in a general sense and that we only allow ourselves the freedom to be who we are—

Frank: On our terms.

Nancy: —with a particular…

Frank: The way we want…

Nancy: Not even so much on your own terms but that you kind of activate a scarcity model in where you give and receive attention, affection and certainly you’re not interested in affection from a man on the street, but to be playful is a form of affection.

Frank: Absolutely.

Nancy: It’s to smile, it’s human.

Frank: And even the broach—

Nancy: It’s not always sexual. It’s just human.

Frank: Yes. Even to begin a conversation.

Nancy: Yes.

Frank: There’s something special about that.

Nancy: Yes.

Frank: Getting to know somebody that you don’t know. It could be just somebody on the street. Somebody that you’ve…

Nancy: It may pay to know—not in a literal sense but it may—

Frank: Well for your $5-question, it might literally—

Nancy: —that person for my final question… But that person has value. The people have value in and of themselves and that often times the general public, those people that we encounter that otherwise we might not or don’t have any other real purpose and meaning in our experience.

Frank: We think.

Nancy: We think, exactly. They can fuel our growth in some way. They become practice for another way of being, level of engagement, all of that. There’s a book out there, Frank.

Frank: Let’s hear it.

Nancy: By [unclear / Gani] Robert Greene and it’s called—get it together Nancy—it’s called “The Art of Seduction.”

Frank Okay.

Nancy: Serious piece of work. Serious.

Frank: And you read it, really?

Nancy: I’m not even saying that right and I’m just saying this out there.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: That’s all I’m saying, okay. However, he talks about in places in the book where in order to perfect the art, you need to be practicing it and oftentimes, you practice it with people that you don’t have a whole lot of emotional investment with. So that you can—because if you’re really into somebody, you’re invested in this person liking me and the—so you can’t really perfect your game, so to speak, because you don’t want to—Oh my god, I don’t want to upset her. I don’t want her to say she won’t go out with me again or ever. But if you take—

Frank: You don’t want to be rejected?

Nancy: No, you don’t want to be rejected. And boy do I have another one for that but I’m going to save that for another show. But yes, it’s an incredibly entertaining read. It’s like two books in one book. The guy’s got—he’s got stories in the margins literally. And then he talks about the different styles of relating that people have and how to engage them and then he gives you a story on how these different seduction styles have played themselves out in history. It is a masterful work. I’m not kidding. It’s an awesome work. So…

Frank: Maybe we’ll have in on the show.

Nancy: My god.

Frank: That would be a good show.

Nancy: That would be slammin’.

Frank: Today’s guest have over 30 years of experience practicing and teaching kemetic yoga. He was involved with the original research and documentation of it in the 1970s. He is trained and certified over 100 yoga instructors throughout the US and has even been recognized for his innovative yoga therapy programs for preschool children, school age children and teens.

So if you want to know the history of kemetic yoga, how it can be used to a couple to enhance intimacy, communication and cooperation, and whether it gives insight into physical intimacy, just stay tuned as your Frank Relationships team talks kemetic yoga with its most senior instructor in the US, Yirser Ra Hotep. Welcome to the show.

Yirser: Yes, peace and love Brother Frank. How are you?

Frank: I’m great. How are you doing?

Yirser: I’m doing fantastic.

Frank: Great, great. What advice can you give to a 25 year old couple that has a baby due in 2 months about kemetic yoga?

Yirser: Well, the first thing is that when a person—first time that they’re pregnant or they’re planning to get pregnant, they shift [unclear] to yoga, they haven’t already established it in their lifestyle.

Frank: Why?

Yirser: And because of the fact that number one, yoga’s going to help them with stress. When you practice yoga, first of, people think of yoga like it’s physical exercise. But one of the main benefits of yoga is that it affects your nervous system and the way that it allows you to relax, stimulates you like [unclear].

And so, let’s say you’re going into labor. You’re practicing the control deep breathing of the yoga system then you’re going to be able to manage the discomfort and the contractions bring. So you’re going to be able to breathe through those contraction so they have different types of classes for women where they learn the type of breathing exercise—

Frank: Right.

Yirser: —and [unclear] to help them to labor.

Frank:  You hear them talk about breathe, “Come on baby, breathe. Breathe…”

Nancy: Lamaze.

Frank: Yeah, Lamaze and that sort of thing. So this is in many ways, if you do yoga, you already are on that road to learning how to breathe.

Yirser: [Unclear] plus the yoga technique is—I feel that it’s superior and I’m somebody who have children and who has—you know the mother of my children, they have used this yoga breathing to help them through labor. My children were born at home.

Nancy: Wow, nice.

Frank: Okay. How many children do you have?

Yirser: I have 4 altogether. Two of them are twins.

Frank: Got ya.

Yirser: So it’s going to help you with stress, it’s going to help you with stress and it’s going to help  you make the baby become more intelligent right? Because when you’re pregnant and you’re tearing that baby, the more you relax, the more that you energize yourself. The yoga breathing that we do, the movement and the [unclear], that’ what helps you generate energy. This will help you to circulate life force through your body and so it allows you to become more in touch and more in tuned with the child that you’re carrying because of your breathing. Every time you take a breath, you’re breathing life force and energy into your body as well as the physical oxygen. But we’re talking about energy, right? And so you’re going to be stimulating relaxation response in your central nervous system. The relaxation response is actually related to different hormones that you’re generating like your endorphins and dopamine. These are like pain killing types of chemical that your body naturally produces and so not only do you want to produce these while you’re in labor but you also want to produce them in general to get to make your life more easier.

So pregnancy is very stressful sometimes. And so with the couple [unclear] it’s the husband and the wife, or the men and the women that are both practicing yoga, they’re practicing meditation, they’re practicing breathing and relaxation and stress management techniques. It’s going to enhance their relationship with each other.

Frank: Is a man who’s practicing yoga—is a man and a woman who are practicing yoga, on the man side, is he supporting his wife if she’s pregnant? Or is he on his own journey and that independent journey will also benefit the wife?

Yirser: Well, it’s both. So we teach techniques where—well of course yoga is your own individual journey but we also teach techniques where you do it in tandem with your partner, right? And we have [unclear / specifications] that we do when a couple is dealing with pregnancy.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: And so, it’s very supportive to the wife, it’s very supportive to the unborn child. That child is intelligent, that child is receiving information even though that internal environment, they can feel vibrations from the outside, they can hear sound. So you use all the different techniques. But they especially are going to be in tuned with the mother, with the rhythm of her breathing, the rhythm of her heartbeat. So anything that enhances and slows the mother’s nervous system down, they keep  their mother in a calm, balanced state is going to translate into the right biochemical environment for that unborn child to be in and so that their brain and their nervous system is going to be developing on a higher level. That’s why I become more intelligent.

Frank: What is yoga?

Yirser: Well yoga is a system of self-development, okay? So one of my missions is that I’m trying to help people see yoga as being—yoga is not physical fitness. You can—

Frank: So it’s not exercise? You don’t go to get fit, or fit body?

Yirser: You’re going to get that as a side effect—

Nancy: It’s a by-product.

Yirser: Yeah, that’s a by-product but that’s not what your goal necessarily should be. I’m working with an athlete and they say well I’m going to [unclear], I play basketball, of course I can design a program that’s going to be maximize your ability to get the most out of yourself and your athletic endeavor both on the physical level and a mental level but you got to [unclear] yoga [unclear] more far beyond just physical.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: So when you practice yoga, you know like [unclear] called the yoga skills method. And so yoga skills method, when you’re practicing those movements and those postures, in addition to getting the physical benefit, you should be very skilled like patient, focus, concentration, the ability to integrate your mind and body to connect with yourself, you should be developing skills like visualization when you can actually visualize yourself in a state of success, in a positive state, visualizing who you really want to become, and projecting that image into the universe to make it come [unclear]. So all of that is involved with yogas, not just “I’m doing up dawg down dawg.” More with your one, two and three—

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: —and working on my—stepping into my core and getting a yoga butt. That’s the way yoga—

Nancy: A yoga butt…

Frank: There’s a yoga but? I’m not up on it.

Yirser: I think that’s a yoga butt but you know… and I think that’s why a lot of people do yoga for—

Nancy: It’s a commodity in the marketplace [unclear].

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: …acquire you that relationship. You get the yoga thighs, the yoga butt, and all that kind of stuff, you know.

Frank: Okay. Well guys, you know where to…We’re the post up. You’re looking for that special lady but that’s firm tush. I guess that’s what you guys mean. Is that about right? That’s what a yoga butt is?

Nancy: Oh my goodness.

Frank: Speaking of relationships particularly, what is tantric yoga?

Yirser: Well tantric yoga is very misunderstood because people—when you hear the word “tantra” or “tantric” people mostly think about okay, these different sexual positions that you get into in order to have sex, right? And because they think of yoga as being this [unclear], they say “will you get into certain positions where you have sex?” They see these images that came from a certain time period in Indian history but what “tantric” really means is that based upon the idea that we have an internal life force right? So when we think about [unclear] of yoga, we understand that we have a physical body and we have a non-physical body and people talk about the chakras and those different energy centers that—

Frank: Is that all legitimate? Are chakras real?

Yirser: Chakras are real. Now if you—you got to step out of western way of thinking. The western way of thinking says “the only thing that’s real is what you can see.” So if I—

Frank: Or feel, or hear?

Yirser: Yeah, only thing that’s in the five senses.

Frank: Or smell.

Nancy: Yes.

Yirser: But even saying that you can feel, they say but that’s not even real because you can’t measure it or see it or anything that can’t be measured from the western sign, typically would say it’s not real.

Nancy: True.

Yirser: But from an ancient African, ancient [unclear], or ancient Egyptian and an Indian perspective, Chinese, Asian, everybody except for this modern scientific method, we have our understanding that we have a physical body, there’s a physiology that you can see on an x-ray, you can see on an MRI and there’s a non-physical aspect to our being which is composed of energy and that’s what we call “the energy body or the non-physical body or the astral body or the esoteric body, they have different terms for it.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: and just like your physical body, composed of various types of organs and different systems, your non-physical body also has its own set of organs and its own set of physiological systems that carry out certain functions—

Frank: And chakra’s one of them?

Yirser: Chakras are one of the primary aspects of the system.

Frank: Got it.

Yirser: Okay? So just like you have liver and kidney, the intestines, the heart, the lungs, you have various chakras. Those chakras actually correspond in your body to the nerve plexus in your body. So those are the junctions where you have groupings of nerves that carry out certain functions of your body and corresponds to those nerve junctions, you also have glands, you also have glanular [unclear]or endocrine system and then the non-physical part of that is going to be the chakras. So they’re always into action for your physical body and your non-physical body.

So if you think about it like people go and have acupuncture right? When you go for acupuncture, acupuncture is not working on the physical level, that acupuncture is a strength to know where there is a blockage in the energy in the energy flow. When you have that blockage, that causes dis-ease. That can result in injury, it can build a different type of disease, or a different type of disorder.

So he puts that needle in certain key places that allow those energy channels to open up. Just like we know that acupuncture is recognized in western medicine as a form of complementary medicine or alternative medicine, but you cannot see the effect of acupuncture on an MRI or an x-ray because it’s operating on an energetic level.

Nancy: So Yirser, I’m listening to you and I’m remembering that I know a couple of different energy practitioners and they often say that before an ailment or even an injury shows up in the physical, it has already occurred or is occurring on the energetic. And if you approach it energetically first, you can either speed up the healing process or keep that thing from happening at all.

Yirser: Absolutely.

Nancy: Okay.

Yirser: And so that is the part of the science of understanding. So according to this approach to understanding the nature about bodies and the nature of our beings,—

Nancy: Sure.

Yirser: —we have—anything that happens by the time that we see a physical manifestation of a symptom that tells us “I am sick” or “I have an injury” or “I have an illness,” that process has already been going on on a non-physical level for quite some time.

Nancy: Right, right.

Yirser: And before it begins to manifest on the physical level.

Nancy: Okay.

Yirser: So that way of thinking is that’s the foundation. So when you start to address the issue, are you going to go the symptom and say “Well I have a pain so therefore I’m going to take a drug that’s going to make me not experience the pain anymore” or “I’m going to go to the root of the problem and go into the energy blockage or where the energy is not flowing.”

So when we practice yoga, we are actually enhancing that movement and that flow of energy. When we practice tantric, we all know that it’s actually tantric. It’s supposed to be tantric okay? Because it’s dealing with the idea that we have—with the way that the non-physical body is composed, we have two strands of energy. We have two manifestations of life force in the body and we often think about those two opposites in terms of feminine and masculine or we can also just say negative and positive like on an energetic level. Or we can either say magnetic and electric. We’re just talking about opposite forms of energy.

So I go and I practice yoga and from a tantric perspective is how do we combine and balance and harmonize those two opposite forces so that we can optimize our performance on a physical, of mental and a spiritual level.

Frank: I’m not—

Yirser: That’s what our real goal is.

Frank: I don’t understand the—if you get an injury, if I break my leg out playing football on a given day, how does what you said in terms of an injury and of being energetic, so and so, I don’t even… The energetic something going on prior to the injury—how does that avoid me breaking my leg because somebody ran into me or something like that?

Yirser: Okay so mostly we’re talking about illness, right?

Frank: Not trauma.

Yirser: Like say cancer, heart disease, so on and so forth.

Frank: Got ya.

Yirser: So that’s what we’re mostly talking about.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: That’s going to be the most clear thing, right? But on a level that you’re talking about, we’re talking about on a karmic level too.

Frank: Yes.

Nancy: Right.

Yirser: And that’s a different way of understanding [unclear] challenge people’s ideal about what reality is, right? So if you get injured, let’s say you’re playing football and you get injured, because we only think about time in a linear way, so we still like well I cannot know something before it happens. So when you start to practice meditation, you start to practice yoga, you develop these insights that actually give you the ability to have like a pre-cognition, just like the movie with Tom Cruise and they called it the Minority Report.

Frank: Right.

Yirser: Where he had the pre-cogs and you had these individuals they have the ability to know things before they happen. They call it pre-crime something like that, right?

Nancy: But there wasn’t—the interesting thing about the pre-cogs is that atleast in that particular production, it looked like just those three people had that capacity—

Frank: Ability.

Nancy: —or that ability when in fact, every human being has the capacity to develop that ability and use it in their lives. Atleast in my experience, if I’m hearing you correctly and of course being informed by my own experience in yoga, yoga can help us to develop that next level of sensitivity and be able to approach ourselves as energy beings and tap into those forces that may impact us down the line so that we can avoid—let’s say an accident or an incident OR so that we can take advantage of an opportunity.

Frank: It’s interesting what you’re saying, it touches on something that I fundamentally believe and I find it fascinating. It’s basically—if we’re good decision makers, you almost will never know, or you’ll never be “validated” with some award because you just don’t find yourself in bad situations that you have to get out of, like you don’t get into those situations in the first place.

So it’s like saying somebody who has never been beat over their head walking down the street, well and talking to someone who is, and someone who has had that experience can in some ways provide some type of insight on how they dealt with it and that sort of thing. They actually dealt with that issue but the other person may be dealing with the issue in a way that’s way—I mean it’s so further far into their consciousness where they’re doing something that avoids them from even having that experience in the first place.

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: Does that make any sense?

Nancy: Sure.

Yirser: It makes perfect sense and so you said, you used the term “decision making”, right? O when you make a decision, you have to evaluate information that’s available to you to determine f the proper path or the proper approach that you’re going to take to solving the problem or to approaching the issue.

Frank: Yes.

Yirser: So where does that information come from? Where does knowledge come from? How do we know something that we know?

Frank: Yes.

Yirser: And so it goes to that fundamental question of how do we know? How did we acquire your knowledge? How did we acquire the information? And so when we practice yoga, we say like I can tap into this non-physical, this non-linear reality because of the western [unclear] but when we think about there’s the past, there’s the present and there’s the future, and they’re not connected, it’s just a straight linear line… But from an African perspective, from an ancient perspective or a metaphysical perspective, we see that these go in cycles, in spirals, and that we have the ability to know something before it actually occurs.

Frank: Now speaking of the African perspective, you’ve been talking so far about yoga, we’ve discussed tantric yoga—and mind you, we’ve discussed what tantric yoga is not but I don’t think we really got into what it actually, what it fully is—atleast I didn’t get a complete understanding but… And you also deal with kemetic yoga and I want to go—so if we could briefly… What is tantric yoga and then what is kemetic yoga which is what you’re really into—is that right?

Yirser: Yes. Well, tantric yoga is—I mentioned before about the nature of things. We have opposite forces, we need to become aligned, we need to become harmonized, right? So if you went to India and they talked about tantric yoga, they will talk about Shiva and Shakti.

Nancy: Yes.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: A male and a female manifestation of energy. So when we talk about Shiva and Shakti, Shiva being the male energy and Shakti being the feminine energy, this are metaphorical ways of talking about an energetic manifestation.

Frank: Is that like Yin and Yang?

Yirser: It’s like Yin and Yang, in the sense—

Frank: Harry or Sally? Okay, alright.

Nancy: Most descriptively.

Frank: Sorry, okay.

Yirser: And so it’s in the body is that we are like Yin and Yang, each individual person. So like when we talk about gender, we talk about two opposites, right? So men are not all male energy and women are not all female energy. We are combination of the two except that the male energy is more dominant in a male, most of the time and the female energy’s more dominant in the female—

Nancy: Most of the time, okay.

Yirser: —most of the time. So on an individual level, before you bring that male and that female together, it’s like [unclear] relationship. They need to be cultivating and balancing or harmonizing those two opposite forces that operate within themselves.

Frank: And what does that look like?

Yirser: Well that looks like the idea that’s becoming more integrated with your mind and your body balancing your emotional state.

Nancy: Which yoga helps you do, right?

Yirser: Yoga is one of the most powerful practice that you can do because when we talk about emotions, what is emotion? Emotion is something that can destroy you, it can destroy your relationship, right? And most of the time the reason why relationships don’t work is because there is emotional conflict and that emotional conflict comes from the fact that the individual in that relationship are not balanced or harmonized themselves and that’s why they clash with each other because they are overreacting to whatever external stimuli are coming into the relationship or whatever external stimuli that they deceive you from their partner.

Frank: Are you saying that poses and breathing and the discipline of yoga can actually help us to settle down in many ways?

Yirser: Yeah, when you approach your practice of yoga in the correct way. Because like I said, if you just said “Look, I’m going to do yoga because I want a yoga butt” right? So no, that’s not going to do that. you’re going to be acting just crazy—

Nancy: Really?

Yirser: You’re going to be just as crazy, because you’re not approaching it correctly.

Nancy: You might as well be just going to the gym.

Yirser: Just go the gym and go to the leg press and all that stuff, you know.

Nancy: Okay but you’re saying—let me interrupt you for a second… Because I definitely am one of these people who feels—

Frank: Who wants a yoga butt?

Nancy: Without question. However, I definitely am one who feels that you can back door a lot of things. So I’m under the impression that a person can come to yoga with the initial intent of just getting a yoga butt—

Frank: And get so much more out of it.

Nancy: —and along the way, get so much more out of it. But you’re saying the intent never changes and that if a person doesn’t come with the proper intention, then the goal of—let’s say…

Frank: I don’t think that’s what he’s saying.

Nancy: Well, I’m asking.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: I did say you were saying so all I’m really saying is what I’m hearing. Let me say that what I’m hearing is that if their intent doesn’t change, then what they can hope to receive in terms of the overall benefits of yoga are impacted by their intention.

Yirser: Well, let me by the side when [unclear] a little bit.

Nancy: Okay.

Yirser: I believe that all yoga is good for you.

Nancy: Got it.

Yirser: You got to get some degree of stimulations of your parasympathetic nervous system. That’s what we’re really talking about. We’re talking about the nervous system.

Nancy: Yes.

Yirser: You do physical exercise, you’re stimulating your sympathetic nervous system. That’s really your strength response. When you practice yoga, you’re stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. That’s your relaxation response. But if you go to a yoga class where they got you lifted the weights while you’re doing warrior 1, 2, 3 and all these stuff, you’re more stimulating your sympathetic nervous system.

Nancy: Got not the parasympathetic. Okay.

Yirser: Right. And so, you’re going to get some any system that folks on a physical level, in a physiological level—it feels good. I like that kind of stuff to… But you want to approach yoga from a total set of development perspective from an emotional balancing or energetic balancing or hormonal balancing and you have to do yoga slowly, you got to coordinate your slow control breathing with your practice and you have to approach it from a different perspective.

So it’s kind of like, it’s just what your intention is.

Yirser: Now of course, if you just practice, like said back door, you’re going to get some benefits from it. but to maximize and to increase the amount of benefits that you’re going to get from that psycho-emotional perspective,—

Frank: You got to clear your slate.

Yirser: …proper intention.

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: Yeah. Can’t come want to learn how to get more men.

Yirser: And then we say this… Most of what we call yoga, you know like people said yoga came from India. Most of the things that people are doing in these yoga studios, these different yoga commercial studios and things like that and they’re doing these brand name forms of yoga… Most of that stuff came from California and it came from England and it comes from Sweden, okay? Because those people from England and from Sweden with the YMCA movement and all that kind of stuff, that infiltrated into India. So you’re talking about British gymnastic, you’re talking about calisthenics, all of those things in the 1800s and later were [unclear] to India and infused them [unclear] to yoga and then later on, you got this whole California thing that was started in the US and that influence has really moved from California to India and then back to the US.

Nancy: Wow.

Frank: And so what comes before India? I hear the California, I hear the US manifestations and then it sounded as though India came before that—what came before the Indian piece? India as in Asia-India.

Nancy: Right, Southeast Asia

Yirser: You know, like where did the people in India come from? They come from Kemet, they come from Africa.

Frank: Oh okay.

Yirser: So yoga existed in some form. The word “yoga” is Sanskrit. So the word “yoga” is not ancient Egyptian or ancient African word. But the process of yoga, you can see all over the place when you look at ancient Egyptian text, when you look at ancient Egyptian images, when you travel to Kemet or Kemet is the proper name for Egypt. When you travel to Kemet and you go to temples, you go to tombs, you look at different texts, you see people and get them provision, you see the different so-called [unclear] what they call the Egypt, the [unclear / natural root]. You see I’m doing different types of positions. Number one, are not even known in India [unclear] to ancient Egypt. Then when you start to practice those different positions that you’re looking at, you see ‘wow, I can feel not just my physical body twist in and my muscles stretching up right there’ but I can actually feel a change in my energy field.

Frank: Something else is going on.

Yirser: Yeah. When I go to [unclear] I can feel this energy rising up my spine to come to the top of my head. While I can feel this energy moving to my arms and to my hands, and down my legs and into my feet. So when we practice kemetic yoga, we’re practicing it with the intention that I’m going to use my breath with the movement to stimulate that flow of energy. So it’s the same understanding like we know that we have a physical body, we have heart, lungs in their blood circulation in a certain way in the body. So if you went to a massage therapist, they’re going to say “I’m going to do this to take a massage technique because I know this is how blood moves. I’m going to move the blood in the same direction or the opposite direction, right? Because I have a [unclear] theology of the physical body, the same thing with yoga. We have a non-physical body that has certain characteristics that operates off of certain laws and rules and principles. And so when we practice yoga, we need to be practicing yoga in a way that harmonizes the actual way that the energy system of the body operates. That’s what kemetic yoga is based upon. That’s why it’s not based upon “I’m going to just hold this position until my thighs get big and firmer,” you know…

We’re trying to move and circulate energy and that’s where you come to the tantric part because again, they have an aspect of tantra that deals with relationship and developing your relationship with your mate. But you have to first give it to your own self. If you’re not harmonized and balanced within yourself, it’s going to be very difficult to really balance or harmonize another person. Even in terms of who do you choose to be in your life. Most of us are dealing with very emotional type of things right? So we look at another person and we don’t even see the real person. We’re just looking at an image of that person that we’re creating.

Frank: Right.

Yirser: Because we’re operated out of desire, we say “I got this image and this”—like I have friend who lived at Yale area, she gives her potential mates a questionnaire. They have to ask a question about you know… Are you this? [Unclear] what your attitude is towards these things and others? So we’re all like making people want to fit into these characteristics and then if the person doesn’t fit,–

Frank: You get mad.

Yirser: We get mad and we try to to make that person fit.

Nancy: Deuces.

Frank: Right.

Yirser: Yeah. We try to squeeze them into these modes that we are creating.

Frank: On to the next one.

Yirser: Yeah, you know. And so we continuously go through this. So when you practice yoga, you practice meditation. It should give you from inside into what are your internal motivations? What’s making you believe and act out on your belief and your automatic thoughts. So we have this thing called “self talk” which is part of our automatic thoughts and we also move through life on what we call autopilot.

Frank: Right.

Yirser: So we’re not going to be thinking about what we’re doing. We’re not thinking about why we’re into many relationships. We just go by whether what we’re programmed to do based upon our past experiences and those past experience can be based upon trauma and disappointment and fear.

Frank: A whole [unlear] of things.

Yirser: Yes.

Frank: We’re talking with kemetic yoga master, Yirser Ra Hotep. He’s the most senior instructor of this particular type of yoga in the US. Yirser, please, tell our listeners what you’re up to and how they can find you.

Yirser: Well, I need to correct my bio because I’m actually been doing this for about 40 years, a little bit about 40 years, right? And so I’m going to save now where I train people to become instructors. That’s the primary thing that I do. I do this on a global level. So I travel to South Africa, Ethiopia, Jamaica, England, France and my indirect with people all over the world in terms of learning this particular system. I do retreats, I have a retreat coming up in Jamaica in—

Frank: How do we find out more about that?

Yirser: You go to YogaSkills.com which is my website.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: All the things that I’m doing, going on. This weekend, I have a workshop called “From Kemetic to Tantric – The Yoga Becoming Goddesses and God.” So some of the things that we talk about now, what we’re going to cover in that weekend course—

Frank: Is this only for beginners?

Yirser: This is for anybody interested.

Frank: Okay. What about the Jamaica trip? Is that only for—is that for anybody or not for beginners or what?

Yirser: Everything I do is for our own level.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: Because like I said, my approach to yoga is different. So it should be doing yoga for 30 years but you haven’t been approaching it in this manner, it’ll be beneficial to you. If you’ve never done yoga before, you’ll be learning something that you can incorporate. As a matter of fact, I’m going to deal with people who have never done yoga.

Frank: Wow.

Yirser: Because so that I could teach them correctly.

Nancy: They don’t have to unlearn anything.

Yirser: Right, right.

Nancy: So when is the Jamaica teacher training?

Yirser: I have a retreat in March which is just a one week yoga kemetic experience.

Nancy: Got it, okay.

Yirser: And then in July 14 to 23, we have teacher training certification. So our school which is called Yoga Skills School of Kemetic Yoga—we certify and train people all over the world to be kemetic yoga teachers and they get certification which is recognized by the Yoga Alliance.

Frank: Which is what?

Yirser: It’s very important.

Frank: What’s the Yoga Alliance?

Yirser: The Yoga Alliance is the accrediting organization that sort of set standard for what a yoga school should teach and what a yoga teacher should know.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: So they set the standards. For better or for worse, that’s what we have and if you could pay a lot of money to somebody and say “I am going to get certified at the kemetic yoga instructor or ancient Egyptian yoga teacher,” but when you go out there and try to get a job, you won’t be able to get any job, you’re not going to be able to get hired in any type of capacity because you don’t have the Yoga Alliance registration.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: So that’s why our school is registered like that so you can become a professional yoga teacher. So you can teach in any environment whether it’s a yoga studio or you want to work with kids, or work with adults or work with people with substance abuse issues. We train you to work with all various types of population to help them overcome issues and problems.

Frank: Interesting.

Yirser: So I approach yoga more like a HEALING SYSTEM. This is something for healing, this is something for social development because it helps with the development of the individual on internal-psychological and physiological level.

Frank: Go it. Nancy?

Nancy: Yes?

Frank: You know we got to get Tamiko’s tip for the week.

Nancy: Oh okay.

Frank: Are you ready?

Nancy: I’m ready.

Frank: Tamiko, tell us something about money.

Tamiko: Do your children constantly ask you for money like it grows on trees? Does your child understand the difference between a WANT and a NEED? Here are some tips on raising financially conscious children…

1. Before talking to your child about money, look at your own behavior and decide what positive money habits you want to give your child and what negative behaviors you do NOT want to pass on.
2. Talk to your child about money. Children as young as 3 can comprehend simple money concepts. Explain that money decisions are made daily. The [unclear] rewards or consequences of these decisions and the importance to delaying gratification.
3. Allow your child to practice what you taught them. Let them shop with their allowance. Explain that they have a certain amount of money—they can spend it now or save it for more expensive items later.
4. Practice what you preach. Our children model what we do more than what we say. Make sure your actions are consistent with your teachings.

If you need help getting your family on the right financial track, I am here to help. Remember, it’s never too late to rescue your financial future.

Call me, Miko, at 202-695-2402 or visit my website at MikosMoneyMaters.com.

Frank: Thanks, Miko. We’re talking with kemetic master, Yirser Ra Hotep. He’s the most senior instructor in this particular type of yoga in the US. One more time, Yirser, please tell us what you’re up to and how our listeners can find you.

Yirser: I can be reached by phone which is very easy, 773-396-6613 or you can just go to my website www.YogaSkills.com and all my information, contact information in bits and training and workshops are all there.

Frank: What’s the greatest challenge that you find in this kind of work that you do?

Yirser: The greatest challenge is working through the mythology and stereotype that people have about yoga especially the month and meaning general and black men in particular have because of the fact that people think yoga is like a physical exercise—

Frank: And probably feminine too.

Yirser: They think it’s feminine. I’m 6’2”, I weigh 215lbs, right? I play football, all that stuff. So… and I got 4 kids. I’m not [unclear].

Nancy: Preach.

Yirser: I’m not nowhere near feminine in that sense. I’m in touch with my feminine side,—

Frank: Got it.

Yirser: —but I’m also into projects in Chicago. So you know, I’m very down-to-earth.

Nancy: You may blame.

Yirser: I have never lost that. I’m not trying to put on airs and all that kind of stuff. But, its idea that yoga is only for women so we see the stereotype there of the skin, white women whose real flexible doing yoga, you got to be real flexible. So I try to explode that myth.

So that’s one of the things that we see black men—men in general but black men in particular, who won’t do anything for their help. They won’t go to a doctor, they won’t go to get a massage, they wouldn’t even go get a manicure or a pedicure because they think they’re going to turn gay if they get their toes fixed up, you know.

Frank: I have never—well, no my wife has done it for me. But I’ve never went to get a manicure or—

Nancy: Manicure, pedicure?

Frank: I don’t think I ever got a manicure.

Nancy: Nah. You’ve haven’t left.

Frank: But a pedicure? I have gotten that.

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: I don’t know why imp telling you my—

Nancy: Your inner most secrets? He’s so no metrosexual [unclear].

Frank: I’m in touch with my feminine side.

Nancy: And yet, Yirser, I heard you say a couple of things are going on in a Youtube video that having  manicure or a pedicure has nothing to do with being a metrosexual but there are certain—oh come on you tell it because you’ve made an awesome job.

Yirser: It’s good for your health. Number one—

Nancy: Yes.

Yirser: You walk on your feet all the time. You stand on your feet, you walk on them, you run on them and the bottoms of your feet get jacked up. People—like when I do have some men in the yoga class? Sometimes they have so much fun when they’re on their feet. They walk on the yoga mat, they leave footprints and stuff.

Frank: Fungal footprint?

Yirser: Yeah, fungal footprint. If you have one of those lights or those black lights or something—

Frank: Right.

Yirser: —you see all these stuff.

Nancy: Oh my god!

Yirser: So that’s why you have to wash a yoga mat, right?

Frank: My wife’s listening right this minute is laughing because she thinks that’s me.

Nancy: You’re going to get a pedicure this weekend.

Frank: I’m going to tell you guys—don’t tell anybody but eveytime I say my wife is laughing, —

Nancy: She is.

Frank: —she is. When she listens to the show, she’s like “Yeah, when you said that I was definitely laughing.” Hi, babe!

Yirser: I mean, I get a manicure and a pedicure once a month atleast and I don’t get no polish on my nails. I just got the stuff cut off, I get the things—

Frank: “The stuff cut off.”

Yirser: Yeah, you know… cuticles and all that stuff. I get the dead skin taken off. That’s what you call GROOMING.

Nancy: Right.

Yirser: It has nothing to do with…

Nancy: Sexual—

Yirser: Yeah, I’m not going to go and lie because dude because I have my feet groomed. You know, there’s no more that I’m going to like or do because I wash my hair and comb it and put oil in it. Manicure and pedicure was done in ancient Egypt.

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: This is ancient African stuff we’re talking about. So we have lost track of it because we’ve taken on the fearful types of western ideas that “Oh, I’m going to be—I’m going to lose my masculinity if I groom my body,” and they have made up this word—“metrosexual.” I don’t even know what the hell that’s supposed to mean.

Frank: I was—THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I don’t—what the hell is a “METROSEXUAL,” Nancy?

Nancy: I… what do they call it? I plead the [unclear]…

Frank: I’m so happy to hear someone else say that. Jeff?

Nancy: Well, you know what, my impression of a metrosexual, and Jeff, by all means weigh in.

Frank: But for our regular listeners, everybody knows who Jeff is—

Nancy: Yes.

Frank: —even though I don’t introduce him. He’s the engineer. He’s the man behind the boards. So when you hear him talk, just—I may never introduce him again but just know who he is.

Nancy: He’s the ghost guest.

Frank: Yes.

Jeff: Metrosexual is someone who is in touch with their female side and is not afraid to expose that. usually found in a METROpolitan situation.

Nancy: There you go.

Jeff: Hipsters downtown bars do the metrosexual connection.

Frank: Jeff, are you–?

Jeff: I’m not justifying it.

Frank: Are you a metrosexual?

Jeff: I doubt it… but I’m in touch with every side of my body and my being.

Nancy: Right, right.

Frank: But why—I mean based on your—if you’re in touch with your feminine side and based on your definition that you just gave, —

Jeff: No, I’m not a metrosexual.

Nancy: Own it, Jeff.

Jeff: I believe it has to do with a certain level of comfort in being flamboyant, in being—

Frank: Okay.

Jeff: —demonstrative whether that’s hugging another guy, bromance, all these [unclear]…

Nancy: Okay, okay. Bromance?

Frank: I love it. So…

Nancy: Awesome.

Frank: Are you saying in some ways, men over—and I’m 43 so—metrosexual men over 40 are—heterosexual men over 40 that basically put on jeans and sweats and t-shirt and a regular suit, not a—

Nancy: Not one that fits like [unclear].

Jeff: Hugo Boss?

Frank: —snug suit, are you saying that we are not metrosexual?

Nancy: Metrosexual.

Jeff: Probably not classified as such.

Nancy: No.

Frank: Got ya,

Jeff: And to be real honest, it’s usually a justification or an excuse. Are you gay? No, I’m metrosexual.

Frank: Ahh.

Nancy: So you might be bi-curious?

Jeff: Could be.

Nancy: Right.

Frank: Jeff is dropping it.

Nancy: You’re not getting any? Like it is super hot in here.

Jeff: I have kids in their 20s.

Nancy: Oh cool. So you get to keep current?

Jeff: Absolutely.

Nancy: Nice, nice. Okay.

Jeff: And I listen to Kendrick Lamar.

Nancy: There you go. Oooh.

Frank: Are you serious?

Nancy: Now that’s another show.

Jeff: Of course.

Frank: Really?

Nancy: Wait a minute.

Jeff: To Pimp a Butterfly’s my favourite album from last year.

Nancy: ‘Coz I love myself.

Frank: You know…

Nancy: Oh my gosh.

Frank: I’m a Dr. Dre fan. And so I grew up on Dr. Dre but I’ve never ever listened to a Kendrick Lamar album.

Nancy: Really?

Jeff: You sure?

Frank: I can’t believe we’re talking about Kendrick Lamar. You realize the show is about—

Jeff: Yoga.

Frank: Yoga.

Nancy: Yoga. You see how cross referential it is? Oh Yirser, thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re taking us to another level.

Frank: So, any—why you here Jeff? My question’s for Yirser but feel free to jump in. Do you—

Jeff: I do have one question because I’ve been doing yoga for about 18 months—

Frank: Okay.

Jeff: —after I had an injury, they told me it was good for recovery and recuperation and I enjoy the relaxation of it but it is a connection—I mean, I went there for the physical benefits of it. I just feel after a better session. But the physical part of what Yirser does teaches and exposes has kind of been downplayed at this past hour. So I’m wondering if Yirser can actually talk a little bit more about the physical benefits of what you do, not just the mental and spiritual.

Frank: Thank you.

Yirser: Well absolutely. Yeah, the physical parts of it—

Frank: Excuse me, Yirser, Jeff, you know I’m the host?

Jeff: Yeah.

Frank: Like, you cannot just get the show! You can’t just ask stuff that is just—I mean—

Jeff: This microphone stays close to me [unclear].

Frank: I mean, he just—

Jeff: He welcomed me right in.

Frank: He nailed it! He asked the perfect question!

Nancy: he is embracing his inner host.

Frank: Next time, send me a note and let me get the credit for it, question like it.

Nancy: The killer questions.

Jeff: A metro host to co-host.

Nancy: He’s a master—fabulous.

Frank: Excuse me.

Yirser: That’s a fantastic question too. But yes, absolutely. I mean the physical benefits that you’re going to get, it helps you with healing injuries if you already have an injury, it helps you with rehabilitation… I work with people who have had strokes, I’ve worked with people who have respiratory issues like emphysema, asthma… I’ve work with people who have HIV and AIDS… for people who have some knee injuries, back injuries, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, all these different types of conditions and injuries. Yoga has become very beneficial to those things.

Frank: Are what might benefits be? Pick one of those and just what might the benefit be to one of those.

Yirser: Well let’s say you have scoliosis, the curvature in the spine, right? So if you’re practicing yoga, you’re going to be practicing certain postures right? That are going to [unclear] the spine and you see, there’s so many subtle distinctions. When we think about stretching, stretching is different—

Frank: Than yoga?

Yirser: Yeah, it’s different because you stretch. You just say okay I have a muscle and I’m going to stretch that muscle… when you are practicing yoga, for my perspective, you need to be focusing on restructuring and realigning the skeletal muscular system, right? And so the skeletal system, it’s held together not just by muscles but different connective tissues. So movements and postures have to go deeper than just “I’m going to stretch my muscles” but I’m going to also change the structure of my skeleton, and so I’m going to see a change in my skeletal structure. So we want to be able to link in the spine. So we’re not going to be able to cure or get rid of the scoliosis but we can keep it from getting worse and we can alleviate some of the discomfort. It can have a palliative state—

Frank: Okay.

Yirser: —upon that condition and keep it from worsening. So that’s one example. If you have an injury, you have a soft tissue injury, right? So you may have a pull in your hamstring for example. You really should be able to convince those things but then you already have the injury. When you do your movements and you do your postures on a very slow, careful way and you’re doing the deep breathing.

Number one, when your gravity link in their muscle or gravity contracts that muscle or you go back and forth, that’s going to increase blood circulation in the muscle. The blood carries oxygen, the blood carries nutrients, the blood carries all the things that cells in that muscle needs in order to repair itself.

Frank: Right.

Yirser: Right? So all you’re doing is you’re enhancing your body’s natural ability to heal itself. Your body already has the ability to heal itself but you’re just enhancing that. The other part of that is nutrition, right? So one of the big things that people are doing now, they’re taking things like ginger and turmeric, right? Because we know that those things—

Nancy: Anti-inflammatory, yeah…

Yirser: Anti-inflammatory, right? So when you get an injury, the injury is inflamed right? That means you get swelling and swelling is coming from a build up of—an overproduction of white blood cells that are [unclear] because white blood cells are rushing in there to cause the healing to tae place but sometimes you get an overproduction of those things and your joints get swollen, or the trauma builds up fluids and things like that.

So you want to do the movements and postures, number one, to help balance out the fluid build-up but you also want to take certain herbs and eat certain types of foods like the ginger, like the turmeric that’s going to go into those cells and cause those cells to relax and to reduce that swelling and inflammation.

Frank: Got it, got it.

We’re talking with kemetic yoga master, Yirser Ra Hotep. He’s the most senior instructor of this particular type of yoga in the US. Last time, Yirser, please, tell our listeners what you’re up to and how they can find you. In fact, give us that phone number again.

Yirser: Okay my phone number is 773-396-6613.

Frank: Again.

Yirser: 773-396-6613.

Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed the yoga butt. Nancy, right?

Nancy: Indeed.

Frank: Tantric yoga and the benefits of breath and yoga in general. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had learning about Kemetic Yoga and yoga in general with Yirser Ra Hotep.

As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that I hope you create a relation that’s as loving and accepting as possible.

Let us know what you think of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. If you’re listening via Blog Talk Radio, make sure you like us there and if via iTunes, make sure you subscribe so that you can receive each week’s show each week.

This is Frank love.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

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