Yogapreneur: Yirser Ra Hotep Discusses His Unique Yoga Style

Yogapreneur Yirser Ra Hotep, explains why his Yoga business is much more than a career.

Yirsir_Ra_hotep_yoga_entrpreneurHow has yoga changed your life?

More so than anything else Yoga has allowed me to live what my motto is, “Live without fear.” Fear is the foundation of stress and comes from a desire to avoid the unknown.  The inability to handle uncertainty has caused the demise of many people.  We live in the age of uncertainty!  Yoga helps me to keep a clear head and stay focused on the end game no matter what the situation.  It has allowed me to truly believe in myself and develop my mental and spiritual faculties.

I receive all of the physical benefits from practicing Yoga but the mental and spiritual side is key for me, especially as I get older chronologically.  I feel very resilient, hopeful and optimistic because of my Yoga practice.  I feel that I am the master of my destiny and I’m in harmony with how the universe operates.  My meditation has allowed me to realize the basic underlying nature of things.  What I am saying is much deeper than simply feeling more flexible.  I have acquired the basic skills of self-realization and self-actualization. That is why I call my system YogaSkills Method.

Being that you are one of the few African American entrepreneurs in the yoga industry, do you feel that you have inspired other people of color to practice Yoga?

One of the greatest joys I have received from my experience is the fact that so many people of color have been inspired to practice Yoga – Kemetic Yoga in particular.  I take pride in the fact that my image as a black man is seen in so many places and it breaks the stereotype that Yoga is for whites and for women only.

Many people of color are attracted to Kemetic Yoga because it is something that speaks to them culturally and spiritually and gives them an alternative to the staid “Up Dog/Down Dog/Warrior Pose” mentality of the mainstream Yoga world.  Many people of color I come in contact with whether they are African American, Latino or Asian, state that they have had negative experiences in predominantly white Yoga environments and are seeking what we can provide.

What are your plans for the future?

YogaSkills has some very definite plans for expansion.  We will offer a high-end luxury retreat with one of our new partners, Millbrook Resort in Montego Bay Jamaica. I also plan to start a wellness institute at East of Eden Resort and Spa in Jamaica that will feature monthly workshops led by myself, Mr. Wayne B. Chandler, author of a phenomenal book called Ancient Future and a host of experts in various aspects of wellness.  We will continue to offer our annual trip to Egypt hosted by myself, Mr. Chandler and Dr. Sunyatta Amen.  Over the next two years we’ve been invited to travel to countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, Haiti, Brazil, Dominica, Martinique, Guadalupe, England, New Zealand, Thailand and Cambodia to train new teachers in Kemetic Yoga.  We also have plans for 2 new books and one new instructional DVD that will be released in 2012.

One of our biggest plans is to host Soul Yoga Fest in 2013, which will feature Yoga instructors and other experts in movement and wellness.  This will be hosted in the Bahamas and Jamaica and will feature major musical groups, sponsors and celebrity guests.

Connect with Yirser Ra Hotep on Facebook.

Next up in our Yogapreneur series: Indianapolis’s Nikki Myers

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  • Yogi X

    I’ve been practicing Kemetic Yoga using the YSM method for a year now and one of the greatest skills I’ve learned is allowing my breath to control my movements and thoughts. This technique has spilled over into my daily routine of how I operate, communicate and interact with others. I am grateful for Yirser and wish nothing buy continued success. I look forward to Soul Yoga Fest 2013.

    • wayne b chandler

      First let me say that this was an excellent interview! I began my study of yoga in 1970 and have practiced many of today’s styles. I began my study in Iyengar in 1982. The beauty and power of Yirser’s Yoga Skills Method is that it “re”incorporates specific principles that have been essential to yoga but have been omitted with the development of these recent forms. It is through the breath that authentic power and mental clarity is created and Yirser’s style of yoga focuses intently on this factor. This makes his system and design unique and much more holistic in its approach to establishing a condition of overall health in the human body and mind. So impactful is his system of yoga in the modern world, that it is the only non Indian style recognized by the Yoga Alliance, the global organization which certifies and gives validity to all styles and systems of yoga from America to India. With respect to energetics, it is unrivaled as a yoga discipline because unlike the current styles practiced today which have strong military and masculine influences, his Yoga Skills Method actually blends both masculine and feminine energetic elements, creating a harmonious synthesis in the flow of life force through the human body. I deeply commend Yirser, the yogi’s Yogi for what he has accomplished!

      Wayne B Chandler MS, CPH SCE

  • It has been an true learning experience training under Yirser. He is very knowledgable and passionate about Kemetic Yoga. I’m glad that my foundation is in Kemetic Yoga and that he was my first trainer!

  • It has been an true learning experience training under Yirser. He is very knowledgable and passionate about Kemetic Yoga. I’m glad that my foundation is in Kemetic Yoga and that he was my first trainer!

  • It is both a joy and delight to see Master Yirser featured in Black Enterprise magazine as he is very much a reflection of a Black Enterprise. Kemetic Yoga is the way to health and longevity for us and what better way to achieve that than the way our Ancient Ancestors did in ancient Kemet. It has been a challenging experience to push my body beyond limits that I self imposed, hey being 50 feels great!

  • aunkh

    This was a great article. It’s amazing you can seemingly tell his whole journey to becoming a master teacher in just two pages. Its like reading a blueprint. I salute the author for a job well done.

  • What a wonderful delight to see this article. My heart is singing. Kemetic Yoga & YSM is definately a FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. Pharaoh Yirser Ra Hotep Lawrence, may the Divine Creator CONTINUE to bless u. Namaste’

  • Tracey

    The real beauty is through his efforts of bringing about awareness of Kemetic yoga Yiser has brought people together from all over the world.

  • Kemetic Yoga has been the gateway to self transformation, it had an element of spirituality that I had not experienced before in other forms of Yoga. Yirser is my teacher and is inspirational. I am very thankful for his sharing of this ancient art with so many. Thanks Yirser!

  • AriAnkha

    Hotep Master Yirser, it’s “Blacktastic” to see the Yogaskills Method being featured in this awesome publication. It’s about time the world learns of its origin and the benefits of its practice. Kemetic Yoga is a beautiful fluid system that unites the focus of your mind, the breath & unique postures ,to help reduce stress, increase energy flow & bring your entire body into balance.
    I’ve been a Kemetic Yoga instructor (trained by Yirser ofcourse) for 3 yrs. Yirser is more than a yoga teacher, he gives valuble information about the bussiness, motivates you to go that extra mile & brings our great historical past to light in his classes.
    Students in my classes have varied in ages, sizes, & physical abilities but the one thing that is consistent are their comments after class “I had no idea that yoga could be so challenging & rewarding at the same time”,”my body feels so open & my mind at ease “or,”I didn’t know our Ancestors practiced yoga thousands of years ago”. I love helping others reach heights they didn’t think we’re attainable mentally, physically & spiritually plus giving a little history lesson at the same time.
    Yogaskills Method is the TRUTH!!

  • S. Newell

    Great article. It is quite refreshing to see Yirser featured as he’s very passionate about Kemetic yoga. Looking forward to reading more about him and the Yogaskills method.

  • Shaheedah Enahora

    This is what a black man can do when you follow your dreams using the blessings from the ancestors. I love this article. I’m so proud to be a part of the Yoga Kemetic Yoga training

  • Hinerangi

    Wonderful article, great to see Yirser and Kemetic Yoga being profiled – inspiring as always e hoa! Arohanui from Aotearoa (New Zealand)

  • Gira

    It is nice to see the yoga practice presented from the African perspective. I think media could do a better job of showcasing black spiritual practices that are outside of the church and the mosque. Thanks Black Enterprise for taking that step.

  • Every culture and every people have an indigenous right to holistic healthy lifestyles. Master Yirser Ra Hotep, through 30 years of mastering Kemetic Yoga, has reconnected a direct line from ancient Kemetic lifestyle to the African Diaspora today. This link has opened many doors, reawakend curiousities and the fact; that yoga is also a part of the Diaspora. Kemetic Yoga through YogaSkills Method helps one raise and maintain high vibrations. This hypersensitizes one to the practice of consuming unhealthy food, illogical though and unbalanced emotional behavior. Through this empowerment of awareness, one not only makes clear consious decisions on wanting and living a healthy path if life, one practices it. Thank you Master Hotep for living a Kemetic Yoga path and sharing it for all. Thank you Black Enterprise for featuring a great pioneer!

  • Ashiya Swan

    After practicing several styles of Yoga, Kemetic Yoga opened me to my true nature as a healer. I am grateful to have trained with Yirser. His passion for his practice is contagious and his experience in building his business is invaluable to me as I embark on my journey as a Yogapreneur. If you’re looking for a gentle form of yoga to build a foundation for a solid daily practice, give Kemetic Yoga and the YogaSkills Method a try!

  • What is called yoga was founded in ancient Kemet (egypt) thousands of years ago and later taken by the Kememou (Blacks/Africans of Kemet – “Egyptians”) to india.

    African-Americans, Jamaicans, Ghanaians, Nigerians, South Africans, etc. who are drawn to Kemetic Yoga recognize in the approach a reclamation of a component of our Ancestral Spiritual birthright. We have an Ancestral umbilical cord that yokes us to Kemet.

    Yirser’s work is assisting our community to uncover that which was buried within us for a ‘season’.

  • It’s inspiring to see Kemetic Yoga grow in such a magnificent way. What Bro. Yirser is promoting is a healthy lifestyle for people who want wholistic wellness as a way of life. Much success and prosperity to the Kemetic Yoga movement. Thank you Black Enterprise for bringing this to the forefront.

  • I have known Yirser for a good whlie now and met him through a class on stress management. I believe his Yoga Skills program is extremely beneifical. My only challenge has been creating the time and having the funds to visit and take classes regularly to get myself in a state of mind that can truly excel from what he offers. I have often suggested to my colleagues to try his program out.

  • El-Tehuti

    It is great to see Black Enterprise report on development of new markets such as Kemetic Yoga. Keep up the good work of letting readers know where they can spend their money and receive a “healthy” return that supports a positive black lifestyle.

  • My brief experience with Kemetic Yoga has been a positive one my Body know the difference. Thanks so much Bro. Yirser.

  • Vanya Francis

    It has been a remarkable experience studying under Master Yirser. I have been a yoga practitioner for nearly 12 years and few classes and teachers have impacted my life in the way that Yirser has with his Yoga Skills method and the ancient teachings and practices of Kemetic Yoga. Thank you, BE, for recognizing his light and for your Yogapreneur series.

  • Renee Lawrence

    my brother introduced yoga to our family almost 35 years ago….so happy he did….yoga has changed my life….I am almost 50…but I have the energy and mobility of a young child….this is a life long learning journey on the proper manner to maintain…improve….blessed to have Yiser as our guide……Renee Lawrence

  • Simone Foster

    The experience of Kemetic Yoga with Yirser Ra Hotep has been and continues to be an uplifting and empowering journey- it is a blessing to reclaim and become reconnected with the ancient healing wisdom of our ancestors, through this beautiful expression of yoga. I am very grateful to Yirser for his commitment in sharing his YogaSkills Method.

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