The Journey of Ra

The Journey of Ra

This sequence looks like your basic sun salutation. You are not saluting the Sun in the Journey of Ra, you are Ra – on the Hero’s journey. The symbolic story of Ra, in short, is going down into the underworld battling enemies of fear, ignorance and doubt and rising victoriously.


This is a form of Mountain pose used in Hatha called Har meaning ‘On high’ and Djed Asar which engages the spine and core while palms of the hands are pressed together with the thumbs pushing up into the sternum.

This pressing of the hands together is a gesture that is timeless and universal. Often called a prayer pose. The joining together of the palms brings together the connection  between the right and left hemispheres of the  brain and represents Smai unification. It is used as a posture of composure, of  assembling to one’s heart and the balancing  of masculine and feminine energies, working  with the polarities of the body.

Taui bring us into the power of our hearts  centre (stimulating love and compassion) where sacred  transformation can occur.

To Do it

Slowly draw your hands together at the heart centre as if to gather all of your energies into  the moment. Rest thumbs against the sternum  and fingers reaching upwards. The hands are  pressed together firmly and evenly, lengthen your spine upwards like a flower stem and  drop the chin slightly in order to bring the spine  into alignment. Taui promotes respect  for oneself and others.

It is considered a natural remedy for stress and anxiety and is useful for entering into a meditative state.

Target Areas: The chest. Shoulders. Upper Back. Triceps.

AMENTA – Standing back bend

For strengthening the core and spine, enhancing energy and vitality in the morning. Very useful for lifting the spine in the morning after a night of sleep where the spine becomes shortened. Great for spinal health and assist in the alleviation of backache. Activates the core and useful for entry into all forms of workouts.

To Do it.

Standing in Har- meaning on high in Hatha this is called mountain posture.

Press the palms together and lift the hands up arms fully extended and create a bowl with the hands.

Lean back into a back bend keeping the arms over the ears. Keep the core engaged and the feet square and firmly on the ground while the hips remain over the ankles.

Bend only as far as you’re comfortable minimise the arch and compression in the lower.

Focus on the fingers that symbolises the petals of the lotus.

Hold the posture 3-9 breaths.

Target Areas: Spine – Core – Shoulders – intercostal muscles

Travelling the sky

Works the shoulders, tones the triceps and creates concentration and balance.


To Do it

This is not a posture but a weeping movement that is done slowly and with precision

From Amenta sweep the arms forward and create a upward triangle with the hands.

Extend the arms and keep the elbows locked. Engage the trapezius muscles/shoulder blades and feel them open as the arms roll towards the floor and you hinge at the waist bringing your hands down towards the floor, resting beside your feet or on your shins.

Target Areas: shoulders -hips – hamstrings

Standing Sky –  Hatha Uttanasana or forward bend/fold.

Standing Sky also called Standing Nut in Afrikan Yoga is a dynamic stretch awakening the hamstrings and other muscles at the back of the legs.

These muscles get particular tight through sitting at a desk for long periods of time, driving for hours, playing football, boxing, running and cycling. They will need your attention on a daily basis as this will ease back pain, reduce sciatica type symptoms and improve your overall spinal health.

Standing Sky/Nut. Prevents injuries in the hips and Improves legs flexibility and therefore mobility, relieves tension in the spine and neck. Calms the mind and nervous system and is actually nurturing.

Most worry about being able to touch the floor with their hands however the focus is engaging the correct muscles such as the ones at the back and front of the legs and the front of the body such as the abdominals.

Focus on lengthening through the spine and aim to actually make the spine flat while lengthening in the glutes making the buttocks tall lifting towards the sky.

Great as a pre-warm up for meditation or any sporting activity and after a workout or meditation.

Find this stretch too strenuous or unable to bring the hands towards the floor bend your knees slightly, you can also use a standing block or book to lean forward on.

To Do it

From Amenta or Har lean forward.

Deep breath in hinging at the hips, fold or bend the entire torso over the thighs, lean slightly forward on to the toes yet keep the feet flight and squarely on the ground. Bring the hips over the ankles, bring the head towards the knees or let the head hang, while lengthening through the back of the legs. Activate the quadriceps thigh muscles slightly pull the knees up yet relaxed and aim to pin them backwards.

Utilise your core to contract into the legs, aim to make the spine long. Bend the knees only when absolutely necessary.

Target Areas: Upper back – lower back – hamstrings

Khonsu Crescent Moon – Deep low lunge – Hatha Anjeneyasana

The idea is to make a crescent moon shape with the body, the posture improves hip mobility and strength while relieving the tightness in hips and thighs. Strengthens both the front and back of the legs. Do this posture regularly and daily of you sit at a desk or drive for long periods. This is also great for the cyclists and runners.

To Do It

Go into a forward bend slightly bend the knees and lift the left leg and bring the foot back and onto the floor. Push the heel back to the horizon while lengthening the leg backwards. In Hatha the foot rests while the sole ii upwards. Allow the left hip to drop. Stack the right shin over the ankle and keep the right leg to a 90 degrees angle. This will reduce of knee injury. Press the right heel into the floor engaging the muscles at the back of the legs. Lift the torso lengthening through the arms and bend slightly backwards raising the chin. Activate the core while drawing the navel towards the spine.

Target Areas: Legs – Hips – core – wrists

Nut The Sky- Hatha Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog.

One of the most commonly recognised and used posture in yoga is a full body stretch and strengthening posture.

Stretching the hamstrings and calves and spine while opening the chest and shoulders. It actually a favourite for men. As many male athletes learn and enjoy doing this posture for it’s numerous benefits.

A Increasing shoulder strength, hamstring mobility, works the ankles and relieves tension.

Stimulates the cardiovascular and lymphatic system.

To Do it

Start from your hands and knees and then raise the knees of the ground. Place your feet back and behind the hands. Lift the hip up and back while aiming to press the heels down to the ground at first due to your level of flexibility you may find this difficult, okay to bend the knees as long as you press the heels into the floor while aiming to straighten the legs. Roll the shoulder blades towards each other and rotate the biceps inwards while dipping the chest towards the floor. Drop the head to take tension away from the neck or you can curl the head and gaze at your navel. Create a pyramid shape with the body and make sure your back is not rounded.

Target Areas: Shoulders – upper back – hamstrings -hips – wrist -forearms

Wadjet Cobra

There’s a slight difference to Afrikan cobra where the thighs are lower and even resting on the floor.

It is not an upward facing dog.

This powerful posture strengthens the back activating all the muscles and improves spinal health.

Improves posture opens the chest and stretches the abdominals and hip flexors.

A stand-alone pose that will greatly improve the back flexibility.

To do it.

Start lying on your stomach (Prone position)

Place the hands close to the chest and have your shoulders over the wrists. Bring your shoulders blades back and roll them downwards as you open your chest. You want to have your neck extended and not tuck into the shoulders. Squeeze the glutes slightly and roll the elbows inward and closer to the body. Lift the chin and focus in between the eyebrows.

3-9 deep breaths

Target Areas: Back – Shoulders – wrists – forearms – core

Heru Rising – plank Hatha Kumbhakasana

A quintessential posture for providing core power and strength.

Enhances and increases testosterone levels, heat and energy. Aids in building stamina and endurance both physically and mentally. Develops the correct posture and improves the prostate.

Heru Rising is the path to arm balancing exercises and more challenging  postures the requires core strength. This one is for all the warriors to develop their focus concentration and presence. It is also celebration of victory rising out of sadness, fear and doubt.


To do it

Start on all fours and lift the knees of the mat. Allow your shoulders to be evenly stacked over your wrists. Straighten the arms. Lift the pelvis slightly and engage the core while the navel pulls back towards the spine. Push the knees up and heels back towards the horizon, while lifting the head slightly keeping the neck neutral while gazing at the horizon. Keep pushing the floor away from you. Spread the fingers to stabilize the body. Avoid the pelvis sagging and maintain the thighs and core  muscles engaged.

3-9 deep breaths

Target Areas: Arms – core – chest – shoulders -legs.


Please view the youtube video –

Afrikan Yoga – What is the difference.


The Journey of Ra

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