Ometeotl und Omecihuatl0
The rediscovery of true time
What is Yok'Hah Maya?
A corporeal science
- The Yok'Hah Maya Nahual tradition
- What is Nahual ?
- What is Yok'Hah ?
- The embodied Maya calendar


Several Mexican civilizations such as the Olmec, the Teotihuacan, the Maya, the Zapotec, the Mixtec and the Aztec contributed over thousands of years to develop a body oriented integrative practice. This practice consist in a series of dynamic postures, meditation in motion including voice, accompanied with a particular deep breathing. This discipline is called Yok'Hah and it belongs to a certain line of the Mayan tradition.

The intention of Yok'Hah (not the goal the Nahual does not have a goal and its purpose is the path itself) is to re-discover the human core and to explore and use it as an energy source of personal power: In all freedom, purity, honesty and with all due respect.

1 Etymology

YOK'HAH refers to traditional physical , mental und spiritual discipline originated in Mexico by pre Columbian Mesoamerican cultures around 7,000 years BCE.

YOK'HAH is a compound of the proto Mayan (a language thought to have been spoken at least 7,000 years ago) words Yok and Hah, meaning “above”, “transcendence” and “to settle down”, “to strike roots”, referring to the connection between a higher spiritual state of mind and the physical awareness of grounding.

Proto-Mayan is the hypothetical common ancestor of the 30 living Mayan languages, as well as the extinct Classic Maya language documented in the Maya Hieroglyphical inscriptions.

It is important to consider that YOK'HAH is a discipline, which is not related to yoga or any oriental disciplines, although, some parallelism in their principles can be found. The YOK'HAH practice belongs to a complex natural based mythological Mexican tradition, which knowledge was secretly delivered through the centuries from one generation to another.

Vergeistigter Kalender

2 Origins

The origins of YOK'HAH are uncertain, due to the lack of literature and historical references. During the invasion and conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards in early 16th century, the Spanish Church and government officials destroyed most of Mayan texts and codices in which their knowledge was written and represent. Many of the sculptures, constructions and reliefs were lost as well. Nevertheless, indigenous people tried to transmit their knowledge across generations without a writing system through oral tradition, forming small family groups in which their culture were kept by their members and elders.

It has been considered that Yok`Hah was a result of at least 7000 Years of progressive and chronological development of different Mesoamerican cultures, starting with the Olmec and Toltec, with some other contributions from other societies such like Mixtec, Zapotec, Aztec and Maya . In the historical and mythical narratives of the Aztecs are referred the heritage of their ancestors, the Toltec Civilization. The anecdotes tell the story of the combat lifestyle of the Toltec and their warrior culture. They developed a system of practices and codes of training for combat, linked to cosmogony and spiritual beliefs. This system was in constant transformation and furthermore, this art of warfare influenced other cultures. Mixtec, Zapotec and Aztec lead to subsequently contributions and developments. Some of these civilizations decayed and perished, causing the partially lost of their heritage.

There is no scientific probe which confirms or denies the actual existence of the Toltec civilization, causing polemic among Mesoamericanists, although in some Mexican cultural traditions, they continue to follow their life precepts, considering the mythological narratives an art of living in itself.

The Maya was the last culture, which adapted the discipline to it's own cosmogony and philosophy. Along the millennia, this practice adopted a spiritual character, transforming the original fighting style into a form of dance and meditation in movement as a discipline of body- mind -spiritual integration.

3 Concept

YOK'HAH is a holistic path, introducing the concept of time in her spiritual discipline as a criteria or maximal integration. She includes dynamical physical postures, YOK'HAH Maya breathing, voice training and meditation in movement.

YOK'HAH considers the human being to be a physical, mental, spiritual and time unit.

Time component:

Time is seeing as an important feature and a constitutive element of the human wholeness. Through YOK'HAH energetic movements it is pretend to awake the present time in the practitioners as a living force coming from the energetic sources of the physical body. In other words, practitioners learn to focus in their “here and now” experiences, feelings, emotions and perceptions.

Physical and mental components:

YOK'HAH Maya breathing enables the capacity of experiencing deep breathing in different organizational layers of the body. The integration of these functional layers generates and regulates the complexity of body fluids and chemical synapse encouraging specific behaviors. YOK'HAH breathing, therefore, actually influences four layers, three physically and one psychological.

Psychologically layer works with the calming of the mind through relaxation, body- synergy coordination and meditation in movement in order to break behavioral patterns of distress and to dissolve emotional stagnation and blockages. This practice teaches how to master the mind.

Spiritual component:

YOK'HAH emphasizes the importance of freeing the energy stream through out the body in order to reach a particular state of mind (called Nahual) reaching one's soul and pursuing wisdom or enlightenment.

The purpose of this discipline is to create the homeostasis between the different layers, human body functions and the components of what is describe by the YOK'HAH Maya Nahual Tradition as human: A unit of body, mind, soul and time, bound together through an energetic flow.

4 Breathing

YOK'HAH breathing

YOK'HAH Maya cellular breathing is called Qaaq nu shib tan-kelem (Old- young fire). The aim of the breathing technique is to reach and oxygenate every cell of every organ and body part of the organism as a whole.This develops a sharp body awareness. The breathing technique expands strength chemical neural synapse processes, influencing the central vestibular system located in the cerebellum or main balance center of the brain. The sensation of being grounded and in balance is also due to cellular Mayan breathing and physical, mind training as well.

At an energetic level, Quaq nu shib tan-kelem seeks to activate the energetic flow from the organism treating and undoing body psychological blockages.

5 Health benefits ascribed to YOK'HAH practice

The improvement of the body's physical health, balance, sensation of grounding and clearness of mind, are some of the benefits of the practice with YOK'HAH. Some other advantages are the development of psychomotoric coordination, neural muscular flexibility, strength, stretch at body-mind levels, velocity, resilience. Sense of well being; bright, cheerful eyes and serenity of mind are among it?s benefits.

6 YOK'HAH in modern times

Modern YOK'HAH belongs to a specific lineage of the descendants of the Maya people, called YOK'HAH Maya Nahual Tradition.

The knowledge of YOK'HAH has been preserved since the process of culturization by the Spaniards in the last five centuries by Maya and Zapotec descendants of the Tehuantepec isthmus. As a result of the resistance against the Conquistadores and subsequently Mexican war of independence against the Spanish Crown at the beginning of the 19th century, the new generations were displaced, forcing to move and settle in the gulf region of Oaxaca, where they live until the Mexican revolution break out in 1910.

The elders and progeny then emigrated to Mexico City where they continued teaching their knowledge within their own clan. It's to take in consideration that the teaching of YOK'HAH, like almost all surviving Mexican cultural indigenous traditions, was maintained in secret till the end of the 20th century.

I have practiced YOK'HAH since 1976, when I was 6 years old. In 1997 I started to teach YOK'HAH across Europe.