I’ve had the good fortune to know Kim Pechet for a number of years, mostly through our shared passion for Belly Dance. But I’ve also experienced Kim’s special, insightful and inspiring readings and highly recommend them to anyone wishing for guidance and direction…her peaceful and loving messages gently bring your awareness to your soul’s path.
Please enjoy the following guest blog written by Kim Pechet…
Feeling at OM in Your own Skin
I first encountered yoga as a teenager, while watching my mother contort her body in our living room. Later, in the privacy of my bedroom, I would emulate the poses, trying to breathe, trying to focus. My mother, was my first yoga teacher.
A decade later, as a young adult I met Gertrude and Magda Hanova. They taught the Hanova method of dance and yoga out of our church/home/studio in Vancouver. They became my first, formal yoga teachers. The Hanova sisters were both in their late seventies, nimble as cats and flexible as liquorice. Most of their students were in their late sixties, strong, healthy and loose. I was the youngest student in the class, a neophyte to yoga, rigid and tight. Being in the presence of the Hanovas and their senior students, I learned the greatest lesson of yoga: humility.
As time went on, I regularly bumped into yoga in a variety of dance classes. Training in ballet, modern, jazz, African and belly dance, warm-ups and cool-downs always involved yogic postures and stretches.
When I became pregnant, I practiced my own style of pre-natal yoga and post pregnancy, I was introduced to Power Yoga. I was at the cutting edge of this particular brand of yoga and embraced it completely, eventually becoming a teacher.
So I ponder after nearly a forty year relationship with yoga, what have I learned? I’ve learned that contemporary yoga has become “hip” with its myriad of styles, from Hot, to Yin, to Yang, to Flow and on and on. Yoga fashion is an industry, mats come in a multitude of colours and every conceivable prop is available to the consumer. Yoga studios abound, retreats and conferences are well attended and YouTube teaches us how to do a Downward Facing Dog.
What I’ve learned is different from what I know.
I know that yoga always has and will continue to begin with the breath. The inhale and the exhale. The inhale is the “here” which inspires the body, the exhale is the “now” which aspires the body. Creating a mindful relationship with our breath allows us to be in the here and now, to experience present time as we practice our yoga.
This conscious relationship with our breath is truly the essence of yoga. The breath is the bridge between mind and body, allowing us to commune with the deepest part of self. As we find the rhythm of our breath, we create a safe space for the body to open and stretch. The mind attending to this rhythm moves into a meditative state, leaving judgement, analysis and criticism behind. Creating a fluid rhythm allows our body to flow from one asana to the next, safely and consciously.
I know and have seen the profound benefits of yoga. Over the years, students have told me they feel their internal organs and systems function more efficiently. They are more focussed in their lives and feel more gratitude, love and compassion for family and friends. They are stronger and more flexible in their bodies. All of these reports are the wondrous side effects of practicing the ancient art of yoga.
I’ve had the unique pleasure of being a doula to labouring mothers. As the child arrives, we all wait for the first breath, the deep inhale, a simple statement; “I am here.” As I’ve held the hand of dying loved ones, I’ve sadly waited for that final breath, the long whispering exhale; “Now, I am gone.” I know that everything between these two extremely powerful events is life… is yoga.
Kim Pechet has been a yoga instructor and belly dance teacher since 1995. She is the teacher, choreographer, narrator and writer of the popular TV show, SHIMMY which airs throughout the world. She teaches regular classes and workshops in her community and beyond.
Kim has been a psychic reader for 25 years and is the owner of Primordial Vibe, a new yoga apparel company that designs and develops bamboo t-shirts and tanks called OMPIRE WEAR. She resides and teaches in Maple Ridge, B.C.