How do you express and heal your temple (body)?
A temple is built with a strong foundation, a structure like a skeleton, walls that get painted and decorated, all subject to maintenance. Metaphorically this links to how our bodies are built. A strong foundation can be found in who we are and what holds us up. Our skeleton is our structure, our skin and muscles are our walls, and the paint and decorating can be clothing, hairstyles, tattoos, piercings, or anything that helps you express your temple’s beauty. Maintenance is defined as exercising, keeping healthy, and maintaining the structure of our temple. Maybe even getting your hair or nails done monthly is your form of maintenance.
Feel The Groove
I started dancing from age four with ballet and modern dancing, then hip hop from about age 11 and ended with a year of contemporary dance at age 13. I loved dancing when I was younger, but it ended when the toxic societal body image standards settled in. If I could give my younger self a pep talk, it would be that no one is allowed to put out the flame and passion for something I love. Let’s get the body moving to the groove again!
Meet Jen; during COVID, she founded Jive with Jen and teaches kiddies to express themselves through dancing. Her burning passion for dance glows when teaching, building confidence in her students. Jen found dance as an escape, and like me, she hit a splash that took out her flame for dance, but it was reignited when she started travelling and experiencing different cultures. She was taught how to shuffle in Miami and California by a Cuban, and that’s when her heart opened, and she saw more colour in the world and started dancing again. Now the shuffle is her signature dance; you can watch her moves on her Instagram videos. Jen’s dream was to bring a dance culture to South Africa and inspire the youth to uplift each other. “The dance styles and universal language of dance I experienced all over the world taught me that you can heal through moving your body, specifically through the shuffle, a unique self-expressive form of hip hop. I found healing, and I know many people do too. This is the beauty of the dancing gift,” Jen adds.
All the feedback she has received from parents is rewarding, and how she truly offered love and kindness to their children. “This inspired me, and while building my dancing school, I dedicated my time to learning about children, their development, and their emotional, physical, and social needs. I became a fully qualified child practitioner, specialising in dance therapy,” Jen says.
It has not only changed the lives of children but many breakthroughs and happy smiles for humans of all ages. It’s time for you to jive and feel the groove.
Yoga is a form of structure fitness and a relaxation technique that many nowadays have adapted into their daily routine. I have had a few yoga sessions before, and instead of running around like a headless chicken, I pause, breathe, and focus my mind on calmness. This time I got to experience a different type of yoga, aerial (silk) yoga.
Meet Tsion, a calm soul and aerial yoga teacher at The Yoga Studio. Her yoga journey started eight years ago and integrated into her life purpose about four years ago when a friend showed her silks; she tried it once and never looked back. Be prepared to bring out your inner child. You feel free as you hang and balance on the silks. I found it both a great exercise and a fun experience; though I was a bit nervous about falling, I was surprised at my strength to stay somewhat balanced. Tsiyon was supportive and never made me feel like I couldn’t do the moves. After balancing and hanging upside down, we ended the session with a meditation swaddled in the silks, like a cocoon, and wow, was it relaxing. When Tsiyon and I talked, she told me it’s not just about fitness but about cultivating a relationship with yourself to heal truly. It’s about strengthing and healing your temple’s structure.
Our temple is not just physical; it is also energy, called the energetic body, and many have different names. It includes our aura, scientifically called our electromagnetic field, chakras and meridians, which also need to be taken care of like our physical body, as it fuels our form. Negative energies and emotions can cause blockages in our energetic body, but there are ways to release them. Reiki is a type of alternative medicine and is a Japanese form of energy healing. This type of healing is beneficial for mental, physical, and emotional healing and is suitable for anxiety and depression. It’s time to fill your cup up and do some self-care.
Meet Kate, the founder of Kate Lawrie BodyTalk in Ballito. Her journey is a sign from the universe. Kate wasn’t happy working in corporate, and BodyTalk found her when she needed it most. After experiencing the healing benefits, Kate decided to pursue a path of energy healing, beginning with Reiki, followed by BodyTalk a few months later. She started by opening a practice of BodyTalk, a healing modality that allows the practitioner to identify the imbalances within the client’s body using neuromuscular biofeedback.
I got to sit down with Kate for a Reiki session; we chatted about if there was any pain and how I was doing, and well, what popped up most was that I was very stressed and just a busy body. After talking, I lay down on the bed, and we started with a few deep breaths to sink and release tension. The room had a lovely essential oil scent and meditative instrumental music softly playing, all of which made me feel relaxed. I did fall asleep about four times, which is normal. The relaxation allowed me to enter my inner temple as Kate found my imbalances and realigned my energetic body. After waking up, my physical body felt heavy, but my energetic body felt more open. Kate informed me that she had to ground me (we have seven main chakras, and our root chakra is what connects us to the earth and its energies); there was a blockage there, and she told me to go outside more and put my feet on the earth to be more grounded. She also found that my body was overtired and needed rest, but afterwards, I felt refreshed and recharged.
Kate told me that our body is the temple for the soul (soul is the part of you that is eternal) and houses the essence of who you are; it’s important to keep it nourished and your energy balanced.
Strength in and out
I grew up with an amazing mother who taught me a healthy way of living; although I would protest against it and sometimes still do, her wise words will forever be in the back of my head. Now in my 20s, my mom is my inspiration. My parents live a very healthy lifestyle and remind me that to keep my temple healthy and strong, nutrition and exercise are essential to maintain the temple my mind and soul call home.
So, meet my Fitness Instructor, Health, Diet (LCHF/Keto) and Nutrition Advisor mom, Michelle, known as Michy. She is the founder of MichFit Ballito, an exercise class that gets to watch the sunrise on our beautiful beach. She has 20-odd years of studying fitness and nutrition and is well-known in the Ballito area for having bright blue hair and being the mom of Mowgli, the surf dog.
Growing up hasn’t been easy; we always want to look like that bikini model, so you become obsessed to a certain degree with the latest fad diet or exercise regime, and my mom will tell you that it’s not always helpful. “Studies have changed and challenged the conventional dietary beliefs that have proven to be misleading. We have, in essence, been fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and we are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food,” Michy exclaims. Like my mom would say to me, skinny isn’t necessarily healthy.
Eating the right foods balances blood sugar, restores hormonal balance and reduces stress. “Having been a pre-school teacher, I have first-hand experience on nutritional effects on children’s behaviour. We need to go back to our ancestors and look at what they ate…real foods! No Carbohydrates, Refined sugars, Artificial Foods, or Processed Foods,” Michy says.
Good nutrition and regular exercise can help maintain a healthy life. Think of your health and fitness as a savings account; every time you eat nutrient-rich foods or do some form of exercise, you’ve invested in yourself. Make small deposits daily, and big returns will follow over time.
Decorating Your Temple
Tattooing has been around since 5000 BC, and many scholars say it’s an ancient art form. Looking more into the modern era, tattoos had a stigma, with many people thinking that others with tattoos are rebellious, less intelligent, or even have a negative personality. So, they would get the stink eye, but it is all BOGUS! Tattoos are permanent art. As a person who has tattoos, I can relate to the stigma and dislike I get from others, but to me, it’s a form of decorating my temple and expressing who I am. Like many others you’d meet with tattoos, all my tattoos have a meaning or story behind them.
Meet Jess, a tattoo artist who recently relocated to Sheffield with her dog, Ozzy. Her kind soul tattooed my newest art that is connected to what my essence is. InkyBird Tattoo Studio is a home-based studio situated in a forestry part of Sheffield, bringing great relaxation into her professional space. We took a bit of the afternoon to connect and get to know each other, which is always best when you meet a tattoo artist who hasn’t tattooed you yet. With calm indie music playing in the background, we got started. My tattoo is a simple line work tattoo with a sun (matching my personality and aesthetic), a wave (relating to my upbringing and lifestyle) and lastly, a hibiscus flower (representing my feminine energy and connection to nature). Thankfully there is art out there that engraves our creative individual expression – and I’m here for it!