I was advised many years ago, when my marraige to my ex-husband was on the rocks, to go for full body massages and to do belly dancing!
I suppose, like most of us women, I needed to accept and even enjoy my body, as it is, and be comfortable with it, and in it!
I know many of you who know me might think that it is all very well as I am not overweight or big, but that is not the point. Most women, regardless of their shape, age or weight, have got hang-ups about their body. And it is really so sad, as the most beautiful women are those who are comfortable in their own skin.
Anyway, I took the advice and went for my first Swedish massage and signed up for belly dancing classes ... and so my journey with Habiba started!
What I love and advocate about belly dancing, is that it embraces all women. There is no ripe age or cut-off age. There is no body or weight or figure requirement. Sure, it is nicer if you are a bit curvy and have a set of "assets" with which to shoulder shimmy, but if not, so what. The main thing is that it gives women the opportunity to get in touch with their femininity and their sensuality. I believe we all have that little girl in us still, that would love to dance and twirl, would love to shimmy and shake..... often not for the world to see, but just for us.
My favoutite thing is getting together for a belly dance festival, and seeing women of all ages, sizes and backgrounds, coming together to perform their dance routines. The excitement, the bling, the nerves and then the euphoria as they wait their turn to perform.
Do not under-estimate the ease of being able to belly dance either. Believe me, it is not as easy as it looks! The movements are so foreign to what comes naturally, and being able to isolate ones hips or one's chest from the rest of the body is something that requires hours of practice. But what a joy when you manage to do that hip circle or undulation or shoulder shimmy.
So I recommend to everyone to try a belly dance class or 2, and see what it is all about. We all love the idea of exercising whilst having fun!