Today, Kate Bell is still looking fabulous, still working as a model and has trained as a yoga instructor. Here she shares with us some of her insights on staying healthy, the impact of social media and gives her tips for both young people in search of perfection and those ‘more mature’ struggling with the concept of getting older.
We love your philosophy on holistic health and multi dimensional approach to happiness, as you depict on your instagram account. Can you tell us a little about your journey that brought you to these principles?
My childhood, all bush, bare feet and freedom gave me a sense of the natural order of life and I’ve always been open to all things magical and metaphysical. When I was 6 or 7 inspired by an Indian Australian yogini Swami SaravastiI who had her own show on tv, I’d make up my own yoga/dance/stretch routines. Then at high school I chose yoga for PDHPE and tagged along with my big sis to local yoga classes. At 17 I bought BKS Iyengar’s Light On Yoga, the veritable bible of Iyengar yoga. A third of the book was Indian philosophy, it spoke of the liberty to think freely and to search for truth personally, independently, and experimentally. This has shaped my life ever since.
Albert Einstein says “You cannot make changes by doing the same thing”. If something makes you upset or sick, figure it out, face the truth and take care of yourself… Be responsible for your own happiness.
Yoga has been my anchor and navigational chart. The physical aspect keeps me strong and relevant, while the mental/philosophical components help me understand my life journey and give me direction. Yoga has helped me captain my own ship!
Styles or brands of physical yoga are many and varied. My personal practice is a bit of all sorts; Iyengar for precision and alignment, Vinyasa for warming up/a quick workout, while restorative/therapy helps with that. Ryoho for strong core and healthy organs, qi-gong (Chinese yoga, sort of) for its beauty and simplicity. I use breathing and meditation techniques that resonate with me and I love yoga nidra/guided relaxation. When I’m teaching I aim to provide my client with a session based on how they are presenting at that moment in time. I use all the tricks in my 35 yrs+ yoga book.
Your modelling career has been hugely successful and spanned over decades, which is unusual in that business. Can you tell us some of your career highlights?
Wow thanks, I’ve been super lucky as the industry changes to becoming less ageist, more inclusive, to be able to continue to ‘surf this thing’. I’ve shot in so many amazing locations Venice, Monet’s garden outside Paris, Ayres Rock, so many, right now I’m writing this from Costa Rica. Runway show highlights would be walking for Tierry Mugler, and closing for Amani. When US Cosmopolitan mag turned 50 I shot for them naked in sand dunes, I’ve flown in hot air balloons, ridden sand buggies, you name it! Plus I have spent time with so many talented, creative people. I’ve just been so lucky, blessed
Social media has opened up the industry big-time making it much more forgiving; Age is becoming less relevant and people of different cultural backgrounds abound ; It’s awesome!
My mantra… My body is my palace! Haha! I’ve always enjoyed exercise and been interested in natural therapies, plus have eaten pretty well. In the last five years eating has become a moral choice. I don’t want to support mass animal farming or indiscriminate ocean trawling. I want to back local farmers, organic and/or sustainable. This has changed how I shop, and consequently how I eat. I have a positive life outlook that has been years in the making. I’m curious about other cultures, love to travel and learning new things; I’m into life!
Make healthy, responsible choices, for yourself and our planet. Ultimately if you don’t take care of yourself you will need others to take care of you at some point and you’ll become a victim, which is a really powerless place to be. Don’t complain about what you don’t have, enjoy what you do have and get out there and live your life. Your body is changing from the time you’re born til you die. Accept this and be as healthy as you can : Your health is your wealth!
In a world obsessed with looks and a society that as a whole does not values the wisdom of the older generation, what advice would you give to women in managing the ageing process?
Find purpose in taking part in a greater picture by supporting with how you spend your money: valuable, sustainable, people, produce and projects. Look at yourself with kind eyes, but don’t waste time looking too much. We live but once (that we know about), dance til you die!