WILD ONES | Aurora Widdis - LVY & True You
Welcome back to the second installment of our monthly series WILD ONES. Wild Ones focuses on self-made creatives, artists, business owners and entrepreneurs who are doing amazing things in their industry. Aurora Widdis is a yoga teacher and damn good business woman who has used her personal experience as the driving force behind her yoga teachings, and is an advocate for self-love and its positive effects on mental wellbeing.
Firstly, can you tell us a little about you and what inspired you to start LVY Retreats and True You?
I'm a 28 year old, frizzy-haired yogi hailing from Ireland 🍀 When I did my teacher training I had no intention of trying to join the big studios. I think I've always liked being my own boss, creating my own events and working to my own hours. LVY and True You are products of following my heart. I threw myself in at the deep end and learning along the way. I love connecting with people on a deeper level, I like to teach to smaller classes and create weekend retreats with a small group so I can give everyone the attention they deserve.
Have your interests always been focused around yoga and mental wellbeing? What was it that inspired you to become involved in the mental health sphere?
As a kid I never really knew what I wanted to do. I studied architecture and worked in the field for a few years, eventually becoming a project manager. My experience in the design and architecture helped me understand the importance of space on someone's wellbeing. I decided to study Yoga and create my own business. A number of things pointed me in the direction of Mental Health and encouraged me to pursue helping others. In the past I suffered from anxiety, depression and epilepsy and I owe my happy state of being to Yoga + Meditation.
What does a typical day look like for you?
This is a hard question! I don't really have a "typical" day. The past year I've done a lot more traveling. The longest I've spent in one city has been 2 months. Although I say I'm based in Melbourne. Fortunately LVY Retreats has given me the freedom of travel, exploration and connection. I'll try my best to give you a run down of my typical day.
9ish Wake up (I love sleep ins)
10ish I'm already on my phone/iPad answering emails, Facebook messages, Insta enquiries.
11:30ish Eat (mostly Bircher)
12ish Researching Yoga + Business trends
2ish If I'm promoting an event on facey I'll schedule a post
2:30ish This is were the beauty of working for myself kicks in. The afternoon is usually spent doing things for myself. Yoga, meditation, chatting to family back in Ireland. Spending time with my partner. Beach, Food shopping, chilling with friends.
8 - 1/2am I'm a night owl, my brain and creativity kicks in at night time. I'm usually writing ideas down, more research, creating workshops, watching ted talks, inspirational docos, reading (really interested in psychology literature atm)
It's not unusual to stay awake til 4/5am just writing down ideas.
This is kinda a "typical day", it varies a lot with travel, teaching privates, and weekend retreats.
You’re a great advocate for taking care of your mind as well as your body. How do maintain balance between the different facets of the Self?
Thank you. This is something that has been said to me a lot recently. I've got to point out my life is insane sometimes, I've dealt with far too much grief than any 28 year old should have to deal with, but having said that, I'm still happy, grounded and balanced. Mind, body and spirit is the true union we explore through yoga and meditation. When faced with a dip on this roller coaster called life, I hold tight, I cry A LOT, I let these phases flow through until clarity comes along and then my mind allows me to choose! Everything is a choice, everyone has a choice, while it's hard sometimes to make the right choice, the more you practice patience, compassion and love the easier life is. Life is pretty simple really, we just complicate things. I'm really happy with where I'm at in my life right now. So to answer your questions how do I maintain balance with the Self...it all stems from self love.
What do you believe is the essential step in creating a personal yoga practice that works?
If you want to create your own yoga practice, I'd recommend seeing a teacher and visiting a studio first. Private yoga sessions are amazing and the teacher can really focus on you, your body, your goals and what you might be missing. Patience is essential, even if you want to contort yourself, you're going to have to be patient with your body. Every body and mind is different, try avoid Insta famous Yogis and fads. Yes they're incredibly talented and beautiful, but they have practiced with patience for years. Here's my top tips for a personal home practice:
1: get advice/do a session with a teacher you relate to
2: practice with Patience
3: don't over do it (start with 10/15 mins a day and build up your practice)
4: balance your practice with a healthy diet
5: balance your healthy lifestyle with cheats and treats (mine is chocolate)
6: have fun with your practice
7: don't be so hard on yourself
8: finish every practice with a smile and bow to yourself
Your ‘Yidaki Yoga’ sessions and the retreat space ‘True You’ take you all over the country and overseas. As a travelling yoga teacher, what are you top five must-haves when travelling?
To be honest I'm pretty cruisey when it comes to travelling and packing. I've always been a last minute kinda girl. Good news for anyone who'd like to work with me. I'm ready to go all the time. Here's the 5 things that usually come with me:
2. iPad (I need access to google docs, all my workshops/ideas live in there)
3. Water Bottle
You studied architecture at university. Do you think that studying physical spaces and design has translated well into the creation of a well-functioning temporary retreat space?
Absolutely, I'm so grateful for the experience and knowledge I've gained through studying and working in Architecture. Not only do I have a deep understanding of space and the effect it has on us, I also gained a lot of experience within a high stress environment. This has equipped me with hands on understanding and allows me to relate to high profile professionals.
Working for yourself, running retreats and teaching yoga is an awesome lifestyle, but can sometimes be exhausting and hectic. How do you maintain balance and deal with overwhelm?
Facebook and Instagram is a great way of tricking people into thinking your life is amazing. (It is amazing) But for every beautiful photo there's hours of work behind it. There's hours of planning, promoting and studying.
Here's my top 3 fav things to do to unwind:
1. Being in nature (beach, ocean, bush)
2. Netflix and chill (all the interpretations)
3. Spending time with family, friends + my partner.
Where to next for LVY & True You?
And lastly, what is your favourite quote or piece of advice that keeps you motivated and inspires you?
On my birthday last year, I spent the day in Melbourne CBD. I sat at Fed Square for awhile talking to a really nice elderly man. After our conversation he said to always remember
"the afternoon has secrets the morning never suspected."
I've never forgotten that quote and it pops into my head at least once a week. When I'm having a hard day or work isn't flowing, I think about that advice and look forward to the secrets :)
LVY Retreats has a beautiful Urban Yoga Retreat in Melbourne April 22/23 which you can check out here.
True You will be travelling around bringing a day of therapeutic goodness to major cities. Next stop Sydney May 07th - click here for the deets!