It often takes reaching our absolute physical, mental and emotional limits before we start to implement the positive changes that we so require to live a better life. It took today's Inspiring Passionista, Georgina Siddall, a major health scare to step out of survival mode under the weight of a stressful corporate career and onto the path of her true passion.
Find out all about Georgina's catalyst for change, the seed that led to her pursuing her one-on-one yoga business, and her beautiful viewpoint on the power of presence.
Can you briefly tell us about Vitalita, what it is and why you created the business?
Vitalità means vitality in Italian and, for my husband and I, it's the absolute essence of our business. Offering mobile yoga, personal training and group fitness in Brisbane CBD and northern suburbs, we're passionate about health and wellbeing. But we don’t just want you to look good, we want you to feel good too.
This wasn't always my approach to life and, like many people, I learned the hard way. Diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2011 after mistaking a panic attack for a heart attack, I knew something had to change. I was burned out from climbing the career ladder and London’s hedonistic lifestyle had taken its toll on my body.
Vital to my recovery, yoga remains the most important tool in my survival kit; consistent practise on and off the mat has boosted my mental and emotional resilience; taught me to savour the present moment; and replenished my innate curiosity and lust for life. Helping others restore a sense of vitality and purpose was the logical next step.
As a mobile yoga teacher I work one-on-one, which is incredibly rewarding for both teacher and student. I make it easy to prioritise your health and wellbeing by coming to you - at home or at work - and tailor every aspect of the session to your unique needs and goals. Wherever you are on your yoga journey, I am there to guide and support you.
How important is staying true to yourself in following the path of your passion?
I've tried being like other people but it's unsustainable and inauthentic. It's taken me 35 years to accept that I have unique skills and talents and, while I may not be everyone's cup of tea, that's okay. I have to trust that the people I am here to serve will find me.
What is your favourite mantra or quote?
"This too shall pass."
Most people associate the word vinyasa with the dynamic, flowing style of yoga but this lyrical sanskrit word represents so much more. In its broadest sense, vinyasa refers to the wave-like rhythms of life: the four seasons; ocean tides; a single breath; the circle of life.
For me, the concept of vinyasa has radically changed my perspective. Understanding and tuning into the cyclical nature of life helps me acknowledge and accept the present moment. Whether I label a thought, sensation or emotion as good or bad, I know this too shall pass. It is all part of the maha (grand) vinyasa and I can either flow with the universe or fight against it.
What tools or rituals do you employ when you stray off path and need to recentre?
Although I first rolled out my mat in 2004, it is only in the last five years that yoga has become non-negotiable. Sometimes that looks like a full hour asana practise. Other times it's a couple of rounds of alternate nostril breathing.
If my experience of mental illness has taught me one thing, it's the importance of being caring and compassionate to myself. I was recently inspired to compile my own set of self-care instructions (a bit like the dry clean only label on your favourite silk shirt) and realised that self-care doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it's often the little things which have the biggest impact! A steaming cup of chai, walking barefoot on the grass or a swipe of red lipstick is guaranteed to lift my spirit and remind me that I'm worth it.
What advice could you offer others looking to follow their soul’s calling and embark on a passion project, business or new career direction?
You are here for a reason and, deep down, you know what that is ... even if it scares you. Take one step in the direction of your dreams. Then another. Then another.
"Position yourself safely at the edge of a cliff or gorge. Gaze into the abyss and see only depth. Immediately, doubts dissolve, dilemmas disappear." - The Radiance Sutras #92
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