Amy Widdis the founder of LVY, shares why and how she fell in love with yoga, and what prompted her to create LVY.
Inside My Mind
Dia duit, Is mise Amy agus… what the hell is this? That my friends is Irish! I’m a blonde haired, blued eyed leprechaun that hails from Dublin, Ireland. Yup Ireland has it’s own language, believe it or not. Now that we cleared that little known fact up, onto me.
I first came to Sydney as a student to visit my closest and still, best friend Becky. Originally I had planned to visit for 3 months, but like the rest of the Irish aged between 23-35, I decided to give the Australian government every penny I earned to stay and create a new life for myself. So here I am 3 years later, a project manager, qualified yoga teacher, soon to be acro yoga teacher and blogger.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Project Manager’, where does that fit in with yoga, the simple answer is, it doesn’t! My background is in Architecture and I decided to become a PM a few months ago. I love the double life I live and think its important to have a number of different roles you can jump in and out of. Keep things interesting and the mind active.
Yoga has become more than a hobby for me it is now a lifestyle. When I first started I was obsessed with the hard poses and pushing myself to the asana limit, I’m sure a few of you guys can relate, but over time I have become aware of my body, and the physical practice is now secondary to the mental.
So where did it start?
The first class I ever did was when I was 16. 4th year of secondary school (I don’t know how to translate that into Australian, so you’ll have to decipher that one yourself) is an easy year in most Irish schools, a year of creativity, workshops and exploring your ambitions. The goal of the year was to allow time to decide what you would like to study in University, although at the time I think the goal was to get attention from the boys we did a play with. Goal achieved!
Anyway… one of the workshops was meditation and yoga, we had a meditation room which was rarely used and smelled like dust. I remember lying down while our religion teacher dictated a guided meditation from a crinkled piece of paper with a coffee cup stain. This was the WORST experience of that year, I found it a boring, pointless waste of time. I know now I was just being a cynical little shit. The same emotions engulfed me during my first yoga class, I slumped in downward dog while giggling at my friends knickers squashed up against a pair of see through leggings. Well that was the end of my yoga career!
Fast forward to University, I became more aware of myself, surrounded myself with amazing people and let go of the ego. I started to look after my body more, gym, yoga, swimming, diet. I was turning into a right little lady
But there was always one thing missing, my Dad. My Dad was the funniest man in the world, he was the life and soul of the party, everyone loved him. That was my Dad, until alcohol took over and he became a different person. The last time I saw my Dad I was 12 maybe 13, he had just got his life back together, moved into a gorgeous new home.
D Day – I remember a neighbour inviting him for a drink to which I told him he couldn’t.. “No, he’s not allowed”… What does a 12 year old know anyway. I decided I didn’t want to expose myself to that kind of environment and didn’t see him for another 11 years.
Life went on, I grew closer to my friends, my family, my brother, had many different jobs, and boys came and went. Dad was always in the back of my mind.. Why does he not want to see me? What is he doing with his life? Does he ever think about me? Alcohol doesn’t taste that nice, just quit! I would sometimes get angry at his decisions and remind myself I didn’t need him.
2011, I settled in Sydney and worked for an architecture firm for a number of months. Life was sweet (i’m making it). Yoga became a weekly thing, sometimes twice a week.. What, a leprechaun doing yoga? Crazy I know!
May 2012, something told me I needed to go home. I flew home to Ireland April 6th, six months later Dad died October 6th. Needless to say i’m not a big fan of the number six. I let 11 years drift by with no contact and I was suddenly full of regret. I should have done something, I should have reached out, I should have stopped him.
Shoulda – Woulda – Coulda
The first few weeks after Dads passing I tried my best to hold it together. I was sick of crying, sick of looking at people crying, I was exhausted and wanted to grieve my own way. 2 months later I was back in Sydney. I got a job in Hom yoga through my lovely ex housemate and I felt light again. I was surrounded with positive energy, teachers expelling happy vibrations all around me and students full of smiles, raw stories and big hearts.
I had a daily practice and meditation. Meditation saved me from my thoughts, my mind became clear and open, I accepted Dads death, and not only that but I came to learn that death is all part of our Journey, and weirdly I look forward to that adventure.
I start crying at the end of yoga classes, not because I was sad, I was happy. I didn’t want to cry but my soul was expressing its joy through my tears. I have become extremely emotional in all the right ways. I am aware of my mind, thoughts and others around me.
LVY is the love child of myself and Fiona Wissink. We joined forces to share our thoughts and connect the community to all good things. I am an advocate of Yoga + Meditation and believe there is something for everyone. From studio to online classes, home practice and guided meditations. LVY are happy to recommend something and help you on your journey.