Fitness For The Soul: Vanessa Giorgio On That Cali Lifestyle

We're taking a, shall we say, laid-back look at the California lifestyle with the help of our sponsor Hangar 1 Vodka. This series, #Influencers, dives into conversations with people who embody the California lifestyle – that is to say a life that is filled with passion, chilling, freedom, creativity and enjoyment. These are likely best read with Hangar 1 cocktail in hand – may we suggest a cocktail recipe from our Grilling It Up Series?

At Lotus Kitty, in Studio City, fitness enthusiasts convene for a mix of yoga and power cycling—an amped up mind-body version of spinning classes. Meet the woman behind the popular studio, Vanessa Giorgio.

What inspires you to make California your home?

I was born and raised here. The excitement of the entertainment industry coupled with the environmentally-conscious people who know keeping the Temple (your body) that houses your soul clear, strong and connected is very much a part of who I am. 

For many, fitness and California are synonymous. What did you want to create through Lotus Kitty?

I wanted to create a community that supports each other and welcomes every new student with open arms and a sincerely supportive attitude. It's contagious. Our students and teachers are what make Lotus Kitty the success it is. I hear stories from students every day about their experiences here and how moving to LA was scary for them and we gave them a sense of family and home. It's why I do what I do. We also do everything with humor because I truly believe laughter is the best medicine. Especially when dealing with sensitive issues like body consciousness, we try to lighten up the moment by finding the joy and fun in working on ourselves in and out.

Beyond yoga and power cycling, what are your favorite California pastimes?

Hiking Fryman Canyon with my German Shepherd, Prophet; eating at new restaurants; and going to new exhibits at LACMA or the Getty. Oh and bowling...sigh.  

What are your favorite ways to chill when you're in "down time" mode?

As an entrepreneur, down time does not come around too often, but going to Malibu Third Point and watching the surfers always clears my head and makes me realize how lucky I am to be able to go to the beach basically any time of year. I spend every New Year's Day there with my best friends, communing with the ocean, sea gulls and the sun's energy. I also enjoy a movie in the middle of the day, and coming out and the sun is still shining.

What are your favorite out-of-the-way destinations to hit in California?

Palm Springs, Mammoth Lakes (winter or summer), Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree and my all-time favorite, San Francisco.

What draws you to them?

You feel like you're in a totally different environment—the people, the scenery, the vibe—but only hours from home.

How do you think your work at Lotus Kitty embodies the California lifestyle?

We take fitness on as a lifestyle. It's not an activity that you visit and then move away from. We hybrid all disciplines of workout and we combine them with personal growth. It's not just physical but emotional and mental. We work on the inside of your experience as well as the outer form: the way we eat, the way we interact with each other and how you treat your fellow man—stranger or family. Laughing all the way.

You're a California entrepreneur. Which words come immediately to mind to describe that combination?

Conscious. Compassionate. Driven. Focused. Recycling. Lightness of Being. Love. Acceptance. Believing in your vision.

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