Happy May! To get the month started, I’ve created a yoga and wellness checklist for my followers. I invite you to switch up your routine and try some new things this month. You may find something you like!
How many things can you check off?
Practice a new style of yoga (Vinyasa, Yin, etc.)
Practice visualization (close your eyes and think of your favorite place)
Meditate for 5 minutes
Close your eyes and listen to a sound-healing meditation (I love finding videos on YouTube. Check this one out)
Dedicate your yoga practice to yourself
Dedicate your yoga practice to someone else that you want to send love and positive energy to
Put together a playlist of your favorite songs (maybe practice yoga to it, play it in the car, listen in the shower. Find some of mine here.)
Practice yoga in a new space (roll out your mat in a different room in your house, try a new studio, get outside)
Tell someone how much they mean to you AND show them
Make a gratitude list
Deep breathing exercise (come to an easy seat or lay down, place one hand to your heart and the other to your stomach. Inhale for the count of 4, hold it at the top, and then exhale out for the count of 4. Continue until you reach a 6 or 7 count)
Give someone a compliment
Smile at a stranger
Get rid of something you no longer need (spring cleaning time!)
Create boundaries (this will look different for everyone)
Happy May! Tag me in your ‘May Checklist’ pics! Follow me on Instagram here and use #MayChecklist
We all have times where we’re stuck in a rut and it feels hard to pull ourselves through. During these times, it’s important to remind yourself of your goals and why you started. I’ve put together a goal setting worksheet that will help you stay motivated and get focused!
If you’re interested in turning your goals into a vision board, join me and Joriki Yoga on April 28th for a Yoga + Vision Board Making workshop. My viewers get a special discount. Purchase tickets here and use promo code GEE10.
If you’ve scrolled through social media, chances are you’ve seen people talking about Cryotherapy. Cryotherapy, aka cold therapy, uses subzero temps to relieve pain and decrease inflammation. I recently came across Chicagoland based, CryoEffect, through ClassPass. (New users can get 2 free weeks with ClassPass by signing up here.) CryoEffect also has special pricing for first time clients if you’re not looking to sign up on ClassPass. Click here for more pricing information.
I’ve been doing the Cryotherapy Facials and am loving it. There are so many benefits to the facials (as well as full body and local cryotherapy sessions).
Stimulates blood flow and collagen production
Anti-aging and helps to smooth skin
Detoxes and works to kill bacteria
Removes dead skin cells
Reduces pore size
Why I am loving this facial:
First off, it’s a non-invasive facial (because I am not a fan of extractions). I have acne prone skin and the CryoFacial shrinks your pore size and reduces oil (going to need to do this all summer long)! I also love it because it’s an entirely dry process, meaning you can get it done with makeup on and leave with a nice glow and your makeup isn’t ruined.
How long does it take?
It usually takes less than 30 minutes for the facial but may differ depending on where you go.
Is it unbearably cold?
I’m from the Chicagoland area so I’m used to the cold. But really, the cold isn’t that bad. They start by putting the cold air on your hairline so you can take a moment to get used to the feeling (they even said people who come often see hair growth because of this!). I wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt during my session to keep me warm. During this last session, I went under the blanket of the treatment bed (it was a cold day here).
In a yoga class we know that the teacher will most likely offer hands-on assists. I always ask my students ahead of time for consent before assisting them because their answer might change day-to-day depending on how they’re feeling or what’s going on. I will never give assists if I’m feeling under the weather. Something important to note: if you decide half-way through the class you don’t want hands-on assists anymore just let the teacher know. It’s your practice and you have to feel comfortable.
The biggest thing I want students to know is that if a teacher comes around and gives you an assist it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing something wrong. While yoga instructors do come around and help students properly get into a pose for safety purposes, we also want you to find an even deeper expression of the posture (I like to come around and give mini massages to help students relax more).
I wanted to share a few tips on how to give yourself a few assists to help you get that deep stretch! These are great to try if you practice yoga at home or go to a studio and aren’t getting hands-on assists from the instructor.
Supine Twist: You may hear the instructor cue both arms out wide, but I like to use one of my hands to encourage my knee closer towards the mat (or a block). Continue pressing your shoulders into the mat while pressing your knee down. Turn your head to the opposite direction for the added neck stretch!
Butterfly or Baddha Konasana: This pose (as any) will look different in everyone’s bodies. Some may be able to fold forward while others can simply tilt their head. This is a great hip opening pose (sometimes I put a block under each knee for added support). Today, I wanted to show you a way you can deepen this hip opening. Place your hands on your ankles and use your elbows to send your knees closer to the mat.
Supine Figure Four or Supine Pigeon: This is all about stretching your quads and hamstrings. For a hip opening and IT Band stretch, place one hand behind your knee to bring your knee closer to you. Place the older hand on your crossed knee to push it away from you.
Downward Facing Dog: When you get to your downward facing dog, peddle out your legs and use your breath here to assist you. On your inhale lift your hips high and on your exhale drop your heels down (it’s okay if they don’t touch your mat).
Tea is a delicious drink that has so many amazing benefits! I love Tiesta Tea because they categorize their tea so you can choose which function and flavor you’re looking for. Their five different categories include: energizer, slenderizer, eternity, immunity, and relaxer. I love the idea of categories because each day your preferred function could change. For instance, today I am in need of the relaxer function, but yesterday I needed some energy!
Each function has a variety of delicious blends and can even be used to make cocktails. In fact, I’ve teamed up with Tiesta Tea and Joriki Yoga to bring you a fun and exciting yoga & tea mimosas event on March 31st at the Joriki showroom. My blog readers get 50% off tickets! Purchase your ticket here and use code: gina50
Now, let’s go through some of my favorite Tiesta Tea flavors:
I honestly love Trader Joe’s because they have unique items that you can’t find at your typical grocery store. I shared a few of my favorite items on Instagram and received some DMs asking for more recommendations, so I put together a list of my current “must-have” items.
1. Cauliflower Gnocchi– I feel like everyone is talking about TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi right now but it really is as amazing as people say! I cooked mine in a saucepan with water over the stove and added olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, cheese and asparagus. I can’t say enough good things about it!
2. Shells with Brie and Asparagus– Trader Joe’s frozen meals are always a win for me. I like to try new ones every so often because they’re usually delicious and good if you’re on the go. Other than TJ’s, I rarely buy frozen meals at the grocery store.
3. Riced Vegetable Medley- This is a really great side dish that is quick and easy (just add a little EVOO and seasoning if you like).
4. Blueberry Lavender Almond Beverage– This beverage tastes exactly like a blueberry muffin and I’m here for it. I use this flavored almond milk in my coffee, hot chocolate, and event tea lattes. I haven’t tried it yet, but I want to use it in a blueberry muffin recipe.
Other items I usually pick up each TJ’s trip but not pictured:
*Teeny Tiny Avocados
*Organic Lemons Bag
*Mahi Mahi Burgers
*Strawberry Probiotic Yogurt
*Argentinian Red Shrimp
Head to Trader Joe’s to check out these products for yourself. Let me know your recommendations below!
With Valentine’s Day approaching this week, there’s a lot of talk about love. Whether you are celebrating love with your significant other, family member, friend or even your furry pet, any kind of love is beautiful, but the relationship we need to focus on is with ourselves. The media talks a lot about self-care rituals (which looks different for us all) but what we need to prioritize is self-love and actually speaking positively to ourselves internally.
I recently took a spin class where they put our stats up on the board and showed us our rank a few times throughout the class. This is when I realized the importance of self-love and having positive internal conversations with yourself. When I switched to a positive mindset, it made pushing through the class a lot easier, versus having negative thoughts and telling myself, “You aren’t good or strong enough.” andguesswhat… duringthatlastsprintinclassIkicked my name afewspotshigherupontheranklist.
If there’s ever a time where you doubt yourself or are maybe feeling down/overwhelmed by all of this Valentine’s Day talk this week, I have come up with a few journal exercises to help you remember you are loved and that you truly are a total badass. Grab your journal and start writing: Today I have accomplished _____