The other year I started setting intentions rather than New Year resolutions as a way to evaluate things I wanted to work on and change in my life. A few months ago while scrolling through Instagram, I saw someone post their intentions for the month. I loved this idea because our personal goals, mantras or things we are working on change month to month (sometimes even day to day). This is something I’m starting to incorporate into my life and invite you to do the same!
I’m sharing a few of my intentions for July:
Get my body moving everyday (morning and nighttime stretching)
Clean and get rid of things I no longer need
Read a book I’ve been wanting to read
Try new recipes
Show gratitude for loved ones and kindness to strangers
Be more present in the moment
Take more time tolisten
What intentions are you setting this month?
Wearing Joriki Tibetan Prayer Flag Cropped Legging and Black Slash Band Top. Get 15% off all Joriki orders with code GINA15
Ever have those days that seem like you just can’t catch a break? You wake up feeling rushed and are in a hurry to get to your destination on time. I’m sharing a few tips to help relieve unnecessary stress (let’s face it, we can all shed some stress from our lives).
Pick out your outfit the night before work. This is a big one for me! I feel more put-together when my outfit is picked out and I can get ready in the morning with ease.
Unplug before bed. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour before bed to stop scrolling through social media and let your mind (and eyes) rest before sleeping.
Spend 5 minutes in the morning to yourself. Set your alarm clock 5 minutes earlier and be still. I like to sit in the dark with my oil diffuser on and enjoy the quietness before starting my day. It’s also a great time to meditate or get in some stretching.
Breathing exercises. Spend time throughout your day taking deep breaths. Set reminders on your phone to take deep breaths (I like to count to 4 on my inhalations & exhalations). Release your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Unclench your jaw. Just let go of tension in your body.
Drink water. Staying hydrated can keep your stress levels down. Enough said.
Get your body moving. Get up and stretch, go for a walk or workout. Do something to clear your mind and get any built up tension out.
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
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:
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 _____
There are many things that can occur in one year’s time. Those things teach us lessons and help us grow. While mental health awareness increases (which thank goodness for this), more people are ditching New Year resolutions and are starting to cultivate intentions. Intentions can be things that you want to leave behind from the previous year, things you want to continue doing/bring into the new year, setting boundaries for yourself/relationships, or maybe it’s coming up with a mantra that will help you focus on your goals and being happier.
I’ve come up with a list of things I want to leave behind in 2018 as well as positive things that I want to continue to work on and bring into the new year. I encourage you all to spend some time meditating and doing the same!
Things to Leave Behind:
-Always saying yes to stuff I hate
-SO many memberships that I have and barely use (this is because I’m a “yes” person. I’m kind of like Ross and Chandler trying to quit the gym).
-Comparing myself to others
-Control and the need for perfection
-Mental health stigmas
Things to Bring into 2019:
-More charity work and giving back
-Good belly laughs
-Quality time with loved ones
-Tea drinking habits
-Celebrating all things both big and small
-Supporting small businesses
-Getting rid of things I don’t need (one step at a time with this, especially the shoes and purses)
If you are interested in learning more about intention setting and journaling, come to my yoga and intention setting workshop with Joriki Clothing. A portion of ticket sales will benefit mental health and awareness organization, NOSTIGMAS. Purchase tickets here.