Self-Assists in Yoga

Self-Assists in Yoga

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).

Pants: Chicago Flag Legging
Shirt: Give Back Mantra Tee from Joriki.
Get 10% off all Joriki purchases with code GINA10

Happy Stretching!


Gee Nicolette

Sippin the Tea

Sippin the Tea

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:

(because lavender everything)
Wearing Joriki Ikat Indigo Top, Give Back Mantra Tee, Ikat Indigo High Waist Legging 
Use code GINA10 for 10% off all Joriki clothing. 
Add champagne for an instant mimosa 
Wearing Joriki Ikat Ombré Top and Ikat Ombré High Waist Legging 
You can purchase loose tea online or head to your local Target or grocery store to buy the brewed iced tea. 
Wearing Joriki Ikat Indigo Top, Give Back Mantra Tee and Ikat Indigo High Waist Legging
Check out Tiesta Tea’s delicious flavors for yourself at the event on March 31st!
Happy Sippin!
Gee Nicolette 

But First, Self-Love

But First, Self-Love

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.” and guess whatduring that last sprint in class I kicked my name a few spots higher up on the rank list
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 _____
I feel proud of myself when _____
I feel the happiest when I’m doing _____
3 things that bring me peace are _____
My favorite feature about myself is _____
Necklace: Bali Malas
Remember, you are a total badass. 
Gee Nicolette 
Things to Leave Behind in 2018

Things to Leave Behind in 2018

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). 
-Unrealistic expectations 
-Comparing myself to others 
-Gender norms 
-Control and the need for perfection
-Mental health stigmas 
-Toxic people 
Things to Bring into 2019:
-Yoga (obvi)
-More charity work and giving back
-Good belly laughs
-Quality time with loved ones
-Tea drinking habits 
-Celebrating all things both big and small
-Continued learning  
-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.
Gee Nicolette
Mental Health Awareness is Badass

Mental Health Awareness is Badass

I personally feel that us Millennials are going to change the world, one avocado toast at a time. All kidding aside, I think our generation is making it a point to open up and discuss difficult conversations. One of these being mental illness and the struggle many of us face on a daily basis. Talking about mental health used to be taboo, but is becoming discussed more often, as we all know someone that is impacted by this or feel it ourselves.
There is heightened awareness on the importance of self-care, but that looks a little different to each of us. Self-care for some is taking a bubble bath, while for others it may be going for a run. For me, self-care involves yoga, breath work, or sometimes a good nap. I started practicing yoga in college as an activity to do with my roommates (because it was a free class), but fell in love with it the more I practiced. I enjoyed that someone reminded me to breath for an hour. Inhale, exhale. It was exactly what I needed, especially since I am anxious majority of my life and don’t always take deep breaths throughout the day. When I feel on the verge of a panic attack, I try to using the breathing (Pranayama) techniques that I’ve learned in yoga (I highly recommend looking up and trying the following: Nadi Shodhana, Ujjayi, Belly Breathing, Kapalabhati, and 4-7-8 Breathing).

Being the avid clothing shopper that I am, I love supporting brands that make an impact and have an important mission. I recently came across the company, Own Your Stigma on Instagram. As soon as I followed them, I received a sweet message with a quote and reminding me that it’s okay if you aren’t doing okay. I just loved this because it’s the reminder we ALL need to hear. It’s okay to not be okay all of the time, but know that it will get better. I also think social media makes us feel that we need to always be doing something fun, exciting and instagrammable.
About Own Your Stigma:
Own Your Stigma was created to start opening up conversations about mental illness and to remove any shame or guilt that society has attached to it. They are even more badass because they donate 15% of all purchases to charities that support and provide help to people struggling with mental illnesses. “Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.” 
Own Your Stigma is generously offering a coupon code for my followers use promo code GINA10%OFF to receive 10% off your next purchase!

Let’s keep the conversation about mental health going and be the support system someone needs!
Gee Nicolette 
Please remember The National Suicide Prevention Hotline provides free and confidential support 24/7. 1-800-273-8255
The Crisis Text Line allows you to text from anywhere in the United States and Canada to talk with a trained Crisis Counselor. If you’re in the US, text HOME to 741741. In Canada, text HOME to 686868. 
Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal

In honor of Thanksgiving, I am putting together a gratitude journal. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle, but it’s important to take a moment and appreciate everything we have. I have included daily prompts for your journal leading up to Thanksgiving and invite you all to participate. 
If you would like to share what you are grateful for, please share with me on Instagram and tag me @geenicolette

Gratitude Journal Prompts:
Monday, November 19th
Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for
Tuesday, November 20th 
Write a list of 10 people you are grateful for
Wednesday, November 21st
Think of three different obstacles or challenges you’ve faced in the past year and how you are learning from them. How have these challenges made you a better person?
Thursday, November 22nd
What is a tradition that you are grateful for (this can even be a new tradition you are starting)?
I am SO grateful for you all! 
Happy early Thanksgiving.
Gee Nicolette

Finding Home Away From Home

Finding Home Away From Home

Sometimes traveling or being away from our homes can make us feel a little uneasy. My yoga class intention for last week was about finding home in your mind and body. There are some places we visit that remind us how much we miss home and there’s some yoga postures that make us feel uneasy (camel & wheel for me). 
During these times, it’s important to focus on the things that ground us. Our breath, intention, a person, place, etc. If you feel like you’re searching for grounding while being away either mentally or physically, I have a few tips to share! 
1. Get into a routine
I’ve noticed that a routine helps my mind and body stay on track. Maybe that’s finding a gym, yoga studio, or reading a few chapters from your book each night. 

2. Journal & Meditate 
Take some time to slow down and journal. Journaling helps me process my feelings, emotions, but also write down a gratitude list. If you need a little inspiration on what to write about, you can find the meditation journal I use here.
3. #Treatyoself 
Sometimes you need to feed your soul. Find a coffee shop or bakery and treat yourself to a coffee, tea, or in my case, a cookie dough cupcake! Maybe read a magazine, listen to your favorite playlist or a podcast while your enjoying your treat. 
Gee Nicolette