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.
XOXO,
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. 
XOXO,
Gee Nicolette

Athleta Fall Fashion

Athleta Fall Fashion

Fall has made its way to Chicago and is hitting us all hard (I am definitely curled up in bed with tea and Vicks while writing this). The other week, I hosted a yoga class and shopping event at Athleta in Oak Brook Center, and put together a few of my favorite fall looks for you guys and am here to share them!

There are SO many reasons why I love the Athleta brand and their clothing:
• Comfortable and versatile clothing
• High-quality and long lasting products
• Campaigns geared towards empowering women and girls #powerofshe
• Certified B Corporation
• 2020 goals: fabrics made of sustainable fibers, products made using water-saving techniques, etc.
Find more out here!

Office

Yoga/Workout 

Weekend

Walk/Outdoor Fitness Activity

Sweatshirt: Topanga Top
Happy Fall!
XOXO,
Gee Nicolette 

Owning Your Shit- June Yoga Challenge

Owning Your Shit- June Yoga Challenge

We all know that each and every one of us is going through some shit. Times get tough and it’s easy to loose sight of what’s important. I’ve recently found myself “too busy” and making excuses of reasons why I can’t step onto my yoga mat. I’ve decided to start a yoga challenge during the month of June that is all about owning your shit. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Creating a challenge allows me to hold myself accountable for stepping onto my mat and the same goes for you! Stepping onto your yoga mat doesn’t mean that you have to do any chatarungas or master crow pose. It means that you take time out of your day for yourself… to process everything you’re going through or maybe try and forget everything. Whatever the reason may be, I invite you to join in on this challenge. Taking some time out of your busy day to do something for yourself is necessary. You might have to set your alarm a few minutes earlier or turn off that Netflix show a little sooner, but it will be worth it, I promise.
If you want to join the challenge, follow me on Instagram here and watch my Stories for daily posts.

Namaste,
Gee
Shirt: Spiritual Gangster
Yoga Pants: Athleta. Find here
Shoes: Nike

Photography: Lost Art of Style
Your Ego Is Not Your Amigo

Your Ego Is Not Your Amigo

If yoga has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes you need to let go of your ego. Once you can detach from your ego, your practice (and life) will begin to change and you will gain a new perspective. Your ego is that person in your head telling you that you should look a certain way and compares you to others. Your ego is also the voice in your head that says, “Wow I look so great compared to everyone else in class, I am rocking this pose” and then reality hits you with some humbleness and you fall right out of the posture. 
The other day in class I slipped on my own sweat (gotta love hot yoga!) and totally fell out of my headstand right onto my butt. It was probably the best thing that has happened to me in awhile. It reminded me that I am not perfect. I continually come to my yoga mat to learn from myself as well as the teacher and fellow students. 
I’ve had many instances where people have told me that they don’t want to try yoga because they are intimidated. They see everyone in these crazy yoga poses on Instagram and they can’t even touch their toes. Once you are able to take your ego out of the picture, you would be surprised what your body is capable of. One of my favorite quotes that I have shared with my yoga class is, “Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down.” 
Nailing crow pose and being able to hold my first headstand were very rewarding feelings, but falling on my butt in class actually brought a huge smile to my face. When I got up, I was laughing so hard and it made the man next to me laugh too (once he realized I was okay). Realizing that we are all in life together and finding a little comfort in knowing that you are human is important. Everyone is on their own journey. There is no need to compare yourself to others whether that be on or off your yoga mat. 
No matter what your level of yoga is, take time to recognize your ego and the way you speak to yourself and others. How can you quiet your ego to find more contentment and humbleness with yourself? 
XOXO,
Gina
Shirt: Spiritual Gangster. Find here
Denim Jacket: Ci Sono. Find similar here 
Yoga Pants: T.J. Maxx. Find similar here
Shoes: H&M. Find similar here
The True Meaning of Namaste and Empathy

The True Meaning of Namaste and Empathy

I haven’t been teaching yoga very long, but what I have learned is that there is something therapeutic about speaking and explaining your intention to the class. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, usually the teacher will offer or invite you to set an intention for your practice (a mantra, quote, poem, etc.). Both as a teacher and a student, I like to center my intentions around something I am working on/towards or a lesson I’ve learned. The word that keeps coming up for me lately is empathy.
I don’t often share these intentions with the world, but I feel this one is important. In yoga, we say Namaste when we conclude our practice. But what does Namaste actually mean? My soul honors your soul. Sounds great, now can we start saying this to everyone and not just to our fellow yogis? Let’s end our meetings by saying Namaste. Tell the cashier at the grocery store Namaste. The guy at the deli who fixed you a sub, Namaste to him. You catch my drift. This word has been so glamorized on social media (I am also guilty of it) that I feel it’s lost its true meaning. Namastay in bed, Namastay at home, Namastay on the couch. We are “namastaying” everything and everywhere.
I came across this quote on Pinterest, “See the light in each other. Be the light for each other.” It made me think of the true meaning of Namaste. Honoring one’s self as well as your neighbor. We are all going through our own difficult battles so why not come together and be there for one another? You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but showing empathy is a great place to start. In a world where there are some people who aren’t very nice, be kind. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are strong and true to yourself for showing kindness and love to people that test you. 
I attended a restorative yoga class last year and the instructor had us spend a few moments in a seated meditation. She had us think about someone that is very difficult to get along with (all I could think of is that this is not going to be very meditative). Then, she instructed us to send love and positive thoughts to that person even though it might be very difficult to do so. Let go of the anger and negativity you are holding on towards that person and counteract those emotions with kindness. This is something that will stick with me forever. We are all human. When faced with difficult situations and people, we react a certain way. We can’t go back in time and change the way we reacted or the emotions that came up, but we can change the future. We can send kindness and love to those people that test us. It might sound crazy, but once you let go, you create space for really great things to come into your life. 
Shirt: Vibrate Higher. Find here and use code “gina” for 15% off your order.
Pants: Lululemon
Hat: Relephant Matters. Find here
Shoes: Converse
Viva La Brunch!

Viva La Brunch!

Ways to make me happy:
1. Take me to brunch
2. Make me brunch
3. Be brunch
Pretty simple right? After all, I didn’t think I was that complicated 😉
But seriously, why do I like brunch so much? I have no idea.. maybe it’s the idea of bottomless mimosas, delicious food and spending quality time with your family/friends. If you’re from a place that brunches hardcore, then chances are you know what I’m talking about. In Chicago, I would say we are pro brunchers. We have so many delicious brunch spots there’s just too many to name (and too many to try!). 
So what is the most important thing about prepping for brunch? Picking out the perfect brunch outfit (after you’ve picked the most Instagram-able brunch spot, of course). 
For me, the perfect outfit depends on a few deciding factors: the plans I had the previous night, the location of the brunch spot, who I am brunching with, and the time. 
A graphic Tee with a cute (brunch) quote is usually the winner for me, and yes, I have multiple shirts with brunch quotes. Weather depending, I will throw on a jacket because I am ALWAYS chilled in restaurants, until the mimosas start flowing. A pair of yoga pants is usually the go-to if I am going more of the sporty look route (which is usually what ends up happening), BUT this time, I chose to wear my SUPER comfy jeggings- which are basically leggings that look like jeans, so it’s actually perfect. Top the look off with a cute hairstyle or if you are feeling a little lazy/don’t want to add any more dry shampoo to your hair, a baseball cap or floppy hat will do the trick!
Then you are ready to brunch.. now just be sure to warn your fellow brunchers that you need to capture the perfect Instagram photo before they can touch their food!
Comment below with your favorite spot to brunch at 🙂 
Gina’s favorite brunch spots in Chicago:
Beatrix
Bub City
Kanela Breakfast Club
Meli Cafe
Yolk
Hub 51
Siena Tavern
LYFE Kitchen (great healthy choice!)
Troquet
Pinstripes
The Hampton Social
Mahalo
Rockit 
Blue Door Kitchen & Garden
Carnivale
Lou Mitchel’s
Shirt: Old Navy. Find similar here
Jacket: Pacsun. Find similar here
Jeans: T.J. Maxx 
Purse: From a street vendor at a fest
Hat: Icing (sold out online) Find similar here