Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DHARMA - What is your life purpose?

"What is your life purpose?" That comes off as a very deep question right? Well, there are so many tools that are within you to answer this question and calling, but only you can tap into those tools. It's in your subconscious mind, your soul,  your spirit. 

Identifying your life purpose may make you feel a bit overwhelmed however, if you do the work over and over again, you will find that this process is a part of everyones journey, and it is something that can be enjoyed along the way.

It is said that when a woman is in labor, she enters into an altered state, and  she actually travels to the stars to collect the soul of her baby, and they return to the world together. When a soul descends into a body it begins its purpose... the mission of the spirit. Your soul has a unique mission. This is called your DHARMA.

Over a lifetime your soul does work to identify your life purpose. Aadil Palkhivala mentions there are 3 steps of this passage to dharma which are:

  1. Exploration: the process of going within and asking ourselves what our purpose is
  2. Discovery: connecting with our inner truth and realizing our purpose
  3. Fulfillment: implementing that purpose in our day-to-day lives
These steps should be revisited daily, continue to be in wonder of your own mind, body, and soul. Sit with yourself and meditate, listen to your heart, keep exploring, and continue to look deeper into yourself. 

Our souls forever seek to evolve and when we take the time to go inside, we know how to live outside. 

Ask yourself: With every breath, at every moment, am I realigning my body and myself with my soul?  What is the best action I can take to live in my dharma?

I promise not only to do this work in my life, but to teach and inspire Leo to do the same. To encourage exploration & discovery and teach him fulfillment of those ideas he finds.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Beach Yoga!

Mommy & Me Yoga With Jesi Verchota

Cost $20 (not included in discounted season membership) Ages: 6 Weeks to Crawling Mommy and Me Beach Yoga is a great way to reconnect with your body while enjoying time with your little one in the sun! Mamas benefit from total body strengthening postures while little ones benefit from infant yoga and and bonding with mom on the beach. Beach yoga tips for you and your little one: - Wear layers (sun protection lightweight layers are perfect for mommy and baby at beach yoga) -

Thursday, June 23, 2016
9:30 AM Central Standard Time
Sun and Moon Beach Yoga
North Ave Beach, Chicago IL 60614 (1603 North Lake Shore Drive) Get Directions

Mommy and Me Beach Yoga is a great way to reconnect with your body while enjoying time with your little one in the sun! Mamas benefit from total body strengthening postures while little ones benefit from infant yoga and and bonding with mom on the beach.

Ages: 6 Weeks to Crawling

Cost: $20 (not included in discounted season membership)

Beach yoga tips for you and your little one:
- Wear layers (sun protection lightweight layers are perfect for mommy and baby at beach yoga)
- Wear sunscreen


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Graced By Grit


To kick of summer right, we are sponsoring the #PeacefulPiggyYoga Challenge on Instagram. One of our newest influencers, Jesi Verchota, is spearheading this challenge along with 4 other gritty mommas. Over the duration of the challenge, we will be sharing these Q&A’s with you so you can get to know the amazing hosts. It’s not too late to participate in the challenge! Check Instagram for all the details and keep reading to learn all about Jesi.

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Brief intro into who you are in a couple of sentences (profession, location, loves, etc.): My name is Jesi and I am from Chicago, IL. I am a Yoga and Pilates instructor, and teach mommy and me fitness and yoga classes. I am an adventure seeker and nature lover. I am also a Mindful Mama to my adventurous and playful tot, Leo!

What inspired you to become a yoga and pilates instructor? I love Yoga and Pilates so much that being able to share it with others is so important to me. I love inspiring my students to love their life, love their practice, and ignite their inner smile. From there, it expands into teaching new moms that their fitness journey doesn’t end once you have kids; it’s something that can be enjoyed and done with them.

What has been the most rewarding thing to come from teaching mommy and me fitness classes? Giving moms the tools and space to continue their fitness routines all while bonding with their little one. Seeing the connections between mommy and baby, all while mom is giving herself the gift of self care, is so beautiful to see.

What are your favorite ways to stay fit? Yoga, pilates, barre and running are all my favorite ways to stay fit. I love to mix up my workout so no week is the same.

How has having children switched up how you fit in your workouts? Because I love to switch up my workouts, I used to be very sporadic with how my week looked. I would wake up and then decide what my workout would be and where.

Now that I have Leo, I have to plan out my entire week ahead of time or I just won’t make it to my workouts. I love to incorporate him into my workouts 2x a week, either at a stroller bootcamp class or a mommy and me yoga class. The remaining workouts I schedule at the gym or yoga studios that offer childcare.

What does a typical day look like for you? I make eggs and avocado -or- a breakfast smoothie for Leo and I to share. Pack up and head out for a play date at the zoo, music class, or activity with Leo and friends. Lunch. Leo naps & I plan out my fitness class to teach the next day. Afternoon workout. Prep and enjoy dinner with my family. Leo to bed and down time/time to unwind with my husband.

What can you not live without?

My family – parents, husband, Leo, siblings, and our pets

My tribe – like minded women who get together to support and uplift one another

Pearachute- a website where you can schedule drop in play for kids! (Think Classpass for kids!) 

The Four Agreements– an amazing book that I won’t say anything about other than GO READ IT NOW

How do you stay balanced? Where do you go to seek rest and rejuvenation? Nature by far is number one, getting out in the woods or sitting by a body of water.

Wine, coffee, and guided meditation are also all important for maintaining balance in my life.

How have you been graced by grit?

This past April I experienced pregnancy loss at 11 weeks pregnant, a time that was so difficult for me because all I could think is how healthy my pregnancy with Leo was. I was GRACEDBYGRIT… It was a moment where I felt so alone but found that through sharing with others, I didn’t have to suffer silently. I chose to move forward and shine my light by:

  1. Talking about it: Sharing my story not only with my close friends and family but with my community and network. Sharing my loss, my feelings, my fears, and my future.
  2. Grieving: Honoring the beautiful soul I had the opportunity to carry for 11 weeks and know I have an extra angel looking out for me
  3. Keeping up with my fitness: My body is a vessel and I will continue to keep it strong and healthy. Running, Yoga, Pilates and Barre are a few of my favorite was to stay fit.
  4. Nutrition: Although I may lose my pregnancy cravings for spicy foods, I will still enjoy my morning avocado doused in hot sauce and hemp seeds. I will continue to make my morning smoothies and protein shakes and because I believe everything in moderation… I will enjoy a donut or some ice cream here or there.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you, your career, your interests, your future, etc.? My goal is to change the world one mom at a time, through fitness, health, self-care, & wellness! Join me on this journey at www.altruisticyoga.com and on Instagram @altruisticyogini

-Jesi Verchota

The North Face - Chicago: Summer Fitness Series - Family Yoga

The season for outdoor exploration is upon us, and The North Face wants to get you prepared for your next adventure. Join us for a 45 minute Family Yoga class with Yoga instructor Jesi Verchota on June 11th at 9am at The North Face store on Michigan Ave.
All ages are welcome. Kids under 2 should be worn, older kids can have a separate mat.
Please bring your own Mat if possible, we will have some in store.
Afterwards join us for light snacks and anyone making a purchase (Maybe from our new Mountain Athletics Workout Wear) and you'll recieve a free copy of The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth.

The North Face - 875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

sign up here

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mama Fit: Finding a fitness routine & have fun with your little one

As a mom finding and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can sometimes be brushed to the side. Before I had Leo I was so good at mapping out my workouts for the week: Pilates, Yoga, Running, Barre Classes and more! I loved variety and I made fitness a priority while I was pregnant, it was simple, I made the time. 

After having Leo, I not only have one schedule to maintain but two lovely schedules of adventure, fitness, play, and fun to maintain. Motherhood has been such an awarding job, but lets face it it can also be exhausting. One thing that I have found that keeps me going is maintaining a fitness routine, while also allowing myself to be flexible with it. I actually find my workouts to be energizing and uplifting rather than exhausting.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a necessity for me and Pearachute has been a life savor! There are so may options for moms to bring their kids along and workout. I wanted to share some of my favorite options 

Dailey Method: Dailey Barre

Description: This class is appropriate for all levels of students. The cuing and pacing are relatively quick but options and modifications are given regularly to enable all students to be successful. Students are encouraged to work at their own level and to make the positioning the priority for each exercise. Movement is layered on after form and alignment is perfected. This is the ideal class to work on perfecting your practice while continuing to be challenged.

Review: Shake and burn your way through an amazing hour long class! Besides the great music and amazing teachers, one of my favorite things about Dailey Method is that I can drop off my son in the kids room and I get a full body work out and "me" time. One of my favorite prenatal workouts and still one of my all time favorite way to sweat. Leo loves the kids room and always makes new friends when he is there.

Recycled Barre: Barre & Baby

Description: Barre & Baby is a full body workout with your baby that fuses classical dance elements and repetition with conditioning, stretching, and circuit training. The technique is originated from high intensity strength intervals with your baby, followed immediately by deep recovery stretching. This regimented routine will evenly sculpt and quickly transform the entire body. Intricate muscle development through proper dance technique will get you to tight and toned physique you've been looking for. Barre & Baby classes will build your body from your core out to your arms and legs to create a dynamic and fluid approach to fitness.

Review: A beautiful space and a sweet workout with your little one. May favorite part is that we used our little ones as our weights. If they wanted to explore they are free to roam the room while mom still gets her workout in.

Fit4Mom: Stroller Strides

Description: Stroller Strides is a total fitness program that moms can do with their babies. It includes power walking and intervals of strength and body toning exercises using exercise tubing, the stroller and the environment. Taught by certified and specially trained fitness instructors, it is a great workout for any level of exerciser. Stroller Strides instructors weave songs and activities into the routine designed to entertain and engage baby, while moms are led through a series of exercises specific to her role as mom

Review: Fun in the sun with the little one! My favorite part of this class was how we interacted with our little ones throughout the class. We sang classic children's songs and incorporated them into our workout. (Imagine singing "Head, shoulders, knees, & toes" a few times while incorporating squats) The littles love it and BONUS, stay after class and get to know other moms for the stay and play.

Bubbles: Mama Bootcamp at Lincoln Park Zoo

Description:A year-round, high intensity interval training program — we rebuild, bond, stretch and revitalize. Kim Schiefelbein leads a bootcamp style workout that is a combination of running, weight training, ballet and barre. Mama Bootcamp is the perfect way to exercise and socialize while still being with baby. We provide child care assistants at every class. 

Review: Holy Guacamole, this class is amazing! My favorite part of this class is that they having childcare! As you run through the different parts of the zoo and park, there are 2 extra people dedicated to watching your kids so you don't miss out on a single push up or set of stairs! BONUS: Stay and play a the zoo after, we made an entire day of it!

Gratitude Yoga: Kids and Family Yoga
Description:The kids & family yoga classes are designed to involve every family member- All ages are welcome and yoga experience is not required. Even moms with newborn babies are welcome to come and get their stretch-on while their little ones are in the room. It is a happy and safe environment. The class will involve: review of yoga poses, an introduction to meditation, journaling and practicing partner activities. gratitude provides a warm, calm & welcoming environment to all ages of the family! The class is a great way to spend time with your kids, meet new families and stay warm on the weekend! 

Review: This was such a welcoming environment and kid friendly family yoga class! Leo was free to wander the room, and he even took a break from his busy schedule to do a few poses with me! We love doing moms and me classes and most of them are for 6 weeks to crawling and Leo is just too adventurous for those classes. This class was perfect because even thought he wasn't ready to do the poses on his own, he was able to interact with me while I got to get my stretch on! ALSO: What a perfect way to end my week of fitness, I felt relaxed yet energized and was able to stretch out all my sore muscles from all the other fitness classes I went to this week!

If you haven't joined Parachute yet, try out your first month for only $39! Use the code: JESI at the checkout. Sign up here, to see the different options of classes and class times they offer!

Let me know if you ever want to schedule a fitness playdate!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Get Outside and Enjoy Time To YOURSELF

My favorite season has always been fall but I am FALLing in love with spring. Having a 14 month old in the spring has been so much fun! We love to hike, jump in puddles, go for trail runs and more. It is so important to get outside and take a break, and believe it or not it's totally possible with a 14 month old! I just strap him on my back or in his adventure mobile (our running stroller) and off we go!

With all this outdoor active time, its also important to fuel up! For Leo, I bring sliced fruits  and freeze dried yogurt snacks. For myself my go to has been Cafe Breaks Pudding. I LOVE sweet coffee flavors and this pudding comes in all sorts of cafe latte flavors ( Mocha Latte, Caramel Latte, Chai Latte, and French Vanilla Latte). I love that it is Gluten free, only 100 Calories or less per cup and that milk is the first ingredient

Follow #lovecafebreaks and if you join Ibotta you can get this rebate!

I have been compensated for this post, but opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Summer Fitness Series!

June 7th marks the start date for the outdoor Stroller Fitness class! The class will be a perfect mix  of Cardio drills, strength training exercises, yoga and pilates!

You can sign up for the event using this link!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Favorites: OM FOR THE MOM (Mothers Day Giveaway!)

For my 32nd birthday my husband Ryan gave me an amazing book that I just can't put down. I continue to use it for daily mantras, to reference for a yoga class I'm teaching, or to share with a mom in need! Ryan could see that I felt lost after having Leo, taking on this new role as a mother all while trying not to lose myself in the process. He couldn't have found a more perfect book to help me create a formula that works for me on my journey. I love this book so much I have to share it with you!

OM for the Mom, written by local Chicago Yogi Vanessa Palmer takes you on a magical journey on the little OM PILL of life- riding love, passion, inner peace @ abundance!

It's an easy ready that breaks down into three main "Sutras". A sutra means a thread or line that holds things together, its the formula, the rule to go by. 

Sutra 1: Mind, Body, Spirit 

This section is all about the soul, manifestation, love, yoga, meditation, gratitude, prayer, soul cleansing, soul reflection, life's simple moments and more! Its just so juicy and you will keep coming back for more in the first sutra.

Sutra 2: The Devine Feminine

Here we dive into the gentle warrior spirit, intuition, building spiritual relationships, becoming a mother, the pause we take when becoming a mother and living the slow life, patience and peace, leading by example, and a ton of beautiful mantras and meditations.

Sutra 3: Dreams & Passion

This is so important because as women, we still need to feed our own personal dreams and passions. " Keep company of people who are going to inspire and lift you higher". The importance of building a tribe and community and life path lessons to learn from are all covered in this portion of the book

The book provides the ingredients to create your own formula for life and answers questions like: 

How do I live a happy and fulfilled life? Find my purpose, passion and path in life? Manage all of life's responsibilities? Improve my relationships? Balance work, motherhood, and myself to live a more holistic lifestyle? What are the most important things to teach my children? How can I start living from the inside out and attract more of what I want out of life?

I have partnered up with Vanessa and I am giving away a signed copy of OM for the Mom to one lucky gal! ( You don't have to be a mom and can totally benefit from all this book has to offer even if you aren't a mom, its a souls journey to love and freedom.)

To enter the Mothers Day Giveaway:

  • Visit my Instagram Page: @altruisticyogini
  • "Like" the OM for the Mom post
  • Tag a friend for an extra entry (Tag as many friends as you would like!)
  • Answer this question on the post: What is your formula for self-care? Your personal OM Formula?