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501 W. North Ave
Chicago, IL, 60610

(630) 803-7157

Welcome to Gratitude Yoga! Gratitude Yoga offers yoga and yoga-fusion based classes. Gratitude’s classes support the entire client spectrum from first time students to experienced yogis. All are welcome! Bring your mat and meet new people in the Chicago community by taking yoga classes at the All About Dance studio located between Old Town and Lincoln Park! 

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OFF THE MAT

Jump for Joy

Lisa Scurlock


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Who else is jumping for joy?! Maybe it's because I get to marry my preschool soulmate, perhaps it's from all the #joblove, possibly the chicago summer has something to do with it, but all I want to do lately is jump for joy! This week on the blog I will be sharing with you ways to get your good vibrations pumping, off the mat.

Definition of JOY

1 – the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. Delight. The expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety.
2 – a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3 – a source or cause of delight.

How often do you feel complete joy? Do you crave feeling joyous? What is holding you back from attracting more joy in your life?

Why jumping? Jumping is up lifting (literally). You use your own energy, strength and determination to jump. Jumping is a metaphor for life and a symbol for expressing and sharing joy. Jumping is celebration. Jumping is fun. Jumping is silly. Jumping is freeing. Jumping is energizing. Jumping is good for your health, soul and spirit. Jumping gets your blood pumping and gives you an adrenaline rush. It is a unique expression of who you are. Jumping for joy celebrates all that is good and positive in the world. Try it, I dare you.


Podcasts get me jazzed. Have an extra 15-20 minutes during your morning commute to listen to some up lifting words of wisdom? My latest addiction has been Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations. Check out the podcasts below:


Museum Junkie. Chicago is filled with museums and offers free admission certain days of the week. I instantly feel inspired, renewed and joyful the moment I walk into a museum. Explore art, animals, science, planets...whatever you are interested in.

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Food Envy. When was the last time you tasted something out of this world that made your taste buds turned on? Sometimes we savor in the cooking, but most of the time I relish in the tasting. I think you should treat yourself to at least one amazing meal a week. This could be something you prepare at home, or maybe you splurge and try a new Chicago restaurant to wine and dine.  Most importantly, this meal should be unplugged, uninterrupted and uncensored. 


Some products I have been using that give me an extra boost throughout the day!


 

 

 

 

Time is on my side

Lisa Scurlock


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how to stop time: kiss

how to travel in time: read

how to escape time: music

how to feel time: write

how to release time: breathe

Lately I have been feeling very pressed for time. With our wedding coming up time has been very crucial. I feel like every moment, every second matters. 

Another reason I think I feel like this is because the weather in Chicago is (finally) beautiful. Why do the winter months go by so slow and the summer months fly by? 

We all have the same hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month and months in the year...so why is time such a tricky thing?

We are all busy, but before using that as an excuse I challenge you this week to take some time out of your 'busy' schedule to kiss, read, listen to music, write and breathe off the mat


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"By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you've achieved, you can actually enhance everything about you. Self acknowledgement and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments."

#practicegratitude

 


TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS

DON'T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO. This is a hard one, that I personally struggle with. Saying no won’t make people hate you, but saying yes and failing to deliver will make you look and feel bad. Also, don't apologize for your decision to say no. Make sure you stay focused on keeping your life balanced. Make lists of things you need to accomplish, prioritize what matters most and stick to the list. 

NOURISH YOUR SOUL. Exploring creative endeavors unrelated to your full-time job will help you nourish your soul. Do you have a hobby? Is there something you have always wanted to try? I recently began blogging and it has been such a fun outlet for me - something completely different from teaching 20-some classes a week. Learn to knit, take a cooking class or go for a dip and swim in the pool.

MOVE YOUR BODY. Often times people use the excuse "I don't have time to work out". This is when you need it the most. Working out gives you energy, boosts your metabolism, signals endorphins and releases toxins. When we exercise we feel better in our skin and will feel motivated to accomplish more tasks, therefore we can practice better time management. Even if you only have thirty minutes to move your body, do it! 

REST. Resting is just as important as working out and exercising. You don't have to take an hour-long nap or even close your eyes. Recline in your favorite chair, imagine your happy place and for a few moments let go of the real life worries. 

CREATE A MORNING AND BEDTIME ROUTINE. Help get your day off to a productive start. The first thing I do when I wake up...no, it's not checking my email...I lay in bed for 60 seconds meditate and imagine my day. I think about the places I will go, the people I will see, the classes I will teach and the feelings I will feel. This ritual makes me excited for the day. In the evening I set aside quiet time. I reflect on my day by journaling, or I read in bed, or I meditate on things I am manifesting into my life. The best part is these things don't take a lot of time. 

Finally, when it seems like all you do is work, do your best to maintain perspective. It can be helpful to remind yourself that the stress will not last forever, and in the meantime, you have plenty of resources to cope with the stress, take back control of your life, because time in on your side.


5 things to do everyday...that don't cost a thing!

Lisa Scurlock


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Improving your life doesn't mean you have to break the bank. There are a number of things I love to do, that can turn my frown upside down and make the day one to remember. Here are 5 of my favorites that I try do everyday off the mat.

 

5 THINGS TO DO EVERYDAY...THAT DON'T COST A THING!

1. SMILE. For a reason or for no reason at all. Just flex the muscles. 

2. FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR YESTERDAY'S MISTAKES. We all make mistakes, it's part of being human. In fact, sometimes we should give ourselves permission to make more mistakes. When we make mistakes we learn and grow. Make mistakes and then forgive yourself.

3. BREATHE. Taking long deep breaths in and out can shift a "bad day" to a "good day".

4. GO TO BED EARLY. There is such a thing as beauty rest. You cannot cheat yourself on sleep and not have it affect you. Being tired makes it more difficult to be happy. 

5. EXPRESS GRATITUDE. Stop comparing yourself with others on things you don't have and start recognizing all the things you do have. Practicing gratitude will make life better for everyone around you and will make you a better person.


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I am not going to lie, with these things that don't cost a thing there are definitely ways to enhance the experience. 

 

It is always easier to smile when our lips are happy. This lipstick is my latest obsession. Also I always have some type of lip moisturizer on me at all times. 

 

I love to shower and do some of my best self reflecting under water. Forgive yourself, cleanse yourself, rinse away the day and enjoy shower time!

 

Breathe in, breathe out. From candles, to my essential oil diffuser, to my favorite coffee and food, my smeller is in use all the time. Be grateful for your sense of smell and take a moment to breathe.

 

More pillow time please. I struggle with number four a lot. My goal is always to go to bed early, however it doesn't happen every evening.  But when it does, man does it make a difference of how I feel. My fiancé and I just invested in these cooling pillows and they are legit! We highly recommend them. 

 

When was the last time you shopped your closet? Listened to all your vinyls? Went through all the food in your fridge and pantry? We are all consumers and we all want more. But when is enough enough? Notice the things you do have that a lot of people don't have. Stop comparing, start recognizing and practice gratitude off the mat.

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right - brain

Lisa Scurlock


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This week on the blog we are chatting about cReAtIvItY and how to CREATE the life you want to live...off the mat.

I have always been a right - brain dominant creative creature. Growing up, my sisters and I were constantly playing 'make believe' and using our imagination. We didn't have cable TV or video games to distract us...we had each other. Kristen, Lisa and Michelle were always involved in the arts. We dabbled in art classes, we sang in choir, we played the piano and of course we danced. 

In school I was always that student who would spend hours working on a project. I am a visual learner so I loved creating vision boards. Give me a project over taking a test or writing a paper any day. 

When researching and visiting colleges I didn't know where I wanted to go, however I knew I wanted to study dance. Several people change their major throughout their college years. I stuck to my intuition and graduated with a dance degree and communications minor. 

Then one day I decided to create my own business, Gratitude Yoga Chicago. Unsure where this new adventure would take me, I trusted my gut and went for it. Today I can honestly say owning a business / being a business owner has been the coolest thing I have done in my life. 

Balance, in life, is something I am constantly working on. I think it's important to try to find a balance between your right and left brain. Sometimes our left brain can hold us back. Logic and reasoning take over and cloud our right - brain creative powers. Everything in life begins with an idea. If you have an idea, explore it! Create the life you want to live. 


Here are some ways I get the creative juices flowing...

Read - books, magazines, blogs, personal journals, newspapers.

Sketch - sometimes instead of writing in my journal, I sketch (aka doodle).

Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while - this might spark some new ideas. 

Visit a park - be outside, surround yourself with creative energy (children, dogs, nature).

Find a hobby - adding side projects in your life can actually inspire creativity for the main project you are working on. I love interior design and enjoy rearranging my home every so often, or adding a new pillow accent into the space.  

Cook - believe it or not, the food we eat affects our brain. Choose a new healthy recipe from your favorite cookbook

Exercise - ride your bike, go for a walk, sign up for an intramural sport, take a yoga class.


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Most importantly believe in yourself. The minute you start believing in yourself is when you begin creating the life you want to live. 



Spring

Lisa Scurlock


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This week on the blog I am manifesting S P R I N G off the mat.

Oh the weather outside has been frightful...can we agree? We are technically in our Spring season, however Chicago has been holding on to Winter. I do believe seasonal depression is a thing, and I think I experience the ebbs and flows of it. Often times I ask myself "why do I live in Chicago?" and the answer continues to remain the same. My family, my friends and the seasons. I have the flexibility to take my business and career anywhere, but Chicago continues to be my home sweet home. 

I am grateful for these past two days in Chicago where it has authentically felt like Spring! Climbing out of hibernation and doing some of my favorite spring activities makes me fall in love with Chicago all over again.


FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN THE SPRING TIME

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  • Go for a walk - the moment the weather is nice enough to go for a walk I am happy camper. Whether it is through the Lincoln Park Zoo, along the 606 trail or in our quant Lincoln Square neighborhood, walking is gratifying. 
  • Aromatherapy - candles, essential oils, take a bath, buy myself flowers
  • Watch the sunset - with the time change the days are longer and I get home in time from work to enjoy watching the sunset (almost) every day from my loft apartment. 
  • Spring cleaning - My fiancé and I try to keep our apartment/home/sanctuary clean and tidy. We believe when we feel good in our home, we feel good in our skin.
  • Jump in rain puddles - "April showers bring May flowers".
  • Sage cleansing - One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is jam to some vinyls and sage our home. 

 

What are some of your favorite Spring activities? Comment below and share!


music mayhem

Lisa Scurlock


Today on the blog we are talking about music. If there is one thing I cannot live without it is music. I am so grateful for my gift to hear. As a dancer and yogi, my body is my tool and out of all of my body parts I think I use my ears the most. What sense do you use most? 

I have always been musical, and music has always been a part of my life. Growing up with two sisters who, like me, danced and played the piano, there was a lot of sounds going on in our home. Whenever our family was in the car we were listening to the oldies station or our latest favorite cassette tape. My parents cultured me and my sisters by taking us to the theatre! From Chicago, The Lion King, Miss Saigon, to Music Man, West Side Story, and Newsies, the Scurlocks have seen quite a few broadway musicals. Along with piano I have taken voice and guitar lessons. I might have a obsession with purchasing concert tickets. Watch out, I am really good at "name that tune".  


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Music is yoga. I listen to music during my personal yoga practice, when I teach yoga, and of course off the mat. Music is movement's impeccable partner. When married these two forces help me feel fully alive. Songs with lyrics or instrumental guide me through my spiritual journey and help me sink into a meditative state.

When I began gratitude YOGA four years ago I created the class, YOGA JAM. A yoga class with themed musical playlists...which leads me to our next topic, playlists.

Remember when we used to create mixed tapes? Or record from the radio? Those skills from back in the day taught me how to make some killer playlists. 

One of my favorite things to do is hit up a local Chicago cafe, put on my earbuds, open Spotify and jam out to music. I spend hours making playlists for my yoga classes, however it is time well spent because I get to enjoy the music off the mat. My fiancé and I listen to music more than we watch the television. Our vinyl collection continues to grow, we dance around the kitchen while we cook and our car rides wouldn't be complete without some tunes. Did you know we are creating the playlists for our wedding?!

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Enjoy some of my latest favorite jams...as always it's a random mix.


FOLK

BLUES

OLDIES

POP

HIP HOP

MUSICAL THEATRE

INSTRUMENTAL


What would the soundtrack to your life sound like? Comment below and share!


3 favorite ways to practice gratitude

Lisa Scurlock


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Today I am sharing my three favorite ways to practice gratitude, off the mat.

  1. Journaling : write it down. There is something so beautiful about your individual script. No one can copy your handwriting, no one can judge your words, and it's free. Grab your favorite journal and pen and start writing!
  2. Dreaming / Day dreaming. Most evenings I lay in bed reviewing my day and being grateful for every experience, every lesson, every smile. Starting the day practicing gratitude is sometimes better than coffee...okay maybe I won't go that far, but it definitely helps me slither out of my bed sheets.
  3. Photographs. If anyone knows me, they know I have the worst memory. Looking through old photos brings back memories, feelings and makes me appreciate the life I have already lived. 

Practicing GRATITUDE is a practice. The only way to get better at it, is to do it. What is your favorite way to practice?


Introducing our blog!

Lisa Scurlock


Welcome to our blog! Lisa Scurlock is the founder and owner of Gratitude Yoga Chicago. On the blog, Lisa shares ways to practice GRATITUDE and practice YOGA off the mat

Yoga is more than asana and more than our sixty minutes (give or take) on the yoga mat. Be inspired with ways to live a life full of love & gratitude. You will also find tools and tips to live your best life, from Lisa's favorite yoga attire, to healthy recipes, to her favorite gratitude journals. 

When Lisa isn't on her yoga mat, practicing or teaching you can find her in a record store buying vinyls or sipping coffee at her favorite Chicago cafes. She is an Auntie to three nephews, who keep her young at heart, and teach her more than she will ever teach them.  Lisa loves seeing live concerts and prefers sunsets over sunrises. Did you know she lived on a cruise ship for a year?

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