Get REAL with Catherine Gignac, AEO’s Manager of Digital Creative! Read on to learn more about how she uses yoga to help balance the stress of everyday life, her favorite pose and what #AerieREAL means to her.
You’re amazing at yoga! How did you begin?
Haha, thanks! It’s fun to be able to go upside down and stand on my head. Those poses constantly push me to try new, scarier things. But really, that’s not why I do yoga. Work and life are stressful (so gross, right?) and yoga balances all that out. I can have a rough day, go to yoga and then feel completely decoupled from what was dragging me down prior to class. I get far fewer headaches because my back and neck muscles are stronger. I take myself less seriously because I’ve learned to goof around and take risks on my mat. I’ve felt my highest highs and my lowest lows emotionally while practicing, but it’s always healing and empowering to just be alone with my breath and my thoughts. Plus, no one can tell whether you’re dripping tears or sweat! Most importantly, like-attracts-like and the community of yogis at my studio has sourced most of my closest friendships in life. We support each other and often say, “Detox before you retox,” and go out together after my Friday night class.
What’s your favorite yoga pose?
I have a love-hate relationship with double pigeon. It’s a crazy deep hip-opener that feels so good sometimes and so tense others. Yogis often say that we hold our emotional baggage in our hips. We run on them, sit on them, drive on them and they’re the biggest joints in our bodies. When we slowly open them up, we also peel away at layers of built up emotion that we haven’t let go of — kind of like peeling layers off an onion. Sounds crazy, but it’s true!
For somebody who is interested but hasn’t given yoga a chance, what would you say to them?
Just go and try it! Ironically, I hated my first class, but I found myself going to teacher training just a few years later. As a teacher, I always hear things like “I’ve thought about it but I don’t like the heat,” “I’m not flexible enough,” “Oh, I couldn’t do what you do!” but it’s not about that. I have students in my class from 11 to 72 years old (seriously!) of all different weights, health issues, and injuries. We encourage everyone to go at their own pace and do what they can. This week, a student of mine told me she’d been in a car accident and needs yoga to help rehabilitate her back. Another told me yoga helped her remain calm and get through the nightmare of having her newborn in the NICU for many months. Everyone comes to yoga for a physical experience, but if they stick with it, they end up having a total mind, body, spirit experience that few other forms of exercise can mirror.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
My favorite quote is “You may think I’m small, but I have a universe inside my mind.” — Yoko Ono. I’ve loved this one for awhile because I’m pretty small in stature but I’m big in personality. Anytime I feel like I’m being underestimated or unheard, I think about this quote and remember we’re all pretty freakin’ powerful and expansive in what we can dream and accomplish. Another really great reading I love to share with my yoga class was introduced to me by my yoga mentor and it’s called the Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Check it out, it’ll move you!
What does #AerieREAL mean to you?
Ah, so much! I’ve loved watching the #AerieREAL campaign grow from a wee idea into a huge movement over the last few years. It’s the best feeling to have friends of mine, all in their late twenties and early thirties, tell me they’ve discovered Aerie and love, not just our undies and bralettes, but what we stand for. I’m proud of be part of the organization who decided to take a risk and start talking to girls in a way that we all relate to and deserve. #AerieREAL has inspired me to be less curated…on Instagram, in relationships, with what I say in my yoga classes. I’m unapologetically me, even if it’s means I don’t please everyone or say and do all the right things.
Be sure to follow Catherine on Instagram @catherinegignac and Snapchat at Cathgig!
The new year not only brings new trends, but new challenges! #AerieREAL girl Lauren LeBouef wore our Hi Neck Sports Bra and Sport-ish Crop Legging for a day of yoga at the beach. Read on to learn more about her experience!
“I can honestly say that I am SO in love with this new workout outfit of mine! Something in particular that I love would be how the sports bra has a high neck line! I don’t own any other sports bras that are like that and I’m really liking not only the look of it but also the breathable mesh fabric at the top! When I’m shopping for workout clothes I like to try and find tops that show the cool details of the back of my sports bra’s! This grey top from Aerie has the perfect back cut out to show the crossing details of the sports bra!”
“This month is the perfect time to try something new this year that gets you out of your comfort zone and challenges you! When it came to the yoga part of this photoshoot, it was my first time doing some different and challenging hand stands! I definitely fell down a time or two but yet, kept trying again and again and the challenge was totally worth it! If you’re afraid of trying something new this year, don’t be! Getting out of our comfort zone and got for it! Trying something new this year is an awesome goal to have!”
Photos by: Jessy Spohr Photography
The easiest way to be the star of your next yoga class is to be the one with the best outfit. Our stylist is here to help!
When it comes to hot yoga, it’s no shirt, no problem. We love a matching set like our Hi Neck Sports Bra and matching Sport-ish Crop Leggings for keeping cool and cute. Stay inspired during your practice with Ban.do’s Exercise Mat and hydrated with their Water Bottle. When class ends, keep the heat by adding our Crochet Beanie and Supersoft Knit Poncho to your look. Then get refreshed with a sweep of TonyMoly’s Cleansing Tissues and head out for a green tea or matcha with friends.
Whether you’re an avid runner or starting off the new year with a new exercise routine, stretching is key. While often overlooked, stretching can lead to fewer aches and pain, making working out much more enjoyable and long-lasting. Lisa from LMP Collections shows us how to do 5 easy stretches that can be added to any workout regimen.
“Since I’m a runner, and training for a half marathon here in April, stretching is a BIG part of preventing injury and a great way to loosen up tight muscles. Stretching in the morning is a great way to start off the day and is also very relaxing. Benefits include less muscle aches, more energy, and better posture.”
It’s officially cold outside, which means it’s officially time to get out of town. Our stylist pulled her winter getaway must-haves to get you ready to go. Pack it up, pack it in!
Shop the Look: Crop Bikini Top | Bikini Bottom | Off-The-Shoulder Sweater | Lace Pushup Racerback Bralette | Classic Joggers | K-Swiss Belmont Sneaker | Whish’s Flawless Wax & Shave Serum | Hidden Love Eau De Toilette | Makeup Bag
Getaways are all about the L’s: lounging and laying out. Forget the fancywear and pack your cutest and comfiest warm weather favorites made for much needed R&R. Before you head outside, get your legs ready for sunshine and swimsuits with Whish’s Flawless Wax & Shave Serum. Then go straight to the pool in our extra comfortable Crop Bikini Top (fits like your fave Bralette) and Bikini Bottom.
When the sun goes down, no need to change out of your suit. Just throw on our Off-The-Shoulder Sweater over a pair of Classic Joggers, add cute sneaks like K-Swiss’s Belmont Sneaker and you’ll be ready for easy nighttime fun.
Happy getaways, girls!