'Tis the season to be cozy so prepare yourself for a stylishly comfortable winter. Although 2020 has been the catalyst of a major shift in our lives, we've all been forced to adjust our wardrobes accordingly all while attempting to remain fly while doing so. In the midst of our lives totally changing overnight, it's been amazing to witness the evolution of fashion and adapting to a forever-changing world through our wardrobes. Even during a life-altering pandemic, as a collective, fashion girls have proven that great style can still be effortless yet practical at the same time.
While winter is always a challenging time of year, sneakers remain a reliable choice for cold weather essentials whether you're a self-proclaimed sneakerhead or not. For the last few months, I'm loving the everyday casual slays witnessed outside and on my Instagram feed. This week, I took lessons from the most fashionable sneaker baes schooling the rest of us on how to experiment with cool casual style this winter season. With a variety of looks paired with the trendiest of styles, these are the best and most colorful sneaker looks I've seen throughout the week.
Brianna Monae, @discoverbri
Black on black may be the chicest of all looks and the perfect setup to add a pop of colorful accessories. Leather pants are a girl's best friend this time of year and, casually speaking, adding a sneaker is a practical way of wearing this cold weather essential this particular winter season.
We've traded in our two-piece office suit for sweatsuits this year and I'm not mad about it. I love this chic winter coat and trendy paper bag clutch paired with a traditional gray sweatsuit and sneakers for a casual glam look. The mixture of cream elevates this leisure look, perfect for the fashion gal on the go.
One thing about this look is the neon green for me! This is the perfect time of year to pair black with colorful neons for an aura like no other. Matching your outfit with your sneaker's color scheme is another fun way to experiment with color. Grab a stylish pair of sunglasses as well and you'll really take it up a few more notches.
It's all about color coordination and finding what colors work perfectly with one another. I love this sneaker look because it's practical for everyday wear while inspiring new ways to mix prints and multiple colors in one cool look. Cargo pants are a must-have when thinking of outfits to pair with sneakers as well as vintage sweatshirts for a super stylish throwback look.
Claire Most, @claire_most
Whoever created the infamous mantra, "no white after Labor Day" must have been unaware that fashion simply has no rules, especially in 2021. I'm obsessed with this effortless head-to-toe casual cream outfit, perfect for winter. Super cute and easily achievable, this daytime sneaker look is one for the books.
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Featured image courtesy of Instagram/@samyjovalentine
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Release Stress & Restore Harmony In Your Body With Shaking Meditation
When we reflect on our own path as women in light of the women who came before us, it’s easy to see that the loads we’ve carried haven’t always been the lightest. From everyday stresses to generational trauma with roots that are difficult to trace, one must ask where all that weight goes if we never release it.
The body holds the score for all the anxieties, worries, and unease that we’ve endured over time. Family and society often tell us to quiet our emotions, maintain a brave face, and keep our emotions bottled up within. But as we know, anything with too much pressure will eventually burst.
And while we are steadily discovering self-care methods like meditation to shed this emotional baggage, it may take a little more than sitting still in the quiet of our mind to let go of our deep-rooted tension. Fortunately, mindful movement could be an unexpected way for you to let go of worry and anxiety while building emotional resiliency, and such is the case with shaking meditation.
What Is Shaking Meditation?
Shaking meditation is a form of tension and trauma-releasing exercises or TRE that “assists the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension, and trauma.” This series of exercises of muscular shaking and vibrating activates a natural reflex mechanism that releases muscular tension, thus calming down the nervous system and encouraging your body to return back to a state of balance.
“Shaking meditation can be powerful because it moves your body — and in Eastern medicine, we say that moves your chi,” says Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac, a ninth-generation doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and author of Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation.
According to Dr. Kim, understanding chi helps us understand our bodies and how we're feeling mentally, physically, and spiritually. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chi is known to represent your life force; it is the energy that flows through you and everything, and in many cultures, plays an essential role in our health.
“We have chi that moves in our blood and throughout our entire body; connecting our organ systems, muscles, and joints,” she tells xoNecole. “It allows everything to function and to be nourished. We know blood travels throughout our body through our circulatory system, but chi also travels through our body — much in the same way — through the meridian system. If you picture chi as vital energy, it moves the blood.”
It’s important for our body’s chi to stay in flow. When we go about our daily life with stress, trauma, or even mental injuries, our energy becomes stagnant. But various movement practices like Qigong or shaking meditation encourage your chi to circulate through your body which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which “is in charge of telling our brain and body to calm down, relax, ultimately, let go,” Dr. Kim says.
As Black women, there are times in life when it feels like we bear the weight of the world on our shoulders, with few spaces to go when we need to lighten the load. But as Dr. Kim explains, because women are “naturally yin beings,” we take on more because we can handle more. “According to the energies of nature that have been passed down for thousands of years, women are more complex. And what that almost always means is that we can think a lot more.” And while that speaks to the resiliency of our being, it can have a negative effect on our bodies when we store more than we release.
“If we don't have ways of releasing this, it will ultimately affect our lives physically, mentally, and spiritually. Then it passes on to our children, and that's where we get generational trauma,” she says.
Although shaking meditation may be a new and unfamiliar practice, it’s one that could prove to be beneficial to those who have experienced trauma on an individual and communal level. The movements are simple to follow and accessible, and in a matter of minutes, you’ll feel more calm and relaxed, while relieving any anxiety, frustration, and tension inside of you.
So if you’re ready to restore harmony within your body, here are the steps to perform shaking meditation on your own.
How To Incorporate Shaking Meditation Into Your Daily Routine:
Step 1: “Stand with your feet hip-width apart. You can do this while sitting or standing — depending on your comfort level. Make sure all of your joints are soft, so nothing's locked.
Step 2: “Begin raising onto your tiptoes and falling back onto your heels. Not so hard to where you're shocking your spine, but enough to just kind of wake up your body. Repeat three to five times, dropping down onto your heels.”
Step 3: “Next, start with your hands first and shake them. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Shake them and go up to your arms, to your elbows, and then up to your shoulders. Now your whole arms should be moving.”
Step 4: “Then you can start your legs, repeating the same shaking movement. You then move your feet moving, go up through your core, and then shake everything out through your head.”
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