During my teen years, I was obsessed with buying sneakers throughout high school and, at 15 years old, I got my first part-time job to fund my sneaker habit. As a tall girl, I didn't have the average women's shoe size that would give me the option of cute sandals and shoes like every other girl, so I decided to collect men's basketball shoes to create fly looks instead. During college, my shoe collection dwindled as my obsession subsided but I always kept an eye out for a dope pair of sneakers with a fly outfit to match.
Today, sneakers have taken a new role when it comes to women's ready to wear styles and have once again become a core staple in my forever evolving wardrobe. As high heels have taken a position at the back of my closet these days, sneakers worn with statement pieces such as dresses, skirts and women's suits have inspired a wider range of stylish possibilities.
I'm always impressed by feminine looks paired with a dope tennis shoe. With both comfort and style being a major priority, especially as we age, sneakers are a creative alternative to completing a high fashion look. With celebrities such as Tracee Ellis Ross and Zendaya showing us how to slay in their Jumpmans, I decided to swap my heels for cushioned soles to create eye-catching outfits with a sneaker to match.
The Power Suit
If you've been following my posts, you know I love an oversized blazer. With the matching trousers, this vibrant power suit was created for these royal blue and green high top Jordan 1 sneakers. Paired with a coordinating aqua blue halter neck one piece for a dramatic effect, this is a colorful combination look to kickstart a vibrant summer. This sneaker compliments this look effortlessly highlighting the versatility of both the shoe and this must-have suit.
What I'm Wearing:
One piece: Riot Swim
Sneaker: Jumpan 23
A Modest Take
I've never been into wearing dresses other than special occasions but this summer, I want to explore my classy yet chic feminine side starting with this lightweight sand-colored overcoat. Worn as a belted dress, I paired a light brown sunnie with a matching tan Telfar bag for a transitional spring to summer look. With rolled sleeves to keep my cool, I'm living for this look worn with a black, white and gold high top Jumpman sneaker.
What I'm Wearing:
Vintage overcoat: Dainty World Collective
Mini Bag: Telfar
Sunglasses: Zara (similar)
Shoes: Jumpan 23
As a new downtown resident, I find sneakers are way more practical when running my weekly errands around my neighborhood. While I love dressing up when the spirit moves me, I still reach for practical yet stylish accessories that assist me in getting things done while making me look good. I'm loving the asymmetrical trend so I paired a mid-length slit skirt with a mint green silk crop top and Telfar bag to match my low top Jordans. What I love most about this look, it's easy to transition from day to night with a quick change of shoe.
What I'm Wearing:
Top: Zara (old)
To get your fashion fix and to stay up to date with the latest trends, check out the xoNecole Style section here.
Featured image by Shahirah Ahmed/xoNecole
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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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