Like Mother, Like Daughter

Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, going somewhere with a gazillion things to pack for one tiny human, the responsibility of raising a capable adult, and everything in between are what make being a parent tiresome yet fun all at the same time. The idea of motherhood frightened me when I was younger and some days still manages to scare me. It’s a huge responsibility that is also a gift and blessing.  


Children mimic everything you do. I wish someone had told me this 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter so that I could be more prepared for what’s to come. When it came to Olivia, our second I sure thought she would want to do everything her sister did, but come to find out she wants to be just like her mama from my love for fitness, what I like to eat, and even how I dress. It’s probably one of my biggest motivating factors for constantly working on bettering myself to make sure I’m not only a role model for the women in our society, but to my daughters too. From the time I was younger I was always a go-getter. I constantly go against the grain just to discover my superpowers, being a bad ass woman. This is something that I see so strongly with my daughters, especially within Olivia.

The idea of motherhood frightened me when I was younger and some days still manages to scare me. It’s a huge responsibility that is also a gift and blessing.  

Athleta’s mission is to ignite a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other to realize their limitless potential. A mission that touches me to the core. Last summer Athleta released Athleta Girl, a high performing active apparel line encouraging young girls to live a more active life! We recently picked up a few pieces for Olivia before she went to yoga camp this summer and she’s been in love with them since.

She has a tendency to wear them where ever we go when it comes to something active, like hiking, bike rides, and even during her yogi playtime.

The moment I became a mother, I wanted everything to be perfect for my children including myself and even more so I imagined that I CAN make it perfect for them. And when things aren’t perfect, my own insecurity can get the best of me. It’s easy to be fooled by the beautiful posts you see on media where the archetype of a good mom is a woman who’s house is impeccably tidy, her kids have never seen a speck of dirt on their clothes, and dinner is always a 4 course meal. But then something clicked: my daughters have never had another mother in their life and everything that I am doing and everything that I am is PERFECT AND ENOUGH FOR THEM!

If there’s one lesson I hope that they will learn it’s that life is isn’t about perfection. It’s about chasing your dreams, believing yourself, and empowering others along the way.

This post was sponsored by Athleta and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own

photos by my talented 13 year old daughter, Airis Alexandra Encarnacion


 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Is sitting unhealthy for you?

For a good period of time you would hear about the negative impact that sitting for long periods of time can create. Even Apple and many other smart watch/fitness trackers will send you notifications to remind you to stand, get blood flow going, and to move around throughout your day to break up the long periods of sitting. Throughout time our jobs and lives have become a bit more sedentary, we work from desks most of the day, we've become accustomed to using services like Isntacart, Task rabbits, and even meal delivery services to fulfill some of the simple day to day duties like grocery shopping which helps us to increase our activity while buying the next meal.  I'm not judging I'm guilty of it. I love using Instacart for grocery shopping. The time I spend grocery shopping is now spent spending time with the girls, going to the gym, or working on my blog. Not a bad trade off. 

Throughout a majority of my working life I've had jobs that required my to stand. The 10 years I was a hairstylist, I rarely sat down while working on a client. Even during my corporate career at VSCO we had standing desks and areas in the office where we could stand. You can check out this beautiful office tour on Hypebeast. Along with an incredibly designed workspace, one of the things that I missed about that job was the standing desk that came with it. I spent a lot of my time at VSCO in meetings, walking outdoors with team mates to conduct our 1:1s, and mostly standing at my desk or at one of the laptop bar areas scattered throughout that beautiful space. 

photos by Mariko Reed

photos by Mariko Reed

Unfortunately, when I left VSCO I couldn't take my standing desk with me. (I should've asked for one in the severance agreement, LOL JK!) When I started to create #mytinycorner and office space for studying and working at home I didn't have the start up budget VSCO had to set up a workspace like that. Instead I purchase an awesome desk that fit my needs and aesthetic until just about now. 

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9 months of sitting at without the ability to immediately adjust my work area has made my lower back tight. It feels as if the lower vertabrae are smashed up tightly against each other which is where stretching and yoga has really come in handy. A few weeks ago I began to ask all my followers on IG stories for desk recommendations and oh boy did my friends come through with some amazing recommendations. I had some requirements too. The standing desk could either be one I could put on top of my current desk or a completely new one.  The desk needed to be white, aesthetic is important to my work environment. The dimensions had to be no bigger than 48" x 24" since the area I have for my desk is legitimately a tiny little corner.  

Movi Workspace

Movi Workspace

A few that were recommended to me were: InMovement, Varidesk, and one from a brand called Movi Workspace, which is the one I've decided to get after spending days and nights bookmarking and researching different options. Since I just got my desk, I wasn't ready to part with it quite yet, but needed a standing desk option that was sleek, well designed, electric, could fit two screens (I work off my laptop and 27" monitor) and didn't require a big fat piece of equipment sitting on top of my delicate workspace area. Movi Workspace seemed to fit all those requirements. It's currently on Kickstarter and I'm proudly backing this particular project because of my own needs, of course. Just kidding, but honestly this is the first design I've seen that matches my desire to fulfill a more minimal lifestyle.

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Here are other standing desk options online: 

For more information on Movi Workspace check out their Kickstarter here. 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.

Journal With Jo: Bullet Journal Review

Journal With Jo: Bullet Journal Review

I had heard about The Bullet Journal system at some point last year, but never got into it. Truth be told I was so intimidated by all the beautiful artwork I had seen on all the different YouTube videos and immediately decided it just wasn’t for me. I had been using Passion Planner for some time, but felt that it was no longer suiting my lifestyle and needed a system that I could customize based on my needs for that week. Plus I was just tired of carrying a planner and a separate notebook to jot my thoughts down. 

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Soul seeking in Baja, a Todos Santos Travel Guide

Soul seeking in Baja, a Todos Santos Travel Guide

Somedays your soul is screaming to take you away from the life you're living, not because you hate it or because you're so done (well maybe) but other times your soul needs a quick 3 day break to become re-inspired with life.  One of my good friend and fellow creatives, Meg,  sent me a text one day back in spring and it said, "Flights are on sale on Southwest to Mexico, let's go!" and without any hesitation I said, "Ok, FUCK IT, booking flights now." And so was the start of a spontaneous getaway with little to no planning on what we would do, see, or eat in Cabo San Lucas. Months passed after booking our flights and we still hadn't planned a place to stay, so again with little research, Meg called me one day and said, "I booked Hotel San Cristobal, I'm not really sure what's around there, but figured it's better for us to have somewhere to sleep, than nothing, and Vogue said it was cool." 

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The Refined Collective: Just Breathe

Inhale....exhale...breathe here. Relief stress in life and your workouts by simply breathing.

These are the words I have been hearing every single day in each and every single one of my yoga classes and throughout my Yoga teacher training through Corepower Yoga. As I've mentioned before, I have a love/hate relationship and sometimes still find myself really struggling with my breath. So when one says just breathe, I wonder are they telling me this while I'm in a difficult asana, a different moment in my life, or both? Every notice how they often say in yoga, "What you do on your mat here, take it with you in life.." The greatest lesson I've learned in my short lived yoga practice is how important it is to let go and allow yourself to feel the difficulties and just breathe.

Our minds and bodies are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. What we can achieve if we give ourselves a chance is simply amazing. But do you ever notice that when you're training and that rep is extra heavy or you're in a challenging pose, the one thing your body seems to do is hold onto your breath. It's a defense mechanism our bodies initiate when we feel we're in danger. We brace our entire bodies, tighten up every fiber inside us, and hold on to our breath as if its the last one we'll take. It's as if we our lives are threatened.

Breathing doesn't just affect our physical state, it also controls our emotions more specifically anger and fear. Your breath can engage the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as your rest and digest system. Breathing deeply into your lower abdomen engages the relaxation response and makes you feel more calm, present, and centered. This has a huge effect on your day because when you feel calm internally, everything going on externally feels much less abrasive. You can handle road bumps, deadlines, and anything else that comes your way with a greater sense of ease, intuition, and presence.

During a workout and in life there are two methods of breathing that can help you relief stress and get you through your movements. 

SOFT BELLY BREATH

Practice in bed in the morning or evening with your knees bent. If sitting in a chair, sit upright so you’re able to support your own spine. Place your hands on your belly, thumbs at the navel and fingertips below. Allow the belly to expand under your fingertips on the inhale and to contract on the exhale.

Envision an ocean wave: The belly expands on the inhale – the wave rises; the navel contracts on the exhale – the wave returns to the ocean. If you aren’t getting any movement, press your fingertips gently into your belly so you know it’s contracting on the exhale. Release the press on the inhale. As the expansion and contraction become more natural, focus on keeping a rhythmic breathing pattern, where the inhale and exhale are equal. Soft belly breathing can reduce tension in the neck and shoulders, massage the heart, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for rest and digest) through the phrenic nerve that runs down both sides of the diaphragm.

ECCENTRIC/CONCENTRIC BREATHING

Concentric muscle actions (the muscle shortens under load) and eccentric muscle actions (the muscle lengthens under load).  You think of this as lifting, holding and lowering the weight or the best trick I remembered this motion during yoga anatomy class was concentric was for contracting muscles and eccentric was for elongating. 

The basic breathing during exercise is inhale during the lengthening or eccentric portion of your movement or exercise, and exhale during the concentric or contraction phase. To give an example using a bicep curl as the example, inhale to start when your muscles are lengthened and exhale when you curl the weight into your shoulder and contract your bicep. During a squat form it might be a little confusing because the contraction or shortening might look like its in your body, but think about the muscle you are working, the glutes. Inhale as you lower your body down, exhale as you push your body back into standing position.

It's important to understand breath in every area of your life to bring self awareness in to your day to day actions and into your movement during exercise. 

This Post is curated in conjunction with the ladies of The Refined Collective.  Be sure and read the other articles on "Just Breathe" today by: The Refined Woman,  Jackie V.Tonyha Kae, and Tutti del Monte, Julien Garman, Nikkia Phoenix, Brynn Watkins, Jessica Chow

Also, join us over on instagram today under #therefinedcollective to see what everyone else has to say.

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.