Happy National Meditation Month!

Happy National Meditation Month!

Happy May and Happy National Meditation Month! As you may already know, National Meditation Month is celebrated during the month of May, and this is a great time to learn about meditation and its benefits. Moreover, if you’re so inclined, this might even be an optimal time to try meditation if you have never done so, join a meditation challenge, or even start a meditation practice.

Meditation, or Dhyana, (known as the 7th of the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga), is not as separate from yoga as we would believe it to be. Meditation is very much a part of yoga even though we tend to, in western culture, focus less on the whole concept of what yoga is; and instead place our focus only the asana part of yoga, which is the 3rd of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the first 5 limbs of yoga help one prepare for meditation practice; while the last 3 limbs consisting of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi make up the stages of meditation.

Meditation is beneficial in that it can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. I can attest to this, somewhat, as it was an instrumental aid in helping me learn to deal with my grief. However, I can only speak for myself in this regard, and I am in no way claiming that meditation is a panacea for grief, but in my experience with meditation, I have found that it offers a sense of peace and provides greater clarity with regard to our purpose and being. I found that it helped me focus on the present, gently create space for what is to come in the future, while also enlightening me on all that there is to appreciate about the past.

Meditation can strengthen physical and mental health by helping to improve memory, foster better quality of sleep, lower resting blood pressure and resting heart rate. It can also increase creativity, self-awareness, patience and tolerance, help reduce negative emotions and increase the ability to focus on the present moment.

The benefits of meditation extend well beyond the end of your meditation practice. Especially when practiced consistently.

There are many types of meditation. Yet, most of us are more familiar with guided meditation, which involves listening to someone guide you throughout a meditation session, but there is also sound meditation, mindfulness meditation, walking or moving meditation, mantra meditation, transcendental meditation, body scan meditation and loving kindness meditation just to name a few.

Meditation is a practice that is found in many different cultures, but it is believed to have originated in India around 1500 B.C.E and in China around the 3rd and 6th Centuries B.C. It didn’t become popular in western culture until the 21st century.

Some believe that meditation is only for those who practice Buddhism or Hinduism, but that is a myth. Meditation may be practiced by anyone, as it is not a religion. Moreover, some have been known to choose to practice meditation by simply engaging in prayer, citing the rosary for example, or by reading sacred texts and poems, journaling, or simply reflecting on the meanings of what they have read.

So if you have been contemplating starting a meditation practice, there is no need to worry about it replacing your faith or religious or spiritual practice.

When thinking about the process of meditation, most of us tend to picture in our minds a lengthy process that involves sitting for a long period of time while trying to, at the same time, focus on clearing the mind, calming the body and thinking about whatever it is that we are supposed to be attempting to achieve while in a meditative state. This can be daunting for some because we live in a culture that celebrates “busyness” so much that many of us find it hard to slow down and sit with ourselves in silence – even for a just little while. But, the truth is meditation can be long, but – it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of short meditation sessions, guided or otherwise available. Furthermore, if you decide to create your own meditation, you have the luxury of creating one that suit your specific time needs.

You should also know that it’s okay if you have trouble concentrating and remaining focused while meditating. There are many strategies to help you with this. One example would be to try placing your attention on both your intention, and the experience that you are having while meditating. Still, this can take some practice; in which case it is important to remember to be gentle with yourself through the process of learning how to become comfortable meditating – especially if while meditating – you begin to become aware of any discomfort or conscious or unconscious reluctance. It may also be helpful to know that being able to get to that place in your meditation practice is something that is, (in all honesty), something that is going to take some time to fully achieve as it tends to become easier through the process of extensive practice.

Although meditation can be practiced by anyone, there are some who should be cautious when it comes to meditating, such as those who may have experienced unresolved trauma and find it challenging to “go within.” Therefore, be sure to consult your physician, therapist or other medical professional to find out if meditation is something that you should be practicing.

The most important thing to remember when practicing meditation, (just as with practicing yoga), is that – you practice. As it is the consistent practice that is going to help you best yield its science – based benefits.

So, I am curious, what are your thoughts on meditation? Do you practice meditation? Have you been thinking about starting a meditation practice? Have you tried meditating and had a wonderful experience? Or have you tried meditation and discovered that it is just not for you? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments section.

For anyone who is interested in starting a meditation practice I will be sharing brief meditations on social media, Spotify and on this blog this summer, with longer meditation offerings in the form of classes on the Salubrity and Soul Yoga website later this year.

Also, I will be sharing more information on meditation throughout May, and if you follow me on Instagram, you know that yesterday I started a 31- day meditation challenge for National Meditation Month. If you have decided to join me on this months challenge I would love to learn about your experience with this meditation challenge so don’t forget to chime in by messaging me. Thank you for reading.

Until the next time…

I’m sending you light, I’m sending you love

and as always,

Take care and be well.

Salubrity and Soul…The redux

Salubrity and Soul…The redux

A ring of the doorbell in the middle of a warm summer’s night. A couple of songs playing on the radio, one after the other, on the way to the emergency room that now every time I hear again will forever take me back to that moment in time when I was hoping that all that I was experiencing was just a crazy bad dream. An unanswered prayer that I now have a greater understanding of and immense gratitude for. A dark night of the soul and a healing journey that led me back to my yoga practice after a long hiatus. A spiritual awakening. A promise kept and a divinely guided idea that I felt compelled to share. All – the birthing of Salubrity and Soul, the blog, and now Salubrity and Soul Yoga – coming soon.

Today I re-welcome you to Salubrity and Soul, the blog. Formerly a grief blog, but now a space where I sometimes share tidbits of my healing journey, perspectives on life, spirituality, gratitude, my love of nature, but mostly all things yoga, meditation, wellness and wellbeing related.

Salubrity and Soul celebrates the whole self – mind, body, heart, and soul and thriving within a wellness of being – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Whether you are a veteran Salubrity and Soul reader or are new to this space I thank you for stopping by, and I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my posts. My hope is that you find the content here helpful and as always I look forward to connecting, learning and sharing with you.

Also, before I end this post I would like to remind you that you can connect with me on Instagram at @salubrityandsoulyoga, and soon you will be able to also connect with me on Spotify on the Salubrity and Soul Yoga podcast where you can listen to content from this blog as well as find meditations, short yoga sessions, weekly affirmations and more while on the go or whenever you’re just short on time and don’t have time to read the blog. Thank you for reading.

Until the next time…

I’m sending you light, I’m sending you love

and as always

Take care and be well,

– Carol

13 Activities To Do For Earth Day

13 Activities To Do For Earth Day

Happy Earth Day 2021!

I hope that you were able to get outside today to enjoy a little bit of our beautiful planet’s natural offerings. I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy a short hike today, which as you may already know, I love doing. I am glad that the weather is warming up and that, albeit slow, we’re all moving toward doing our best to get Covid-19 under control so that we can all get back to our definition of “normal living.”

Going outside to enjoy nature is just one of the things that I do to celebrate Earth Day each year; and I’ve compiled a list of 13 of my favorite Earth Day activities to share with you. These are also great everyday selfcare activities to do during any time of the year as well. Enjoy!

  1. Visit a state or national park (physically or virtually).
  2. Go hiking.
  3. Do a little earthing or forest bathing.
  4. Go for a walk in your neighborhood (solo, with someone, or walk your dog.)
  5. Watch a sunrise or sunset.
  6. Make a herbal face mask or hand scrub instead of buying one.
  7. Take a bath instead of showering to save water.
  8. Turn off your electronic devices for the day to save energy, and digitally detox at the same time.
  9. Enjoy plant based meals all day.
  10. Repot your plants that need it, divide those that have extra growth and start new plants and give them to family and friends as gifts.
  11. Cut flowers from your garden or buy them to bring nature’s beauty into your home space – just because.
  12. Make your own herbal tea with fresh herbs and plants such as chamomile, hibiscus, ginger, or peppermint.
  13. Meditate, do your yoga practice or any other exercise outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Life is generally good, right? I think that most people would agree that life, even with it’s disappointments, is okay. In fact, more often than not, it can be pretty amazing.

Today might be filled with happiness, joy and excitement; while tomorrow “could” bring sadness or pain – and that’s okay. It’s okay because living isn’t about having everything work out for the best all of the time, as much as it’s about being able to make it through the rough times; and to do so with a healthy mind frame and not allowing our disappointments to define us.

We expect too much sometimes, I think. We also tend to become complacent in our ability to not let our egos get the best of us. It’s easy to believe that things will always be the way that they are – especially when things are going great. Of course, this may not be true for everyone.

Well, 2020 should have taught us a thing or two. It should have reminded us of our lack of control. The control that we tend to thing that we have, when truthfully any semblance of control that we thing we have is actually quite minor.

We should always be open to “other” possibilities. Why? Because that is what helps us transition better when thing do not go our way. At any time, even the healthiest person can suddenly become chronically ill. Or, that well-to-do friend of yours that you thought was so blessed and fortunate can suddenly lose everything. Or that job that you thought that you would retire with could suddenly go out of business.

When disappointments happen they can leave us feeling sad, angry or regretful that we couldn’t have done more to prevent whatever happened from happening. The key though is not to ruminate over disappointments when they occur. As difficult as that might be – just don’t do it. Please don’t do it, unless you’re looking for more disappointment.

We have to be willing to accept the life that we have been given, regardless of whether or not we approve of the outcome. You have to just keep moving forward.

Now, there may be disappointing situations that call for you to contest or dispute, because there are many things in life that we must fight for – but I am not talking about those type of disappointments. I am talking about the ones that we absolutely cannot control.

When life throws a little disappointment your way you don’t have to forget what happened, (you need to remember as that will be connected to your personal growth), but you do have to learn to accept life’s disappointments.

Once you learn to that, then you can conquer anything. When faced with something disappointing I like to remember the phrase “God doesn’t give us anything that we cannot handle.” It always helps me to keep things in perspective. So, if you’re experiencing something less than favorable and you feel that the sky has fallen – try remembering that phrase and see how that works for you. Also, stay strong, keep the faith and know in your heart and soul that all will be well in the end. All you have to do is learn to accept whatever is making you feel that way or, if you are able to change the situation – change it. All else is madness and who wants that?

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post.

Take care and be well.

A Lovely Day

A Lovely Day

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while.

I am in an extremely good mood today. I’m in such a good mood that I felt compelled to make today the day that I would return to the blogosphere after yet another hiatus.

Today is light-filled. But, more than that it is joy-filled for many.

I didn’t expect to see what I observed this morning, which was exactly how much joy is being pushed and rebirthed into the universe until I walked into my family room this morning, turned on the television, and watched the news as people from all walks of life danced and sang in the streets all across America.

It didn’t take long for me to begin dancing and singing along with them with happy tears pouring from my eyes and down my cheeks. It was a beautiful sight to see. It was definitely one of the most wonderful feelings I’ve ever felt.

I am probably not the only person who may have felt the stagnation depart from the soul of the United States of America, ( extra special emphasis on the word “united”), because isn’t that the promise of our nation? Isn’t that what we love about it so much even though we have our left and right sides?

Unity is what results when sagacity, impartiality, and the sweetness of empathy are honored and practiced.

And here we have it. Unity wins. Goodness and love prevail. Hope is restored and those who have may have felt as though the sky was falling can feel comfortable enough once again to just close their eyes, take a long deep breath inward, exhale the past and allow their hearts to become lighter again.

Let’s sit with with this feeling for just a moment,

and be grateful for this precious day,


and let the healing begin.

With love and light,

Until the next post,

Take care.

Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

I’m excited this month because September is the anniversary month of my yoga journey. I am also excited because it is also National Yoga Awareness Month. National Yoga Awareness Month is an annual campaign that was created in 2008, by the Department of Health and Human Services that was designed to acknowledge and share the many health benefits of yoga.

During the month of September, there are often an abundance of offerings involving yoga related activities that can be found. As a result, it is a good time to find discounts and promotions on yoga classes, equipment, supplies, clothing, and the like.

Some of my favorite ways to celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month include:

  • Participating in a yoga challenge.
  • Trying a new style of yoga.
  • Making a commitment to your yoga practice.
  • Taking a yoga class. (Many of which, now, can be taken virtually).
  • Purchasing a new item to help you in your yoga practice.
  • Getting to know more about yoga by reading a book covering the topic of yoga.
  • Practicing an asana that you find challenging.
  • Sharing the benefits of yoga with others.
  • Taking or sharing photos of your yoga asana progress.
  • Strengthening the non-asana part of your yoga practice.
  • Practicing yoga with a friend.

For anyone looking to begin a healthier lifestyle that includes implementing a yoga practice, this is a great month to begin.

I hope that one or more of the ideas that I have presented help inspire you to try yoga, if you have never done so.

Or, perhaps assist you in finding ways to strengthen your yoga practice. Namaste.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Take Care.

How I Fell In Love With Yoga

My yoga journey began in 2013. It started with an exercise video that included several ashtanga based yoga sequences that were designed to build strength and increase flexibility. I truly enjoyed those yoga sequences, and remember performing them with so much ease. Later, I attended classes at a yoga studio and at a fitness center. My interest in yoga eventually waned with each passing year, and I began pursuing other interests; such as hiking. I know now, in retrospect, that those ashtanga asanas weren’t designed for anyone just beginning a yoga practice. So, when I look back at that time I feel extremely fortunate for that experience.

It wasn’t until the end 2019 that I would rediscover yoga, and learn that I didn’t know as much about it as I thought I did. Never, in a million years did I ever expect to be as intrigued with yoga as I am today; after making the decision to pick it up again and deepen my practice. My decision to do so arose from my intent to find a way to manage the grief that I was feeling after losing my son. That led me to begin taking courses that would help me learn about the foundations and fundamentals of yoga . It turns out that was one of the best decisions that I have ever made for myself.

There was a time when I once thought that yoga only consisted of performing complex asanas (poses), maintaining a “certain look”, or living a specific way. For some, it may be just that, but that is not all that it is. Yoga is so much more.

Besides asanas (poses), yoga is also comprised of meditation and pranayama (breathing). In fact, the word yoga means “to yoke” or join together in Sanskrit. Moreover, according to Pantanjali, the father of yoga, it is about mastering the stillness of the mind, understanding the nature of reality and the true nature of self.

The asanas (poses) are actually just one part of what makes yoga… well…yoga. They are the part that assists in the creation of strength, flexibility and balance. The other components of yoga are related to mental focus, personal and spiritual ethics, and using the breath as a life force. All of which, once practiced daily help increase resilience, compassion and a connection to your higher self and source.

A lot has changed for me personally since 2013 including my levels of physical activity and flexibility. But thankfully, yoga is very forgiving. It doesn’t demand perfection. It only asks that you continue to show up on your mat daily, and when you do show up, that you meet yourself wherever you are, and create space for where you are trying to go. I love that so much.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post..

Please take care.


Satchidananda, Swami, Sri. (2018). The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali . Integral Yoga Publications.

Easwaran, Eknath. (2007). The Bhagavad Gita. Nilgiri Press.

On Meditating

On Meditating

Meditation is one of those things that, when thought of, is often considered to be something that is rather easy to do. Yet, some people may find that once they get into position, (which is usually some variation of the lotus position, but can be just about any position that you find comfortable), they tend to have difficulty maintaining their posture, maintaining a still mind or both.

I used to be one of those people, until I attended a yoga class, one of which meditation was a part of; and I quickly discovered that it’s actually quite common to lose focus while meditating. It was my instructor who, ever so graciously, helped to put my mind at ease and made me feel less uncomfortable about my ability to meditate – and to do so in a way that I could actually benefit and grow in my meditation practice.

I learned that meditation doesn’t have to feel as initially intimidating as it often does for many. Nor does it require that you clear your mind of your thoughts. Instead, it is more important that you learn to work with the thoughts that come through your mind. Why should you do this? Well, because your thoughts are likely going to keep coming. So, in lieu of fighting your thoughts, it would be better to accept that they are there and say to yourself, (mentally, of course, especially if you are meditating in a class with others), “I am in control of my thoughts” and then simply practice controlling them.

One way to do this is to continue to relax, close your eyes, try stilling your mind, (you can do it!), and then pretend that your thoughts are on imaginary clouds. Place your thoughts on clouds that are floating by, in your mind while your eyes are closed, and while maintaining your focus on the task of meditating. Lastly, observe each thought as they float away – far away.

Another similar option would be to put your thoughts in imaginary balloons and observe each thought as they are being released into a sunset filled sky and then – just let go.

I have tried both methods and they have worked well for me. I found that they keep me from being distracted by any thoughts or concerns of the day to where it makes getting through a complete meditation session much easier and without feeling as thought I am clearly focused one minute; and then losing my concentration the next.

So, it is considered acceptable if you find that you have to keep trying again and again to maintain your focus while meditating until you are able to get to a point where your mind no longer feels the need to wander. With a regular meditation practice you will likely find yourself becoming less of a meditation amateur just like I did.

One of my favorite things about yoga and meditation is the philosophy behind the practice; and how they offer so much in way of self-compassion. My holistic living journey over the past several months has been quite the eye-opener and I am excited to see where else it takes me. Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

With love. Take Care.