Welcome to my blog! It's an informative and inviting space where you can read about all things meditation and some things spirituality, such as methods, advice, opinions and even a handful of meditation scripts! Once you read a few posts, you'll see that I don't go into great detail about some of the topics that I cover - this is intentional. I want to provoke you to do your own research and grow your practice in your own locus. 

Are you ready? 

Yoga Nidra

May 15, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


As I do, I will be referencing a previous blog post (How Is Yoga Meditation, April 24, 2023), when discussing today’s topic. I explained in that post how meditation is not yoga, but yoga could be meditation, depending on how you were practicing it. Yoga Nidra is an example of the difference.


What is yoga nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a yogic practice of deep relaxation, achieved through guided meditation. When done correctly, it places your conscious state of the verge of sleep, also called a hypnogogic state. It’s similar to savasana; however, in savasana, you’re not guided into relaxation.


Purpose of Yoga Nidra

This form of yoga is practiced for deep relaxation, as well as release of tension and stress. As we know, our negative thoughts manifest themselves in our bodies and present as physical ailments; by practicing yoga nidra, it can release those tensions, including deep-rooted traumas that we may be cognizant of or not. Some unpleasant memories or experiences may arise from this, but do not be afraid of it - embrace it so you can confront it and let it go.


Steps to practicing Yoga Nidra

Find a comfortable location where you can lie flat on your back and not be disturbed. If you choose to lie on your bed, be mindful of not drifting off to sleep. Place a cushion or pillow behind your and/or knees. It helps if you identify and speak your intention for this exercise.

Begin listening to a yoga nidra specified guided meditation, which needs to include body scan instructions, as it is essential to achieve the desired outcome. This body scan will help you to discover in which areas of your body your tensions are being held, and in-turn to release them.

Follow the steps of your guide, and when your session is finished, make notes of what you experienced.


If you are new to this practice, try different times of the day and different locations and discover which works best for you.



Prana Nidra

May 22, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


Last week, I addressed Yoga Nidra, and this week I am discussing Prana Nidra, a form of Yoga Nidra.


What is Prana Nidra

In the way that Yoga Nidra focuses on releasing discovered tension from different areas of the physical body, Prana Nidra is the practice of using our breath and energy to heal our brain and nervous system.


Purpose of Prana Nidra

Our brain and nervous system basically run the show, they are responsible for our thoughts and actions. Just like with our physical bodies, they can carry stresses and traumas, which is more detrimental. This can result in diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic headaches, arthritis, diabetes, and many more serious issues. Prana Nidra, which is also an exercise practiced in a deep state of relaxation, is the focus of healing brain and nervous system through our own breathwork and energy.


Steps to practicing Prana Nidra

Find a comfortable location where you can lie flat on your back and not be disturbed. If you choose to lie on your bed, be mindful of not drifting off to sleep. Place a cushion or pillow behind your and/or knees. It helps if you identify and speak your intention for this exercise.

Begin listening to a prana nidra specified guided meditation. It should focus on naming various body parts, which body parts you feel sensations in the current moment, and how to breath through those sensations.

Follow the steps of your guide, and when your session is finished, make notes of what you experienced.


If you are new to this practice, try different times of the day and different locations and discover which works best for you.







Three-Minute Lovingkindness Affirmation

May 8, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


In the previous blog post, I described how to practice an affirmation, and now I am going to help you set a lovingkindness one into motion. You can use this mantra pattern for any affirmation subject you wish, for any length of time you wish. Any affirmation can be practiced as part of a daily meditation routine, or by itself. Lessen your distractions, get your body into a comfortable state of being, and let’s begin:

We’ll start with a few rounds of deep breaths; deep breath in through your nose and hold for five seconds, then slowly breath out. Take a second deep breath in, hold for five seconds, then release your breath in a steady flow. Return to your regular breathing pattern, and sit in silence for one minute.

I AM loving

I AM kind

I AM accepting


Repeat this five times, then sit silent for thirty seconds.

I AM loving

I AM kind

I AM accepting


Repeat this five times, then sit silent for thirty seconds.

Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold for five seconds, then slowly breath out.


Go on about your day, be loving and be kind.






The Power of I AM

May 1, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


Affirmations are a powerful self-help/self-care tool that is growing in popularity, for good reason; they change our mindset. They can be used to remind us of something positive that we already have/are, or they can help us achieve a goal by shifting our belief that we already have achieved said goal.


How to affirm

The process of affirmations is simple; we choose a subject that we want to affirm, such as a new job, a new skill, or an existing personality trait we may want to grow, then we “speak in into existence” by making a mantra from it.

Let’s practice

l will choose a personal growth scenario to get us started; if you want to enhance your public speaking skill, you could start an affirmation like this:

I AM a confident public speaker

I AM an articulate public speaker

I AM a knowledgeable public speaker


Repeat this mantra daily for anywhere from one week to one month, and your mindset alters in the things that you choose to believe; you have improved your public speaking skills.



When trying an affirmation for the first time, there are a few things to remember:


·        Have an open mind; don’t automatically tell yourself that this won’t work, because then it won’t.


·        Be realistic so you’re not disappointed. While anything is possible, not everything is possible. What I mean by that is, say you’re five-foot-three (which, I am) and you         want to create an affirmation that you will be six-foot-three by Christmas, you’re setting yourself up for failure.



If you already know what you want to affirm, great! If not, take some time and choose wisely. Have fun and believe in I AM.






How Is Yoga Meditation?

April 24, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


I’ve briefly addressed this in other blog posts but I’ll go into more detail here. There are different explanations of how yoga is meditation, and how it’s not.  Here’s my explanation:

Yoga is a form of meditation. Some people think that they are interchangeable practices, and they’re not. They should be practiced in conjunction, though.  If you’re meditating, it doesn’t mean you’re doing yoga. If you’re doing yoga, it does mean that you could be meditating.


The Difference

Meditation is an activity for clearing your mind of negativity, distractions and boundaries. Yoga is an activity for bringing your body into the same clarified field that your mind is in, unifying them.


The Link

What are you doing while you’re holding an asana? Are you trying to calm the mind and bring your body to the same clarified state? Then you’re meditating. If you’re thinking about your next asana, or what time it is, or….anything else, than you’re just stretching and defeating your purpose. If you’re doing yoga for its original intended purpose, then you’re actually practicing a movement meditation (with the exception of sivasana).


The Antecedent

Which should you practice first? Well, that’s a personal preference (I’ve also addressed this in another blog post, The Chicken or the Egg, August 8, 2022). If you’re at the beginning your practice, pick one to start with and try that for a week. Then, the following week switch it up (you can also do this as a refresh if you’re currently practicing)! Take notes as to which worked best for you and why (see Keep a Meditation Journal, April 10, 2023).


For Reference

I highly recommend reading “Light on Yoga”, by B.K.S. Iyengar. It is an excellent introduction for yogis to learn the philosophy and benefits of yoga.

Again, I recommend practicing both collectively, the benefits are numerous.



Manifestation Meditation

April 17, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


The Laws of Attraction. Ask and ye shall receive. Speak it into existence. Whichever term you like to use to describe manifesting, they all have the same processes.



Synchronicities are simply sign posts from the Universe; mostly they’re evidence that you’re being heard and seen, that all is well and you’re moving in the right direction. Whether you’ve asked for them or not, they will appear. For instance, have you ever been having a conversation with someone and they mention something familiar, and your response is:

I was just talking about that same thing the other day with So-and-so!

It’s not a coincidence, it’s a synchronicity. You need to pay attention to these happenings, because something bigger is happening! Have you asked the Universe for guidance or a sign regarding a big decision that you need to make? Have you asked for a light on your path? Have you just been feeling isolated and kept it to yourself? You may not receive it right away, or when you expect it, but you will get it.

Months ago, I asked for a sign (don’t even ask me to remember what for because it was MONTHS ago), but I got it that very day. I asked that morning specifically for a Monarch butterfly because it has significant meaning for me. I got one. In fact, I got FOUR of them. I felt very confident that they were the sign I asked for because they’re a popular but somewhat rare type of butterfly. OK, Universe, loud and clear! Another instance only a few weeks ago, I asked for advice via a sign regarding an issue with my house, I didn’t get it that same day, but it came about a week later and it was perfect timing. A third synchronicity that comes to mind is whenever I stop into a thrift store, used book store, flea market, etc. there is ALWAYS a copy of “Bridges of Madison County” and I have no idea what that means- I assume that it is yet to be revealed to me.


Synchronicities and manifesting

So, what do synchronicities have to do with manifesting? Everything, they’re a step in the process.  Manifesting isn’t a hands-off activity, you have to put in the work. You will be led to your ultimate destination-via signs-via synchronicities. The adage of the “absence of a sign is a sign” is a truth; if you’ve asked for a sign and you don’t get it, it means that’s not your path. Accept it, and ask for guidance to the path that has been placed for you. Getting upset or angry only lowers your vibes and lessens your chance of getting what you’ve asked for; this used to be my downfall in the way that I would get hurt and ask why I wasn’t good enough to receive the things that I desired, what did I do wrong? Well, taking it personally was the wrong approach -  the Higher Power knows way better than we do!


Meditation and manifesting

There are a few different approaches as to what this could look like. You can use an intention setting session, a focal point session or a mantra session. For an intention setting, you can communicate with the Higher Power and ask for what it is you desire; pledge your intention to be diligent and take the steps laid out for you to reach your goal, asking for guidance along the way (here is where those synchronicities come into play). For a focal point session, you can do this internally or externally; either visualize your end goal, or have a physical representation of your goal. Next, create a plan with the Universe about what comes next (have you set any kind of plan in place?). For a mantra meditation, simply pen or choose a phrase that ties to your goal (a simple Google search should fill in this blank for you).


Remember that you can’t attract high energy to yours if it’s low, shine your light and watch for those synchronicities! Happy manifesting!



Keeping a Meditation Journal

April 10, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


Journaling is a useful tool for many people, for various reasons. Some people keep goal journals, feelings journals, weight loss journals. Keeping a meditation journal can enhance your practice. You can make notes on:


·       what time of day works best for you?

·       what setting works best for you?

·       does music work for you?

·       does guided meditation work for you?

·       do you meditate better alone or in a group?

·       does certain types of meditation work better for you (focal point vs. mindfulness, etc.)?


If your routine started a certain way, and you’ve deviated from that to try new things, it may slip your mind how it was in the beginning, but keeping a journal can get you back on track. There may be a technique that didn’t work well for you, but after some time you may try it again and find that it worked better this time around. This info is all worth collecting so you’re able to maximize your practice.

It can also be useful in keeping a list of things that you would like to meditate on in the future. Having future goals for your practice can keep it on the forefront of your daily routine and prevent it from becoming a “chore”. For instance, if you’ve never mantra-meditated but would like to try it, you can research different mantras, or come up with your own and make a note of the words and rhythm.

Like my dad always said, write it down!



Book Recommendations

April 3, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


In the beginning, when I first opened the studio and started this blog, I posted helpful article links to help my readers out with their practices. In that time, I have read many other resources and grown my practice, so I can help you grow yours. I want to share a few of those resources with you, and tell you why I found them beneficial.  Here they are:


Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

With some self-help books, of any subject, I’ve found them to be dry and uninteresting. All they do is prattle on like school text books. Not this book, this book is humorous, easy-reading, and is completely relatable. He says things that we are all thinking and that makes it a page-turner. He discusses mindfulness and different techniques of meditation, and why the phrase “this is it” is so important.


Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzburg

She opens this book discussing how she started her meditation practice, and her trials and tribulations that got her to that point. This book is actually a four-week “program” to help you start and build a meditation practice. Very useful tips and tricks in the book!


A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Let me preface this by saying, that pretty much anything by Tolle is on my list. But, let’s just start with this one. He doesn’t just discuss meditation and mindfulness, he also discusses how our egos rule us; how we are all energy, and that’s ALL we all are. That a bird is a tree is a human because we are all energy - “One life”. This book envelopes all life aspects and how to mingle them into a happiness journey.


Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation by Mark W. Muesse

This book is actually a course book with almost thirty lectures that Professor Muesse has gives; it discusses the beginnings of meditation and several different techniques, it also confronts our immortality. This book can help beginners and coaches alike.

These are all very brief reviews of these books, by design. I want you to do your own research into these titles, or the many others on meditation, and choose one that speaks to you and your practice. Happy learning!



Out With the Cold, In With the Blooms

March 27, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


It’s officially spring! But, I don’t think Mother Nature knows yet. I’m also not getting my hopes up for winter to be totally over, since we usually get that one last hoorah of snow in April. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t look forward to spring.

Some of the best things about spring and summer are the opportunities for fresh starts and new beginnings.  The leaves on the trees, the budding flower bulbs, the sun shining longer.

A perfect time to shed old habits and create fresh, new ones. Make a list of all the things you’d like to start over or anew and meditate on them. You can have an intention setting session; meditate on intending to spend more time outdoors this year, or to take “x” amount of steps a day.  Have a things-to-look-forward-to session, such as getting the family together for a long-overdue reunion. 

Use a goal you have as part of a focal point meditation; for example, if a goal of yours this Spring is to plant certain flowers or vegetables, use a picture of said flower or vegetable as a focal point and a bit of inspiration. Maybe, a picture of a beach and a cruise ship if your goal is to finally take a vacation this year.


In whichever way suits your lifestyle, take advantage of the fresh start you’ve been given this Spring.



Mudras in Meditation

March 20, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar      


Mudras are the positions in which we hold our hands when meditating. In Sanskrit, it means “gesture”.  Also called “finger yoga”. Each finger represents a different earthly element:

·         Index=Air/oxygen

·         Middle= Space/ether

·         Ring= Earth

·         Pinky= Water

·         Thumb= Fire

Different mudras can be used in different kinds of meditations as they help the flow of energy to different parts of the body; some gestures involve other parts of the body in addition to hands. It also matters whether your palms are facing up or down while forming a mudra.

·         Vayu Mudra- gently press the index finger to the thumb; this improves the flow of oxygen throughout our body.

·         Akasha Mudra - gently press the middle finger to the thumb; this mudra improves creativity and communication.

·         Prithvi Mudra - gently press the ring finger to the thumb; this mudra assists with feeling “at home” in your physical being.

·         Jal Mudra - gently press the pinky finger to the thumb; this mudra helps with “flow” through the body – water, feelings, energy.

·         Agni Mudra – intertwine the fingers of both hands together, gently press one thumb to the other; this mudra ignites our passions and desires,         increases our success of reaching our goals.


 Doing hand warm-ups can help in forming a mudra properly and being able to hold it longer. It will take practice to reap the benefits of how mudras can enhance your meditation sessions, but it’s worth it.



Sidestep Stalemate

March 6, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


As with anything in our lives if we’ve been doing something the same way for too long, it gets stale; this is why people re-arrange their furniture or drive a different route to work every now and then. My dad used to call it “change of venue”. It can also apply to your meditation practice. Now, if you’re happy with your current routine, stop reading. If not, let me ramble some more about it.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you already know that I encourage changing it up – I do! Hitting that refresh button is so necessary, for all of us, in many aspects of our lives.  It may be obvious to some of us that our practice needs an overhaul of some kind, but not all of us can pick up on our own ques.


Shoulda, coulda, woulda

I should meditate tomorrow morning, I haven’t all week. I could meditate before bed tonight, if I’m not too tired by then. If I wouldn’t have been late for work, I would’ve meditated.

Excuses are always a precursor. Take a minute to analyze why you’re making these excuses. Any kind of self-care shouldn’t feel like a chore! It should be something to look forward to. Do you not look forward to sitting in the dark, or sitting on the floor, or lighting a candle? Then don’t! Changing even one factor of your routine can make a difference.


·       change your location – set up a small corner of your living room instead of your bedroom, or grab a yoga mat and head outside under your favorite tree

·       add or subtract an element – change up the scented candle to a new fragrance, invest in a larger cushion, buy new comfy pants (I LOVE this option),  

     use a visual instead of closing your eyes, listen to a different coach…. you get the idea.

·       don’t go it alone - start a weekly session with friends or join a meditation group; some yoga studios offer weekly classes, or you can ask some of your

     yoga buddies if they’d be interested in a short session before or after class.


The whole point of meditating is to get into a better headspace, right?  Start by getting out of our own head.



The Placebo Effect

March 13, 2023

by Vanessa Salogar


Is there anyone who is reading this that doesn’t know that means?

 Placebo (is not rooted in the medical world at all, but) is the name given to “medicines” administered to patients, mainly in hospitals, to test its efficacy.  A placebo isn’t actually medicinal at all, it’s only a sugar pill. A patient’s behavior and health improvement are monitored after they receive a placebo; oddly, they often work wonders. Simply because we trigger our imaginations to believe that they will.

A placebo, in essence, is a way of activating our mindfulness.

I am reminded of a talk from Dr. Wayne Dyer that I was listening to around Christmas time. He referred to the placebo effect in a way by saying that if he had hemorrhoids and someone said that crystal chairs helped cure them, he was buying all crystal chairs, who cares if it’s a placebo effect! This is not verbatim, he has actually said this in different talks in different manors. He’s right. Placebos are so frowned upon, but why? Some people argue that it’s not reality. This isn’t the Matrix people, don’t take it so seriously. You’re not bending reality, or creating an alternate reality for yourself. You’re acknowledging that your mind has power. When we’re scared or nervous, it can cause nausea. When we are stressed out or overwhelmed, it can cause headaches. If it’s accepted that our minds can cause damage, why can’t it be accepted that it can work wonders?

If it’s helping and not hurting, then why not?



Inside or Out?

February 20, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


As someone who practices regularly, I’ve meditated both indoors and outdoors.  On account of connecting with different environments, but also, I get bored easily. I need change of venue to stay stimulated. Not to say that I don’t have a favorite place, because I do, I just happen to have one of each. For someone just starting to grow their practice, it’s helpful to see potential benefits of each setting:



·         Smaller area

·         Comfortable furnishings

·         Ability to control sound

·         Ability to control temperature

·         Ability to use certain items (candles, incense, etc)



·         Sounds of nature (birds, water, wind, etc)

·         Fresh air/ natural fragrances (flowers, trees, etc)

·         Firm ground for better balance

·         Natural light

·         Beautiful focal point


For me:  I meditate on a yoga mat outside in the summer, wearing my headphones and listening to trippy hippy music, and breathing in the scent of fresh lilacs – highly recommend.

I cannot stress this enough – your practice needs to be whatever (and wherever) works best for you to get an optimum session.



Vibes and Meditation

February 27, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


Sound = energy = frequencies = vibrations (vibes)


When someone talks about a vibe that they get from a person, place or thing, it’s means they’re picking up frequency signals from that person, place or thing; it either jives with their own frequency, or it doesn’t. Energy doesn’t lie. The vibe they’re picking up is letting them know more than words ever could.

If something isn’t “your vibe” it means that you can’t relate to it.

If someone doesn’t “match your energy”, it means that you aren’t investing equal parts.

If someone says you’re not “picking up what they’re putting down” it means that they are having a hard time reaching you

All of these are true because you’re truly on a different frequency (sound waves).


When you meditate in a group, you’re all able to absorb each other’s energy, good or bad. You can all pick up on a specific vibe that one member is emitting. If someone is in a not-so-good mood, it’s generally easy to pick-up on. Something wonderful about this scenario, is that in a group of five meditators, the one who is in need of a better mood, can absorb the pleasant and hopeful moods of those around them. If you’re heading into a group session, and you know that you’re the offender, you have three options:


Go in with an open mind

Acknowledge the situation, and walk in the group with an attitude of letting those good vibes of others wash over you and change the spin of your day. Maybe say it out loud so others can help turn it around for you.

 Go in “as is”

Doing this has potential to bring down the whole dynamic of the group. If you know that you’re fussy and don’t care about how it affects others, by all means proceed this way. But just know, it’s not cool. The others deserve better.

Go it alone

Keep your grouchiness to yourself and meditate alone, don’t bring others into your dark day. Use your foul mood as a meditation topic and urge yourself to turn it around for the rest of the day.


Vibes are energy and energy is life.




Affirmation Meditation

February 13, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar

Affirmations are a form of self-love. Remember this gem?

I'm good enough, I'm smart, enough, and doggone it, people like me! 

In the spirit of total transparency, the cover of my affirmation journal says, "Thing Stuart Smalley Would Say if He Were Real". I'm totally and completely serious, it does.

Affirmations are a practice that help us remember the good parts of ourselves that we tend to overlook or ignore, as well as help us change behaviors and habits.  Affirmations take a statement of the future and place it in the here-and-now, thus making it a reality; they are also a way of holding ourselves accountable. 

An affirmation statement  could be anything:

I am kind, I am worthy, I am patient

 or maybe a goal you are working towards:

 I will lose weight, I will get my degree, I will get my dream job.

Using affirmations when you meditate can really set a favorable tone to your day. Make your statement at the beginning of your session and make that the focus, or place it at the end of your session as a personal send-off into your day.  Turning your statement into a mantra is also a great way to practice affirmations - the more you hear it, the more you believe it. 

This Valentine's Day, send abundant love out into the world, but remember to love yourself.


Movement Meditations

February 6, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


The basis of meditation is about being in the moment, focusing on “the now”. What if you’re in a situation where you can’t sit cross-legged holding a mudra? Simply focus on the now. Meditation can look like many different things, including movement:


·       Yoga is a form of meditation, believe it or not

·       During a walk or run, you can drown out the sounds around you simply by counting the steps that you take. Another great walking method is by using

         mantras, which I previously discussed

·       Rock climbing is a great form of meditation – you HAVE to focus in what’s in front of you


You can put just about any type of movement on this list, as long as it’s a repetitious action that you can count. Some fun ideas could be:

·       Jump roping

·       Trampoline

·       Stairs


Movement meditations don’t have to be complicated, they can be fun and effective at the same time.



Mantra Meditations

January 23, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar



 You mean like…..chanting? Yes. It’s a repetitious word or phrase. They are commonly used in meditation as an aid of focus. 

Perhaps the most notable mantra meditation is kirtan kriya. It’s a twelve-minute meditation that involves touching each of your four fingers to your thumb while singing/repeating these syllables:


It is from the kundalini yoga practice, and it said to provide instant mental clarity. A portion of this mantra is spoken at a normal tone, another portion is spoken at a whisper tone and the rest is spoken only to yourself; then the mantra is repeated in reverse order, starting with the whisper. 

You can use any word or phrase you choose as a mantra, however using other syllables in the kirtan kriya exercise doesn't give the same benefits. I recommend trying a mantra at least once a week to start with, then pay attention to  its effect.




Prayer Beads

January 30, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


The use of beads during prayer or meditation is a centuries-old practice. As with any tradition that has similarities across the different religious practices, there are varying accounts of where the tradition started. As far as a Christian tradition, some believe that The Virgin Mary requested that they (the rosary) be used for hail Mary prayers in place of psalms. Others cite it as a Buddhist tradition; mala beads are what their version is called.

In all religions, these beads are use to count prayers or mantras. In Christianity, the number of “hail Mary’s” is fifty. In Buddhism, the magic number of prayers (or mantras) is 108. Mala beads can be strung in 27, 54 or the full 108 beads. Say you have a bracelet that has 27 beads on it, and you want to use it to chant with; you would count each bead once, and one you got to the end, you would go back to the beginning of the strand and begin again, doing this four times (27x4=108).

Prayer beads can be used in meditation as a way of keeping track of how long you have been meditating. For instance, if you only want to meditate for ten minutes, do a few tests to find out how many times you have to count to get to ten minutes. It is MUCH less disruptive and jarring than setting a timer.

It isn’t recommended to wear a rosary as jewelry, but mala beads can be used in that way – this way they are always with you whenever you need/want to use them.




Maharishi Effect

January 9, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


Have you ever heard of transcendental meditation? How about the Maharishi Effect? If not, I will define them and explain why they are hugely beneficial.


Transcendental meditation

Transcendental meditation is a meditation technique that is meant to eliminate the imagined confines of your body, bringing your awareness beyond your physical boundaries.


Maharishi Effect

A simple explanation of the Maharishi Effect is that a group of meditators can change the energy, therefore the environment, that surrounds them in that moment. That healing energy can have a lasting effect. The term Maharishi Effect isn’t something that’s just a fun label, it was the name given to a theory on transcendental meditation which was done in the 70’s, brought forth by Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The outcome of this theory was that when 1% of society practiced transcendental meditation, the crime rates dropped across the US and society as a whole.


Nay Sayers

There are handfuls of individuals who have tried to prove this theory wrong, including science scholars. Scientists, in general, believe that what you can’t see isn’t real because they can’t identify it with any of their other senses, either. The existence of our spirits and consciousness conflict with scientific views of no God/no Heaven/no spirit world. However, there is much research out there that proved otherwise.


If we could get the whole world meditating, imagine the impact of increased positivity. Maybe someday will come when there are so many of us meditating, that no one needs to be guided, and you know what? That’ll be a good day, but for now, there’s much work to be done.



Meditation vs. Medication

January 16, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


I’ve been seeing it quite prominently lately on some of the blogs and websites I frequent; that studies show meditation to have a similar effect to depression medication on the human brain.

Que the skeptics and their all-knowing nuh-uh

I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but I believe this whole-heartedly without looking at charts and graphs; I can FEEL a difference in my moods and thought patterns throughout the day after I meditate in the morning. Because of that, I need no convincing.

I am in no way advising anyone to stop taking their meds, please consult your physician before you choose to do that. But, what I am saying is that if you swap out meditation for medication and it works, whether it’s a placebo effect or not, it’s a win.

Don’t scoff at this idea, it has potential to be life-changing for so many:


·   Less chemical dependency

·   Less hard-earned money spent

·   Less waste disposing of plastic bottles and packaging

·   Less chances for meds to end up in the wrong hands

·   More people tuning into themselves


If you should happen to be someone who takes meds regularly, and think that it’s worth a try, please do research and talk to your doctor. If you take a once-daily med, maybe take it in the evening and meditate in the morning – you’ll have an opportunity to monitor your thoughts and feelings throughout the day without the effects of medication.



As I’m sure you’ve heard before, be smart and make good choices!



Post-Holiday Decompress

January 2, 2023

By Vanessa Salogar


Happy holidays! Or are they? The number of people who consider the holidays to be stressful rises year after year. Common “complaints” are traveling to multiple houses/parties, the costs of buying the gifts and extra food, cooking all the extra food, spending time with others that you usually avoid, etc. (emphasis on the etc.)  Now that we are out of the holiday season, it’s time to decompress. Here is a two-minute decompression standing meditation.

Begin with getting your body into proper tadasana, or mountain, pose:

Stand up with straightened spine, feet shoulder-width apart and rolled back, tuck in your tailbone, knees slightly bent, hands either at your sides or fingers spread apart with palms facing forward. Close your eyes or find a focal point.

Take a deep, cleansing, slow inhale, then slowly exhale. During your next slow inhale, imagine all of your stress rising to the top of your head like water filling up a vase. All of the pressure from the holidays, work or school, relationships, anything negative that you feel is rising to the top. As you exhale slowly, imagine that level dropping as if it has a gradual leak. Each time that you exhale, imagine that stress level falling little by little like a thermometer temperature declining. Down through your throat .. past your shoulders, chest and arms .. past your elbows to your wrists and across your belly .. decreasing more as it passes your hips and thighs .. less pressure in your knees and steadily dropping through your calves .. it is now evaporating as it makes it way to your feet and exits your body. Raise your shoulders as you take one more, very deep cleansing inhale, then lowering them as you exhale.

You can proceed to your regular yoga routine or meditation practice, or you can simply repeat this exercise. I hope that throughout your day you feel a little lighter.



Seven Minute Body Scan Meditation

December 26, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar


A large part of meditation is focus, which in turn makes distractions another large part of meditation. One of those distractions can be how our body feels while sitting for extended periods of time; aches and pains tend to be hard to ignore. Instead of trying to push it aside, turn the negative into a positive by using the distraction as a focus.

Find a comfortable place to sit with minimal distractions, find an optimal position that works best for you.

Deep inhale and count backwards from ten.

Ten .. nine .. eight .. seven .. six .. five .. four .. three .. two .. one


Turn your attention to your feet and how they are positioned. Are they tucked under another part of your body? Are they beginning to tingle? Are your toes twitching? Are your ankles bent? What other sensations are you noticing?

*Sit in quiet reflection for one minute*

Now, pay attention to your calves. Are they sore? Are you sitting on them? Are the muscles flexing? Shift up to your knees, are they bent? Has that made them stiff? What other sensations are you noticing?

*Sit in quiet reflection for one minute*

Onto your thighs. Are the muscles being stretched from sitting? Are they touching the ground? Are they resting on your feet? Can you feel the connection of your thighs to your hips? How do your hip muscles feel? Are they tight or sore? Are your hands resting on them? What other sensations are you noticing?

*Sit in quiet reflection for one minute*

Move your awareness now to your belly. Do you feel the muscles constricting? Do you notice any flutters? Are you pulling in into your spine as you sit straight? Can you feel your spine? Does it feel strong or sore? Can you feel your belly rising and falling as you inhale? Is it in sync with your chest as you inhale? Your shoulders? Are your bicep or forearm muscles flexed as you hold your mudra? What other sensations are you noticing?

*Sit in quiet reflection for one minute*

Notice your neck and throat as you inhale. Do you feel cold air on the back of your throat? Does it make your throat dry? Does it make you feel the need to swallow? How about as you exhale? Do you feel the warm air rise through your throat and exit through your nostrils? Can you feel the oxygen in your sinus cavity? Do you feel a light-headed sensation? What other sensations are you noticing?

*Sit in quiet reflection for one minute*

Were you able to notice any new feelings that you hadn’t before, or maybe able to tolerate one that you hadn’t before? Hopefully, this meditation will put you more in-tune with your body.




The Inception of Introspect

December 12, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar


If you read the “about” tab on this website, you know a little about the how and why I got started on my spirituality journey. But, today is a special day in my life and I’d like to go into a little bit more detail.

Today, one year ago, I lost my father. Acknowledging it is unnerving. But, it really happened.

I can repeat all the usual banalities of “you’re never ready”, “it’s never easy losing a parent”, “it’s hard when you become the parent”, etc. While true, they’re rarely helpful. The reality of this situation for me is that I lost my best friend. I lost the only person who was always in my corner, no matter what, and I took that for granted. AND I feel the usual guilt of what I didn’t do or should’ve done, etc. That’s the part that’s not easy.


Now, my dad isn’t the inspiration for my spiritual journey (wouldn’t that have been a great segue, though?).  Someone is, just not my dad.


My journey started in January of 2022, just a few days after my birthday (ageing is also not the reason, but how great would that have fit in here?). I read the word “spiritual” in some article and it was just… a spark. I am not a religious person, but I am a Christian. To me, they are separate. Catholicism, Lutheranism, Evangelical- those are forms of Christianity, but Christianity isn’t a form of any of them. Christianity is, however, a spiritual practice. I tried to absorb as much information as I could about being a spiritualist. Some things I aligned with and some I didn’t. But, that put me on the path of seeking out what would fulfill me and make me feel closer to the Higher Power.


A spiritual awakening is every bit as good as people say it is. My senses were heightened, my appreciation for nature deepened and I felt more in-tune with my environment. Trees seemed taller, the air seemed fresher, my bed felt more comfortable and my soul felt ….alive. Going for a walk made me smile, and before that I just would’ve been counting the seconds until I made it back home. Now, I mentioned that I had an inspiration for the beginning of my journey, and I did, but this person is no longer my inspiration. My inspiration comes from the fulfillment and joy I get out of my practices. Listening to audiobooks from figures talk about their spirituality and their practices, learning more about how to deepen my practices, varying methods that I want to learn. I’ve never been so aware of synchronicities as I have been this past year. I pray for a sign and I get it. I write in SEVEN different journals, almost every day. I’m growing as a human, and I can’t get enough of it. I will forever be grateful for this person’s existence and their unwitting inspiration, but I’m even more grateful for the places that inspiration has taken me.


Introspect Studio started when I received my meditation coaching certification, and my desire for its purpose has expanded to incorporating many different methods of spirituality, because it feels that’s what I’m being guided to do. It’s what makes me feel giddy.


So, since I started this blog post writing about my dad, but let the cat out of the bag that he’s not my inspiration, why did I mention him?


Because as I’m learning more about the Heavens and the spiritual realm, the more familiar I get with my own inner-self and where it will take me, it gives me hope that one day I will feel his energy in my presence again – whatever that looks like. I just want to express to him my regret, and all the love and gratitude that I have for him and his life. Even if it’s just for a second, as our true forms pass each other like clouds, I hope to get one more chance to tell him, because then he’ll know.



Youth Meditation 

December 19, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar

It’s easy to forget that kids are people, too. I mean that exactly as I said it. Adults put so much pressure and expectations on kids without even realizing it. Parents and teachers are trying to do their best to help shape our children into being affective and good humans, but we fall short, for sure.


Toddlers and adolescents

Toddlers and adolescents are being taught manners and basic education skills, such as math, science, reading, writing, etc, and they’re being taught all of them ALL AT ONCE. They’re expected to absorb as much as they can, as fast as they can, while sitting completely still like statues as to not be distracting. Plus, some of them are expected to keep up with after-school activities. This is detrimental, because a certain percentage of adults can’t even do that. As adults, this is what we try to avoid because IT STRESSES US OUT. When we get stressed out, we meditate.


Teens are expected to achieve all the same things that adolescents are, and then some. They are expected to have jobs, maintain social lives as well as know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

Benefits of meditation in children

Kids can reap all the same benefits that adults can when it comes to meditation:

·   A quiet moment to re-center

·   Improve focus

·   Shut out the outside voices

·   Pause outside expectations

·   Release negative emotions


We are essentially expecting our kids to “adult” when they’re not prepared to do so. Some actual adults aren’t even prepared to do so. So, on top of all the other things that we give them daily to do, let’s also give them a useful tool to manage it all.



Glands = Energy Centers = Chakras

November 28, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar

Are chakras real? Can you really “align” them? Isn’t that a Buddhist thing?

Yes. Yes. Yes. And also no. I’ll explain. Ready?

*Cleansing breath*

There are seven glands in the human body. There are seven energy centers in the human body. There are seven chakras in the human body. Is this just a coincidence? NO.

Chakra translates to circle or wheel. A wheel spins, as does the energy in our bodies. The energy centers are located where there is a gland. A gland produces hormones that regulate the energy that is produced in the cells in our bodies.

Pituitary gland/crown chakra: knows what the organs need to do and when= highest power, all knowing

Pineal gland/third eye chakra: deciphers light from dark= knowledge, discernment

Thyroid gland/throat chakra: regulates your metabolic heart rate= courage to communicate

Thymus gland/heart chakra: protects the immune system by producing blood cells that protect the heart= love and feelings

Adrenal gland/sacral chakra: produces hormones such as androgens, estrogens and is adrenaline=sexuality, creativity

Pancreas gland/ solar plexus chakra: produces insulin that regulates blood glucose (energy) and allows for exercise and healthy brain function= confidence, self-esteem

Reproductive gland/root chakra: sexual reproductive organs, beginnings of families = root


How can you “align” the glands in your body, as is referred to by “aligning” your chakras?

A simple definition for align is to put in proper working order. When one of these glands isn’t working properly, it can cause emotional distress along with physical distress.

For instance, if the thyroid gland isn’t working properly, it can cause irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure. When we are nervous to speak in front of a large audience, does our heart not tend to beat faster and our cheeks turn pink from an elevated blood pressure?


So, how is sitting still with your eyes closed going to help, it’s not medicine.

Oh, but it is. It’s mind medicine. The mind and the body have the capability of a love/hate relationship. So many of our thoughts affect our bodies, as in the above example. If we are laying in bed worrying about a meeting that we have the next day, or a date that we have on the weekend, or what the doctor is going to say about the extra eight pounds we “acquired” since our last visit, how does that manifest physically? Upset stomach, headache, restlessness. We’ve worried ourselves sick! And if we’re not aware, we can worry ourselves to death!

Sitting still, in a peaceful and quiet environment, can bring our bodies back to our minds. We can quietly acknowledge that there is a twitchy feeling in the left foot, but we can let our minds move away from that feeling and forget about it altogether (if you are experiencing undeniable pain, readjust - it's not worth risking an injury). When we stop giving it attention, it goes away in that we don’t notice it anymore. It is completely possible that we manifest so many of our ailments; by simply thinking about them, we give them life and a purpose. If we tell ourselves that we’re going to have a headache after the quarterly budget meeting, then we’re going to have that headache. We didn’t predict the future, we created it!

Aligning your chakras/energy centers, by acknowledging the fact that if we feel something (body), but choose not to give it attention (mind), we can rid our beings of it and see a few more sunrises (soul).



One for All, All Four One

December 5, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar


Let me break this down:

One for all refers to one method of spirituality, and how that one method can benefit an individual.

All four one refers to four (i.e. multiple) methods of spirituality, and how using them in conjunction can benefit an individual.

Meditation alone produces huge benefits, this we know. Meditation and yoga together produce huge benefits, this we know; but there are more combinations that raise our vibe and heal our beings.


Meditation and crystals

You can hold a crystal in the palm of your hand or you can place a larger crystal, say a tower or a geode, on the floor on front of you. You can wear jewelry or a pouch of them around your neck. You can place a crystal on a specific part of your body (shoulder, leg, crown) as long as it will stay put while you are seated. You can incorporate other decorative items such as crystal lampshades, vases, etc. into your meditation space for daily benefits.

Meditation and reiki

Marrying these two methods can enhance your reiki experience. Meditate immediately before a reiki session for relaxation, and that can aid in absorbing the healer’s energy. While meditating, ask the Source for His healing powers, as well.

Meditation and singing bowls

Sitting in a meditative state, while absorbing the healing sounds of the singing bowl can really raise your vibe and expel negative energy.

Reiki and crystals

Placing chakra stones during a reiki session increases the healing benefits by aligning your chakras while the crystals absorb any negative energy. Make sure to cleanse your crystals afterwards!

Reiki and singing bowls

This has the same effect as meditation and singing bowls, only meditation and singing bowls are done separately while reiki and singing bowls are done at the same time; singing bowl sounds can be played while reiki is being administered.

 Reiki and yoga

Completing a yoga sequence prior to a reiki session helps relax the muscles and opens your chakras for better absorption and redistribution of the good energy.

Crystals and singing bowls

Placing crystals around a singing bowl while they’re being played can cleanse them and bounce that energy back onto the bowls. It’s not recommended that you place crystals in the bowls, as it can cause damage to the bowls and the crystals; but the good news is that’s why crystal singing bowls exist!

Crystals and yoga

Crystals can be worn during a yoga session, as long as they don’t get in the way of a proper asana. They can also be placed around the outside of your mat, as long as they are far enough away and don’t get in the way of a proper asana.  They may also just be in the same room where you are completing a sequence as a decoration.

Now, having a little further knowledge of how just two of these methods can work can, you can create your own combination of methods, depending on your needs and desires.



Ten Minute Gratitude Meditation

November 21, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar

This is the time for us to be thankful, and we all have at least one thing to be thankful for. I am sharing with you a gratitude script that I created, to remind you of universal things for us to appreciate. Use it or tweak it to your own perspective.


Oh, Highest Power, I thank you for all my daily gifts

Daybreak and it’s possibilities

Fresh air from the tall trees      

Solid ground beneath my feet

[Sit in stillness for two minutes]

I witness your presence and your guidance

Illuminating my steps towards my purpose

Absent to thine eyes, you are still present

[Sit in stillness for two minutes]


You made the stars in the sky for me

You made the Heavens for me

You made my family for me

 [Sit in stillness for two minutes]


Thank you, Highest Power for all my daily gifts

I admire you

I cherish you

I rejoice in you

 [Sit in stillness for two minutes]



Every Second of Every day

November 14, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar


We wake up, we climb out of bed, we shuffle to the kitchen to get coffee, we take our vitamins, we get dressed, we pack our lunch, we trudge to the car, we drive to work….

There is an endless list of the things we do every day because that’s just the way it is, right? Have you ever been sitting at your desk and startled yourself with a sudden thought:

Did I turn the porch light off on my way out? Did I feed the dog? Did I turn on the slow cooker?

You don’t know because you weren’t there. Physically, sure, but mentally you were already onto the next task. If you were in the moment when the moment was happening your thoughts may be:

Since the sun was out and bright this morning, no sense keeping the light on! It was so nice to be able to give the dog once last snuggle before I fed her this morning. I can’t wait for that pot roast for dinner, it’ll be cooked to perfection!

We are way too focused on things that haven’t happened yet! We give ourselves a sense of control when we are “one step ahead”, but in reality, we aren’t in control at all, the Universe/Highest Power is!

If we took life one second at a time, found the miracle in each, we would have 86,400 seconds of joy.

86,400 seconds of joy. 86,400 miracles. Eighty-six thousand, four hundred.

I don’t know about you, but I’m grateful for every, single one.


Chain of Command: When Our Thoughts Command Our Attention

October 31, 2022

You’re sitting at a red light after you’ve dropped the kids off at school when you remember that you need to get gas on the way to work, then you think that running inside that gas station to get a coffee would be good because you ran out at home and need to get some from the grocery store…. speaking of the grocery store, there are only a few eggs left and you need at least six for the casserole for the work potluck.. wait, did you find that sweater that you wanted to wear to the potluck? Maybe it’s in the hamper… oh that’s right, there are still towels in the dryer!..

Before you know it, the light has been green for a few seconds and you hear an angry car horn that jolts you back to the present. This is what I’ve dubbed a “chain of command”, because these thoughts, one after another, have commanded your attention away from the current moment. This is a familiar anecdote to many of us, and the reason that some people get so frustrated while meditating.

“Your thoughts belong to you, or you belong to your thoughts. You must make up your mind.” -Sadhguru

Think about that statement, and apply it to your everyday. Does it fit? It does for me! Not just for my meditation sessions, but at times that I’m sitting idle. I must admit, the opening scenario actually happened to me.  Embarrassing, huh?  I was thankful it was dark and no one could see me.

When we get distracted, we miss out on so much. Of course, that applies to things like your kid scoring the winning goal in their soccer game, but it also could mean taking an extra few minutes to actually savor that candy bar that you’ve been looking forward to all day. Little things really are big things.

Next time you’re sitting at a light, or a stop sign, look around you. What do you see? Is this a daily route that you take everyday but are seeing something for the first time? Maybe tomorrow, slow down and grasp your surroundings. Just be present.



Why “New Age” Is Old News

November 7, 2022

By Vanessa Salogar


 The term “new age” is a label that has been applied to certain spiritual practices, i.e. meditation, yoga, chakra balancing, massage therapy, reiki, ayurvedic nutrition, etc. These practices are widely disapproved by some Christians, as they are alternate methods to relying on God alone.

I’m not exactly sure why these practices are still called “new age”, because they’re not new at all. Each of them emerged at different times, but the “new age” movement has exponentially gained popularity since the late 1960’s, early 1970’s. Some even mistakenly refer to it as a religion.

I’ve spent time researching the arguments from Christians, as well as from spiritualistics; both make valid points, however, some Christians seem to ignore the connections. I’ve listed a few of them below:



Take chakra balancing for instance, this is deemed not acceptable for Christians to practice because it’s rooted in Buddhism. However, the chakras are simply the energy centers in our bodies, which are mentioned in the Bible. Chakra translates to circle or wheel, and can be linked to each gland in the subtle body.


 Meditation is another example; there is varying information surrounding this practice, as to where it originated and it’s intended purpose. Again, it’s a practice mentioned and encouraged in the Bible. Jesus’s disciples meditated on God’s word. The contemporary practice means to sit in silent contemplation or personal focus. But, if we sit in silence long enough, and clear our minds of the voices and sounds that surround us, can we not hear His voice?


This is third great example. A component of Ayurveda revolves around the five elements: water, earth, air, fire, and space (also called ether) and how we use the elements - the same five elements that we were gifted by the Higher Power -to balance mind, body and inner selves using a holistic approach versus chemical medications. But the holistic approach is what’s under fire – it’s relying on self-improvement, not God’s healing hands.



The last example I’ll use is crystals. Spiritualists use crystals as a source of natural healing by harnessing their energy. They are deemed fit for this use as they are formed in the Earth’s crust, that He made.  Many consider crystals to be tools of divination or talismans, even though they are mentioned in the Bible. However, in the Bible they are used as adornment, not healing instruments, and that’s the argument against.

There are more methods of spirituality that have parallels to Christianity, and I encourage you to research them. I suspect it will be an informative and eye-opening journey. Arguably, the biggest difference (that I’ve deduced), is semantics. I tend to agree more with spiritualists.

For those of you who may be asking- yes, I consider myself a Christian. I’ve always believed, but didn’t have a deep understanding of what being a Christian means. I am cultivating my relationship with the Higher Power, slowly, because there is a lot to learn.                                                                                                                               

Let go and let God doesn’t mean not doing the physical work towards your betterment, it means that you’re trusting Him to guide you and deliver you where you’re supposed to be. If you’re bleeding, do you call out to God to instantly heal you or do you grab a band-aid? That’s your part, the wound invisibly healing and closing is His part. And He does it perfectly.



What Meditation Isn’t

October 4, 2022

A few blog posts back, I defined (my definition) the practice of meditation. I’ve explained some of the benefits, the dangers, the hesitations; but one thing I haven’t addressed is what meditation isn’t.

Meditation isn’t easy

Don’t confuse easy with simple. Meditation is a simple practice, but it’s not easy one. I use the words meditation and practice together quite a bit for obvious reasons; it takes practice to achieve desired results, and we all have different goals that we’re working towards in our practices. The most common reason meditating isn’t easy is the distractions. Even though you will feel a difference after your first session, blocking out distractions is difficult. Another reason that it isn’t easy is because of the negative emotions that it can conjure (see my “Meditation Hesitation” blog post).

Meditation isn’t a cure-all

Many people begin a meditation practice with the high-hopes that it will cure everything that ails them, but it simply won’t. It doesn’t alleviate our human emotions. It won’t keep us from having a bad day. It won’t prevent our relationships from falling apart. Evading all of these things would actually steal our humanity. But it will help us deal with those things. Meditation brings a sense of peace and centrality, a deep feeling of confidence and is something tangible to rely on; something that we are certain can enable us to use our confidence and inner peace to deal with whatever our day brings.

Meditation isn’t a replacement for logical intentions

Again, some people assume that meditation will automatically take over when it comes to making a decision or conjuring happiness. If you meditated in the morning, it doesn’t mean that you re-wired you brain and don’t have to be discerning. Oh please, don’t think this. There’s actual scientific research that meditation does re-wire your brain, but it’s not a one-shot-deal, it’s gradual, and it won’t magically make the “bad thoughts” disappear. It has been shown to lessen the neurological effects of depression, ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and addictions. But it takes time and commitment to your practice and to your desired wellness.

Just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.



Lovingkindness: What Do We Get Out of It?

October 12, 2022

First, let’s define lovingkindness.

In my training, it was defined simply as compassion. I’ve heard it said that it takes a special kind of person to be nice to some people. It really only takes a human kind of person. I get it, it really is hard to smile at someone who is being incredibly rude. But it’s compassionate to try to use that smile to change the dynamic; that smile may be the only smile they’ve gotten and it was exactly what they needed. So, why are we responsible for someone else’s mood? We’re not, but if we can help the situation, that can in turn help someone else that may have been having a bad day already before colliding with Person Prickly.

So, if we’re jumping through these hoops to change someone else’s day, what do we get out if it? Well….

·   More easy -going people around us

·   It disarms potential conflict

·   Leaves a lasting impression

·   Makes new friends

·   Nurtures human bonds

·   Improves our sense of self


Lovingkindness is not something tangible, and it doesn’t need to be; it reaches far and wide when done with the right intentions.

For those that wake up and feel like they’re Person Prickly, meditate on it. For those that have encountered Person Prickly, meditate on it. For those that witnessed, but evaded the barbs of Person Prickly, meditate on it. Meditate to get past it and on with your day; do not absorb that gray energy and bestow it upon others.



I Just Don’t Feel Like It

September 29, 2022

Some days we wake up on time, some we don’t, some days we wake up early and somedays we just don’t get out of bed. On any of those days, it’s too easy for us just not to feel like doing any of the things that we need to do. Unfortunately, those are likely the things that we need to do most. It’s the times that we don’t feel like doing it, are the times that we have to push ourselves to do it. Like going to the gym, walking through the supersized grocery store for just a few little things, stopping for gas (don’t wait until the morning, just seriously, don’t).. and meditating.

I’ve gone mornings without meditating, because I “don’t have time” or don’t feel like sitting still for that long, and it impacts my whole day. I notice that my impatience and general grumpiness take hold. I try a five-minute meditation to get myself back on track, but sometimes it’s too late by then. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world for me, knowing that it could’ve been different, and I only have myself to blame. Too often, we waste time then get upset that we didn’t get enough done. Taking those fifteen minutes in the morning for my own soul connection would’ve more than helped!

Start looking at the things that you don’t want to do as opportunities. Cliche? Maybe, but it works. They’re no longer things that you have to do, rather things that you get to do. Instead of “I have to” go to the store to grab a few things for dinner, “I get to” get some of my steps in. Instead of “I have to” work out, “I get to” raise my serotonin levels (another way to up your vibe). This is a great subject for intention setting meditations.

Call it self-care, self-love, positive thinking, or just woo-woo in general, but it’s so worth it to just do the things that we don’t want to do.



Intention Setting

September 19, 2022

Intention setting is a term that many people have heard of, and some of those people practice it, but they may be practicing it incorrectly.

Intention setting is the practice of stating your daily plans of working towards a goal. That goal doesn’t have to be done in a single day; it could be a self-improvement goal. For example, one of my goals is to have more patience - MUCH WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE HERE. Integrating intention setting and affirmations into your daily meditation/yoga routine can have a huge impact; it can really set the tone for your whole day.

One way that people are practicing this incorrectly is by confusing intention setting goals with a daily checklist. You can INTEND to read a chapter of a book before bed at night, but adding that intention to a checklist turns it into a chore.

It’s also a common mistake to turn wish lists into checklists . Remembering to stop for a gallon of milk after school pick-up is a different kind of task than picking out new curtains for the living room. Combining “I need to” with “I wish to” is going to make your daily to-do’s seem impossible, and when there are things on your checklist that didn’t get checked off, it can make you feel un-accomplished and unsuccessful. Feeling like this everyday can really lower your vibe.

Analyze each thing and ask yourself if it is an intention, a chore or a wish. Knowing the difference and executing your lists accordingly can free up some time and energy, and can really help you feel a sense of accomplishment when you check the right box off the right list.


Meditation Hesitation

August 29, 2022

With meditation being so widespread these days, it’s curious that some are so hesitant to try it, but they are. Why? Because they have the wrong ideas about it. For a long time, it has been considered a “new age” practice. It’s been grouped in with tarot reading, astrology and other forms of spirituality.

What does New Age mean?

I don’t know that there is one way to define it, but the basics are that it focuses on non-conformity of religion, medicine, and other precepts of Western civilization. It’s been a movement since the 70’s and many who consider themselves to be part of this movement are often considered by others whom are not part of the movement as “hippies”.  Holistics, mystics, spiritualists are other denoted terms.

In reality, there is nothing “new age” about the Bible, where meditation is referenced often. It is a spiritual practice. It should be a spiritual practice. But that doesn’t equate to being a religious practice. Please understand that there is a difference. Meditation is supposed to be about getting aligned with your soul, your spirit, your core. This exists without religion. Your meditation practice should be about healing, connecting, growth and confidence.

Tune into your body and mind and listen to what your soul is telling you it needs. Bear in mind, that you may not always hear what you want or expect; it may be quite the opposite, actually. There may be an issue that you need to address that has long been dormant or on the forefront for a while, but either way, it’s best to confront it to get past it - another obvious reason for hesitation.

I encourage you to try meditation. Ignore all the opinion and definitions. Disregard your fears. Seek out the benefits, instead, and you’ll come away from it more enlightened, which is the best thing that could happen.





Together or Alone?

September 9, 2022

Imagine being alone in a room, watching an awful "breaking news" story. The worry and pain and that sobering feeling are overwhelming. If you knew that there was a way to silence your mind and reach out to others who may also be alone and watching this unfold, wouldn't you want to? To know that you're not experiencing this alone? It can be like tossing out a lifeline, or a tin can with a string on it, when you sit in a room with others who are struggling in life, like you are. It doesn't even have to be the same struggle, it just needs to be something that they need a break from thinking about, obsessing over. Just being near others who “get it” …..the collective vibe raises.  I notice a rise in my mood immediately, almost to the point of being giddy. I really have to work harder some days to stay focused on the intentions that I set for that day, really focus on keeping my vibe elevated. It's soo easy to fall back into patterns because that's how we've unwittingly trained ourselves. 


I never, EVER thought I would be doing something like this. My social anxiety is off the charts (I was bullied quite a bit as a kid and rejected quite a bit as an adult) and to think of myself being the one of having a room full of people listening to me and paying attention... meditation shifts everything, it just changes the energy in the room. I needed the shift, the change.


I needed that shift for several reasons, and I know full well that everyone has some reason that they would love to just silence the noise that's in their minds. Everyone. I never thought I would be able to do that, my anxieties have just been too many. And the world around us certainly contributes- we are in worrisome times. As trite as it sounds, if I can reach a level of stillness and silence with all the things I carry daily, anyone who truly wants that calm for themselves can do the same. 


To anyone who doesn't know what it means to meditate, or to someone who questions whether they're doing it right, or they think that it sounds like it's too good to be true, or they think that it sounds more involved than it really is .... these are all normal questions and the one sure-fire way to answer them is guided meditation. There are many, many apps and websites that provide guided meditations. I've used some myself. But, when I first started on this path, I didn't find them useful because they all seemingly assumed that I knew what I was doing. Even some of them that explained it, didn't do it thoroughly enough, it just made me feel like I was missing some big revelation with it. I honestly didn't feel that this person who was "guiding" me was relatable. My concern is the disconnect; that using an app just won't make you feel like you're getting enough out of it.  It's important to seek a knowledgeable coach who can help you understand what you're doing and how it can help you. IT WILL HELP YOU, I promise. 


 Here I am, tin can in hand.


Space and Time

August 15, 2022


When I started my odyssey into meditation, I had very basic knowledge. Even after doing research, I still felt like I hadn’t learned much. I read articles, watched YouTube videos, downloaded apps on my phone…  but felt clueless and I didn’t understand why, until I realized that I felt as if I was missing some revelation about it, that I was doubting how the practice itself could be so simple.

But it is.

This is probably the eleventy-fifth time (just today) I’ve said this, but meditation can be practiced in many ways. At many different times of the day. In whichever space works best for you. It is what you make it.

Contrary to what you may have heard, or seen, you don’t have to have certain things to meditate, such as an alter or a wall hanging of a lotus flower. These things CAN be included in your space if they help you. Choose a place that you feel absolutely comfortable and free to be yourself. Now, I don’t know how your boss would feel about you sitting at your desk and meditating, and I don’t know anyone who chooses this as their “happy place”, but I’m not here to judge. You spin that spinny chair, if you like!  I, myself, meditate sitting on my bed, on a cushion on my floor, OR in my studio - as tiny as it is. Do you need your very own studio? No. But you do need someplace that you can block out distractions and bad vibes. Depending on your posture when meditating, you likely don’t need much room. A corner of a room would work just fine. Just fill it with items that help you relax and connect/disconnect. There are many decorating options that will compliment your personal style. Common items include:

·        Cushions, a yoga mat, special seats, folded blanket

·        Plants, a desktop water fountain, salt lamp or other elements of nature

·        Candles, oil lamps, table lamps, string lights

·        Cross, Buddha statue, mala beads or other faith-based items

Please don’t think this to be all or nothing list, choose what nourishes you and deepens your practice.

Also, make sure that you choose a conducive time of day to meditate. It could be the same time every day, when you’re (finally) home alone and can concentrate, or sitting in your car for five minutes before you walk into work. It’s most important to pick a time that will be productive. For further recommendations regarding time of day, see “The Drifting Dilemma” further down this blog page.

Your practice is yours. Absolutely seek advice and recommendations, but for yourself and in-turn those around you, decide what works best for you.



Bach vs. Bach

August 22, 2022

The soothing sounds of soft piano, the calming sounds of a flowing river, the metal sounds of….  shredding guitar.

I’m sorry.. what?

Most people think of meditation music as quiet and subtle, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to sit on the floor, close your eyes, form your favorite mudra, while listening to the gentle sounds of Slayer, there’s nothing wrong with that. Johann Bach or Sebastian Bach? Whichever. Remember, choosing which elements to incorporate into your practice depends on what elevates you, there is no set standard. Hard rock is to some, what classical is to others.

This is the same concept when it comes to sleeping with the TV on; some people absolutely cannot sleep with the bright light and/or sounds that TV’s provide, some can’t sleep without it. I grew up on a highway, so I’m used to the loud mufflers, sirens or intensely loud music. If I were to ever try sleeping in the country with nothing but the sounds of crickets – I’d be awake all night. Big difference.

Each human body has its own frequency, and that frequency attracts – and is attracted to- different sounds. This is what it means when someone describes a certain thing as their “vibe”, whether they realize it or not. “Vibes” are vibrations, and vibrations are sound waves, and sound waves are frequencies. Science.

So, Metallica vs. Mendelsohn, Pantera vs. Pachelbel, or Chimaira vs. Chopin isn't important, but the quality of your session is.

The point is, music is music, and it affects us all differently. Choose whatever clears your mind, makes your heart sing, your soul dance.



The Chicken Or the Egg?

August 8, 2022


Which first, meditation or yoga? Which is the chicken and which is the egg? Is there a pre-cursor?

Have you ever sat meditating and thought, ‘I should have stretched first’?”. Yep, me, too.

Most people don’t think that would be an activity that you would have to be flexible for.. until you’re doing it. It’s not a highly physical activity, but it does require stamina. Is it feasible to expect a person to sit completely still if they have lower back pain, or knee pain? If you do, you’re just mean.

How, as leaders and guides that want the best for our clients, can we help when asked for it?

We can assess the situation. Any guide/coach/leader worth their salt won’t tell you just to deal with it. If they do, run. What they should do is ask questions:

·        What does your current practice look like?

·        How long is a typical session for you?

·        Do you do any yoga?

·        What kind of pain/where?

These are some general questions, but not an all-inclusive list. Depending on your answers, your coach should be able to give you some sound advice.

In my personal experience, when I started meditating, I naively thought that I would sit cross-legged on the floor, close my eyes, say a few “ohms” and that would be it. I reiterate, naively. I’m grateful that I learned differently in my training, or I may still be doing it that way - because that’s the way I saw it done. Meditation does come in many forms, and yoga is one of them. Aside from the aspect of unity, yoga is a series of asanas (postures) that stretch and open your body. Part of my yogi training has been how to properly stretch before doing any asanas.

Ok Vanessa, did you basically just tell us to stretch before stretching?

Yes. I did. It’s to prevent injury. If you don’t know how to properly form and hold an asana, it could cause long-term damage. Holding an uncomfortable meditation posture can, too.

So, if yoga is a form of meditation, and stretching, should I just do that? Or do that before meditating? But what if I like meditating first thing then doing yoga after (I’ve had coffee)?

Whatever you want to do, do it. I like to meditate before I do anything in the morning. If it’s a morning I choose to sit on the floor instead of on my bed, I do some simple asanas first:

·        Child pose

·        Cat Cow pose

·        Staff pose

These will all help open up and engage muscles that you will be using (even thought it doesn’t seem like it) when meditating. There are other beneficial poses that open and stretch your back and legs, but they’re a little more involved and work best in a yoga sequence. But, that’s just my opinion.

If you have joint or muscle issues, there is plenty of information on the internet on modifiers; I recommend anything seated. There is also no one way to meditate. If you like to sit cross-legged and are physically able to for long periods of time, do it! If you like to sit on the floor and lean up against something to help with posture, have at it! If you love sitting on your back deck with a coffee in your hand just focusing on the sounds of the birds, by all means. The main point of meditation and yoga is for spiritual connection, so make sure that is your goal.

As with the age-old question, the chicken or the egg, there is no clear answer on whether yoga or meditation should come first.

In the words of my late father, “What do you want to do? Then do it.”

Just please, do it safely.



The Drifting Dilemma                                                                                                                                                                                    

July 25, 2022

One thing that I hear often, or rather the one thing that I hear DAILY, is: 

"When I try to meditate, my mind wanders SO MUCH, and it's frustrating! I can't get a good session sometimes. What am I doing wrong?"

My answer to this is, NOTHING. This is normal, and the most common concern with meditation. Guess what? It happens to me, too, and I'm a trained coach!  Yes, it is frustrating, but we all need to approach this concern with a touch of grace for ourselves. It is nothing new that we are all racing against the clock to accomplish several things throughout our day, which usually turns our day into one checklist after another. But, I can promise that one thing not typically found on those checklists is:  slow down. Don't let your mind (and, in turn, your body) become bogged down with an impossible amount of tasks! When those checklists aren't completed, the guilt starts to seep in, and that takes a slow toll, as well.

There are some tips and tricks that I can offer to help with your meditation sessions:

Use (choose) your time wisely     Meditation is a GREAT morning activity, it's a chance to start your day on a calm path and set your intentions for the day. If you feel like morning sessions steer more towards your to-do list, maybe take a midday "brain break" to meditate, when some of your tasks have been ticked off your list. Maybe nighttime sessions would work for you to use as a reflection of your day, and what to do differently tomorrow. Whichever time you choose, make sure that it's not when you're in a sleepy state, as I've heard of people falling asleep. Not a productive session!

Listen closely      This sounds a bit oxymoronic considering meditation is about shutting out all outside distractions, right? But I actually do mean just that, by suggesting you use a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Not for music, although it's an effective method, but to divert your attention back to your breathing. Have you ever placed your hands over your ears to lessen loud noises? This is the same concept. It will allow you to actually hear your own breath and re-gain your focus.

See with your eyes closed        Yes, that is what I said. I don't know one person that doesn't see something when they close their eyes. Some people see a picture image of the last thing they looked at before closing their eyes, some people see patterns...but why not visualize instead of see? Ever heard of a "happy place"? This could be your favorite vacation spot, maybe the memory of visiting your grandparents' house during the holidays, or simply the face of your child. Let your mind wander to somewhere you want it to go. 

So, as frustrating as your mind wandering may be sometimes, don't feel upset with yourself and let it ruin your session - or your day!