Our guest for this week is Cari Merriam, an expert health and lifestyle fitness guide with a mission to increase global happiness.

Cari has been fighting adversity her entire life. Throughout her childhood, she was heavily medicated due to depression and anxiety issues. Her struggles with mental illness led her to a life of drug addiction and self-abuse.

She found a way out in Core Power Yoga. After an emotional breakthrough experience, Cari resumed to challenge herself physically and spiritually and joined the 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher training. Since then, Cari has gone on to teach over 2000 classes, lead BootCamps, Cleanses, and support Teacher Training nationally for Core Power Yoga. She has certifications in vinyasa, yin, sculpt, meditation, and breathwork (pranayama yoga).

Cari founded a lifestyle brand called Strength and Surrender meant to empower, motivate and teach you how to rebuild the love you have for yourself and strengthen your mind, body, and soul. In 2016, she moved to Bali and ever since, she’s been working on awakening others into their highest self-potential. You can check out her channel on YouTube and see what her intelligent workouts based on yogic philosophy and practice are all about.

She has her own podcast called Embodied Enlightenment where each week she discusses a wide array of diverse and interesting topics with her guests. Her intention is to shift your energetic experience of your everyday life, push you to think differently about your internal and external world, and to activate the greatness within you through conscious obtainable action.   

Cari is on a mission to awaken self-love in others and she is focusing on teaching others how to live a life of freedom, passion, and purpose.

Connect with Cari:

Cari’s Story of Inspired Evolution

Having been riddled with anxiety and depression in her youth and with no alternative to heavy medication, Cari’s origin story is one of struggle and adversity. In later years she suffered from drug addiction to the point in which her life was seriously endangered.

“I was almost on my deathbed, and in New York City because I was doing so much cocaine.” – Cari Merriam

One night, she decided to leave the bubble that drove her to the same paths of self-destruction and the universe responded with an unexpected encounter. She met a friend, her soul-sister, which opened her eyes to a new way. She planted an idea in Cari’s brain about Core Power Yoga, believing it could be an answer to the question she had been looking for.

“I remember I went into Core Power and just balled my eyes out the first class. I completely lost it. It was the first time I felt like someone held space and saw me.” – Cari Merriam

The transformation she felt every time she practiced Yoga kept her coming back to the point where she decided to sign up for a program and become a teacher herself. In a peculiar situation where she was working as a bartender at a strip club by day, and going to teacher training at night, Cari looked for and found the strength within.

“Every time things happen, I had a choice to be a victim or to be a victor for myself. And I always chose self.” – Cari Merriam

Her next encounter with her soul-sister led her to explore the power of breathwork, opening a whole new dimension of experience, proving the remarkableness of the universal alignment behind their connection. Using techniques she has learned in the last decade, Cari founded her own lifestyle brand and is looking to inspire and teach self-love in others and bring marriage and wholeness within themselves.

Marriage of the Self, Marriage of the Soul

“We are all walking around with fragmentations of ourself and how we are brought up is in societies is to not look at those aspects… and we carry them around like a wounded bag behind us.” – Cari Merriam

We need to overcome the distortions within ourselves which are brought on by society. These fragmentations are seeking unity and we need to attain energetic wholeness in order to truly realize our purpose in life. Cari points out the difference between the physical and the energetic self. We charge our energetic bodies through the process of breathing, and through breathwork, we can achieve marriage of the self.

“When you’re truly whole you can be in pure alignment with the river of life.” – Cari Merriam

Limiting Nature of a Conditional Society

“We all have trauma. All of us. Because we live in a conditional society.” – Cari Merriam

It’s easier for us as children to be aligned with the world around us as we’re not yet influenced by language. Trauma occurs when our natural development gets affected by the rules of society. From a young age, we’re being conditioned by society through our parents and the school system with the goal of controlling behavior. This is not in and of itself a bad thing but is what essentially leads to the conditioning of existence.

What’s to Come

“From the world’s standpoint, it’s time for co-creation. It’s time to uplift each other’s vibration, by not only uplifting our own but bridging relationships and merging cellularly so we can expand together.” – Cari Merriam

Cari is looking to share her stories, teach and get involved with co-creation, all the while exploring and witnessing the power of breathwork. Her message of the importance of achieving wholeness and marriage with the self is resonating deeply and the foundation of the whole story is beautifully summed up with the words:

“You are pure love.” – Cari Merriam