WholeYou #9: Fourth Chakra

Want to feel more connected to your heart and feel self-love? Take a listen to our heart chakra podcast.

Episode 9 of the WholeYou podcast is here!  See below for the show notes, listen to the show (stream or download) on the embedded SoundCloud box below, or find it on iTunes of your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening! 

Fourth Chakra At a Glance:

  • Sanskrit Name: Anahata
  • Location: Heart area
  • Element: Air
  • Color: Green (also sometimes pink)
  • Issues: Love and self-love, relationships, intimacy
  • Goals: Balance, compassion, self-acceptance, connection
  • Basic Rights: To love and be loved

What we Discuss in Episode #9:

  • How to know if your fourth chakra is out of balance
  • Signs of a deficient and excessive fourth chakra
  • Love, self-love, relationships, and boundaries
  • Yoga poses, meditations, and pranayama to balance your heart chakra
  • Fourth chakra affirmations

Valerie and I are really appreciate you taking the time to listen and share your comments. If you like the show, subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app, and please take 1 minute to leave us a review on iTunes  — it helps us to reach more people, and we'd be so grateful! 

Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
    • Quote excerpted the above book in today's episode: 
      In the heart chakra, we access the feelings by use of the breath. When we hold back our feelings, we hold back our breath. When we hold the breath, we restrict the vital nourishment of air to our cells and muscles, and in effect, deaden ourselves. Deepening the breath allows repressed feelings to surface and be mobilized, freeing the heart from the heaviness of grief and allowing the natural balance of taking in and letting go to be restored.
  • The 5 A's of Love by Dave Richo
  • Loving Kindness Meditation by Tara Brach
  • Yoga asana and meditation streaming site - Gaia (Val's favorite) and Yogaglo (Lauren's go-to)
  • Mindful Eating by Dr. Jan Chozen Bays

Other Episodes in the Chakra Series:

More from Valerie:

More from Lauren:

*Music credit for our mini theme song is Little Idea from Bensound.com. Thanks, Ben!

Ditch the Food Labels: Be Curious & Neutral

I was in the grocery store recently when a mom told her young child to put back a box of granola bars he wanted to get because "they have way too much toxic sugar in them." 

I've heard plenty of times people say no to dessert at restaurants because they don't want to be "bad" or eat the dessert but then feel guilty.

Food labels - labeling food as good, bad, "clean," healthy or unhealthy, or even labeling your dinner as gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, whatever-free on Instagram - are so common these days. It's so normal to talk about food in this way that we don't stop to question why we do it. Even food companies label or market food this way - I've seen brownies in the store labeled as "guilt-free brownies." 

The problem with food labels is it adds morality to food. Instead of simply enjoying a cookie, we label it as "bad" or "unhealthy." This leads to guilt and feeling ashamed or bad about ourselves for eating it. 

We shouldn't have to feel guilt or shame around eating. Food is only food, and it shouldn't have the power to determine how we feel about ourselves. Food labels often lead to feeling powerless or out of control around food, and how we feel about ourselves depends on how or what we eat (or don't eat).

Instead, start to get curious about these food labels and beliefs. 

When you notice these thoughts pop up, ask yourself "Why do I think this food is good or bad?" Explore your beliefs about that food to see if it is true or not. 

Often, these beliefs are taken from what you have heard or read about food and nutrition. Unfortunately, media and the messages we hear are negative, fear-mongering, and shaming. If you watch the news about nutrition, you may notice that what is deemed healthy or not is changing on a monthly basis. There is a lot of focus on extremes, such as cutting out all sugar or eating a 100% plant-based diet, rather than taking a balanced approach to eating. 

Many of the messages we hear are inaccurate or taken out of context. A lot of the nutrition studies you may hear about may be done on rats (not humans) or are small studies that can't be applied to the general population.

Find space to explore new beliefs, such as:

  • Food is not good or bad.
  • All food has a purpose. Food can provide energy, nutrients (vitamins and minerals), pleasure and enjoyment, social bonding and connection, and more. For example, enjoying a piece of cake for your birthday can be a pleasurable experience, chance to connect with family, as well as provide your body and brain energy (calories and carbohydrates).
  • All foods can fit.
  • You can trust yourself around food.
  • Your body is wise and can tell you when it's hungry, full, and what it needs.
  • No one food has the power to change your health. Eating a salad will not make you automatically healthy. Eating a cookie will not make you unhealthy.

Get curious about your current food beliefs, and explore trying out new ways to think about food.

A good way to start is with food neutrality. Instead of labeling food, just notice what it is and observe. If you're eating a salad, notice the crunch or flavor of the veggies. If you're eating a cookie, observe the sweetness or how the chocolate melts. 

Let go of whether or not society feels the food is good or bad, and notice what foods you like or not. This process can be a chance to explore the foods you taste-buds really enjoy (or not), the combinations of foods that are pleasurable, or the foods that are energizing to your body.

Instead of choking down kale because it's a "superfood," don't eat it or find a way to eat it that you enjoy. If you enjoy cookies, bake your favorite recipe as it is rather than trying to "healthify" it by cutting back on the sugar or butter.

Curiosity opens up possibilities in your relationship with food. It helps you tune into your body's wisdom rather than judging how you eat based on messages from our diet culture.

Make it a practice to explore with time. 

More:

WholeYou #8: Third Chakra (manipura)

The third chakra is all about balancing vitality, energy, strength, and will — something pretty much all of us need, right? 

Episode 8 of the WholeYou podcast is here!  See below for the show notes, listen to the show (stream or download) on the embedded SoundCloud box below, or find it on iTunes of your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening! 

Third Chakra At a Glance:

  • Sanskrit Name: Manipura (lustrous gem)
  • Location: Solar plexus
  • Element: Fire
  • Color: Yellow
  • Issues: Vitality, strength, will, power, self-esteem, strength, sense of purpose

What we Discuss in Episode #8: 

  • How to know if your third chakra is out of balance
  • Signs of a deficient and excessive third chakra
  • How dieting can limit your personal sense of power
  • How working with shame and trauma can help you heal and reclaim your power and vitality
  • Yoga poses to balance your Manipura chakra
  • Third chakra affirmations

Valerie and I are really appreciate you taking the time to listen and share your comments. If you like the show, subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app, and please take 1 minute to leave us a review on iTunes  — it helps us to reach more people, and we'd be so grateful! 

Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
    • Quote excerpted the above book in today's episode: 
      “The ego is like a house. It is where we live. It contains us, gives us a place to grow and change, and creates boundaries, which are necessary for forming ourselves as an entity. It balances energy in the system, keeping us in homeostasis. Many spiritual disciplines advise us to transcend the ego, and consider it something bad, limiting, or false. The problem of ego is not that it is limiting — but that we let ourselves be confined by it at all times. We stay confined out of fear, guilt, or shame, and never go outside to the larger world, never open our windows and doors. It is not wrong to have a home, but it should be an anchor for experience, not a limitation. Keeping this in perspective enables us to both have a strong ego and transcend it as well.”
  • AwakenWithJP YouTube channel
  • Brene Brown's book Daring Greatly & TED Talk on shame
  • Outlander (for funsies)

Other Episodes in the Chakra Series:

More from Valerie:

More from Lauren:

*Music credit for our mini theme song is Little Idea from Bensound.com. Thanks, Ben!