Chakras & Chardonnay

Ep. 31: From Chakras to Grapes: Nurturing Wholeness with Lauren Leduc

January 17, 2024 Maria Mayes Season 2 Episode 31
Chakras & Chardonnay
Ep. 31: From Chakras to Grapes: Nurturing Wholeness with Lauren Leduc
Show Notes Transcript

This week Maria is joined by Lauren Leduc, a visionary teacher, intuitive mentor, and founder of True Love Yoga, Kansas City.  Lauren's journey began at 17 when she was diagnosed with anorexia, leading to a decade of challenges like anxiety and depression. With support, she discovered tools for healing, eventually founding a popular outdoor program, Pop Up Yoga KC, which evolved into True Love Yoga, a pay-what-you-can studio offering trauma-informed yoga classes and teacher training.

In 2022, Lauren became a certified Dharma and spiritual life coach, merging her experience into a transformative one-on-one program. Her focus is empowering women and femmes to embrace their fullness through her book, "Embody Your Inner Goddess: A Guided Path to Radical Wholeness." In the podcast, she shares insights into intuitive readings, guiding clients through chakras and connecting them with their inner goddess.

Maria explores Lauren's journey from teaching to coaching, highlighting the intertwined yet distinct aspects of these roles. Lauren emphasizes the importance of self-trust and offers a wellbeing tip from her book: a self-massage practice to foster body positivity.

Their conversation delves into the importance of self-awareness, shedding light on how societal norms affect self-perception. Lauren shares insights on stepping away from self-numbing behaviors and embracing vulnerability as fertile soil for growth.

Transitioning to wine, Lauren expresses a preference for crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Champagne, Prosecco, Pinot Noir, and rosé. She shares her recent experience in Sicily, immersing in yoga and wine tastings, and enjoying locally grown grapes.

Lauren's reflections underscore the value of understanding the craft behind wine, akin to savoring its journey from vine to glass. Her discussion intertwines mindfulness, healing, and appreciation for life's nuances.  Lauren leads a guided meditation at the end designed to help one get out of their own way.  

To connect with Lauren:

Learn more about Maria and her work at Take5.Health and subscribe to receive tips and free Guided Meditations each Wednesday. Connect with Maria on social:

Maria Mayes: [00:00:00] Welcome back chakras and chardonnay listeners. I'm really excited to be back with you again and grateful to have with me today, my guest Lauren Leduc. And so Lauren's a visionary teacher, intuitive mentor, and a mama. And she's got the special gift of cultivating community and creating accessible experiences.

She's taught thousands of students with her approachable and intelligent methodology, and it's compassionate, thoughtful and deeply invested in creating opportunities for others to shine. So at age 17, Lauren was diagnosed with anorexia, and that's filed into a decade of anxiety, depression, and medical problems, and feeling of purposelessness.

With a great deal of support from family and loved ones, she discovered a plethora of tools and methodologies to help herself heal, to tap into her gifts, and ultimately become a beacon of inspiration for others on the spiritual path. [00:01:00] So in 2015, Laura founded Pop Up Yoga KC, a popular outdoor program in Kansas City, Missouri, and she soon found a permanent home for her Pop Up Yoga program, which became True Love Yoga, Kansas City.

Kansas City's premier pay what you can studio. I love that name. True love yoga. Eight years later. True love yoga is thriving with a plethora of trauma informed yoga classes and a yoga teacher training program. And she certified 125 yoga teachers and counting. So that's just amazing. The fact that there's that focus on trauma informed teaching, uh, through both the, the offerings and then the, the teacher training curriculum is really amazing to hear.

And so after teaching thousands of yoga hours and committing to deepen in her own studies, she felt called to expand her soul's purpose by becoming a certified Dharma coach and [00:02:00] spiritual life coach in 2022. And as a yoga teacher, spiritual life coach, energy healer, and intuitive reader, Lauren will soon be unveiling her signature one on one offering, which combines her multifaceted experience into one beautiful life changing container.

So her greatest spiritual passion is harnessing the sacred feminine and guiding women and femmes to love themselves and embrace fullness. And that has been definitely a theme of late in some of the conversations I've been having. So I'm really excited to get into this. And really excited to share that she has her first book coming out, uh, embody your inner goddess, a guided path to radical wholeness.

And so this is by the date of this, uh, recording being published will be out likely for your purchasing. And in addition to that book, she also, um, continues working with clients directly creating courses, learning. Leading [00:03:00] international retreats, teaching yoga, writing and running her business. And so you can find her when she's not working, soaking in time with her husband and two year old working on her garden.

Enjoying Lake life and watching shows about baking and drag queens. That is a lot of fun and a lot of similarities in terms of, uh, gardening, lake life, etc. So, welcome so much, um, Lauren, to the show.

Lauren Leduc: Oh, thank you so much, Maria. I'm so happy to be here and I have to just say I was drawn to your podcast name immediately, as I'm sure, as I'm sure many are, um, because wine has accompanied so much of this story, but, um, I feel like you've covered so much of it, and I'm actually kind of exhausted hearing that read back to me.

Maria Mayes: You don't realize how much we've done until we hear someone else read it, right? 

Lauren Leduc: Yeah, absolutely. But yeah, that's kind of, uh, my life in a nutshell. Well, beautiful. Let's 

Maria Mayes: start out by just sharing what [00:04:00] prompted you to write this book. 

Lauren Leduc: It's definitely been on my bucket list for a long time, too. Write and publish a book.

Um, and I've had a lot of different ideas over the years, but this particular one just came at me all at once. I was not looking for it. I was just on a walk with my daughter, pushing the stroller around our neighborhood and kind of got the download for the whole thing. And it's truly inspired by my whole journey.

The many, many tools that I've picked up along the way, um, yeah. Yeah. And really, my love of teaching, too. It's very much like a teaching book, so I'm, um. Yeah, just so excited to, to see how, um, how it affects people. That's 

Maria Mayes: beautiful. Such a beautiful, uh, offering, right, to wrap that teaching up into a published work.

And so tell me a little bit more about as you [00:05:00] transitioned from teacher to coach that journey for you, because, you know, similar in that regard, I started teaching before I started coaching, and I find that You know, the two are so intertwined, but yet very different depending on, um, you know, the focus points.

And obviously with the way we actually communicate and work with, um, our clients. And so tell me a little bit about that journey for you. 

Lauren Leduc: Yeah, I'm definitely still both. So it really just like expanded to coaching and the intuitive readings. Um, but I love teaching. I've been teaching yoga now for 10 years and, um, that led into the teacher training that you talked about.

So that's so much. Different, I think, than like leading a classroom full of people and I love group facilitation. My favorite part of teacher training, both as a student and as a teacher is philosophy. So that's really like a deep discussion based type of learning. And then I would mentor yoga teachers too.

[00:06:00] So I was. Coaching in a way before I started coaching, um, when the pandemic hit, I also became pregnant at the same time. I had to move my yoga studio business completely online and, uh, now we are back in person, but a lot of my priorities and values changed. I really would. Put pretty much everything into work before, and I still really value my work and my service, um, with my daughter coming, it really made me look at like, how can I, how can I be at home more?

How can I be with her more? And how can I, like, still pursue my, my passions and interests, uh, which are always growing. So, yeah, being able to coach and, and really, uh, what I consider more of what I do, mentoring and like intuitive reading now, that's, that's what it, that has morphed into, um, but the coaching aspect certainly helps with that, um, but yeah, I love [00:07:00] just being able to serve clients, whether in a group or one on one in whatever way meets them the best, I suppose, and to be a good mirror, um, yeah.

Mentor and to really just help people reflect on their own and go deep and and be in touch with their own intuition. Right. So sometimes we need that guy 

Maria Mayes: that mentor right to help us pull that out. So I'd love for you to share a little bit for our listeners, especially if someone's really new to the world of intuitive reading, share a little bit more about what that looks like for your clients.

How do you work with them with 

Lauren Leduc: the reading? Yeah, sure. And I'll explain too, when I started coaching, the intuition was really just coming through and I had a Reiki certification in yoga and used my intuition in that way and in my life, but I really started to see that I needed to like figure out how to use this gift in a way [00:08:00] that is skillful.

So, um, for listeners who maybe are more empathetic or sensitive, sometimes I would Get downloads or just emotions or feelings in my body that I later realized weren't even mine. And I would wonder, like, what is wrong with me right now? Um, so the intuitive work has helped me set up better energetic boundaries and then wield it more skillfully so I can use it to help others and myself rather than to feel kind of in this like jumble of.

of information, basically. Um, so, uh, I love the chakras, which is why I was very drawn to this podcast. And that is typically what I read. Um, and I also help connect clients to their inner goddess. So that is what my book is, Embody Your Inner Goddess. And we actually travel through the chakras in the book.

So the readings are like a really intensive version of that where I provide my intuitive insights. [00:09:00] So I connect with my client's inner goddess, which is like the feminine aspect of the soul or the highest self. And then she helps, helps me look at the client's chakras. And, um, I get information about what I see and convey that compassionately to the client to help, uh, remove, Any obstacles or help them receive insights that will help them grow or go in the direction that they want to go.

Um, everybody. Has different a different, um. I think access points to the intuition and. I think by, by, uh, me sharing what I see or what I feel or what I know helps the clients a lot of times just, uh, I think trust themselves a little more because I think a lot of times they already know the information and they need somebody else, I think, to be that mirror for them and that confirmation.[00:10:00] 

So beautifully said, 

Maria Mayes: um, you know, I was writing just earlier today a newsletter article on that whole concept of self trust, right? And why it seems to be. Somewhat foreign to us. Right. Um, so such a beautiful offering that you help folks tap into that and leverage your own inner trust to develop that.

Right. Cause I'm sure it wasn't until you fully stepped into trusting intuition that you're able to do that pretty fine. So I'd love for you to share a wellbeing tip today that the listeners could put into action after the show. 

Lauren Leduc: Well, if you get my book, there are. 49 embodiment practices. Yes. So the book goes through the chakras and you spend seven days in each one essentially where I share some of my story and then there's a reflection.

So there's some journaling and then there's some sort of embodiment practice to like bring the information home. So I think that [00:11:00] action steps are important. Incredibly important. Um, so I'll start with mine from day one, actually, which is really centered on the body and loving the body because for me, um, access to spirit is so important, but feeling safe and loving in your own body.

Is your body is the temple, your body is where like spirit resides as we're here in this lifetime. Um, so developing a loving relationship with it is really important. So the practice from day 1 is a self massage. You don't have to know how to massage. You can just use your intuition, essentially, and go from feet all the way up or, or face all the way down, whatever you feel more comfortable with.

And, uh, you say to yourself, my body is mine. My body is beautiful. My body is mine. My body is beautiful. So you're saying that as a massage, really [00:12:00] reclaiming your own energy, your own autonomy, and your own uniqueness and beauty. I love 

Maria Mayes: that. What would you say to, um, and just since we're not on video for the listeners, you know, as you're massaging, I should be saying that she was rubbing her arms in a really gentle way.

And so sometimes we would do that with oil, right? Sometimes you don't necessarily need oil. You can do it without, but what a beautiful. And very gentle, um, practice and touch that I witnessed right now with you. So if this is, if we've got someone who's listening, who this is, this is a push, right? So for a lot of us, if we haven't stepped into really cultivating self awareness and self compassion and, and falling into love with the physical vessel, right?

And there's some, there's some limitations there, right? Or there's some story there that are blocking that ability [00:13:00] to embody. Mm-Hmm. , can you guide us through how do you help, uh, them tap into that? Or what do you recommend, for example, if someone hears that and is like, no way. Yeah. All sorts of, you know, junk as I massage myself.

And as I say those words, they're not resonating. What do you say to 

Lauren Leduc: that? What can we offer them? Absolutely. Well, I'm glad you brought that up because the reflection practice before the embodiment practice is all about that. So essentially, and it's, it's a huge ask. I'll say this book is, it's intense. If you want like intense change, this is, this is a good place to go, but you'll be held in a safe container throughout it.

Um, but essentially I have, and this is something I've done myself. We list out different. Submitting or negative beliefs about the body, then we ask, like, where does that come from? So let's say, um, let's say I'm feeling insecure about my skin and my belief is like my [00:14:00] skin is ugly or it's wrinkly or red.

Then I think, where does that actually come from? Is that some, a thought that I was born with? Is this a thought that I have because It's the objective truth. No, it came from outside of me. It came from media, perhaps, or, uh, maybe it came from social media and filters, uh, You know, it can come from a lot of different, like, maybe it's inherited or ancestral.

Essentially, at least my theory is that all these negative body thoughts that we have about ourselves, especially as women or femmes, come from outside of us and they aren't true. They are simply messaging that have, like, co opted our thoughts over time. So, we write the thought, where it's from, and then an alternate thought.

And I'll say, like, as far as affirmations go, There's something that took me a long time to really enjoy working with and to, like, [00:15:00] to not feel cringy. I guess I'll put it that way. So I'll say if this is a newer practice for somebody to just give it time and if they don't believe it yet, that's okay, too.

We've got to start somewhere. 

Maria Mayes: We kind of fake it till we make it at 

Lauren Leduc: first, right? Yeah, I think so. And yeah, I was told like in my in my treatment for the eating disorder to look in the mirror and say these affirmations and I do it and I'd be like, oh, it's just it's not true. Like, I'm why am I sitting here lying to myself?

Um, But with many other practices, with time, with, uh, yoga, like that's such a huge one for me. Um, I started to, like, see the value in my own body and love it. And it's still a work in progress, too. Like, these are tools I still use because I don't think I'm going to get to this, like, final state where I absolutely love everything about myself all the time.

Um. You [00:16:00] know, I still live within this society. If I lived maybe in a cave somewhere and never had to see myself or be around other people, I might not have these kind of thoughts. But, um, you know, that's why we have these wonderful tools available to us to, to help keep us, uh, keep us on path. Well, I love that.

I love 

Maria Mayes: that you started with just getting curious, right? Asking the question, where is this coming from? Because I think that curiosity can open up so much when it comes to stepping into them. Um, tools to help us make transformation and, um, I'm curious now speaking of curiosity as you, you know, you shared a little bit about, um, your eating disorder journey, what was the,, what was the light bulb moment or at what point was there a specific event or was it a, you know, unraveling over time, or what shifted the journey for you to step 

Lauren Leduc: out of that?

Well, it was a really long journey to get out of it. Um, You know, one of the [00:17:00] blessings was that it started getting bad when I was still a minor and in my parents house. So they were there as support to, um, help get me treatment. But it took a long time after that to like truly. Feel recovered, I guess, um, there are a lot of stumbles along the way.

So I wouldn't say there's any 1 thing necessarily, um, that helped me recover. It was a lot of things. Uh, and it was really like coming to terms with. It's just coming to terms with, like, who I am and how I operate, which took me a long time. For instance, I'm a really sensitive person, which now is a superpower, right?

I use it to help serve others through yoga or readings or whatever it might be through the book. Um, but I thought it was, I thought it was something horrible, honestly, about myself for a long time, or something I couldn't quite even pinpoint. I just knew that. I didn't quite fit into this [00:18:00] world as it is, and that there must be something wrong with me.

And not to completely point the fingers outward, but, like, we do live in a patriarchal society that values, um, I guess the opposite of sensitivity in a way. It values, like, production. It values, like, doing the same thing every single day, no matter how you feel. It values, like, competition over collaboration.

Uh, all of these things that I think for a sensitive person, it's just kind of hard to, to know where you fit or to even feel squashed by it or to feel like there's something wrong with you. Um, so for me, it was, like, truly embracing my wholeness. Like, What makes me me? The good and the bad, so to speak, and how do I, how do I love all of it?

And not only love it, but like, how do I see these things that maybe feel like flaws [00:19:00] and turn them into superpowers? That is so beautiful. 

Maria Mayes: So I just have to say, I got a full on energy shower as they were sharing that. It was, you know, whether it be from, uh, disordered eating or medicating with a substance, um, whatever it might be, you know, the, the, that which we use to numb to check out and to, um, take the edge off, right?

Um, a lot of what's behind this, you know, podcast is, is my journey from self medicating to meditating. So I just felt that on a lot of levels and I think a lot of, uh, I'm 

Lauren Leduc: sure a 

Maria Mayes: lot of our listeners did too. So I appreciate you sharing that so 

Lauren Leduc: beautifully. Um, 

Maria Mayes: as we, uh, transition now into a conversation about wine, I want to first, uh, look at If there's, if there's anything in particular that as, if someone's listening and that [00:20:00] resonated and hit for them as much as it did for me, would you have any, you know, additional words of encouragement for them to maybe start that journey?

Lauren Leduc: This is what comes to mind and it was something that a boyfriend told me like back in the day before I, um. It was on, like, the self help type of train, I suppose, but he said when you're digging yourself out of a hole, first you're going to see a lot of dirt, um, which sounds really scary, right? But if you were in a dark place, it might be Take a little bit of time before you see the light, but all of this work of excavation of climbing is is worthy.

It's character building. Um, also, like, I see the dirt as fertilizer, right? It's all of the, excuse my French, but shit from our [00:21:00] lives, whether it be trauma, whether it be mistakes, whether it be like the self medicating or numbing or whatever, it becomes this fertile store. Fertile soil for our stories and for our growth for expansion for our service.

So, I think it requires a little bit of faith and again, that self trust that you were talking about to know that the light is coming. Um, also, if you're stepping away from a self numbing journey, you'll probably feel really uncomfortable, but you'll also feel some of the benefits right away. Of your, um, abstinence from whatever it might be, an eating disorder, from drinking too much, from smoking too much weed.

That was a big one for me in my 20s. Um, there's a certain clarity that comes with the hard work of digging yourself out. 

Maria Mayes: So true. Beautifully said again. So thank you so much for sharing all that wisdom. I want to ask you about wine and [00:22:00] what you like to enjoy, but first I want to make sure we let the listeners know where they can find your book, where they can find you should they want to work with you directly.

Lauren Leduc: Sure, you can find my book wherever books are sold. So Amazon, Barnes and Noble, local bookstore. Um, and if they don't have it in stock, you can order it from them. Um, you can find me at laurenladuke. com or on Instagram at Iamlaurenladuke. And I also have a podcast with my BFF Rashida called Your Spiritual Besties, uh, that we release every Wednesday and we talk about.

All kinds of things and we also give intuitive readings on the podcast. So if you're interested in the checker readings, you can listen to them on there. I love that. So 

Maria Mayes: thank you for sharing that. I'm definitely going to check it out myself and I have to compliment you on your beautiful enunciation of chakras because I have said from, I think it was episode one, you know, have grace for me and forgive me for my, uh, enunciation because it, it, [00:23:00] it's, it's challenging for this, uh, for this mouth of mine to enunciate properly, but you did so beautifully.

So with that said, what type of wine do you like to 

Lauren Leduc: mindfully enjoy? Hmm. Uh, I. There's a few. Um, I like something, like, I like a crisp and dry white, so I'm a big Sauvignon Blanc fan. Um, I also love bubbles, so I love Champagne or Prosecco. Um, if I'm going for a red, maybe a Pinot Noir, again something, something dry and tanniny.

I was thinking, oh, and I love a rosé too. Um, yeah, I really love wine. I think it's something that absolutely can be mindfully enjoyed if it is, um, You know, if, if you're in the position to be able to do so at the time, uh, I just got back from Sicily where I had a group of folks with me where we [00:24:00] were doing yoga twice a day and doing wine tastings and things like that.

So I think, um, you can bring the mindfulness from the yoga into the, the world of wine to really enjoy it and taste it. And sorry to go off about wine right now, but that's what we're 

Maria Mayes: here for. And I'm, if you. If, uh, if we were on the video, but I'm drooling as you're talking about yoga in Sicily. So what's their particular type of wine in Sicily that you enjoy?

Lauren Leduc: You know, so the retreat center that we stayed at, which is in or an old farm in the middle of Sicily, um, that is ancient has their own grapes that they grow and they make their own wine just. Just to enjoy on their property, they don't sell it or anything. I even asked the farmer what kind of grapes they were and he said, I don't know.

Very interesting. Yeah. So they had a white and a red and they were both. Delicious and wonderful [00:25:00] and, uh, being able to. Like be on the property and pull the grapes off the vine and taste them and hand them to my daughter and for her to taste them too and to like truly see how they are loved on and cultivated definitely makes the experience so much more pleasurable.

Having a relationship with the land with what goes into the making of it with the people who make it. It's so, so interesting and such a beautiful experience. For 

Maria Mayes: sure. That is so beautiful. I really appreciate you sharing that and part of the within the take five mindful tasting process and we're doing wine tasting that that last step of reflecting where we look at okay how is this leaving me in my mouth you kind of savor it right that finish as we'd say in the wine industry but also taking a little journey of gratitude from the hands working in the soil all the way to it arriving in the glass there's just so many different steps and And souls involved.

So for you to be able to [00:26:00] experience that right there, um, sounds amazing. Let me know the next time you do that, because I want to sign up for that 

Lauren Leduc: one. So I will for sure. I'm looking at a couple other locations to, um, maybe Bordeaux, maybe Provence. I've done tastings in Provence before, too, and they, yeah, it's just incredible.

It's so different than, like, buying a box of wine off the shelf, uh, you know, here in the U. S. Like, it's very different knowing where it comes from. Same with our food. Um, you know, to be, to have the privilege to gain that kind of appreciation for the process is, um, such a beautiful thing. Absolutely. 

Maria Mayes: Well, thank you for sharing all those, um, those insights on your love of wine with us.

And I would love for you now, if you're up for it to lead us in a little, uh, guided relaxation to close us out and let us just kind of leave some of our tension and stress, 

Lauren Leduc: uh, from the day. That sounds great. [00:27:00] Um, I think what I'll do is meditation or relaxation to help one Get out of their own way. So, 

Maria Mayes: I don't know about you listeners, but I definitely need to get out of my own way a lot.

So let's 

Lauren Leduc: say so you can take a moment and get into your body. So if you're safe to do so, if you're not driving or walking, you can close your eyes. Feel free to move the body. However, it feels good before you find any stillness. Taking a moment really to notice how your body feels, how your energy feels.

And then feel your body making contact with whatever you're sitting or standing on. Feel the clothes on your skin. See maybe the light behind your eyes. Invite your forehead to soften. Invite the jaw [00:28:00] to relax, creating some space between the top and bottom rows of teeth, perhaps swallowing, to relax the tongue.

Invite the shoulders to melt away from the ears. And invite space and length through the spine. Feeling your sitz bones root down, feeling the crown of the head lift up. Send your body gratitude for however it feels today. For being your home, for being your vessel, being your connector between yourself and the world via your senses.

And then bring some awareness to your breath. Starting to deepen and slow your breath, you might invite the belly and the ribcage and the chest to expand outward [00:29:00] in all directions as you inhale to soften inward as you exhale

deep slow breaths

and sending again your body gratitude, your breath gratitude, your physical self,

and then we'll invite in the inner goddess or spirit or source However you define the undefinable, and we'll say, dear goddess, I invite you to flow through me. I invite you to use my vessel, my body, my breath, my voice, my energy to serve this world in [00:30:00] whatever way it's meant to be served. I trust that whatever happens is sincerely meant to happen.

And I trust as you flow through me that it is for the highest good. I'll take a big cleansing breath to release in through the nose, out of the mouth.

You can let eyes open, the body move however it needs to move. And I'll say this is essentially what I do any time I have an interview, any time I teach, any time I start to feel nervous and feel like things are on my own shoulders. I can let go and trust that whatever is meant to come through will come through.

So beautiful. 

Maria Mayes: Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Lauren. Um, I really enjoyed that and I know the listeners did too. It was really a gift and a gift to have you on [00:31:00] today. All the details to get a hold of Lauren will be in the show notes. So check out her website, check out her book, and, uh, 

Lauren Leduc: thanks again.

Thank you so much, Maria. It was a pleasure.