Empowering Women in Wellness: Ava Johanna
Empowering Women in Wellness is an interview series highlighting strong women that have stepped into their light and looked within to find their inner strength.
This month, I’m thrilled to feature transformational mentor, yoga and meditation teacher, and breathwork facilitator, Ava Johanna.
Host of The Alchemized Life Podcast, Ava shares her passion for making wellness approachable through a blend of uplifting solo episodes and interviews with inspiring thought leaders in the wellness space. She also creates powerful experiences through events, classes, and retreats, focused on mindfulness, releasing limiting beliefs, and learning to live in alignment.
As one of my own mentors, Ava has played a key role in my journey of expansion, and her authenticity and heart-filled approach to empowering other women in the wellness world continue to inspire me – especially given her own journey as an entrepreneur.
“Every single time that I have been in a state of fear making a decision that is unlike what I am comfortable, I’ve always had to come back to trust,” says Ava.
From starting her wellness blog to choosing to leave her corporate job in marketing to pursue her passion, Ava has been no stranger to leaps of faith – and she credits her trust in herself and the process as the reason for her continued growth.
“From the time I decided to publish my first blog post and I was scared of what others would think, to the time I made the challenging decision of telling my partner with the podcast that I wanted to do it alone, and finally to the time that I ended all my freelance work to pursue the podcast, teaching and creating content full time, I’ve had to trust that I was capable enough to make it work,” says Ava.
And it’s her willingness to move beyond her comfort zone that has enabled her to continue to reach higher and deepen her belief in her ability to lead the life of dreams.
“Without that trust, fear would have easily taken over and kept me comfortable and playing small, but I’ve always known and believed in myself and my ability to make things work,” says Ava.
But it wasn’t always an easy path.
“The biggest belief that I’ve had to overcome – and still am – is that you have to work hard in order to be successful and make money,” says Ava. “This is something that has been so deeply ingrained in me from the way in which my family speaks of money.”
She credits journaling and reflection as key tools in helping her release this limiting belief and rewrite her narrative.
“My work is to prove this story wrong, and choose a story and belief that is more supportive of how I want to live my life,” says Ava. “I do this through journaling, affirmations and recognizing and bringing light to the times when I am making money in fun and easy ways.”
Ava’s work with limiting beliefs is instrumental in her one-on-one mentorship with women in the wellness space – though her approach can be leveraged by anyone seeking more confidence, health, or love in their lives.
“I think the first step is developing enough awareness around who you are and how you operate,” says Ava. “Ultimately whatever allows you to be still enough to witness your thoughts and your emotions is going to start to illuminate whatever patterns and choices you’ve been making.”
This focus on habitual thought patterns can be a powerful practice in recognizing beliefs that impact how you choose to show up in the world.
“Once you have awareness around your actions, your thoughts, and the way you speak about your life and experiences, the next step is choice,” says Ava. “You have to choose differently if you want your experience to be different from what it is now.”
Ava notes yoga and meditation as modalities that have helped her not only move through fear-based beliefs, but also nurture her mind, body, spirit, and creative energy.
“Meditation I use for keeping my stress leveled out, and yoga nidra I use for fully laying back and receiving,” says Ava. “Both practices are highly relaxing and if you’ve never tried either, I recommend using 1GiantMind for meditation or Insight Timer for Yoga Nidra to try both and see which resonates.
Journaling is another practice Ava prioritizes, whether she’s focusing on gratitude or writing free-form to strengthen her connection with her intuition.
“I spend time every morning writing down the things that I’m most grateful for. Sometimes it’s simply that I’ve slept in – it doesn’t have to be big,” says Ava. “What this does is get me into an abundance mindset where I’m witnessing all that I have, rather than what I don’t have.”
And it’s this mindset that has helped her live in alignment with her passion and purpose.
“‘I am ready to work with the Universe to awaken and accomplish my dreams’ has been my go-to mantra for the past two years,” says Ava. “Essentially what I’m stating is, I’m ready to be supported, I’m ready to connect to my dreams, and I’m ready to listen to the hints that are moving me in the direction of everything that I want to bring into this world.”
Through her one-on-one mentorship, Ava holds space for others to get clear on their vision for the life they want to lead as well.
“I think in order to live in alignment, we need to get clear on what our values are, who we are, and what we want from this lifetime,” says Ava. “If we’re not clear on that – even if it’s as specific as what we want our days to look like – how will we even know if we’re living in alignment?"
She notes that intentional action is the critical next step in bringing your vision to life.
“Once you’re clear on what you want, the next step is to have integrity around your actions,” says Ava. “For example, if I know I only want to work with brands that share the same values as I do, I am living in integrity by saying no to opportunities that don’t necessarily share the same values.”
For those that feel trapped in their current patterns of operating in the world, Ava highlights introspection and reflection as a catalyst for change.
“If you feel stuck, first ask yourself why you feel stuck and what would make you feel “unstuck” or like you are moving in a positive direction,” says Ava. “Once you have that clarity, it’s a lot easier to see what you need to do to make changes.”
It’s the significance of this work that defines and underlines Ava’s mission as an entrepreneur and conscious creator in the wellness space.
“My goal in this lifetime is to empower the masses to experience their own magic and ability to create whatever it is they desire while having fun doing it,” says Ava. “I want you to know that you are fully capable of designing the life you dream of and that we can make any change, figure out anything, and become anything we want.”
For Ava, stepping into our power means recognizing that we have the ability to create change in all areas of our lives.
“You can literally have it all – you just need to decide that and put your energy towards making it come true.”
Want a chance to learn from Ava firsthand? She is creating a two-part course that guides you through the spiritual, practical and mindful practices that have allowed her and her mentees to transform and up-level their lives.
Per Ava, the course combines the personal with the professional transformation, so whether you are just looking to get a promotion within your job, learn how to love yourself more and heal limiting beliefs, or start a brand new career in a new city and feel confident doing so, this course will walk you through the high-level and super specific ways of making it all happen and igniting a fire inside your soul.
Want to be featured as part of my wellness interview series? Know of an empowering woman in wellness that would be a great fit? Send me a note with your idea!