13 Questions with Celebrity Meditation Teacher: Ava Johanna

Ava Johanna

I’m literally so excited that Ava Johanna is on the blog today!

For those who don’t know her, Ava Johanna is a spiritual business coach, host of The Alchemized Life Podcast, and a celebrity meditation teacher.

She has been featured on mindbodygreen, wanderlust’s 35 under 35 in wellness to watch, and was recently named by women’s fitness as one of “six best yoga influencers to watch.”

AKA – she is the real deal!

I first met Ava exactly one year ago… (Woah, I just realized that! This blog is meant to be!) at Vizer’s Summer event. I walked into the party by myself only knowing a few people – so the nerves were high!

As everyone is starting to crack open the hard kombucha, the small talk and getting used to their environment… Ava came out of nowhere and started dancing her heart out as she moved confidently across the backyard! To my surprise, she waived me down to join her!

Walking into an event knowing no one, feeling super shy and vulnerable…from being outside my comfort zone, Ava cracked my shell immediately. She was so kind, non-judgmental and unapologetically herself.

I immediately felt comfortable in her presence. We stayed in contact via Instagram and the more I got to know Ava Johanna on that platform, the more I learned about her special gift, her talents, her past and her inspiring story.

With that said, please welcome Ava Johanna to the blog!

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your upbringing? 

I was born in Los Angeles and grew up around Southern California. My family bounced around a lot. So, from K-4th grade, I went to a new school each year, which definitely conditioned me to love changing up my environment.

My mom and stepdad separated when I was a teen.

Unfortunately, after a few months of my mom, sister and I being on our own, our car was repossessed because my mom couldn’t make payments. We were eventually evicted from our home and had to go on EBT food stamps.

For over a year, we were living with different friends, family members and my mom’s coworkers until she could get back on her feet. During this time, we lived in Calabasas, Agoura and other affluent neighborhoods, in northern LA county. Being surrounded by so much money (while having nothing) created a lot of tension for me and feelings of hopelessness.

  1. How did being homeless in your teens impact your life today?

When that happened, it instilled the belief in me that making money would always be a struggle. I felt as though, I would never have enough to survive, and if any money did come in, I’d better spend it fast before something terrible could happen and make me lose all my money. I never wanted to be put in that position (being homeless) again so I hustled hard from 16 on. I ended up actually dropping out of high school to enroll in an independent study so I could work lunches at the restaurant I hosted at.

I carried all those beliefs with me into my early twenties and took jobs that caused massive burn out, stayed in relationships because I feared I wouldn’t be able to survive on my own, and went into debt because I never believed I would be good with money.

Ava - Johanna 01
  1. After having such a challenging childhood and upbringing, what inspired you to get your life together and want something better for yourself?

I always wanted something better because I saw it modeled around me with my friends and the people I went to school with. I knew that there was always a better way, but I just didn’t know exactly how I could do it on my own or how long it would take. However, after getting to the point of making $65,000/year in a marketing job without a college degree (and being miserable while at it) I realized that the paycheck was not what brought the happiness and fulfillment. If I wanted to be happy, I needed to find something I loved doing, I needed to be healthy and I needed to let go of the stories and beliefs that I had been carrying around since 16.

  1. What made you take the leap in faith and leave your well-paid corporate job to pursue your own business in the wellness industry?

I was done working for someone else and building someone else’s dream. I knew I was talented and resilient and could build something for myself and at the same time. Instagram was becoming more and more popular as a source of revenue. I built my Instagram at the same time I was managing a digital marketing agency in San Diego and spent six months laying down the framework and saving $15,000 to travel the world. I quit my job with my now husband to pursue a life with more meaning… and less clocking in.

Ava and her husband
  1. What does living in alignment look like to you?

Living in alignment means being unapologetic about who you are, what you desire and how you want to show up in the world. I am constantly in communication with my body and my intuition to see how things feel and if it makes me feel contractive (tight chest, small, or a general “no thank you”) then I don’t do it.

I trust and have faith in what feels expansive is right. I know that I am always supported even if the path that I’m walking down hasn’t been traveled before or make sense to most people.

Alignment is all about listening, trusting yourself and knowing that your inner guidance system is the ultimate path to your success.

  1. How has your definition of ‘success’ shifted from when you were younger?

When I was younger, success meant marry rich and make a lot of money. It didn’t have anything to do with the quality of the relationship or how the money was coming in. Since I did have a lot of success in my corporate job early in my twenties, I was able to learn very quickly that success is so much more than money, being set up with security or optionality.

I like to call this soul-expansive success, because it’s deeper. It’s more abundant, it’s prosperous and it’s something that you love waking up to every single day – be it a relationship, a job, a lifestyle, whatever.

  1. What does your spiritual practice look like?

Meditation, breathwork and embodiment are my go to practices that I devote myself to daily. These are the tools that have made the biggest difference in all areas of my life, from my relationship to my career. They have supported me greatly in not only witnessing the stories or beliefs that have been operating in my subconscious mind, but also being able to shift and re-program those stories through the act of embodiment. I now teach others how to do this in my certification program, The Academy of Breath. These really are the tools that can transform your life in ways that you probably can’t even wrap your mind around!

  1. Can you tell us about your morning routine?

Every morning looks different, but I will always include a cappuccino, meditation, breathwork and journaling. I always ask myself when I wake up what do I need most versus feeling trapped in one specific routine. We are constantly evolving, changing and what we need one day might (and probably does) look different from the next.

  1. What are three things you do daily for self-care?

Meditation, breathwork and journaling.

  1. What is the biggest lesson meditation has taught you?

Such a good question!

It’s taught me that we are unlimited in our potential, in our capacity to experience love, and can co-create whatever we desire, if we are willing to commit to a daily practice of embodying all that we want to come into physical form.

  1. Favorite book?

Right now, Untamed by Glennon Doyle.

  1. What’s next? What do you have going on in all of your different businesses?

Currently I’m focusing on the second round of The Academy of Breath, my online breathwork and meditation certification program. This program focuses on supporting individuals, creatives, coaches and healers in deepening their own practice. That will start September 1st.

At the end of the year, I’ll be launching a mastermind for soulful entrepreneurs that focuses on pairing intuition with strategy to scale online businesses to 5-6 figures.

  1. Where can everyone find you?

Shylah here! I hope you loved this interview with Ava Johanna. I left this conversation feeling so inspired to take on the world!

Xx, Shy

+ If you loved this interview with Ava Johanna, you will also love my interview with Jordan Younger from The Balanced Blonde. Check it out here.

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