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Daily Inspiration: Meet Lonnie Webb

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lonnie Webb.

Hi Lonnie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I love helping others! It has been ingrained as I always found myself being actively involved through high school and college in service-based organizations. Whether I am mentoring, volunteering or leading others, my greatest satisfaction is being able to have a positive impact on someone’s life. Professionally I am an Educator, and I love health and fitness. These two world combined is what sparked my drive and encouragement to become a yoga instructor.

But first, my journey to finding yoga started right after I graduated from UC Irvine. I had to truly enter adulthood, which came with a range of emotions that impacted my mental health. Out of curiosity, I decided to try yoga for the first as I thought it could help me with losing weight. Not sure why I thought I could lose weight from yoga, but I entered class ready to sweat off some pounds and what actually happened was I started to shed off the mental baggage I was dealing with. 14 years later, I have continued to practice yoga to grow stronger both mentally and emotionally. An important lesson I have learned through my yoga practice is that even when life is at its messiest, you can show up on your mat and walk away feeling renewed. I started to see that the more time I practiced yoga, the more it became a powerful act of working on my healing journey. Learning to intentionally breathe and meditate provided the calmness and stress relief I needed.

Although yoga was providing much-needed self-care beyond the yoga poses, I also noticed that representation amongst women of color, especially black women was missing at the yoga studio I was attending. When I first thought about doing yoga, I did not have any of my close friends who were interested for a variety of reasons. Not to mention walking into a white-dominant studio and having to internally battle with not feeling enough not as a black curvy woman. Unfortunately, I felt invisible at the yoga studio I was attending, and adding on the expensive cost, I took a break from yoga to find other ways I could cultivate health and wellness in my life, but yoga continued to draw me in during its brief pause in my life. When the pandemic hit, I started to take virtual classes and got that old joy back that my mat had brought me.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been smooth! I am and will always be on my healing journey. Learning and growing all the time as I continue to peel back the layers of who I am, getting to the core of my inner highest self. My biggest struggle is actually self-doubt. As someone who works full time while also becoming a wellness entrepreneur, doubt constantly comes knocking at my door. As someone who gets energy from being around people, I have learned on my journey that in order to meet my own desires, that means I also have to start saying yes to myself more. I am that friend that roots for everyone and then as a result, I find myself too exhausted to root for myself, and then my needs get pushed to the side. No one’s fault but my own, and I have learned that I must be my own cheerleader when the self-doubt kicks in. To work on my self-doubt, I find myself journaling more, and yes yoga has also supported me when I need the mental clarity to focus on my needs. Teaching yoga inspires me as much as it inspires others, and it helps me with overcoming the big train of doubts that enter my head.

My other struggle is dealing with the insecurities I have about my body type. Remember I started yoga thinking I could lose weight and then learning yoga was much deeper than that. However, I still desired to be this “ideal” size. When you think of yoga, I know there is a certain person and body type that comes to mind, and yeah that’s not me. I also won’t rate myself a 10 for being able to hold rather cool balancing poses. I love modifications and using yoga props because I have learned to stop pushing myself to do things that may not be for me but to rather find the comfort in listening to what my body needs and seeing the healing it provides. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until recently that I learned that my body needs to be healthy instead of taking on diets that are not truly fueling my long-term health. I strive to eat healthy, incorporate daily movement, and changed the negative mindset that I have to be this certain size in order to feel good about myself. Yoga has supported me with truly loving my body, honoring my fitness journey, and making it work for me without any shaming and I am feeling the best I have ever felt.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Like I shared, I started to find alternative cost-efficient ways I could take yoga because the internal healing from yoga was what I needed more than anything. At the same time, I had a strong desire to bring accessible yoga to my community, my family, and my friends. During the height of the pandemic in 2020, I decided to earn my 200-hour Yoga Alliance approved certification so I could become a yoga instructor. As a yoga instructor, my goal is to create a safe space for all people, but in particular women of color and those who are new to yoga. This is when I also developed my business called Rooted in Joy. Rooted in Joy is an affirming yoga and wellness company that aims to develop strength, inspiration, and community for its clients. My yoga classes are all rooted in joy while incorporating breath exercises, affirmations, and meditation. In class, you will be motivated to tap into your inner power while learning to listen to what your body needs. Yoga is not about being able to do bendy and flexible moves–it is about showing up your most authentic self, listening to what your body needs, and allowing your strength to show up in different aspects of your life off the mat. My hope is for my clients to walk away feeling a sense of release and regained power.

Rooted in Joy offers virtual yoga classes and in-person classes within Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire. I also offer private one on one and classes as well as corporate yoga to employers looking to bring yoga to their staff.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
I truly love affirmations because I have learned on my healing journey that you have to be your biggest fan. Affirmations is my way of showing up and showing out for myself. Your voice and words matter so why not use them to support your overall well-being. Why? Because I have to deeply love myself in order for me to expect love from others. Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome negative thoughts. When you repeat them often and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. When the self-doubt kicks in or the stress is too much, I find affirmations give me the chill pill I need to press go with exuding confidence. Some of my favorite affirmations are: I am beautiful, I am powerful, I am capable, I am at peace. When taking a Rooted in Joy class you will hear me sparkle in a few affirmations and positive words to help you feel encouraged and motivated.

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Image Credits
LIGIA CHIN PHOTOGRAPHY

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