We had the good fortune of connecting with Ava Moreno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ava, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Integrity is the value that matters most to me. A few years ago when I began doing some work around values, my mission statement, purpose, direction, etc., integrity and authenticity kept coming up. Especially in today’s world where many people feel that they need to be like someone else to be successful, it can be so rare to find people who are unafraid to be fully and authentically themselves. I choose to step forward as my most honest and true self, to uphold integrity in not just my business but in all aspects of my life, and it’s been my North Star to help guide me on my path. I try to get quiet and really listen to what feels right, and let that lead me. I’ve seen many people around me over the years fall victim to trying to be liked, to gain a following, etc., and can sometimes lose their integrity in that pursuit. I want to be a role model to others to always stand up for what’s right, to be true to yourself, and to trust that the rest will fall into place.
What should our readers know about your business?
THE WORK by Ava is a virtual platform for all things movement, yoga, meditation, and self-discovery. I wanted to create a community in a virtual space that is truly connected, can feel each other from afar, and is accessible to as many people as possible. Even in a virtual world, I strive to hold space for people in which they feel seen and heard.
I have an on demand library of classes, as well as audio files, but what really sets me apart is that I create authentic, individual connection with each of my students in my live Zoom classes. Nearly all of my students keep their cameras on, so I spend the most time my classes up at the screen, verbally adjusting and correcting, giving shoutouts (no pun intended), and sending lots of encouragement. It’s a rare occurrence that people feel individually seen in a virtual setting like that. I also offer a new journal prompt to my members each week, and it’s always related to what is helpful for me and how I do “The Work” in my own life. I offer over 50 journal prompts, over 100 on demand videos, and over 30 live classes each month for a reasonably low price (much lower than many others) to make it accessible for all (or as close to all as possible).
It was a LOT of work to get where I am business-wise today. I put in many years of hustle and grit and running around to build connection and community in person, and then the transition to a virtual space provided a whole new set of challenges. I am not super tech-savvy, so I had to navigate how to still get people to feel what I offer without the in-person element, all while learning the ins and outs of an online business, trouble-shooting, and more. One thing is for sure: I couldn’t have done it without my web developer/business coach, and I am so grateful. I’ve learned to ask for help when I need it, to learn how to delegate and not take on everything myself, and have someone both supporting me and keeping me on track so I can keep forging ahead.
It’s helpful to have reference that I grew up as a dancer, have encountered many injuries, and have struggled with eating disorders. My recovery from my eating disorders has taught me how to commit to that which feels uncomfortable, as well as the importance of resilience and the payoff of patience. THE WORK is all about peeling back the layers, going beneath the surface, and digging in. I hope my students, overtime, feel strong, open, and ready. We move, we breathe, we write, we express, we learn, and we grow.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The BEACH is my favorite place in the whole wide world. I’m lucky that the beach is my backyard here in Redondo Beach, so we would most definitely go explore lots of the beaches and walk The Strand every day.
I’m a Taurus and I LOVE food! I’m always hungry and always down to eat. I have celiac disease and eat a mainly plant-based diet, so here are my favorites:
• The Source Cafe in Hermosa & Manhattan Beach – I could survive off of Chef Amber’s food
• M&Love Cafe in Manhattan Beach – incredible plant-based and gluten/free bagels, treats, lattes, and more…and such a sweet, small business!
• Pura Vita in Redondo Beach & WeHo – greatest vegan Italian (and amazing gluten-free options)
• Japonica in Redondo & now Hermosa Beach – my favorite sushi ever
• Gracias Madre in Newport Beach & WeHo (and also has the greatest drinks) – vegan Mexican and a hit in LA
We would go take a Pilates class and a yoga class at some of the places I teach in person, and again, spend lots of time in the ocean, on the sand, and in the sun. I’m not as familiar with the hikes as I’d like, but we’d probably find a good hike and most definitely spend a day driving up the coast to Malibu.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Rochelle Webb, Brittany Churchill, and my amazing parents have helped me land right here!
Rochelle was the first person in my Los Angeles yoga community who invited me into her circle, so I have her to thank for most of my friendships (and the connection to Shoutout) on this coast.
Brittany is a woman champion, one of my greatest friends, and the incredible business coach who keeps me going and moving forward, even and especially on my hardest days.
My parents always taught me to never give up on my dreams, to keep trying no matter how many times I fall down, and have been my biggest cheerleaders my entire life.
Other: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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