Bio... Joy Lynn Okoye is an experimental movement artist, JourneyDance™ Facilitator, Integral Yoga Teacher, and Transformational Wellness Coach. She is the creator of Body+Mind+Soul Wellness Coaching™ programs and workshops which use JourneyDance™, creative arts, dramatic arts, and coaching techniques to bring forth a powerful environment for self-healing work. Her current artistic project, Lumina (The Beauty Wound Project), is an interactive and partially improvisational dance performance project that was inspired by JourneyDance™ and celebrates the diverse beauty of women’s bodies in soulful expression (and the stories that go along with them).Teaching Resume... Princeton Family YMCA LiveStrong Foundation Onyx Yoga Studio, Warren, NJ Drum and Dance Learning Center Womanspace, Inc. Princeton Adult School Omega Institute, Rhineback, New York
(And other private events and fundraisers all over the East Coast)What I am all about....My art form is literally Healing Art—it is communal and experimental in nature: the improvisation of voice, movement, space, and energy that becomes a unique piece of ‘Present Moment Art’. Authenticity and vulnerability are just as integral to my work as playfulness and humor. The process weaves music, movement, visual art, and audience energies with powerful intention that becomes an exquisite medicine bowl for the soul.
My 'aha' moment... (read the full blog article HERE)
I was miserable and unhappy. I didn't care anymore about chasing dreams or kids in the park...sure I managed life..but I wasn't living life. I made excuses for not doing the things (exercising in public, dancing, anything that required real movement in view of others) that filled me with, well, joy---because I thought I wasn’t good enough based on what I saw in the mirror, how I measured up to media images, and the well-meaning advice of others— assuring me that, “If you just lost the weight… you could do whatever your heart desires.” But one day things shifted... instead of bowing my head and reluctantly nodding in agreement, I had a an epiphany-I realized the untruth of my thought patterns. I realized it was all up to me-not them
. I had been living according to a belief system that was unfair and unkind. What did I think? Why did I have to suffer behind closed doors and not join the party of life because I was a fat girl? What if I had it all wrong after all these years, what if nobody cared that much anyway? Or, even better, what if I stopped listening to all the haters?
If I acquiesced now that would be my fault.That was not on them. It was on me. This time I didn't buy it. It was costing me too much. I’ve since come to learn that a good and healthy life is about doing what you want to do: AS IS. Right now- wherever you are at. Please don’t misunderstand me… I am not suggesting giving up the pursuit of excellence or reaching for goals. I am not advocating a life of debauchery (well, only sometimes…and in good company). But what I am encouraging is a shift of focus and importance: living authentically in the present.
I realized that I had spent most of my life being bullied by my own negative thought patterns and a restrictive, isolating, belief system that prioritized self-loathing over self-love, and cruelty over compassion. It was time for a new doctrine. So, I took a deep breath and allowed myself to step out into the world of the living. I took up dancing, worked out in public...and in time I begin to say to myself, "You know..wouldn't it be something to help others get all motivated and feeling dandy about themselves so they, too, can go out and play with the others...wouldn't it be cool to become a Health Coach?"
Weight stigma and body image issues are rampant and deadly today. My scope of work is lacking in the health and fitness industry. I say this with courage, as I know I am going against the grain. It all comes down to this one core idea (my new doctrine):
This is my formula for health. This is my mantra, my creed, my new and improved internal belief system.
I believe that how we see our bodies and feel in our bodies is directly related to how healthy we choose to live our lives. Let me say that differently. If I love and accept my body—as is—I am no longer at war with it or inhibited by it. And so, I do what I want to do no matter who is looking. I make better choices for my health and life because I am not depriving or harming myself. I begin to live my life fueled by innate passion, nourished by healthy choices.
Humans are diverse in appearance, shape, and size- among so many other differences. One person’s best health does not necessarily look like another person’s. Nor will it look the same each year or each day for an individual. Health is fluid and holistic in nature. I've wrestled my own demons about weight loss issues- and I've come through on the other side knowing that the way to my best health is loving my body one day at a time, one more good choice at a time, and knowing that my health does not depend on a certain number on the scale or percentage of body fat . I work with people to transform negative body image thoughts into loving and compassionate ones on their personal path to healthy and happy: Body+Mind+Soul. I do not focus on weight loss. But I do advocate finding your own healthy— free from body anxiety and body hatred. If you want to loose weight, that’s cool. I’ve had that goal before, and I may have it again. However, I learned that ‘loosing weight’ as a goal in itself as a path to my ‘best healthy life’ is a misleading one. I practice what is called a Health At Every Size (HAES) philosophy. See what I mean: Here and Here. And to Learn More about the Body Lovin' Life go HERE. As a culture shifter, I advocate for a broader lens to define strong and healthy, beautiful, and good enough. This is crucial work for our daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, and for our selves.
As a coach, I put the power back in YOUR hands.
My Approach... First and foremost I believe that the surest and most lasting path to wellness, happiness, and your best-lived life is by taking the reins. I know that there are amazing insights, beauty, and wisdom on each magnificent healing journey..... As a Certified Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach, Integral Yoga Teacher, and JourneyDance™ teacher I incorporate the Health At Every Size® (HAES) principles into all of my work. Health at Every Size is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. (The philosophy) supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control). Health at Every Size encourages: ~Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.~Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.~Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital. (From the HAES website: http://www.haescommunity.org/ website) I practice a holistic approach to health and wellness...which means that I look at how all areas of your life are connected. Does stress at your job or in your relationship cause you to overeat? Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising? As we work together, we will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole. My approach is not to dwell on calories, carbs, fats, and proteins. It is not to create lists of restrictions or good and bad foods. Instead, I work with my clients to create a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, fun and rewarding. Together we’ll work to reach your health goals in areas such as achieving a more 'Body Positive' mindset about your current weight, reducing food cravings, increasing sleep, and maximizing energy. As we work together, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for you and implement lasting changes that will improve your energy, balance, and health.
I am a certified JourneyDance™ Facilitator. I have trained directly Toni Bergins, the founder of JourneyDance™ (www.journeydance.com), and completed 200+ hours of training and mentorship in this powerful and dynamic conscious dance form. JourneyDance™ is a dance that is facilitated rather than taught. My intensive training included instruction in the composition of the JourneyDance™ Flow, a deep exploration of the rituals contained within a JourneyDance™ experience, and an apprenticeship program with designated JourneyDance Mentors to ensure full knowledge and understanding of the JourneyDance™ body of work.
I am a 200hr level graduate of one of the most respected schools of Yoga teacher training in the world: Integral Yoga Institute (http://integralyoga.org/programs/). This in-depth, thoughtful, and comprehensive training included a solid foundation in Meditation, Pranayama, Asana Practice and Instruction. The 200-hr level Integral Yoga teacher training has laid the foundation for my future studies in adaptive, gentle, and therapeutic yoga.
I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (http://www.integrativenutrition.com/) where I learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories; everything from Ayurveda, gluten-free, and Paleo, to raw, vegan, and macrobiotics, and everything in between.
I studied with the world's top health and wellness experts including:
· Joshua Rosenthal, founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
· Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
· Deepak Chopra, MD, leader in the field of mind-body medicine
· Dr. David Katz, MD, MPH, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center
· Dr. Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, chair of nutrition at Harvard University
· Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
· Gabrielle Bernstein, bestselling author and life coach
· Susan Blum, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
· Mark Hyman, MD, founder of The UltraWellness Center
· Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating
· David Wolfe, raw food leader and nutrition expert
· Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition,
Food Studies, and Public Health
· Mark Bittman, food writer for the New York Times and bestselling author
· Joel Fuhrman, MD, family physician and leading expert on nutritional healing
· and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities
My education has equipped me with extensive, cutting-edge knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and prevention. Drawing on my expertise, I work with clients like you to help make lifestyle changes and choose health-promoting ways that produce real and lasting results. You will develop a deeper understanding of food and lifestyle choices that work best for you, improving your energy, balance, health, and happiness.
Each session will leave you feeling inspired and motivated. We will talk about things beyond food, seeking to bring balance to important elements of your life such as love and relationship as well as career and money. I will personally and carefully guide you to make simple, small changes that transform your life.
My Programs...The 3 and 6 Month 'Holy Healing Journeys'™ This program is all about me being all about you. This is a very intense one-on-one approach to mapping out your inner and outer quest to your healthiest, happiest self. I don't shy away from saying it- it's way beyond the body stuff. I believe that this is your spiritual quest to healthy and I am honored to be that Holy Healing Guide that is completely devoted to you. We will use mindfulness and compassion as we identify what’s holding you back from a healthier, happier lifestyle. We will skill-build in both the thought kitchen and the food kitchen. We will find movement that you enjoy and can maintain. In the 3 month
program we will engage in a one-week whole-foods based cleanse program to help you get started on the right track for
healthy change, and/or a 10-day food and thought detox. In the 6 month
program we will do both. We will develop a thoughtful and affirming accountability and support system.
Are you curious about how health coaching can help you? Let’s talk. Schedule an initial consultation with me today. Email me: email@example.com