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Empowered WellBeing

Guest Contributor: Latonyia Sumpter

Certified Yoga Instructor and Women's Empowerment Coach

What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?

Black mental health holds deep significance to me. It's a recognition of the unique challenges and experiences that individuals within the Black community face, acknowledging the historical, systemic, and societal factors that can impact mental well-being. Black mental health is about understanding and addressing the stigma surrounding mental health within the Black community. It involves creating safe spaces for open conversations, breaking down barriers to accessing mental health resources, and fostering a sense of belonging and support.

Ultimately, it's a call to action—to uplift, support, and prioritize mental health within the Black community, promoting healing, self-care, and a sense of empowerment for individuals to thrive emotionally and psychologically.


How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?

Promoting change and well-being in the Black community involves a multifaceted approach, encompassing both systemic changes and individual actions.

As a human, here are some ways I would contribute:

  1. Advocacy for Mental Health: - Actively promote mental health awareness, destigmatize seeking therapy, and encourage open conversations about mental well-being within the Black community.

  2. Education and Resources: - Support initiatives that provide education about mental health, ensuring that resources and information are accessible to everyone. This includes workshops, webinars, and community events.

  3. Cultural Competence in Healthcare: - Advocate for cultural competence in mental health care, ensuring that professionals are attuned to the unique experiences and needs within the Black community.

  4. Community Support Networks: - Foster community support networks that provide safe spaces for individuals to share experiences, seek advice, and access emotional support.

  5. Empowerment through Education: - Encourage educational opportunities that empower individuals to navigate systemic challenges, whether it's through workshops on financial literacy, career development, or access to higher education.

  6. Youth Mentorship Programs: - Engage in or support mentorship programs that provide guidance, support, and positive role models for young individuals within the Black community.

  7. Promoting Economic Empowerment: - Advocate for economic opportunities within the community, supporting businesses and initiatives that contribute to financial stability and growth.

  8. Community Engagement: - Participate actively in community events, forums, and discussions to stay informed about local issues and needs, fostering a sense of collective responsibility.

  9. Political Advocacy: - Support policies and initiatives that address systemic inequalities, racial injustice, and disparities within healthcare, education, and criminal justice systems.

  10. Celebration of Diversity: - Celebrate and promote the diversity within the Black community, recognizing and honoring various cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.


Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?

In my educational journey, I've immersed myself in the realms of mental health and wellness. I hold a 300-hour certification as a yoga instructor, which has been a transformative journey both personally and professionally. This certification enables me to guide individuals through the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of yoga. I teach multiple styles of yoga from Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin and Restorative.

Additionally, I've delved into the intricate relationship between food, mindfulness, and overall well-being. My certifications in mindful eating and mindfulness bring a holistic approach to the table, emphasizing the importance of a conscious and balanced connection with food for overall health.

My expertise extends into life coaching with a specific focus on integrative wellness. This certification equips me with the skills to support individuals in navigating various aspects of their lives, fostering a harmonious balance between physical health, mental well-being, and personal growth. The synergy of these certifications allows me to offer a comprehensive approach to mental health and wellness. Whether guiding individuals through transformative yoga sessions, facilitating mindful eating practices, or providing integrative wellness coaching, my aim is to empower others on their unique journeys toward holistic well-being.

What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?

As a yoga instructor, I promote mental health and wellness through a multifaceted approach:

  1. 1. Mindful Movement: - I integrate mindfulness into every yoga session, encouraging participants to be present in the moment and connect deeply with their bodies. This mindful movement fosters a sense of calm and reduces stress.

  2. Breath Awareness: - Emphasizing the importance of conscious breathing, I guide individuals to synchronize breath with movement. This practice not only enhances the physical benefits of yoga but also serves as a powerful tool for stress reduction and mental clarity.

  3. Stress Reduction Techniques: - Incorporating specific poses and sequences known for their stress-relieving benefits, I create sessions designed to alleviate tension and promote relaxation, contributing to improved mental well-being.

  4. Meditation and Mindfulness Practices: - Integrating meditation and mindfulness techniques into sessions provides participants with tools they can carry off the mat. These practices support emotional regulation and cultivate a more mindful approach to daily life.

  5. Empowerment Through Poses: - I focus on poses that promote a sense of empowerment and self-confidence. Through gradual progression, individuals build strength and flexibility, translating physical achievements into mental resilience.

  6. Individualized Guidance: - Recognizing that each participant has unique needs, I offer individualized guidance and modifications. This fosters a supportive environment, catering to diverse abilities and ensuring everyone feels comfortable and included.

  7. Encouraging Self-Reflection: - I create opportunities for self-reflection during sessions, encouraging individuals to explore their thoughts and emotions in a non-judgmental space. This reflective practice contributes to enhanced self-awareness and emotional well-being.

  8. Cultivating a Positive Community: - Fostering a sense of community within the yoga sessions promotes social connections and mutual support. Building positive connections can contribute to improved mental health and a sense of belonging.


What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?

Here are some key aspects to know about my expertise as a yoga instructor and empowerment coach:

  1. Holistic Wellness Approach: - My approach extends beyond physical fitness. I emphasize holistic wellness, integrating mental, emotional, and spiritual elements into the practice. It's about nurturing the whole self.

  2. Empowerment through Yoga: - Yoga is not just a series of poses; it's a transformative tool for empowerment. I guide individuals to discover their inner strength, resilience, and the ability to overcome challenges through the practice.

  3. Tailored Sessions for All Levels: - Whether you're a beginner or experienced yogi, my sessions are tailored to meet individual needs. I provide modifications and variations to ensure everyone feels comfortable and challenged at their own level.

  4. Mindfulness and Breathwork Emphasis: - Mindfulness and conscious breathing are at the core of my sessions. I believe in the power of being present, and I guide individuals to explore the profound impact of breathwork on mental well-being.

  5. Life Coaching Integration: - As an empowerment coach, I bring life coaching principles into the mix. This integration enables individuals to set and achieve wellness goals, overcome obstacles, and cultivate a mindset of personal empowerment.

  6. Safe and Inclusive Environment: - Creating a safe and inclusive space is paramount. Everyone is welcome, and I prioritize fostering an environment where individuals feel supported, accepted, and encouraged on their wellness journey.

  7. Positive Community Building: - I believe in the strength of community. Sessions go beyond physical practice; they are an opportunity to build connections, share experiences, and uplift one another on the path to well-being.

  8. Holistic Empowerment Programs: - My empowerment coaching extends beyond the yoga mat. I offer holistic empowerment programs that encompass various aspects of life, including self-discovery, goal-setting, and creating a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

  9. Continuous Learning and Growth: - I am committed to ongoing learning and growth. Staying informed about the latest in yoga, wellness, and coaching allows me to offer valuable insights and effective guidance to those I work with.

  10. Mission of Positive Transformation: - My mission is to facilitate positive transformation. Whether it's through a yoga pose, a coaching session, or a community gathering, the ultimate goal is to empower individuals to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives


What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?

  1. Mindful Movement: - Incorporating mindful movement into my routine, such as yoga or workouts, helps me stay physically active while also fostering mental clarity and relaxation.

  2. Nature Walks: - Like you, spending time in nature is a favorite. Whether it's a quiet walk in the woods or a stroll in the park, connecting with nature is a grounding and rejuvenating experience.

  3. Quality Time with Loved Ones: - Spending quality time with family and friends is invaluable. Whether it's a shared meal, a conversation, or an activity together, these moments contribute significantly to my well-being.

  4. Exploring Holistic Recipes: - Trying new holistic recipes is a joy. It's a creative and nourishing way to explore different flavors and incorporate wholesome ingredients into my diet.

  5. Tech-Free Downtime: - Carving out tech-free downtime is crucial for me. Whether it's reading a book, enjoying music, or simply unwinding without screens, this practice helps me disconnect and recharge.

Guest Contributor

Latonyia Sumpter, the founder of Empowered WellBeing, is not just a 300-hour certified yoga instructor; she's a beacon of strength and resilience, on a mission to empower women through holistic wellness. Her journey began against a backdrop of childhood abandonment, rejection, and molestation—experiences that could have defined her, but instead, fueled her determination to overcome.

Today, as a certified yoga instructor and Women's Empowerment Coach, Latonyia is not just shaping bodies but transforming lives. Through Empowered WellBeing, she shares the profound impact of yoga, guiding women toward their own holistic wellness and empowering them to embrace their inner strength. The story of Latonyia is one of resilience, redemption, and a testament to the transformative power of embracing one's journey toward well-being.

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