The Brief Bio: 

Mara Wai, M.Ed. is a body-mind coach who supports her clients to connect to their inner wisdom to cultivate clarity, discern their own path and take decisive action to enhance physical, emotional and mental health, improve relationships, and experience greater overall life satisfaction. Mara also teaches Mindfulness-based Stress Management for the Penn Program for Mindfulness.

The backstory:

The sudden and unexpected death of my brother in 1992 shocked and uprooted me from a life-long habit of numbness. I was flooded with grief and feelings of overwhelm, outrage and despair. I developed symptoms - shortness of breath, anxiety, nightmares - that resulted in a yearning for relief, and a seeking for something to provide it.

I also was met by a deep and profound longing for something more. I felt pushed to make life changes.

I wandered into a yoga class and almost immediately upon synchronizing my body and breath in movement I experienced a deep and profound sense of relief and an ability to breathe deeply and fully. I felt drawn to deepen my study and practice yoga, and found a yogic home with the Himalayan Institute where I trained with Rolf Sovik, Sandra Anderson and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait to teach the ancient wisdom practices of yoga. As yoga took root in me, it helped me to experience more clarity in my mind, and more awareness of the subtle energy in my body that impacted my life choices.

In 2003, another wave of healing began for me as my lifetime habit of striving, pushing-through and ignoring my body/mind experience caught up with me and I crashed, after a myriad of stressful events happened within that year. Again, I developed symptoms - anxiety, insomnia, exhaustion, depression - I felt horrible and was slogging through simple day to day tasks. In search of relief once again I found Christine Berry, a chiropractor and nutrition and health coach, and, my first intuition mentor, who helped me to withstand the discomfort in my body and to understand and trust my own knowing as I co-navigated with her my treatment plan to better health.

I became passionate about the intuitive process, and developed an insatiable desire to rely on my own inner-knowing to navigate through life.

In 2005 I learned mindfulness meditation, which helped me to cultivate an even deeper awareness of my deeply-rooted mind-body habit patterns and to hone my inner knowing even more. I learned to hold steady and tolerate the range of intense emotions I was experiencing as I continued to explore my life and question where and how I derived purpose and meaning. As I immersed myself into learning and practicing meditation, I began to abide in the practice of feeling the full range of my emotions. I began to stabilize my body and mind, and began to feel more alive.

In 2009 I became a mother through the process of adoption, and I leaned on my inner wisdom to guide me during all the moments, months and years of uncertainty that led me to this process and into the experience of parenting. In my life, I became more interested in and curious about the processes that I used to connect with my intuition to navigate each of my previous life challenges. I began to track how intuition worked, and what specifically I was doing to apply it.  It became clear to me that much of what I was doing was simply trusting my own mind and body signals to point me to the truest path for me, moment by moment, by sensing into the flow of my own life energy. Intuition is an embodied experience.

With an increasing desire to support others to do the same, I became a mind-body coach with a dedication to connect people to their innate wisdom. I believe that we all have the capacity to know exactly what is best for ourselves, and that we can unlearn what we were taught to believe about how to be, and relearn how to pay attention to the wisdom messages that are always available to us, that come through our mind, body and emotions.

I want to share the powerful, life-changing tools I have learned with you.

Since 2005, I have worked for the Penn Program for Mindfulness, where I facilitate Mindfulness-based Stress Management and other mindfulness-based programs, and I am the Associate Director of the Program.  I have studied the eastern wisdom teachings of yoga since 1993 and mindfulness-based forms of meditation since 2005. I am a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, have completed advanced training in Integrative Energy Therapy, am a Reiki Master and an endorsed mind-body coach via Mind Body Coach University. I am passionate about the process of awakening and feel led to support others to navigate this process in their lives.


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Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
-- Hippocrates