The Brief Bio: 

Mara Wai, M.Ed. is a mind-body coach who utilizes mindfulness and other mind-body awareness tools with her clients to support them to pursue life goals and navigate through life challenges. She supports her clients to deepen awareness of inherent mind and body conditioning that exacerbates their pain, prolongs suffering or is no longer resonant with what they want out of life. With gained insight, her clients create new, more desirable mind-body patterns that result in greater ease in body, clarity in mind and an inherent sense of self-trust in discerning what's best for themselves. In addition to her work as a coach, Mara is the Associate Director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness, where she oversees administration and facilitates Mindfulness-based Stress Management programs.

Some details:

I have spent much of my adult life learning how to strengthen my ability to perceive my own intuitive messages and to help others do the same. Inner knowing has helped me to:

  • maneuver through the grief and post-traumatic stress symptoms I experienced after my brother’s unexpected death
  • steer into an uncertain and unexpected career path
  • navigate the process of dissolving chronic symptoms of depression,
    anxiety, insomnia and fatigue

  • plot the journey of becoming a mother in an unconventional way
  • heal relationships, skillfully maneuver the complexity of
    others, and know when it was time to let go of those that no longer

    I even used inner knowing more recently to recover and heal from a back injury. I use it every day to navigate through life from a place of balance and presence.

With an increasing desire to support others to do the same, I became a mind-body coach with a desire to connect people to their innate wisdom. I believe that we all have the capacity to know exactly what is best for ourselves, to 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 currently the Associate Director of the Program. I stumbled into a yoga class in 1993 after my brother's death and began a journey of coming to know my mind and climbing back into my body. I became certified to teach yoga in 1999 through the Himalayan Institute and taught yoga throughout my graduate school years. My self-study and practice led me to mindfulness-based forms of meditation in 2005, when I began working with the Penn Program for Mindfulness. In 2015 I became certified as a Martha Beck Life Coach and then an endorsed mind-body coach via Mind Body Coach University under the tutelage of Abigail Steidley. I completed advanced training in Integrative Energy Therapy, am a Reiki Master and am currently training to read energy with Beverly Belling. I draw inspiration in my coaching work from all of my previous studies and experiences, including my Quaker faith and practice. My life's work is to continue to awaken to my own inner knowing and to support others to do the same.


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