Maria Story

Hippie yoga Teacher Spotlight


Maria began her yogi adventure in 2004 taking classes at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA.  She began yoga as fun activity to round out her active lifestyle including hiking, rock climbing, and running.  Through numerous transitions in her life, yoga became the mainstay.  Maria has had a lifelong struggle with depression and anxiety, including Complex PTSD.  As a result of her daily practice of breathwork, postures, and stillness, along with an understanding of yoga philosophy, Maria has found a way to significantly reduce depressive episodes, stabilize and manage stress, and build a foundation for strengthening self-worth and confidence.  This realization happened as a surprising, accidental side effect of becoming a yogi practitioner, and led to an interest in teaching yoga.

Maria brings a wealth of life experience to her teaching including past lives as a K-8 music educator, legal secretary, waitress, bartender, theater actor, writer, filmmaker and stand up comedian.  After getting laid off as a legal secretary in 2008, Maria returned to college and received her Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification from UCLA in 2010, and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University LA in 2013.  Currently, she is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in St. Clair Shores and became a yoga teacher to integrate her knowledge and use of yoga principles and poses for those struggling with trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety and PTSD. 

Maria created 12 Step Yoga 4 Unity (12SY4U) as a way to bring the healing power of yoga to those in need of a supportive activity to aid in recovery of addiction, trauma, depression and anxiety.  The 12SY4U “Yoga 4” workshop series (Depression, Trauma, Anxiety, Addiction, and Veterans) utilizes yoga principles, postures, meditation and breathwork to provide education and home practice with a focus for each specific need.  12SY4U also was created as a way to raise donations for local animal rescues.  Maria’s rescue pup, Lilly, accompanies her home meditation and mat practice faithfully.  Hippie Yoga offers the 12SY4U donation class monthly.  The workshop, Yoga 4 Depression, will be offered January 18. 

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