Maria is Norwegian yoga, meditation and mindfulness teacher and entrepreneur – currently living and working in Italy (Roma, Milan). She has more than 18 years of experience with yoga, seven years as a gymnastics teacher, and a background from dance (national ballet school in Norway). She has a background as a Biologist, and a Msc in International Environmental Studies, and lived and studied around the world (India, Costa Rica, Australia, California, Bali, Norway and now Italy).
Extensive studies of anatomy, biomechanics and the human body beyond her yoga educations gives Maria a deep understanding of the physiological and psychological benefits of yoga and meditation (e.g. brain and nerve-, endocrine- and digestive system, organs). She is a thorough alignment-based teacher that is genuinely concerned about safe teaching, and how to adapt the practice to individual differences. This is as a backdrop to any fun themed classes or deep mindfulness focus, she may offer in her classes.
Mindfulness is a big part of Maria’s life, and she loves to include Mindfulness in her yoga classes in addition to teach separate meditation and mindfulness classes. She has had a committed personal mindfulness practice for seven years, and several serious educations and certifications in Mindfulness: e.g. 120h from the University Hospital of Oslo, Norway, and 8week MBSR certification from UMass Memorial Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, US.
In 2013 Maria survived a grave illness, and yoga, meditation and mindfulness were vital tools for her to fight through years of chemotherapy and slow recovery. And to learn to live a new life with chronic pain. This life changing experience not only humbled her and showed her how adaptable yoga can be to any kind of body or challenge. But is also totally changed her way of practicing yoga, and the focus on the importance of the internal growth. This was why she chose to change her career path and become a yoga teacher to share this incredible tool with others.
In addition to teach regular weekly classes in yoga studios, Maria cares about bringing yoga also out of the studios and to people in a variety of settings and she has been teaching everything from FENDI’s headquarters in Rome (and at their main, yearly hackathon event) to ELLE Magazine in Norway, Wanderlust 108 in Milan or the Buddhist Temple in Oslo.
She is mainly teaching Hatha yoga, Vinyasa flow, Hatha flow, Gentle yoga, Restorative yoga, Mindful yoga. Additionally, she teaches Pre- and postnatal yoga (with or without the babies). She's used to work with everything from beginners to advanced and adapt practices to students with autoimmune illnesses, ME, MS, cancer, and anxiety. See her Facebook page for reviews from students.
Maria has her own Yoga business registered in Norway and is member of the national yoga teacher association there, as well as the association for mindfulness teachers. The classes she offers in Norway or online are usually under this company.
Beyond this Maria is the co-founder of PlayPauseBe, and the Yoga teacher behind it that has designed the concept, the games and yogic content of this playful yoga sequencing deck to inspire and help in creating fun and safe self-practices at home, and offline. Log off and tune in.
PlayPauseBe is a tool that helps you practice yoga mindfully, target specific benefits and add variety to your practice. The main product is the main deck of 72 cards, and with the additional expansion deck of 82 cards you can create even longer and more complex yoga sequences. To read more about PlayPauseBe visit: www.playpausebe.com
Maria has a past background as e.g. a public speaker, and lots of experience in media work/media spokesperson. She is a person that really cares. Not only about her students, but also about justice topics and equality. In her past she has been working extensively on environmental issues, and also for example studied female empowerment among young girls recovering from sex-trafficking in Jaipur, India. She's also a PADI Rescue diver and rock climber. For more non-yoga background info visit her linker-in profile.
Maria Waag is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance, which acknowledges the completion of a yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School (RYS).
She is also an ambassador for the Norwegian sustainable, luxury yoga wear brand Run & Relax and collaborating with them to get established in Italy.
Maria’s teaching believes
- Asana practice is a moving meditation – no matter how physically challenging.
- I encourage my students to feel and listen to their bodies, not compare to others or themselves.
- Yoga is adaptable and rewarding for everybody! My classes are challenging, but I always give moderations and variations to capture both the beginners and the advanced.
- Individual adjustment and safe teaching, paying attention to anatomical alignment and how every single body is different – I walk a lot around in my regular classes to provide hands-on adjustments. In big groups (more than 20) my students find my precise cuing and verbal adjustments very helpful. Making every student in my classes seen – no matter how big the group – is very important to me.
- Themes: I love including themes and reflections in the classes that the students can bring with them also off the mat. I incorporate a lot of mindfulness in my teaching.