Maria Borghoff (E-RYT, YACEP)

Artist + Yoga Counselor + Tantric Guide

Email: info@grooveforward.com | IG: @majicmaria

Maria Borghoff is a Tantra Yoga teacher with a devoted practice since 2009. She studied Fibers & Ceramic Sculpture at Appalachian State University in the mountains of North Carolina and holds a BFA in Studio Art. Raised by two scientists and the Roman Catholic church, Maria came to Yoga in the midst of physical and emotional pain that seemed overwhelming and unmanageable. Her innate sense of curiosity and intuition guided her to explore mind-body wisdom in order to reclaim her health and authentic sense of self.

As a teenager, Maria began Yoga with a very disciplined and structured approach, influenced by anatomy and the alignment-based teachings of Iyengar, Bikram, Ashtanga and Integral Yoga. As an undergraduate, she continued her training in Hatha and Bhakti Yoga while also exploring the practical application of human health services, both locally and abroad. Maria worked as a crisis-line volunteer & shelter manager for OASIS, a non-profit organization that serves survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Her training consisted of basic neuroscience, trauma assessment, and the foundations of social advocacy. Maria also traveled to Chennai, India with the ASU Department of Social Work to study the widespread demand of public health services. She visited non-profits serving abandoned elderly and mentally-ill children, as well as grassroots micro-finance organizations helping women to gain financial independence. Maria strangely felt at home in India, and felt the greatest amount of culture-shock upon her arrival back in the US. Maria also served as a Mental Health Ambassador for the ASU Counseling Center. She taught classes and organized community events to promote access to mental health resources and decrease the negative social stigma of emotional disorders. Her role was to educate students about the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and suicide so they would be more equipped and informed to help themselves and their peers.

Over the years, Maria has learned that self-care is essential in the field of social justice. When overwhelmed by the amount of suffering in the world, she has learned to turn her awareness inward and fight the battles that exist within her own heart. As both a Yoga practitioner and intimate partner, Maria accidentally began exploring the Tantric secrets of sexual energy in the beginning of her relationship with John. When emotional tension would arise and communication became challenging, they would practice Partner Yoga until they felt a sense of connection, mutual respect, and resolution. They continue to practice together daily in order to be more open, truthful, vulnerable and intimate in every aspect of their life. Maria’s personal practice is enriched by studying body energetics and spiritual philosophy through the lens of Sri-Vidya Tantra Yoga, Ayurveda, Buddhism and Goddess Psychology. Her hunger for knowledge has led her to self-study the correlations between Yoga and Positive Psychology, Nutrition, Cognitive Behavior Therapy Model, Somatic Expression, Social Inclusivity and LGBTQ+ Community Values.

At the heart of Maria’s work is the desire to co-create. She is a registered Yoga teacher with 500+ hours of training and Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider with 1000+ hours of teaching. Her students are curious and courageous people who are genuinely seeking connection and deeper understanding. She inspires people to embody their creative power in order to build a more peaceful and harmonious planet. Maria works with individuals, couples, creative entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and health practitioners. She offers private counseling, group classes, online courses, sacred ceremony and holistic design.

Maria currently lives in Atlanta, GA and makes meditation music to cultivate faith. She is wildly inspired by her husband, John, who is a geologist, rock climber and budding chef. Maria spends her time writing, drawing, drinking herbal infusions, and talking to plants while she dreams of building a homestead and opening a retreat center that values the wisdom of indigenous traditions.

IMG_0795.JPG

~ Love Notes from Students ~

“Maria’s methodology is a true representation of her passions & her gifts. In our work together I was able to cultivate a stronger connection between my mind & my body, and unearth a powerful vision for myself as a creator. As a result, I am infinitely more grounded, not just in my personal practice, but on my journey to self actualization.”

“Maria’s teaching style is beautifully direct and creative. All love and beauty surround her. Each word she speaks is filled with knowledge and passion. She leaves room for your own interpretations while guiding you to see things from another perspective. I feel like I have opened my heart space up and allowed more time for myself to grow and experience life and truly feel each experience along the way - simply observe and notice what I notice. Lovely!”

“Maria’s program is so valuable that I wish it was fundamental part of an educational program offered to a wide group of individuals. It brought forth many thoughts and blockages that I needed to feel and work through to be lighter. It also gave me tools to use in the future to continue this process throughout all aspects of my life.”

“Maria opened so many avenues for me to begin to understand my place in the world. Our group built a safe community to ask big questions, dance, sing, play, and practice. More importantly, I feel the training gave me the means to rediscover my truest self.”

“Maria’s teaching helped me come back to my self, to my body, and out of my hyperactive mind. It allowed me to see how I can live and exist in this life through my body and my perception, instead of trying to fit a role I thought I was supposed to be in. I have learned to dive into sensations, learn about them, explore them, and overall know myself more therefore allowing me to experience life with the same curiosity and drive and I am so thankful and excited to learn more.”

“I enjoy the simplicity in my study of Tantra with Maria. Her teaching style is accessible, open and deeply intelligent. Her online course is invaluable and a wonderful tool to use as a connection strengthener. As a result, my relationship with my wife is more textured.”

“I contacted Maria with hopes that she could help me improve my ability to communicate my emotions to others effectively, a concept that I have struggled with for most of my life. The results were unbelievable, and almost immediate - never have I felt more comfortable and at ease addressing my personal weaknesses. Maria is judgement free, soothing, and confident; most importantly, she genuinely cares about helping others and empowering them to enrich their lives and overcome their unique obstacles, which is reflected in her personal and interactive approach. I really can’t thank her enough!”

“I have always wanted to be someone that can harness their energy and use it to be a positive force in my environments, I just didn’t know how to harness it yet. After a course with Maria, I have a better grasp on my own energy. Having this grasp helps me feel in control, which is something I rarely feel.”

“Working with Maria has been incredible. We accomplished in a couple of hours what likely would have taken me weeks to plan and sort through. Maria’s holistic approach brought a sense of peace & calm to the process, allowing me to trust myself and the work I do. I’ve learned so much from working with her and it has given me to confidence to continue to expand my business in a new way.”

“Vira Bhava Yoga Teacher Training with Maria was an experience unlike any other. I came face to face with all parts of me, the good, the bad and ugly. The training showed me how to take all of these parts and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece. I took a chance and stepped into the unknown and with the help of Maria she helped me realize I already had what I needed to be the yogi that I had envisioned.”

“Maria is very good and breaking things down and piecing things together. I appreciate how meticulous she is when describing particular theories and her ability to describe them in visual ways so that it is easy to follow and imagine. This kind of teaching allows me to understand with my whole body, versus trying to mentally analyze and understand everything.”

“Maria’s teaching style is creative, intuitive, vulnerable, inviting, warm, CHALLENGING. Ha. Ass-kicking, at least when it came to the asana. I feel more connected to my spirituality, my sexuality, and my art, and have been able to see and feel the interdependence between them. Maria has encouraged me to stitch my heart together with my sexuality and creativity and it’s been a really interesting journey. I have already noticed my incorporation of the material into my life surrounding these things in both subtle and obvious ways. I’m happy I followed that “strong pull” and signed up for the series!!”