Marion (Mugs) McConnell was first introduced to yoga as a teenager in 1973. She has been practicing yoga ever since, and teaching since 1978. Her passion for this ancient practice and its many boundless layers of wisdom beyond the physical led her to study under Swami Vishnudevananda. She graduated from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre as a Yoga Acharya in 1978. In 1977 Mugs became a student of Yogiraj Dr. Hari Dickman, a disciple of Swami Sivananda and Paramhansa Yogananda.
Mugs has been the Canadian Representative for the International Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA) since 1982. She is a founding member (1995) of the South Okanagan Yoga Academy and cocreator of its teacher-training program, a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS200/300 advanced), unique in its adherence to IYTA standards. She is an Experienced Registered Teacher with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT500) and has served on the Yoga Alliance Standards Committee since 2012. In 2012 Mugs received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for offering yoga in Canada and abroad for nearly forty years. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation from IYTA in recognition of her contributions to yoga around the world.
Although Mugs is a disciple of the Sivananda tradition, her more recent teachers have included Namadeva Acharya in mantra therapy and Erich Schiffmann in Freedom Yoga, as well as Rod Stryker, Dharma Mittra, Mark Stephens, Ganga White, and Tracey Rich. These teachers have created a platform for Mugs to take her great love and respect of classical yoga and weave it together with modern-day wisdom, ensuring her students are always exposed to yoga right back to its roots.
Mugs has been leading yoga teacher trainings for twenty years. She currently holds trainings four times a year and manages SOYA teacher trainings, which are held annually in four additional SOYA satellite locations in British Columbia, Alberta, and Mexico. She presents workshops in Canada, the United States, Spain, Mexico, and Australia. Mugs is a regular contributor to the IYTA International Light magazine and manager of the SOYA monthly e-newsletter for the past eight years.
Mugs lives with her husband, Robert, in British Columbia and Mexico. Letters from the Yoga Masters is her first book.