Maria Merrill

500 E-RYT Yoga Instructor, Desire Map Facilitator

Core Desired FeelingsPlugged In, Brave, Nourished

Seeing a student try on her CDFs, fine tune them, and get the perfect one is magical. It is a gift to witness and to know that some new possibility was revealed and more awaits.”

Read Maria's Story

Q: Where were you, in life or business, before you become a Desire Map Facilitator?

Before becoming a Desire Map Facilitator, I owned a yoga studio and was teaching classes, workshops, and leading a yoga teacher training program. I had read Danielle’s books and had already been following her when she sent a “shout out” asking for people to host a book club with The Desire Map. I thought it was a great idea. I said yes and we had a great response — an amazing group of women and really fun, insightful conversation through the weeks. I love this type of cross pollination. That great response along with the fun I had facilitating the book club led me to want to be a Desire Map Facilitator.

Q: How did becoming a Desire Map facilitator impact you as a yoga teacher?

Being a facilitator has made me more fluid as a teacher. To be more open, less rigid, and to stand in the questions as a student and teacher. Some of that is attributed to years of teaching experience, but some of it, I know, comes from Desire Mapping.

Certain poses bring up vulnerabilities, fear, or discomfort. So sitting in the question, “How does it feel?” is huge. I’m not so concerned with the students getting the pose “right” anymore. I’m more concerned with did they have an opportunity to get into their body, their breath. Did they get what they needed from class? The Desire Map has changed me with that openness.

Q: What makes Yoga and The Desire Map a great pair?

One of the things I love about Danielle is the authenticity that comes across in her writing. Her words speak to me, and I want to share these ideas and thoughts with students. (I would often share her poems or quote from The Desire Map even before I was a facilitator). Yoga is a practice that helps us return to ourselves. It is a practice of acceptance, mindfulness, support, and challenge. Yoga is simple but not easy. It asks of us to be present, to be aware of our thoughts, to pay attention, and to listen. It calls on us to awaken. On a basic level, it asks us for truth and to recognize that we already are whole and divine. There is nothing that needs to be fixed.

The Desire Map asks the same: What do you want? What are you ignoring? What is the color of joy? What turns you on and lets you go from dull to dedicated? What is really speaking to you? Dare to let that in. Dare to reach higher. Dare to challenge yourself. Dare to put yourself first.

Q: What’s one of your favourite moments as a Desire Map Facilitator?

Seeing a student try on her CDFs, fine tune them, and get the perfect one is magical. It is a gift to witness and to know that some new possibility was revealed and more awaits.

Testimonials from workshop attendees

“I recommend people work with Maria because of her presence and ability to extend and hold space with warmth, curiosity, intellect, and insight. She combines strong practicality with warm energy.”


“I consider Maria a true mentor. We have known each other for over five years, and during this time I have had the opportunity to attend many of her workshops. Prior to this workshop, I knew very little about The Desire Map or Danielle LaPorte. After speaking with Maria about her Desire Map training, I felt how passionate she was about sharing this with others, and I was inspired to learn more. This process gave me the language and context for evaluating my truest values and desires. It helped me to identify and cut away the excess, distractions, and fears that show up when asking/seeking that which matter most to me. I look at my CDFs as a life compass now.”


Facilitator Stories

Alyssa Kuzins

Yoga Instructor

“Becoming a facilitator opened up levels of power and opportunities ...”

View story

Vanessa Crites

Desire Map Facilitator

“The greatest impact for me in facilitating is not only that I get to walk other ...”

View story

Deborah Linehan

Life Coach

“Becoming a facilitator and continuing to renew my license correlates...”

View story

Connie Kanella Aramento

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

“Desire Mapping is deep stuff — it’s life changing, and it is what we have ...”

View story

The Desire Map Facilitator Program

Workshop, retreat, and coaching curriculum for all good souls.


Pin It on Pinterest