Letters from the Yoga Masters

Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others.

Written, researched, and created with love by Marion (Mugs) McConnell & Foreword by Erich Schiffmann. Published by North Atlantic Books. Distributed by Penguin Random House.

Mugs McConnell shares in her book the techniques that her teacher, Dr. Hari Dickman was taught by yoga masters such as Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnu Tirth, and many others.

About the Author

Marion, or “Mugs” to all who know her, is one of Canada‘s Yoga Pioneers. She is the co-owner of SOYA with her husband Bob.

In 2018 Mugs celebrates 40 years as a certified yoga teacher. Mugs’ early training was in the Sivananda lineage under Swami Vishnudevananda. Following her time in the ashram, she was the last disciple of Sri Yogiraj Dr. Hari Dickman, whom her book is about. Over the years her teaching style has been greatly influenced by additional studies with Erich Schiffmann and Namadeva Acharya. Erich taught her the importance of love, and how every action can be an expression of love towards self and others. Namadeva played a huge role in her appreciation and understanding of mantra, which she often combines with mudra. Mugs has also enjoyed the teachings of others such as Mark Stephens, Rod Stryker, Friedel Khattab and Dharma Mittra.

Yoga in Latvia

Coming in 2018, a documentary on The History of Yoga in Latvia.

Marion (Mugs) McConnell participated in the making of a documentary about Dr. Hari Dickman and his historical role teaching yoga in Latvia prior to WWII. As McConnell was the last disciple of Hari, she was interviewed in the documentary, sharing stories and information about her time with Dr. Dickman. Stay tuned for the release of this documentary, planned tentatively for yoga day in 2018.

The Latvian Yoga Society

Learn more about the Latvian Yoga Society established in the 1930s by Dr. Dickman

Events for the Book

Yoga Teacher Training with Mugs

Calgary, AB

March 1-8, 2018

Pura Vida! 7 days of Yoga, beaches and rest!

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

April 28-29 , 2018

Higher Health Workshop

Higher Health, Ft McMurray, AB

May 4-6, 2018

East West Bookshop

East West Bookshop, Seattle, WA

May 25-26, 2018

Hillhurst United Church

Hillhurst United Church, Calgary, AB

May 27, 2018

Yoga Association of Alberta Annual General Meeting

2 hour Workshop on Vinyasa, Mudra and Mantra with Mugs McConnell

Calgary, AB – 780-427-8776  yya@yoga.ca 

July 4-19, 2018

Yoga Teacher Training with Mugs

Harmony Yoga & Pilates studio, Calgary, AB, Canada

September 28-30, 2018

Yoga Association of Alberta

Weekend workshop at Rio Terrace Hall, Edmonton, AB
Calgary, AB – 780-427-8776 or yaa@yoga.ca or register

Oct. 12-14, 2018

Intuit Yoga

Mackenzie, BC

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Letters from the Yoga Masters: Techniques

“Some things should never be lost. Letters from the Yoga Masters is a uniquely valuable book containing wisdom and advice from most of the well-known and respected yoga masters of India in the twentieth century. McConnell has done a commendable job preserving this knowledge and presents the stories and teachings in a very entertaining way.” Bernie Clark, author of Yinsights: A Journey into the Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga.

Upanishad Mantra Meditation

The Upanishad Mantra Meditation is one of my favourites in Letters from the Yoga Masters on page 165.  It includes four mantras that are intended to help awaken our consciousness to the spirit within. Along with the mantras we visualize the flow of prana. I have...

Sarva Dvara Baddha Pranayama: all doors closed

(another sneak peak from Mug's book) Sarva means "all", dvara means "door", and baddha means "bound."  All the doors or gates where prana can escape are closed. Sit comfortably and apply shanmukhi mudra (cover the ears with the thumbs, eyes with the index fingers,...

Pranava Dhvanyatmaka Pranayama

Chanting the Sound of Om By Mugs McConnell In many yoga classes we open and end the class by chanting “Om,” but for many students they don’t really know much about this powerful, sacred mantra. I hope from this article the next time you chant it the Om sound will be...

Pushpaputa Mudra

Pushpaputa mudra is a gesture of offering a handful of flowers to the Divine. You are the offering - you are the flowers, when you are open to what the Divine lays before you.  A great time to try this mudra is after opening yourself up with back-bends. Combine it...

To See or Not to See

 by Mugs McConnell SOYA, ERYT500, IYTA Back in 1978 I did my initial yoga teacher training at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas. Swami Vishnudevananda and his disciples worked diligently to train us in the science of yoga philosophy as well as the skills of being a...

How do I know when my Nadis are Purified?

By Marion (Mugs) McConnell, ERYT500, SOYA, SYVCA, Canadian Representative for IYTA During the immersion portion of our Yoga Teacher Trainings, we engage in a steady practice of Nadi Sodhana for two weeks, morning and evening. The purpose of this is to get established...
Letters from the Yoga Masters book cover image

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