Modern Day Guru: Marcia Hoffheins

Loudoun County resident, Marcia Hoffheins, helps people transform their lives with her own brand of personal growth and development programs.

In May of 2014, Marcia Hoffheins was dying. Doctors couldn’t determine what was going on with her or what to do about it. “I woke up in the hospital and saw my husband lying on the sofa,” she recalls. “I just remember looking at him and thinking, if I ever get out of here, I’m doing something bigger, something more.” She survived that illness and, 5 years later, has gone on to fulfill the promise she made to herself back in that hospital room — to do “something more.” That experience ended up becoming the catalyst to what is now a thriving, full-time business, helping men and women lead better, more purposeful lives. Today, at 47 years old, Marcia Hoffheins is unstoppable.

In the months to follow, Marcia dove head first into the world of personal development, beginning with Danielle LaPorte’s book, The Desire Map. She says, “I got her book, started going through the program, and the first thing I did was start to fix the mindset that I didn’t have a ‘yoga body.’” A few years back, when she was living in Charlotte, North Carolina, Marcia auditioned to teach at a local yoga studio. The owner of the studio refused to hire her, remarking that she didn’t have a “yoga body.” “It triggered for me things that were said to me growing up and really tore me apart,” she explains. One of the things Marcia wrote down as she was creating her own desire map was a new personal mantra: “I am sexy.” “I wrote it on post-it notes, I wrote it in my planner, I wrote it everywhere and damn if it didn’t start to change things for me,” she says. “People were telling me I looked sexy, and I wasn’t doing anything different! That’s when I began to realize the power of mindset.”

At the same time, Marcia was slowly recuperating from her illness — a recovery she credits to her use of essential oils in place of conventional medicine. She was looking better, feeling better, and had a deep desire to share what she was doing with others. She says, “I felt like, I’m not only wanting to show up feeling this way, I want to empower other people to feel this way.” She began blogging, speaking in front of groups, and sharing her stories. Eventually, she became a certified Desire Map coach and started putting together online groups of 3-4 people to go through the program. Although she loved the work, she was still managing a yoga studio full-time and had little time to devote to much else. That summer, feeling unsettled and “riddled with anxiety,” she came to her husband, Rob, for advice. She says, “I had a complete meltdown, and Rob said to me, ‘What’s it going to take for you to be happy?’ I woke up three days later and sent in my resignation letter. I needed to start pursuing things for me.”

That winter, Marcia led a 2-day Desire Map retreat at a yoga studio in Berryville. Twelve people showed up at that first retreat, and although she loved the experience, she quickly realized that she didn’t want to work within the confines of “someone else’s script.” What she wanted to do was take the experiences that people were having when she led yoga teacher training classes outside of the yoga studio. “I heard the conversations and saw the transformations people were having. I watched people leave boyfriends, I watched people leave jobs, I watched people move, all because of the teachings within that space,” she says. ”It wasn’t that I was just teaching the [Yoga] Sutras, I was relating them to everyday life because I shared my stories.” From there, Marcia started developing her own unique program she called, Make Shift Happen (MSH), drawing on tools she learned from personal development coaches like Brooke Castillo, Deb Erikson, Tony Robbins, and Gabrielle Bernstein. She says, “What I started to realize is that everyone is just saying the same thing in their own voice.”

She designed her program to start by working at the core level. She explains, “People are so concerned with what’s going on on the outside. But what if you don’t really need to lose weight? What if you just need to heal yourself from the inside. And what if healing yourself is what fixes your eating habits, fixes your job, fixes your relationships.” Marcia began teaching her MSH workshops in the winter of 2015 and over the years, has drawn hundreds of men and women from not only the Northern Virginia region but across the nation and even overseas in countries like the UK and Germany.

Leesburg resident, Kristi Littman, has taken part in several MSH workshops since she was introduced to Marcia four years ago. “It flipped my whole reality,” she says. “Once I started doing this work, it’s like the blindfold was removed. It helped me re-center and re-focus on what I wanted, who I am, and how I wanted to feel.” Colleen Clement, a fellow MSH mentor, and team member, says she has seen Marcia create real change in people’s lives. “Marcia sees things in people that they don’t see in themselves,” she says. “She has a powerful gift of intuition, and she uses it to help people cut through the layers of fears, the excuses, the what-ifs.”

Today, Marcia Hoffheins runs a twice-yearly Make Shift Happen Mastermind program, Shift Express – a 30-day online empowerment program, and will debut a day-long Storytellers Experience event coming this January. She continues to coach clients on a one-on-one basis and is planning a week-long retreat to Mexico in October of 2020.

“My purpose is to help us heal so that our kids know a different way,” she says. “I might’ve started out sharing my gift in a yoga room, but that’s not where I’m meant to deepen my journey. It’s going to be standing in a stadium somewhere with thousands of people surrounding me. That’s just what I see.”

Learn more about Marcia and contact her at

Photo by Kristi Littman