Sattva Fitness Yoga Center was founded in 2002 by Darlene Jacobsen and Rached Maalouf.
Darlene had been Rached's teacher at Synergy Yoga in Encinitas, California. Together they established Sattva Fitness Yoga Center in Escondido, California.
On June 9, 2002, Rached proposed to Darlene, in the yoga studio! They had planned the Sattva Fitness Grand Opening Party together, which included a morning meditation, Synergy yoga class, and a demonstration of advanced poses by Rached.
Rached ended the demo by putting on some music, "When the Stars Go Blue" by the Corrs. He asked Darlene to come up to help him, then folded his right knee into half lotus, and went down onto this folded knee.
The rest is beautiful history.
For more information about Rached, please see his biography below.
Rached Maalouf proposing to Darlene Jacobsen, June 9, 2002.
The co-founder of Sattva Fitness Yoga Center, Rached Maalouf, was born in Lebanon and moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1976 at the age of 12. Rached moved to San Diego, California in 1990. In 2002, he and his wife, Darlene, settled in Escondido, where they had two children.
After three yoga teacher trainings—with Indra Devi Hatha Yoga, Synergy Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga—Rached began his yoga teaching career in 1999 and opened Sattva Fitness Yoga Center in January 2002. He also worked with Marine Corps Community Services to teach yoga at Camp Pendleton.
In addition to yoga, Rached practiced the martial arts, including Eskrima full contact stick fighting, grappling, and Muay Thai boxing. In 1990 he received a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate. He was also a certified TRX Suspension Trainer and certified Kettlebell Trainer.
Rached was devoted to helping others transform physically, mentally, and spiritually. His students loved him for his knowledge, gentleness, strength, generosity, and dedication to authentic yoga. He trained many instructors, gaining a reputation as a “teacher’s teacher.”
“I live to serve my family and yoga students,” he said.
Rached passed away on June 9, 2019, while mountain biking with friends. He is deeply missed by his students, who honor him by supporting the studio and following his sage advice:
“Practice Yoga regularly, to help you get through the irregularities of Life.”
For more information about Rached and the history of Sattva Fitness Yoga Center, please read the following articles: