"You can live free from stress and confusion."

Padma is an enlightened educator and one of Canada’s most respected and popular teachers of meditation, yoga and self-realization. For over 20 years she has been guiding people towards finding their own freedom, inner power, peace and enlightenment. Padma’s teaching style is free, joyful and insightful in the tradition of a Himalayan meditation master.

Padma completed 30 years of advanced meditation trainings in the Himalayas of India. She is certified to teach Advanced Meditation and Yogic Studies by the International Meditation Institute of India.

Padma produced and hosted 143 episodes of the Padma Yoga television series, aired daily across Canada since 2003, and has produced 12 DVDs of her work. Since 2000 she has also taught meditation and yoga to A-list Hollywood stars. She has developed original Online Meditation Courses and created a powerful Meditation Teacher Training Program.

"I love my meditations with Padma. In interviews after these classes, I speak with more clarity, surety and self-awareness."

- Freida Pinto, Actress

Padma masterfully translates meditation wisdom into modern language, making complex eastern philosophy available and relevant to our lives. She is highly regarded for her extensive studies and knowledge. Her teachings help her students cultivate fearlessness and inner strength and expand freedom and joy.

“Padma” is the name offered to her by her meditation teacher in the Himalayas. The name Padma means ‘The Lotus Flower’ and is a very important symbol in India and in Asian cultures, representing spiritual purity and intellectual awakening. The thousand-petalled lotus is the sign of complete spiritual enlightenment. Padma is also another name for the goddess, Laxmi, the symbol of wealth, prosperity, abundance and beauty.

About Padma

"My class with Padma was a great wake-up call for my meditations and yoga."

- Uma Thurman, Actress

"Sit quietly and in stillness with your eyes closed. Don't attempt to control or suppress the waves of your mind. Instead, simply remember that you are pure and free."

- Padma

Where Did She Study?

Padma has lived for 15 of the last 30 years in a remote valley of the western Himalayas of India, studying with a Himalayan meditation master. Padma researched and contemplated advanced meditation, having daily discussions and meditations with her teacher, and receiving direct transmission of lineage teachings. She mastered original Sanskrit texts of classical philosophy, specializing in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. For years, Padma meditated up to six hours a day. Lifestyle in the Himalayas was rustic and minimal, including boiling drinking water and keeping the wood stove burning. She lived with no electric appliances, spending the years in meditation and study. She continues now to live and study for months each year in the Himalayas.

About Padma
A Bit of History

Padma, Marla Stewart, holds a B.Sc. from McGill University in Canada. She worked for the Canadian Federal Research Institute of Ocean Sciences.

She was always seeking deeper personal happiness and looking for the real root causes of destructive human behaviour. In 1989 she travelled to the Himalayas to learn more about the human mind and ego.

There Padma became certified to teach ‘Advanced Yogic Sciences and Meditation’ (Senior Level) and ‘Hatha Yoga’ (Senior Level) by the International Meditation Institute of India. She is a unique educator specializing in a holistic approach to mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. Her western science and philosophical studies inform and expand her unique education.

She is a unique bridge between the two worlds of wisdom and speaks with eloquence of their oneness.

Media Highlights Include
  • Hosted and produced 78-episodes of nationally-aired TV series ‘Padma Yoga’ in 3 seasons
  • Hosted and wrote a 65-episode nationally-syndicated television series, ‘Living Yoga with Padma’, 2003.
  • Recorded a 12-part radio show on CBC radio, North By North-West, 2007.
  • Produced on in-flight recording heard on Air Canada “Freedom from Flight Anxiety” and “Contentment.”
  • Guest teacher in 3 episodes in the TV series “Remarkable People” on NTV
  • First Lululemon Ambassador at their main store on West 4th Ave, Vancouver, 2007.
  • Presented at the 2007 Toronto Yoga Conference; billed as a ‘Canada’s Meditation Teacher.’
  • Interviewed in a meditation article in Reader’s Digest, 2008.
  • Featured in Chatelaine magazine, December, 2009
  • Founded and developed the departments of Meditation Studies, Learning and Development, and Continuing Education programs at YYOGA, Vancouver, 2008 and 2009.
  • Owned and directed the “Padma Yoga Center” in Vancouver, 2002.
  • Produced two best-selling educational DVDs, 2006, “Mountain” and “Ocean”.
  • Initiated the founding boards of the Yoga Association of BC (currently a Senior YABC Instructor), and the Yoga Outreach of BC.
  • Taught meditation and hatha yoga and Sanskrit, chanting, breath, and philosophy, to instructors across Canada and the US since 2000.
  • Since 2000 has been invited to host workshops across Canada, the USA, Mexico, Bali, France, the UK and central America.
  • B.Sc. in Biology from McGill University; Research Assistant at the Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans
  • Certified by the International Meditation Institute of India to teach Hatha Yoga (1000-hour Senior Level); Meditation and Vedant Philosophy (Master of Meditation, M.M.)
  • Since 1989 immersed in an advanced meditation retreat in the western Himalayas with the Vedant meditation master, Swami Shyam, and continues to study there.
  • Since 1982 has practised hatha yoga.
  • Spent two years in Tokyo learning Zazen meditation; Has attended Soto Zen retreats with Norman Fisher.
Current Projects
  • Writing a book on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

"Padma radiates a sweetness and bliss. I have all of her discs and watch her show as often as possible."

- Julia, Student


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"You are like a Lotus flower – completely one with all the wonderful and changing happenings in the world, and yet forever remaining pure and free, clear in your knowledge of who you are."

- Padma