PADMA, Marla Stewart
Founder, Padma Meditation

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is owned and operated by its founder, Marla Stewart, B.Sc., known as Padma. Established in 2000, PADMA MEDITATION offers high-quality, professional meditation teachings through educational products, Introduction Courses, Certified Meditation Teacher Training, Designer Courses and Advanced Studies. Padma also hosts four national television series aired daily across Canada.

Padma Meditation Teacher Training is soundly based in time-tested, classical meditation wisdom, as well as designed to suit our western culture. The program lays the foundation for a deep personal practice and the ability to offer meditation to others.

Padma’s unique, professional teachings integrate eastern contemplative wisdom with western science and our modern, daily lifestyle. Padma Meditation includes meditations, eastern psychology, spiritual philosophy, Sanskrit studies, chanting, gentle yoga, diet and other proven health practices. Meditation techniques include mindfulness, breath, concentration, mantra and directly connecting with inner silence and power.

Increase your inner strength and joy and de-stress your life. You will be more effective and efficient in your personal and business lives and not waste extra energy. Through Padma Meditation you will find exceptional mental clarity, self-understanding, creative inspiration, intuitive wisdom, freedom and compassionate insight. PM is designed for inner personal exploration and simply for coping with everyday stress. You can attain high-level performance, sharper awareness, focus and efficiency.

PADMA MEDITATION produces high-quality multi-media material available for purchase from our online store or fine retailers.

Wherever you are in your meditation practice, PADMA MEDITATION offers you something unique and effective. From introductory, secular, fun workshops to more in-depth study of Sanskrit scriptures, trust PADMA MEDITATION.

About Padma

Padma guides people to find freedom from stress, confusion and pain. Padma is known as one of Canada’s most respected teachers and is highly regarded for her extensive studies and vast knowledge of meditation and classical yogic studies, working with intelligent individuals in an evolving society.

Padma, Marla Stewart B.Sc., holds a science degree from McGill University, Canada. Certified to teach Advanced Studies and Meditation, Yogic Sciences and Hatha Yoga (1000-hour level) by the International Meditation Institute of India, she is a unique educator specializing in a holistic, supportive approach to mental, physical and spiritual wellness.

Padma has practised and researched advanced meditation in the western Himalayas of India for 30 years, where she learned to read and master original Sanskrit texts. Padma lived independently, meditating up to six hours a day, and learning the subtle arts of yoga. Padma’s lifestyle in the Himalayas was often rustic and minimal. Her daily life included basic tasks such as boiling and filtering drinking water. She cooked and lived with no electric appliances, modern conveniences, or hot running water. She spent the years in meditation and study. Padma continues to return to India for meditation retreats.

In Canada, Padma has hosted, written and co-produced four nationally syndicated television series: “Padma Yoga: Blissful Living,” “Padma Yoga: Modern Meditations,”  “Padma Yoga: The Elemental Series” and “Living Yoga with Padma”. She has produced two educational DVDs and hosted a 12-part series on CBC radio. Her guided meditation recordings are heard on Air Canada flights. Padma is featured in the national television series ‘Remedy Me’ and in Chatelaine magazine. Padma owned and ran the Padma Yoga and Meditation Center in Vancouver, B.C., in 2002. Padma has taught yoga and meditation to professionals, government agencies, and A-List Hollywood celebrities.

Her western science and philosophical studies inform and expand her exceptional education in eastern practices. She is a unique bridge between the two worlds of wisdom and speaks with eloquence of their oneness.

  • Completed a one-decade full-time meditation retreat, 1989 to 1999, in the western Himalayas and is certified by the International Meditation Institute of India to teach Meditation and Meditation Philosophy, Advanced Yogic Studies and Hatha Yoga (1000-hour senior level).
  • Spent two years in Tokyo practicing Zazen meditation.
  • Has practiced Hatha Yoga since 1982.
  • Is considered a “Teachers’ Teacher” and has taught the yogic arts such as meditation, Hatha Yoga, Sanskrit, chanting, breath, and philosophy, to yoga teachers since 2000.
  • Owned ‘The Padma Yoga Center’ in Vancouver, 2002.
  • Hosted and wrote the 65-episode nationally-syndicated television series, ‘Living Yoga with Padma’, that has aired across Canada since 2005.
  • Hosted and produced the 78-episode television series ‘Padma Yoga’ that airs nationally since 2009.
  • Co-founded and developed the Meditation Studies and Continuing Education programs for YYOGA, Vancouver, 2008.
  • Produced two popular educational DVDs, Mountain and Ocean, 2006.
  • Has been on the boards of the Yoga Association of BC (currently a Senior YABC Instructor), and the Yoga Outreach of BC.
  • Was featured in the national TV series ‘Remedy Me’ as the Meditation Therapist, 2007.
  • Hosted a 12-part radio show on CBC radio, on North By North-West, 2008.
  • Recorded a guided meditation for Air Canada called ‘Freedom from Flight Anxiety,’ heard on the in-flight Wellness Station, 2008.
  • Has taught meditation and yoga to the staff at CBC, Public Health Canada, Ballard Power, UBC, Simpson & Thomas Law Firm, and to private clients at   Intrawest, Conner, Clark & Lunn Investments, Porte Real Estate, Bolder Investments, and the ‘Steelers’ girls AAA hockey team.
  • Has privately taught A-List Hollywood celebrities including Uma Thurman, Charlize Theron, Freida Pinto and Heather Graham, Colin Firth, as well as singer Sarah McLachlan.
  • Was an original Lululemon Ambassador at the flagship store on West 4th Ave, Vancouver, 2007.
  • Was invited to the 2007 Toronto Yoga Show; billed as the ‘Canadian Woman Meditation Teacher.’ Sponsored by Channel ONE in Toronto.
  • Since 2005 has hosted workshops in Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, Florida, California, Mexico and France.
  • Has produced 2 CDs of Sanskrit chanting.
  • Is featured in Chatelaine magazine, December, 2009.
  • Holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Biology from McGill University, Montreal, 1985.
  • Worked for the Federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans and for the National Capital Commission, Ottawa.

Why Meditation?

To Be Beautiful, Happy and Wise

Studies have shown that meditation helps to focus and lengthen the attention span in adults, increasing their productivity and effectiveness. Meditation also stimulates the youth-hormone in the pituitary gland, reducing the symptoms of aging. It also stimulates the immune system to fight against all diseases. Meditation alleviates depression and anxiety, lowers blood pressure and has been shown to help prevent and reverse cancer, AIDS and chronic pain.

From the National Post, Monday, November 14, 2005 Vol.8  No.16

Meditation Good for Soul; Improves Brain, Too

Researchers find meditators have more grey matter / Scientists find brain structure changed by meditation.

– By Sharon Kirkey

People who meditate have thicker brains, according to scientists who believe they have found the first structural evidence that meditation may increase grey matter.

Using magnetic resonance imaging, Boston researchers found that parts of the brain important for attention and sensory processing – how we take in and make sense of things – were thicker in meditators.

While all were extensively experienced in Buddhist insight meditation, “these are normal people with jobs and families” who meditated, on average, 40 minutes a day, said Dr. Jeremy Gray, assistant professor of psychology at Yale University and co-author of the study.

“You don’t have to be a monk to see these changes in the actual structure of the brain.”

From TIME Magazine, Canadian Edition/ January 16, 2006

How to Get Smarter, One Breath at a Time

Scientists find that meditation not only reduces stress but also reshapes the brain.

– By Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Zimmermann, 54, watched most of his peers in energy futures burn out long ago.  He attributes his brain’s enduring sharpness not to an intravenous espresso drip but to 40 minutes of meditation each morning and evening.  The practice, he says, helps him maintain the clarity he needs for quick, insightful analysis – even approaching happy hour.  “Meditation,” he says, “is my secret weapon.”

Everyone around the water cooler knows that meditation reduces stress.  But with the aid of advanced brain scanning technology, researchers are beginning to show that mediation directly affects the function and structure of the brain, changing it in ways that appear to increase attention span, sharpen focus and improve memory.

One recent study found evidence that the daily practice of meditation thickened the parts of the brain’s cerebral cortex responsible for decision making, attention and memory.