Introducing Sarah Martin, co-founder of saigon om

WHY YOGA: Yoga brings me home to my body so I can enjoy life in the present moment.

HOW I LIVE MY PRACTICE: As I embrace the art of mindful living, my daily life has become my practice. By following my breath and having a gentle smile, I'm able to bring peace and joy into everything that I do, both on and off the yoga mat.


THE ONE THING I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Mindfulness. It helps me take care of my over-thinking mind and strong emotions. My daily mantra is "trust the breath" and not the mind.

THE BOOK I KEEP ON MY BED SIDE TABLE: 'The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings' by my mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

HOW I HAVE FUN OFF MY MAT: Traveling the world to teach and learn. My partner, Hang, and I are very blessed to be on this mindful path and sharing it with others. In between our trainings and retreats we visit Plum Village Monasteries in North America, Asia and Australia to practice with the monks and nuns. We also regularly visit Bali and Thailand to fill ourselves up on yoga.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE: Being alive is a miracle and everything around me is a gift of life.

WHAT I AM COMMITTED TO: Deepening my mindfulness practice and sharing this healing and joyful path with others.

WHAT I SHARE IN MY TEACHING: My peace and good mindful words to remind students how amazing life is.

HOMETOWN: Melbourne, Australia

EDUCATION / OTHER CERTIFICATIONS: 15 years of experience as a massage therapist & Reiki practitioner. I now enjoy offering massage & Reiki trainings and bringing these healing modalities into my yoga classes.


My partner, Hang, and I founded 'saigon om'- a holistic wellness school offering Yoga Alliance 200-hour yoga & mindfulness teacher training, yoga & mindfulness retreats, and training in Reiki, massage, Tai Chi & Qi Gong in Canada, Australia and South East Asia.

We follow the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk & peace activist, and the Plum Village spiritual community. We regularly visit Plum Village Monastery to deepen our mindfulness practice.

Committed to our mindfulness path, we are currently practicing towards ordination of the “Order of Interbeing”, which is a community of monastics and lay people who have committed to living their lives in accord with the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, a concrete embodiment of the teachings of the Buddha for living simply, compassionately, and joyfully in our modern world.



Introducing Hang Nhan, co-founder of saigon om

WHY YOGA: My passion for yoga and mindful living is my lifelong journey of amazing self-discovery. Yoga reminds me to live in the present moment. Yoga teaches me to come home to myself, to take care of life’s challenges, to cultivate love, peace and joy and then sprinkle them onto others, on and off the yoga mat.

HOW I LIVE MY PRACTICE: Every moment that I am able to breathe is a gift of life. With breath as my anchor, I practice loving awareness in my daily activities, from deep listening, to washing dishes, to driving and walking from place to place. And, I do it with joy! I invite the essence of mindfulness to my every breath, to my every moment.


THE ONE THING I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: My breath. It gives me life and brings me home to my body and calms down the twirling of my mind.

THE BOOK I KEEP ON MY BED SIDE TABLE: Old Path White Clouds (the life and teachings of Buddha) by Thich Nhat Hanh

HOW I HAVE FUN OFF MY MAT: Travel, teach and learn. My partner and I are blessed to be on the path of mindfulness and sharing it with people of diverse cultures around the globe. We currently travel between Australia, South East Asia, and Canada to share our love of yoga, mindfulness, Reiki, Lomi Lomi massage, Qi Gong and Tai Chi training and retreats.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE: Nothing is permanent. If joy rises, embrace it. If suffering arises, embrace it. For everything is impermanent.

WHAT I AM COMMITTED TO: To helping people cultivate compassion for themselves and others. And, also helping people understand that all the conditions for happiness are already available to us in the here and now.

WHAT I SHARE IN MY TEACHING: My peace, joy and love for life and travelling.

HOMETOWN: My Tho, Vietnam

EDUCATION / OTHER CERTIFICATIONS: My education is still on-going. With over 2400 teaching hours and numerous yoga teacher training received, I am only beginning to see how much I have to learn.

I’m a CanFitPro-certified personal trainer, mixed martial artist, fitness and classical Pilates instructor. I’m a Shamballa Reiki educator and have trained in Thai massage and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD: My partner, Sarah, and I founded a mobile wellness school called “saigon om.” We feel very blessed to be able to travel the globe, share our practice and meet many wonderful beings along our journey.

We follow the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen teacher and poet, and regularly visit his monasteries (Plum Village) in various parts of the world to deepen our mindfulness practice. Committed to our mindfulness path, we are currently practicing towards ordination of the “Order of Interbeing”, which is a community of monastics and lay people who have committed to living their lives in accord with the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, a wonderful blend of traditional Buddhist morality and contemporary social concerns.

Photo credit: Yenny Tran

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation with the monks and nuns at Thai Plum Village, November 2016.

Walking meditation with the monks and nuns at Thai Plum Village, November 2016.

You don’t have to make any effort during walking meditation, because it is enjoyable. You are there, body and mind together. You are fully alive, fully present in the here and the now. With every step, you touch the wonders of life that are in you and around you. When you walk like that, every step brings healing. Every step brings peace and joy, because every step is a miracle.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Gathas - Mantras for Daily Life

“Gathas are short verses that we can recite during our daily activities to help us return to the present moment and dwell in mindfulness. As exercises in both meditation and poetry, gathas are an essential part of Zen Buddhist tradition. Using a gatha doesn’t require any special knowledge or religious practice. Some people like to memorize a favorite verse that they find they can come back to again and again. Others just like to write the verse down in a place they are likely to see it often.

Reciting gathas is one way to help us dwell in the present moment. When we focus our mind on a gatha, we return to ourselves and become more aware of each action. When the gatha ends, we continue our activity with heightened awareness. When we drive a car, signs can help us find our way. The sign and the road become one, and we see the sign all along the way until the next sign. When we practice with gathas, the gathas and the rest of our life become one, and we live our entire lives in awareness. This helps us very much, and it helps others as well. We find that we have more peace, calm, and joy, which we can share with others.

When you memorize a gatha, it will come to you quite naturally when you are doing the related activity, whether it’s turning on the water or drinking a cup of tea. You don’t need to learn all the verses at once. You can find one or two that resonate with you and learn more over time. After some time, you may find that you have learned all of them and are even creating your own. Composing your own gathas to fit the specific circumstances of your life is one wonderful way to practice mindfulness.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

These are some of our favourite gathas for meditation and for posting up around the house:

mindfulness meditation yoga

Waking Up
Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand-new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.

Opening the Window
Opening the window,
I look out with full awareness.
How wondrous life is!
Attentive to each moment,
My mind is clear like a calm river.

Turning on the Light
Forgetfulness is the darkness,
mindfulness is the light.
I bring awareness
to shine upon all life.

Turning on the Water
Water flows from high mountain sources.
Water runs deep in the Earth.
Miraculously, water comes to us.
I am filled with gratitude.

Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing my teeth and rinsing my mouth,
I vow to speak purely and lovingly.
When my mouth is fragrant with right speech,
a flower blooms in the garden of my heart.

Washing Your Hands
Water flows over these hands.
May I use them skillfully
to preserve our precious planet.

Following the Breath
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.

Hugging Meditation
Breathing in, I am so happy to hug my loved one.
Breathing out, I know my loved one is real and alive in my arms.

Walking Meditation
The mind can go in a thousand directions,
but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.
With each step, a gentle wind blows.
With each step, a flower blooms.

Drinking Tea
This cup of tea in my two hands,
mindfulness held perfectly.
My mind and body dwell
in the very here and now.

We'd love to hear your favourites!

Breathing joyfully,

Seeing Our Unskillfulness

I said before that if we have not made any mistakes, there is no way for us to learn. So that is why to look deeply, and to see the nature of the act, the nature of inter-being of the act in the light of non-self, we see that that is a kind of act, that is a kind of speech that has created suffering… The moment when you see that this is the lack of skillfulness on your part and on the part of many ancestors who have transmitted the seed to you, then that is already enlightenment, that is already meditation, that is already deep looking. And out of that enlightenment you are motivated by a desire that you would not like to do that again. So that desire, that aspiration is a strong energy, a strong energy that can make you alive, that can help you to protect yourself, to protect all the future generations within you, and that insight is very liberating. And if you know that you are not going to do the same thing again, you are already free, and your ancestors are also free, and there is no need to be caught in your feeling of culpability.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Enjoying Our Meals With Mindfulness

When we eat, we're often rushed; sometimes we don't even take the time to sit down. If that's true of you, please offer yourself the opportunity to eat mindfulness as a human being, not a running robot. Before you eat, take a few moments to sit down, feel your weight supported by the chair (or the ground), quiet your thinking, and contemplate the food and its sources. The earth, the sun, the rain, labor, and many supportive conditions have come together so that your food could be brought to you. Be aware of how fortunate you are to have food to eat when so many people are hungry.

When you sit down to enjoy a meal with others, bring your awareness to the food and the people you are with. This can be a very joyful occasion of true community.

Breathing in, I'm aware of the food on my plate.
Breathing out, I'm fortunate to have food to eat.
(Aware of food. Feeling grateful.)

Breathing in, I'm aware of the fields.
Breathing out, I smile to the fields.
(Aware of fields. Smiling.)

Breathing in, I'm aware of the many conditions that brought this food to me.
Breathing out, I feel grateful.
(Aware of conditions. Feeling grateful.)

Breathing in, I'm aware of those who are eating together with me.
Breathing out, I am grateful for their presence.
(Eating together. Feeling grateful.)

From "Silence" by Thich Nhat Hanh

It's OK to Make Mistakes

Buddha Mindfulness

Because we are human beings, we cannot avoid making mistakes. We might have caused someone else to suffer, we might have offended our beloved ones, and we feel regret. But it is always possible for us to begin anew, and to transform all these kinds of mistakes. Without making mistakes there is no way to learn, in order to be a better person, to learn how to be tolerant, to be compassionate, to be loving, to be accepting. That is why mistakes play a role in our training, in our learning, and we should not get caught in the prison of culpability just because we have made some mistakes in our life.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

The Five Remembrances

One of the teachings of the Buddha and Thich Nhat Hanh are "The Five Remembrances" or five truths that the Buddha guided us to contemplate and accept:

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

Contemplating The Five Remembrances has helped us deepen our mindfulness practice. Knowing that we are of the nature to grow old, get ill, and die, we can embrace our health, youthfulness and live life fully. Knowing that life is impermanent, we can embrace and appreciate our loved ones and enjoy every moment we have with them. Knowing that our actions are our only true belongings, we take responsibility for our views, thoughts, words and actions, and move in the direction of compassion and understanding for ourselves and others.

The Five Remembrances reminds us that life is short and we must embrace every moment, and that every moment is a wonderful moment.

Smiling to life,

Five True Sounds

Bodhisattva is the Buddhist term for someone with great compassion whose life work is to ease people's suffering. Buddhism talks about a bodhisatttva named Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Deep Listening. The name Avalokiteshvara means "the one who listens deeply to the sounds of the world."

According to Buddhist tradition, Avalokiteshvara has the capacity to listen to all kinds of sounds that can heal the world. If you can find silence within yourself, you can hear the five sounds.

The first is the Wonderful Sound, the sound of the wonders of life that are calling you. This is the sound of the birds, of the rain, and so on.

The second sound is the Sound of the One Who Observes the World. This is the sound of listening, the sound of silence. 

The third sound is the Brahma Sound. This is the transcendental sound, om, which has a long history in Indian spiritual thought. The tradition is that the sound om has the innate power to create the world. The story goes that the cosmos, the world, the universe was created by that sound. 

The fourth sound is the Sound of the Rising Tide. This sound symbolises the voice of the Buddha. The teaching of the Buddha can clear away misunderstanding, remove affliction, and transform everything. It's penetrating and effective. 

The fifth sound is the Sound That Transcends All Sounds of the World. This is the sound of impermanence, a reminder not to get caught up in or too attached to particualr words or sounds. Many scholars have made Buddha's teaching complicated and difficult to understand. But the Buddha said things very simply and did not get caught up in words. So if a teaching is too complicated, it's not the sound of the Buddha. If what you're hearing is too loud, too noisy, or convoluted, it's not the voice of the Buddha. Wherever you go, you can hear that fifth sound. Even if you're in prison, you can hear the Sound That Transcends All Sounds of the World. 

From the book "Silence" by Thich Nhat Hanh

Exaggerating our Suffering

Thay Phap Dang

Brother Phap Dang says that "we tend to exaggerate our suffering" so he said "to stop it and just be honest with it." That has been my practice this week. I often stop and ask myself, "Is this for real? Is this sorrow as deep as I perceive it to be in my head?" Then the answer always comes back as "Not really. It was blown out of proportion." And I usually smile it.

Smilng & breathing,

Bells of Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh Bell of Mindfulness

The bell is a wonderful mindfulness tool. It is also known as a “bell of mindfulness.” Its sound reminds me to be in the present moment, or come home to the present when I am in deep thought or conversation. 

As taught to us by our zen teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, aka Thay, when the bell is invited, I stop whatever I am doing, relax my whole body and become aware of my breath. I stay still and silent until the sound goes away. By pausing to breathe and restore my calm and peace I  feel so nourished with a sense of freshness and freedom as I restore my mindfulness energy.

The sound of the bell gives me an opportunity to come back to my breath and dwell in the present moment. On hearing the sound of the bell, I focus on my breath for at least three breaths. Sometimes, I follow a gatha, or a short verse, to help me:

Listen, listen, this wonderful sound
Brings me back to my true self/home.

For our daily work on our laptops, Hang and I installed a digital bell of mindfulness app. It can be set to be invited every 15, 30, 60 minutes. It's a wonderful reminder for us to come back to our breath, to bring our mind home to our body, and find peaceful moments while we're writing emails. 

As well as the sound of a bell, any sound can be a bell of mindfulness, a pleasant sound like birds signing or rain falling, or an unpleasant sound like a car alarm or dog barking at night. An object can also be a bell of mindfulness, like the sunset or sunrise, a tree in your garden, a flowers in a vase, or a smile from a loved one. All of these sounds and objects can help remind us to come home to our breath and body, to the here and now. 

We'd love to hear your favourite bells of mindfulness. Feel free to comment below.

Enjoy finding moments of calm throughout your day.

With a peaceful smile,

Trust Your Breath

Meditation Breathing

I think that we all have those times, when our mind is busy with thoughts, and our mind tries to overcome and solve problems. Something that helps me is to come back to my breath - to trust the breath, and not the mind.

Recently, I was lying awake in bed, thinking of my loved ones and the challenges that they have in their lives. I felt overwhelmed thinking about it, and my thoughts were creating chaos. I remembered the words that Hang had shared with me that day, after she listened to a Dharma talk by Brother Phap Dang, that the mind will try to overcome problems, and instead to "trust the breath". I came back to my breath and found instant relief. I breathed peacefully and smiled at my thoughts, and smiled at my loved ones with love and understanding. My peace and calmness were restored.


Sitting Meditation

sarah 3.jpg

Set aside a room or corner or a cushion that you use just for sitting.

The sound of a bell is a wonderful way to begin sitting meditation. If you don’t have a bell you can download a recording of the sound of a bell onto your phone or computer.

When you sit, keep your spinal column quite straight, while allowing your body to be relaxed. Relax every muscle in your body, including the muscles in your face. Consider smiling slightly, a natural smile. Your smile relaxes all your facial muscles.

Notice your breathing. As you breathe in, be aware that you are breathing in. As you breathe out, notice that you are breathing out. As soon as we pay attention to our breath, body, breath and mind come together. Every in-breath can bring joy; every out-breath can bring calm and relaxation. This is a good enough reason to sit.

When you breathe in mindfully and joyfully, don’t worry about what your sitting looks like from the outside. Sit in such a way that you feel you have already arrived.

It’s wonderful to have a quiet place to sit in your home or workplace. If you are able to find a cushion that fits your body well, you can sit for a long time without feeling tired. But you can practice mindful sitting wherever you are. If you ride the bus or the train to work, use your time to nourish and heal yourself.

If you sit regularly, it will become a habit. Even the Buddha still practiced sitting every day after his enlightenment. Consider daily sitting practice to be a kind of spiritual food. Don’t deprive yourself and the world of it.

By Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Community.


Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is one of our favourite practices. It makes the food we eat very real, and every mouthful is joyful and delicious.

Eating a meal together is a meditative practice. We try to offer our presence for every meal. As we serve our food we can already begin practicing. Serving ourselves, we realize that many elements, such as the rain, sunshine, earth, air and love, have all come together to form this wonderful meal. In fact, through this food we see that the entire universe is supporting our existence.

We are aware of our friends and loved ones as we serve ourselves and we should take an amount of food that is good for us. Before eating, the bell will be invited for three sounds and we can enjoy breathing in and out while practicing the five contemplations:

This food is a gift of the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard and loving work.

May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food.

May we recognise and transform unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed and learn to eat with moderation

May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our precious planet.

We accept this food so that we may nurture our brotherhood and sisterhood, build our Sangha, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

We should take our time as we eat, chewing each mouthful at least 30 times, until the food becomes liquefied. This aids the digestive process. Let us enjoy every morsel of our food and the presence of the dharma brothers and sisters around us. Let us establish ourselves in the present moment, eating in such a way that solidity, joy and peace be possible during the time of eating.

Mindful eating Vietnam

Eating in silence, the food becomes real with our mindfulness and we are fully aware of its nourishment. In order to deepen our practice of mindful eating and support the peaceful atmosphere, we remain seated during this silent period. After twenty minutes of silent eating, two sounds of the bell will be invited. We may then start a mindful conversation with our friend or begin to get up from the table.

Upon finishing our meal, we take a few moments to notice that we have finished, our bowl is now empty and our hunger is satisfied. Gratitude fills us as we realize how fortunate we are to have had this nourishing food to eat, supporting us on the path of love and understanding.

Happy eating, dear friends!

The Great Bell Chant

This is one of our favourite videos and chants. It's read by our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, and chanted by Brother Phap Niem. When we listen to the song, it reminds us that we're so blessed to be on this beautiful mindful path. It reminds us to connect to our true selves and know that we can smile with understanding and love at our suffering.

Here is the bell chant, written by Thich Nhat Hanh:

May the sound of this bell penetrate deep into the cosmos
Even in the darkest spots living beings are able to hear it clearly
So that all suffering in them ceases
Understanding comes to their heart
And they transcend the path of sorrow and death.

The universal dharma door is already open
The sound of the rising tide is heard clearly
The miracle happens: a beautiful child appears in the heart of a lotus flower
One single drop of this compassionate water is enough
To bring back the refreshing spring to our mountains and rivers.

Plum Village Buddhas

Listening to the bell I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve
My mind calm, my body relaxed
A smile is born on my lips
Following the sound of the bell
My breath brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness
In the garden of my heart, the flowers of peace bloom beautifully.

With a big smile,

How to Practice When Your Partner Is Not Interested in Mindfulness

Question: How can I practice when my partner is not interested in the practice?

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thay’s Answer: When you are lovable, when you are fresh, when you are appreciative of the other person, you have the chance that everything you do is appreciated by him or her. When you truly love a person, you love everything about that person. That is a natural tendency, and that is why the spiritual can be recognised in every act of daily life. We don’t need to say that it is spiritual. That will turn people off.

When you drink our tea mindfully, peacefully, and happily, there is mindfulness, concentration, and insight in you. Drinking tea is a spiritual thing. It radiates peace, happiness, and joy. That is already spiritual. We don’t need to say, “Well, I want to drink my tea spiritually.” The practice of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings is like that, too. You don’t need to say, “I practice the 5 Mindfulness Trainings.” You just live according to the trainings and practice without a name, but it is a real practice. You are Buddhist, but you don’t need to tell that you are a Buddhist.

You don’t want to impose on him or her your way. If you practice well, you are happy and fresh, that’s good enough. One day the other person may ask, “Darling, how could you do it? In such situation, I would not be able to do it like you.” That is the time where you can share your practice formally. But be the practice and the Dharma first and that is good enough. You draw him or her into the practice in one way or another.

Remember, don’t try to impose your practice on him or her. Don’t practice too formally. There are those who practice walking meditation in a very funny way. They want to show that they are practicing walking meditation. They don’t look very natural (everyone laughs). There are those who walk very deeply and happily, but they show that they are too serious in the practice. When you breathe in mindfully and joyfully, don’t try to show people that you’re breathing in mindfully and you’re a good practitioner. (everyone laughs)

In Buddhism, we have an expression: “Practice the non-practice.” We don’t need to have much appearance. And that way, we can convey the essence of the practice and if the person wants to be happy, peaceful and serene, they have a chance to learn.

This was transcribed by Wake Up from a Q&A sessions with Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village, May 2014.

Loving, Peaceful & Joyful Awareness

yoga mindfulness teach training

What is mindfulness? This is the question we start with at all our trainings and workshops, with a brainstorm on the whiteboard. We love hearing our students' answers and every brainstorm is different and full of beautiful insights.

For Hang and I, the mindfulness practice begins with being present so that we can have awareness of four things:

  1. Body
  2. Mind
  3. Emotions
  4. Surroundings

As the mindfulness path is about cultivating understanding and compassion for ourselves and others, we like to practice with loving, peaceful and joyful awareness of these four things. This way there are no judgments or reactions, and we are aware of ourselves and others in a very kind and gentle way. 

So next time you become aware of an ache in your body, a thought or an emotion, try practicing loving, peaceful and joyful awareness, and smile at it with your understanding and compassion. 

With a big joyful hug,

August & September 2016: Yoga Classes & Events in Kingston, Ontario

Hello lovely Canadian Friends, a big maple syrup hug to you! We have arrived. We are home. In the here and in the now.

We're happy to be back in Canada until October to deeply inhale the fresh air and hopefully see you all. 

We have a few special events lined up in Kingston and would love it for you to join us. We will also be holding regular yoga classes at GoodLife. All the event listings and details are below.

We're also both available for private yoga or mindfulness sessions, massages, and Reiki. Email to make appointments:

The peace in our heart sees the peace in your heart,
Sarah & Hang

Stay updated via our website Events Page: CLICK HERE

Sunday, August 28 @ Battery Park 9:30-10:30am (Lululemon with Sarah)
Thursday, September 1 @ GoodLife Norwest 7:30-8:30pm
LABOUR DAY: Monday, Sept. 5 @ GoodLife Norwest 11:30am-12:30pm
Tuesday, September 6 @ GoodLife Barrack 5:30-7pm
Monday, September 12 @ Goodlife Barrack 12-1pm
Tuesday, September 20 @ GoodLife Barrack 5:30-7pm
Thursday, Sept. 22 @ GoodLife Barrack HOT Yoga 5:30-6:30pm, AND @ GoodLife Norwest 7:30-8:30pm
Thursday, Sept. 29 @ GoodLife Norwest 7:30-8:30pm

Saturday, August 27, 2016, 9:30-11:30am. Investment: $40. Location: Kingston Waterfront

In this workshop you will learn the “8 Pieces of Brocades” which consists of a sequence of eight gentle standing exercises performed slowly and gracefully to coincide with the breath. It is easy and fun to learn and takes about 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish. The ‘8 Pieces‛ leaves you feeling energized, refreshed and ready to go. You will also learn energy release and activation exercises to clear energetic blockages, turning stress into vitality. 

Qi Gong is a long term training program practiced to circulate, cultivate, regulate, enhance, and guide internal energies to achieve health, vitality, and spiritual awareness. It is an ancient Chinese system of healing and rejuvenation. It involves using your mind, conscious breathing and body to direct the flow of energy. 

A 6-class course held over 3 weeks on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30-8pm. September 6, 8, 13, 15, 20 & 22. Investment $90.

This course is about learning to integrate mindfulness in our daily lives. You will be guided in various mindful activities and assigned homework to deepen your personal practice and growth. Some of the guided course activities include: guided meditation, walking meditation, silent sitting meditation and mindful movements with gentle stretching (Qi Gong & yoga.) The group setting also helps cultivate and regenerate our mindfulness energy. Beginners and seasoned practitioners welcome. 

Full course details:

Saturday, September 10 & Sunday, September 11, 9am-5pm. Investment $375.

Shamballa Reiki is a method of energy healing. It is an expansion of Dr Usui’s Reiki method. The Shamballa energy works on all levels of an individual’s being, from the physical body through to the outermost layers of the energy field. Because of this multi-layered quality, this modality of healing works on all dimensions - physical, mental, emotion and spiritual. 

Shamballa supports the body’s ability to heal itself naturally. By the end of this 2-day course, you will be attuned as a Shamballa Reiki practitioner, where you serve as a conduit for a positive healing energy that is sourced in the divine. 

The training will cover: 

  • History of Reiki
  • What is healing and why do we need it
  • Chakras
  • Meditations for grounding, Chakra opening, and heart opening
  • Deep relaxation 
  • Two attunements for the transmission of Reiki energy to the students
  • Self-healing
  • Gentle Qi Gong to wake up the body in the morning 
  • Reiki symbols and how to use them
  • Practical step-by-step guidance on working with clients
  • Time for practicing Reiki

Full course details:

Module 1 (50 hours) of our 200-Hour Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training. Investment $800 (for 6 days). Held over 2 long weekends: September 16-18 & 23-25.

This module is about you. We return to the foundation of your practice and begin anew to help you deepen your yoga practice; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The practice might bring about pleasant feelings and unpleasant feelings. We’ll show you yoga and mindfulness tools to embrace or take care of these feelings, whatever they might be.

Covered in this module:

  • Pranayama (breathing exercises)
  • Qi Gong
  • History of yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Individual joint range of motion test
  • Ayurvedic Doshas
  • How to cultivate love, joy & compassion
  • 8 Limbs of Yoga as they apply to you
  • Mantra chanting. 

Full course details:

To register or if you have questions we’d love to hear from you, please email Hang & Sarah at

6 + 1 Things

6 + 1 things I wish high school taught me:

  1. Nutrition and how to cook simple healthy meals to nourish my body, the temple of my soul.
  2. A Personal Training course to safely take care of the temple of my soul.
  3. Yoga or Tai Chi to keep my soul clear and fresh... and weed free!
  4. MINDFULNESS so I can enjoy every bite of my cooking, love & take care of my body with awareness, carry the yummy yoga/Tai Chi practice off the yoga mat & sprinkle it everywhere, on every person, plant & animal.
  5. Math is not at all that scary and can teach me to solve other life problems... on my own. *whoop*
  6. How two rite a propa centince...centence..scentense...sentense....Argh, Eye giving, give, given up!
  7. Cultivate respect, appreciation, understanding & compassion for the people around me, especially my parents.

And, that's all I have to say about that :-)


YMTT Reflections

We had such an amazing month by the ocean in Vietnam.

If our Instagram account is any indication, it was a month in pure paradise!

Our yoga & mindfulness teacher training (YMTT) students were with us for 26 straight days. Some of them had no prior experience with mindfulness before. They went from living without awareness to truly stepping on the mindful path, embracing mindful eating, mindfully walking everywhere around the resort, making up their own gathas (mindful poems), and in love with every single Plum Village mindful song :-) We laughed and cried tears of joy in every Dharma sharing! There was so much transformation as suffering was let go of, and many awakening and joyful moments. And now our students are already out there (in Canada and Vietnam) sharing yoga and mindfulness with their students and feeling so much joy doing it. 

We feel so blessed to be able to live and share this beautiful mindful path.