Get to Know Us
Our Yoga and Qi Gong Master
Sean started his Yoga journey in 2009 after returning from serving with the Canadian Armed Forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan; Sean felt the benefit of yoga for his mind and body, helping him relieve tight muscles and mental stress. Sean completed the Modo 500hr yoga training in Kelowna, BC, 2015 and has been teaching ever since. Sean also instructs Chi Kung (Qi Gong) and TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), he believes in providing accessible modes of wellness techniques to help reduce the stress from everyday life.
"Find a way to gain awareness of the self, that is the key, all wise men and saints have said the same thing, “know thyself”, then you can progress and make changes as needed in order to self-regulate effectively. I have been sharing these methods and techniques and many have reported a noticeable change, feeling more relaxed and pain-free. What I can say for certain is that you cannot be stressed if you are relaxed, so take a deep breath in and let it go." Sean
B.Sc., M.A., Reg. Psychotherapist
Co-Founder and Facilitator
Derek grew up like many other men. His idea of being a man was to be a “guy’s guy”; tough, strong, relentless, aggressive like a Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson. This belief drove him through a journey of striving where he won awards, played many sports including varsity college football, power lifted, worked as a bouncer, achieved an honors degree in science and graduate degree in psychology, got married, had three kids, created and ran numerous businesses. When his expectations were not met the simple answer was to work and strive harder. While his belief was a gift driving him to many successes it also had it’s down side leading to a vicious cycle of destructive emotions and behaviors including chronic stress, anxiety, stubbornness, frustration, obsessions, anger, exhaustion, lethargy, depression, isolation and disinterest manifesting as strained relationships, alcohol abuse and physical conditions such as hypertension and low back pain.
This cycle continued for Derek until his early-thirties when he began studying to be an Acupuncturist and was introduced to Eastern philosophies, providing him with a new way of looking at life. From there Derek began a journey of 25 years studying and practicing the Eastern philosophies of Taoism, Zen and Buddhism utilizing the teachings of numerous Monks and Zen Masters along the way. His practice has been integral in helping him live his best life and it is his passion to share the practice with others. For the past 15 years Derek has been running weekly groups for the Canadian Military, police services, fire fighters and other first responders as well as workshops for organizations such as: Whole Life Expo, Toronto District School Board, CGI, Symantec, Bellwood Health Services Inc., Westover Treatment Centre, and the Canadian Addiction Intervention Association.
Co-Founder and Enthusiastic Participant !
As one of Mindfulness For Men's founding members, Ian brings both business acumen and a "view from the street" to the team. Ian has spent the last 35 years working for some of the largest brands in the world, developing business and sales strategies with great success, although the success came with a heavy downside for Ian. Over the years he experienced many of the same things thousands of men experience when balancing a career, family and life; weight gain, anxiety, divorce, career changes, alcohol abuse, and depression.
" When Derek and I started talking about what I was going through I realised that, today more than ever, men are navigating a completely different world than our fathers did. The stresses on us seem to be different then it was 50+ years ago. We are asked to be more gentle, more forgiving, more tender, more aware of our interactions with others and these are skills that frankly we are not wired for. Skill takes practice, even just awareness has helped me a great deal. So we created Mindfulness-For-Men. I'm excited to learn from the best, to be my best."