Author: mvrilyn nguyen

Dear Marilyn | A Thank You Letter

Dear Marilyn,

With this month’s theme of gratitude, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for showing up everyday and thriving.

Thank you for working hard and being persistent on your yoga and wellness journey. Who would’ve thought that a class at the university gym where down dogs were slip and slide would lead you to be mentoring/training under amazing teachers, workshops with The Happiness Planner, and teaching the loveliest groups of students. Thank you for being brave to give it all a chance, even when you were scared, overwhelmed, or when no one showed up to classes. Thank you for being strong and healthy enough to be able to move and practice yoga each and everyday.

Thank you for prioritizing your mental health this year and starting therapy. Although it hasn’t been long, I know you feel so much so much better and appreciate the time with your therapist every week to give you with the skills to cope with the past and navigate the present.

Thank you for having an abundant mindset, for becoming debt free, even through the pay cuts and even through the market volatility this year. I am so proud of you. You can now build towards financial independence and look forward to when you accomplish your goals of having your very own studio space and beach home.

And thank you for allowing me to receive love again, for opening my heart to a wild adventure that got me to one of the most beautiful places on earth today.

Keep showing up, I promise it will be worth it.

Love always,

November Wellness Calendar

November marks a special time of the year as I celebrate 4 years of my yoga and wellness journey. To kick off the occasion, I created a wellness calendar to keep myself accountable to the theme of gratitude. This is an offering to journey within to cultivate a meaningful practice on and off the mat.

This calendar is a supplement my weekend yoga classes – vinyasa flow on Saturdays and restorative flow on Sundays. Check out the Schedule page for more details, I’ll see you on the mat!

I’ll be documenting my journey and sharing yoga tidbits through the month via Instagram – be sure to follow me @mvrilynnguyen. Invite someone to join you and share your journey with the community with #flowwithGRATITUDE.

Beginning Your Meditation Practice

During shelter in place, one of the most important habits I’ve formed is a daily meditation practice. It wasn’t easy, but it is so worth it — I promise!

Are you looking to start your meditation practice? Feeling that you need clarity and focus throughout your day? Meditation has helped me to be more intentional with every action through my work, meals, movement and everyday life.

Here are a few tips to get you started into your meditation practice. You don’t have to do them all at once, feel free to pick and choose what most resonates with you. Let’s start the journey within:

  1. Do it first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to start the day, to focus inward and on yourself before dealing with the rest of life’s happenings. I know, getting out of bed is the hard part, but I promise you will feel so much better!
  2. Set your timer for 5 minutes. When you’re just getting started, you may find a 5 minute meditation is easy to accomplish. I think it’s a perfect start! As you begin to get into the groove of your meditation practice, begin to increase each session by another 5 minutes. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself meditating with ease and comfort for longer amounts of time. But start off small!
  3. Create a zoned off space for your meditation. For me, it is on my yoga mat in the corner of my bedroom. For you, it might be a comfortable chair, in your garden, on the porch step, your bathtub, underneath a sunny windowsill… pick a spot. It will help to create a routine. Once you have your spot, you have the option to create it in a way you love with cushions, plants, altars, blankets and rugs. The limits are endless! For me, less is more.
  4. Playing some background music. It could be white noise like ocean waves, or some acoustics that feels soothing to you. Some times I love listening to birds chirp, other days I like heavy bass. Have fun with this!
  5. Count your breaths. When I studied at the temples, one of our leaders asked us to meditate for ten minutes and many of the younger children could not sit still. She asked us to count our breaths and I found this to be so helpful. Now in my classes, I use this method of counting after each breath as a way to help bring focus.
  6. Scan your body. Deepen your awareness of your body, starting from the crown of your head, to your jaw, your shoulders, core, and sit bones on the floor. Notice your hands on your lap or the bend of your knee, the legs and feet onto the floor.

So, give it a try and comment below on any other tips that work for you to settle into your meditation practice.

Meditation is a powerful tool that can enhance your wellness journey and be life changing. I encourage you to incorporate a daily meditation into your new week and am sharing the below Body Scan tip on my IGTV.

Black Bean Patty

So it’s 4th of July weekend and we are spending the time quarantining together with the family. My brother decided to make burgers and as a vegetarian, I had black bean burgers made by yours truly! The brioche bun was also homemade, I followed Michel Roux’s recipe here.

This is the tastiest burger I’ve had in a long time and the patty definitely had some “meat” to it if you know what I mean. I omitted peppers from this recipe but feel free to throw them into the saute pan for some extra heat this summer!


28oz black beans
1/2 onion diced
3 garlic gloves minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c oat flour
1/2 c shredded pepper jack cheese
2 eggs
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sriracha mayo
salt and pepper to taste

(makes 6 patties)


  1. Spread the black beans on a sheet pan and dry out in the oven for 15 mins at 325F / 160C
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft
  3. Put into a food processor with the remaining ingredients and pulse to your desired texture
  4. I like mine a bit chunky!
  5. Form into patties
  6. Cook on a cast iron skillet on medium heat for a nice sear about 5 mins on each side
  7. Top with your favs, I’m keeping it simple with cheese, bella mushrooms and fried shallots.

Let me know in the comments, what are your favorite burger toppings?