Our Teachers

Maggie Norton

Maggie Norton (Co-founder Yoga Mendocino) has studied yoga and meditation in the British Isles, India and the U.S. and has taught yoga since 1983. She offers classes in active and therapeutic yoga, as well as specialized courses and workshops in back care, stress reduction, balance, and deep relaxation. Maggie encourages a practice of focused exploration to allow for the possibilities of expansion and ease of movement in each student. Her strong sense of compassion, warmth, and curiosity infuse her teaching. Originally certified as an Iyengar teacher, she now invites both a mindful and playful yoga practice influenced by the teachings of Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten, as well as her training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (with Jon Kabat Zinn) and iRest Yoga Nidra (with Richard Miller, PhD). Voicemail 707.468.4789; maggie@yogamendocino.org.

Ross Lake


While attending acupuncture school at Five Branches University (http://www.fivebranches.edu/) in 1984, Ross Lake was introduced to Qi Gong through Sifu Fong Ha (http://www.fongha.com/).  Over the past 30 years, Ross has trained with Ken Cohen, Effie Chow and Michael Gilman. Ross has been teaching Qi Gong in Willits and Ukiah for 5 years.  He is a licensed acupuncturist and owner of Pacific Herb and Acupuncture Clinic, and has been in practice for 27 years.  His Qi Gong class offers an opportunity to improve your health in many ways: better balance, flexibility, and respiration; lowers anxiety and blood pressure; and relieves pain. rosslake@sonic.net, rosslakeacupuncture.com.

Darca Nicholson


Darca Nicholson, MA, CMT, Instructor, Healthier Living, Chronic Disease Self Management, is a bodywork therapist in private practice. She has been studying yoga since 1968. Functional anatomy and movement physiology informs her yoga teaching, professional practice, and personal lifestyle. Darca is particularly focused on enhancing movement, regeneration & longevity in our compromised bodies. She is the author of the book Body Matters Simple Secrets for Elegant Aging. From a book review…”If you wish you had a great mom (or grandma) who would impart to you her wisdom…and really was full of wisdom… about how to take good care of yourself and maximize your vitality and youth … then this is the book for you. Darca Lee Nicholson has thought about her body — and our bodies — in many contexts. She has studied in medical school classes, in massage classes, with doctors and shamans and herbalists and… you name it. And she says good medicine is good medicine, wherever it comes from.” You may reach Darca by emailing darca@pacific.net or at 707-462-3547.

Iris Padgett, LMFT

iris handstand

Iris Padgett fell in love with yoga originally because of its profound emotional and spiritual healing effects. Her classes are a sweet and balanced blend of rigor and surrender, and a mix of styles that incorporate mindfulness practices, alignment principles, teachings from yogic texts, community building, and radiant living. A foundation of her teaching is that yoga is a life-affirming, non-competitive way to build self-empowerment, and that every student’s expression of her/his yoga practice and self is unique and beautiful. Iris is particularly interested in yoga’s ability to create emotional freedom, and her style is influenced by her training in transpersonal psychology – a holistic tool for well-being that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience. Iris is also a former director of YoMo and currently serves as the studio’s Programs Manager. Off the mat, Iris enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, good conversation, and expressing creativity in any form available to her. Iris is in private practice as a psychotherapist (LMFT #108092) and may be reached at 707-395-8605 or therapywithiris@gmail.com.

Deborah Phillips

Deborah Phillips was born and raised in northern California where she studied dance and performed professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. She is a certified Ananda Yoga Instructor following the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. This practice integrates the use of positive affirmations along with asana practice. Her style of teachings has been heavily influenced by her dance training as well as her study of healing arts. She has been living in the Caribbean for the last 22 years teaching yoga and theater arts to adults and children. She has recently returned to California and is excited to offer classes at Yoga Mendocino.

Genevieve Shouff

Genevieve is Forrest Yoga teacher, social worker, advocate, mediator and more; excited to help make yoga accessible to anyone in the community regardless of age, injury, size or condition. Forrest Yoga is designed for everyone, doesn’t require strength or flexibility; just a willingness to learn how to feel authentically and respond honestly. She studied in England earning a MSc. Psychology then came home to various case management jobs and children’s mental health. Her first Forrest experience in 2011 with teacher Danielle Kelleher shifted her direction completely. Not long after, in 2013, she completed her 200hr FY Foundation Teacher Training with Ana Forrest in San Francisco.  In December 2015, she traveled to Hong Kong for the FY Advanced Training with Ana featuring Jambo Truong then followed him to Asheville for a 100-hour anatomy and myo-fascial bodywork training co-taught by Brian Campbell. Genevieve enjoys teaching to a variety people and abilities – teaching teachers, a kick-butt advanced class, yoga with at-risk teens, chronic pain patients at Little Lake Health Clinic, a regular chair class for 90 year olds at Mountain View Assisted Living. Genevieve wishes to inspire you to and use yoga to foster self-acceptance, ease your suffering, and be proud to take up your space in the world. Her classes are for everyBODY!

Hailey Johnson

Hailey Johnson has been practicing yoga for 8 years. Originally brought to it through back injuries, she experienced first hand the physical benefits it can bring, and along the way realized the mental and emotional benefits. She took her first training in Costa Mesa and immersed herself in the Iyengar style. She began a personal journey with yoga and fell in love with the practice. Throughout the years she studied many other styles and focused on bringing yoga to those going through substance recovery. She embarked on another journey and a new training, studying Hatha Yoga through Western Yoga College. Her classes are of many varieties, with an emphasis on breath and the students own self discovery.

Kenzi Mayer

Kenzi has been teaching yoga for 5 years now since training with Meghan Currie in 2014. Originally teaching a diverse range of classes in Las Vegas and at various festivals, she moved to California last year and began sharing her knowledge and wisdom of the 8 limb path in Ukiah. Kenzie’s sweet style incorporates several types of yoga including vinyasa, yin, ashtanga (training at Tim Miller’s Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas), children’s yoga, and trauma recovery yoga (receiving training in the TRY method in Las Vegas. The Trauma Recovery Yoga method provides all-level “do no harm” evidence-informed trainings that help individuals develop tools to mitigate stress, anxiety, and effects of trauma. The foundation of this training is rooted in 4 themes: presence, empowerment, resilience, and creating new internal rhythms and positivity.)

Amelia Bernard

Yoga came into Amelia’s life at a young age. Growing up in rural Northern California she found yoga in high school after a childhood full of dance. In yoga, she saw the strong link between the body and mind was similar to the way she looked at dance and thus the connection was made. Amelia first training was with Amy Sullivan in her Roots and Wings 200-hour yoga training and is currently training with Pete Guinosso in his Lighting the Path towards a 300-hour training. You can expect a flowing vinyasa class with a gentle pace and longer holds giving you time to explore the body and see how the mind relates. Amelia brings classes focused on breath work and themes to ignite the soul as well as intentional sequencing, hands-on adjustment, a few giggles and lots of love and support.

Romina Crespo

Romina specializes in yoga, mediation and bodywork. A long time yoga enthusiast, she has studied and practiced different styles, including : yoga therapy, hot yoga and Yoga psychology. Her quest for a healthy and vibrant life started in the fitness and sports industry in her teenage years.
From injury to heart-break, yoga has helped her tremendously on the path of personal growth and it is her passion  to share the gifts  of movement, stillness and self-care with her students so that they can live healthy, empowered lives. She is from Argentina and speaks Spanish and English fluently.

Daniel Frey

Daniel Frey began studying yoga when he was 18 years old at the University of California Santa Cruz Holistic Health Program in 2001, and continued at Humboldt State University.

In 2015, he completed his training with Mary Paffard’s school, Yoga For All, with Maggie Norton as his mentor.

He has a passion for practicing yoga as part of a life-giving, nature-connected daily lifestyle and for teaching others. 

He steadily enriches this by continuing education with other master teachers.

Susann Carlo

Susann Carlo has been a student of yoga since the ’90s and values the lessons and friendships that have come her way because of it. Yoga and mindfulness are her passions, which she brings to the mat as an instructor, as well as in her other world of elementary education and transformational coaching. Her yoga specialties include chakra balancing and safe modifications for pregnancy and postpartum.