Our Teachers

Meet our experienced, trained teachers

Cyd Bernstein

Cyd Bernstein is a new mom, a yoga teacher, and an Ayurvedic practitioner. A long-time student of yoga, she draws inspiration from her teachers – including Mary Paffard and Angela Farmer – and her own experience to create classes which are safe and nourishing for mama and baby. Cyd had the good fortune to study Ayurveda under Dr. Lad and Dr. Claudia Welch at Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico and at Dr. Lad’s clinic in Pune, India. She has also apprenticed at the Herb Pharm in Oregon, to study medicinal plants and medicine making.

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.

Julia Landis

Julia (Uma) Landis, MA, CIYT* is an inspirational figure with over twenty years experience teaching yoga and leading transformational workshops in the SF Bay Area and throughout the United States. She is the author of Heart-to-Heart Talk, A Clients Guide to…Psychotherapy, (Adarsa Books) and most recently, Singer-songwriter-guitarist and arranger with Ruby Mountain String Band.(Alt-Country EP, The Barest Touch). For the past two years, Julia has studied dance and movement at Mendocino College, and is considered an expert in self-care – having lived for the past twelve years with such several environmental illnesses as Chronic Lyme Disease, CFS and Fibromyalgia. A deep ecologist, Julia is equally at home meditating on the limb of a tree or at home on her yoga mat. She has trained and adored, in turn, two loyal, playful, and generally awesome service dogs who have companioned the long forest-bathing romps that have been part of her own self-care regimen since 2005. She lives in Ukiah with her husband and bandmate, Cliff Landis, LMFT and their border collie, Jed.

Maggie Norton


Maggie Norton (Co-founder and Director of 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). (707.468.4789) email: maggie@yogamendocino.org

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 & movement physiology informs her yoga teaching, professional practice & personal lifestyle. Darca is particularly focused on enhancing movement, regeneration & longevity in our compromised bodies. She is the author of Body Matters Simple Secrets for Elegant Aging.

email: darca@pacific.net or 707-462-3547.

Iris Padgett, YoMo Director

iris handstand

Iris Padgett, MA, MFTi 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-esteem, 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 happiness, and her style is also influenced by her training in transpersonal psychology – a holistic tool for well-being that integrates spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience. Off the mat, Iris enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, good conversation, and expressing creativity in any form available to her.

Mary Paffard


Mary is a co-founder of Yoga Mendocino, and she has been teaching locally, nationally and internationally since 1985. She was the Director of Teacher Training at Yoga Mendocino 2000-2010.  Mary has created bilingual programs in Cuba and Mexico and is currently on the faculty of 2 teacher trainings at Piedmont Yoga, Oakland and in Sacramento.  More information and free podcasts at www.maryyoga.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. It was a perfect fit! Genevieve has been passionately teaching, exploring and experimenting ever since. 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, and most recently designing a class series for Veterans through the City of Ukiah. 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!

Jess Thompson

Jessica Thompson has been practicing yoga for 20 years and started teaching with Yoga Mendocino 10 years ago. She recently took a hiatus to go to graduate school for art and to have two little boys, 3 year old Archer and 1 year old Phoenix. She has returned to yoga teaching now for prenatal and postpartum classes because she believes that it is not just helpful but life-changing for women during the childbearing years. Through her own experiences in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, Jess has developed very specific yoga techniques for strengthening and rehabilitating key parts of the feminine anatomy, including ways to integrate Kegel exercises holistically into the musculature of the body and breath. Along with facilitating thorough, deep yoga practice for her students, Jess is devoted to imparting knowledge that women can use to make their lives as mamas more pleasurable, pain-free, and invigorating. Jess is also an artist. She teaches ceramic sculpture at Mendocino College and helps manage the Flynn Creek Pottery ceramic studio and residency program in Comptche with her husband, potter Nick Schwartz.

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.


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.