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 35 years, Ross has trained with Ken Cohen, Effie Chow and Michael Gilman. He is certified in the Wild Goose school of Dr. Bingkun Hu, with whom he continues to train. He has been teaching  qigong in Ukiah and Willits for 15 years. He is a licensed acupuncturist and owner of Pacific Herb &  Acupuncture Clinic, and has been in practice for 33 years. His qigong class offers an opportunity to improve your health in many ways: better balance, flexibility and respiration; decreased anxiety and blood pressure; and pain relief. 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!

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.

Bhavanam Ducharme

Bhavanam, aka Bhavvy, discovered yoga with Mary Pafford in Ukiah CA in 1999. Relocating to Providence RI in 2002, he got his ERYT-200 from Eyes of the World in 2010.  He was given the name Bhavanam by Don and Amba Stapleton to honor his RYT-500 certification from Nosara Yoga Institute in 2016.  He owned a yoga studio, The Heart Spot, in Johnston RI from 2012-2018.  His experience there guiding students through a gentle practice created Heart Spot Yoga.  He also teaches Vinyasa yoga.  He continues to study with Maryam Ovissi, Jafar Alexander, Lili Robins, Anne Petrov, Tom Gillette, Erik Strzempko and others. His classes focus on the balance of breath with body movement to create a sense of profound well being.  Bhavanam (aka R. Bobby Ducharme) is also a theatre artist. 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.

Maggie Miller

Maggie Miller has been practicing yoga for almost 15 years and has a profound love for the boundless healing nature of this beautiful practice. Yoga has been a touchstone that she has repeatedly returned to thru the ebbs and flows of life. This deep connection to yoga as her personal practice of self care has driven her to share with the rest of the world thru teaching. With a strong focus on the breath and slow mindful movement, Maggie supports students to dive deeper on an inwards journey. She shares her heart by sharing her deep love of Yin yoga with her students. Maggie welcomes any person and encourages everyone to give themselves the gift of self care thru yoga.. She has completed her 200 hour yoga training in Guatemala, 50 hours of intensive Yin & Mindfulness training, and has trained in Yoga for Trauma – combining these modalities  with a focus on meditation, breath, intention, mindful movement, ceremony, and self reflection she creates a safe and healing space for all who enter.

Christina Kanosky

Christina Kanosky has been a dedicated student of yoga for 8 years and has a passion to share her love of the practice with others. She specializes in power flow vinyasa but also enjoys teaching restorative and yin. She draws upon her creativity to compose classes that merge form and intuitive flow. Her precise alignment cueing and intelligent sequencing offers a therapeutic and balanced practice to guide each practitioner to their fullest potential.


Leah White

Leah White has been practicing yoga for 18 years. She is an elementary school teacher and is actively involved in fostering a healthy community in Ukiah. As a teacher, she works with students to improve their reading levels and volunteers to keep the garden going at her school. She has specialized training in the use of healing bowls and vibroacoustic therapy.