Yoga Arts | 3017 Canon St San Diego,CA 92106 | (415) 244-3187

About Us

Yoga Arts promotes an authentic student-centered approach to learning the art, science, and philosophy of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Through skilled and compassionate teaching, our classically trained yoga practitioners invite students to surpass limitations and liberate themselves; as a woman-owned studio, Yoga Arts offers events, classes, and workshops that teach accessible ways to achieve a greater sense of freedom in the body, mind, and consciousness. Together as a community, Yoga Arts is committed to social justice and equity, to integrity, inclusion, and diversity, and to supporting the physical and mental health of the individual, the community, and the world.  

Iyengar Yoga

Yoga Arts believes in the classical teachings of Yoga and most of our teachers study and practice in the method of Iyengar Yoga.

Iyengar Yoga was created and developed by B.K.S Iyengar. Mr. Iyengar devoted his life to the evolution of his approach to yoga, based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga taught over 2500 years ago by the sage Patanjali. Mr. Iyengar believed that yoga goes beyond being a physical discipline- it is also an art, a science, and a philosophy.

Iyengar Yoga is accessible for all ages and all body types. It is known for its focus on precision, timing, and the use of props, designed by Mr. Iyengar. Props can help the practitioner achieve peace and growth in any asana making any pose accessible to all. Regular practice of Iyengar Yoga integrates the body and mind and brings balance to all systems of the body.

Iyengar Yoga is a powerful and sophisticated discipline that can be practiced in all stages of life. The benefits are far-reaching and will assist the practitioner in every aspect of daily living.

Most of our teachers at Yoga Arts practice and teach Iyengar Yoga and many are CIYTs, Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers or training to become a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher.


Stephanie Lavender

Stephanie is the owner and director of Yoga Arts and brings 27 years of yoga practice and study to the studio. She is a certified Level 2 Iyengar Yoga teacher (CIYT),  and served on the board of the Iyengar Yoga Association Southern California for 6 years supporting the community of southern California Iyengar practitioners and students. 

Stephanie is personally inspired by the dynamic changes that occur with daily practice, and in the classical teachings of BKS Iyengar, she is committed to encouraging her students to cultivate their own precise and playful practice. All are welcome.

Stephanie teaches trauma-informed yoga and meditation inside women’s correctional facilities, and works with Poetic Justice, a non-profit, where they teach creative writing, meditation, yoga, and art to people experiencing incarceration.

Amy Pachowicz

Amy Pachowicz began teaching in 1993. She was introduced to Iyengar yoga in 1986 as a
Freshman in college. Amy traveled to Pune India to study at the Institute in 2007 and received
her certification at the Introductory Level I in 2015. She has studied primarily under Jo Zukovich since 1991 and is grateful for her teaching, her friendship and guidance over the years.

My early practice quieted my emotions and stabilized me. Teaching helps me overcome self-
centered fears, allowing me to be aware of others. Continuous yoga practice has transformed
my life from a place of fear to a sense of balance and harmony. Studying yoga philosophy has
connected me to my deeper self, the world around me and a greater consciousness.

Katy Bendel

Katy has studied Iyengar Yoga since 1997 and received her 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification. Katy traveled to the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute, in Pune, India for a month-long study with the Iyengar family.

Ongoing Yoga studies have been with Jo Zukovich, and workshops with John Schumacher and Patricia Walden. Katy is currently working towards Iyengar Certification. The Iyengar style brings strength, stability, and mindfulness to not only my body, mind, and breath, but also my life and mindset. It is a stabilizer that you always have regardless of what is happening in life. Teaching is energizing, engaging and enjoyable. The learning process is a two-way street between the teacher and the students. I find the students are a real joy. My classes offer a relaxed steady paced class that establishes a safe and fun environment for the student to explore and learn from their practice. My goal is for each student to feel better than when they walked into the studio.

Jennifer DeMarco, BS, BA, MS, certified in Mindfulness Meditation

Jennifer has taught yoga since 1990, beginning with Ashtanga yoga and slowly morphing into Iyengar yoga. She is currently studying to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher.

She has been a part of the Golden Door and Rancho la Puerta fitness and yoga staff since 1990 and enjoys sharing asana practices with students as well as philosophy from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Additionally, Jennifer teaches yoga at Grossmont College and Southwestern College and loves introducing young people to the practice. Jennifer also provides Sound Immersion healing sessions at Yoga Arts. Favorite free time activities include trail running with her dog, Tucker, and spending time with her two adult children.

Suneel Sundar

Suneel studied with the Iyengar family in India and during their visits to the US. In the practice of asana, he tells stories, gets your body moving, and introduces the philosophy that underlies the true teaching of yoga. Suneel is a Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher (CIYT) Level 2. He is the past president of the Iyengar Yoga Association of California Southern Region.

Mollie Johnson

The Seattle native holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico; she pursued
graduate work in anatomy and physiology at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington (where she also
taught yoga). Her understanding of biomechanics has been further enhanced by years as a licensed
massage therapist, for which she received more than 1,000 hours of training.

Mollie is certified by YogaWorks (a multi-studio enterprise based in Santa Monica, California) and
teaches a variety of YogaWorks classes.

Mollie is currently studying to become a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and is enrolled in the Yoga Arts group mentorship.

Jo Zukovich

Jo began studying Iyengar Yoga in 1979, started teaching in the mid 80’s while owning and running a large yoga studio for many years. She has traveled to India four times to study with B.K.S. Iyengar and his family, as well as studying with many top teachers in the U.S. and Europe.

Jo feels blessed that she has been part of the surge of interest in yoga since the beginning. Her experience of teaching has been one of the great joys in life along with her wonderful family. Jo truly loves teaching what she has learned along the way.

Ruth Nazarian

With over 700 hours of training in yoga, meditation and stress management, Ruth loves helping her students feel good in their bodies. She provides a gentle and nurturing environment with a focus on tension release, mind-body connection and breath.

Ruth’s love for yoga began after choosing to dive deeply into a healing process after being diagnosed with several autoimmune illnesses. As she learned to heal herself, a passion grew to help others experience better health and more joy. A retired elementary school teacher, she now uses her skills to lead classes and workshops.

Mary Atkins

Mary has been practicing yoga since 2013. Mary started studying Iyengar Yoga in Seattle with Senior teacher Richard Schachtel. She Received a 200-hour Yoga certification from Richard in Seattle WA. Mary is currently in the Yoga Arts mentorship program continuing to work towards becoming a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. Mary loves meditation, nature, animals, desserts, and most of all, mothering her son

Cyndy Cordle

Cyndy has practiced yoga in the Iyengar method since 1993. She began teaching in the tradition of Shri BKS Iyengar in 1998. Her interest in the study of yoga has taken her to Pune, India where she has studied with the Iyengar family since the first visit in 2000. An interest in the varied applications of breath in Asana, as well as, the healing aspects of Iyengar Yoga has grown over many visits to India. Cyndy maintains certification with the Iyengar Yoga National Association US (CIYT Level 2), the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT) and Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500) through ongoing study of Iyengar Yoga.

Bernadette Latin

Bernadette Latin is a certified 200-hr Kripalu Yoga teacher and has been teaching since 2004. She holds certifications in Restorative Yoga and the Yamuna Foot Fitness program.

She studied anatomy for 4 years with Genny Kapuler in New York City.

Barbara McDonald

Barbara is a longtime Iyengar teacher and practitioner. Iyengar yoga has helped her in her life, in all ways, and she is happy to share her knowledge with others.

In her classes, you can expect strenuous well balanced physical practice, a lot of information about yoga and the poses, and a bit of fun, too.

Emily Ruth

Emily Ruth, E-RYT 200, has been practicing and studying yoga for 11 years first through the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar and later through the Iyengar model.

She’s led individual and group classes and workshops for 9 years both in yoga and ‘the sister science’ Ayurveda. She is also an associate marriage and family therapist.

The practice of yoga has brought ease to injuries, comfort to the nervous system, and awareness to Emily’s mind and body. The generosity of her teacher’s sharing the richness of the practice with her is why she passes it onto others.

Those attending Emily’s class can expect an experiential practice of feeling into the energy of poses and connecting the mind and body. Classes have a slow to steady pace utilizing prop and focusing on the breath.