About Mary


Mary Chan's story is inspirational. Fourteen years ago she decided to try a yoga class at her gym, but didn’t really like it.  “It didn't make much sense to stand with arms and legs stretched out and do nothing since I am such an active person,” said Mary. “I tried classes a few times, but left feeling yoga just wasn’t right for me.”

On a subsequent trip to Maui Mary felt compelled to attend a small church yoga class after seeing a flyer on the bulletin board. It was a traditional yoga class, quite different from the classes she tried at her gym back home. In that short period of time, Mary began falling in love with yoga. In fact, she was so overcome with the experience that she immediately told her friends that she wanted to become a yoga instructor.

Mary received a local certification in three days. Hungry for more, she enrolled at the Iyengar Institute in San Francisco where she immersed herself in a curriculum of anatomy, physiology, philosophy, body alignment, pranayama (inhalation, exhalation, retention), and teaching techniques. Her teacher training encompassed dress, clear voice, and demonstration.

“I learned how to meet the needs of an entire class by teaching, listening to, adjusting, and helping my students,” said Mary. It took Mary six years of study to receive her certification. The assessment required
two days of demonstrating and holding all poses for 45 seconds to a minute on each side, completing written
tests, and teaching six to eight students five to six poses within a certain period of time. 

GEN-NIH Yoga, which opened on February 1st, 2011, is named for Mary’s daughter, whose Chinese name means “One Who Loves All.”
Mary explains, “I think this is appropriate, as Yoga is for everyone of all ages, all sizes regardless of what physical condition a person is in,
and all cultures.”

The studio, which welcomes students of all ages, levels and abilities, is the only yoga studio in Sacramento dedicated solely to Iyengar yoga.

Mary is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and Director of Gen-Nih Yoga.