Friendship Yoga

Friendship Yoga
1231 Gilbert Court
Iowa City, IA 52240


Nancy Footner    Jenn Bowen


Nancy FootnerNancy Footner
Friendship Yoga as founded in 1993 by Nancy Footner, who began her studies in 1985 at the San Francisco Iyengar Institute. The Iyengar National Association of the United States sets rigorous and stringent standards for teacher training and certification, and Nancy was the first certified Iyengar Yoga instructor in the state of Iowa. In November 2011, Nancy successfully passed the Junior Intermediate 1 certification exam.

Nancy's continuing education includes ongoing training with Senior Certified Iyengar Teachers in the U.S. and Canada, and since 1999 she has made four trips to India for intensive study at the Iyengar Institute in India, most recently in August of 2011.


Friendship Yoga studio

In 1982, I was hit by a car, resulting in two broken legs and a long period of painful rehabilitation which included an extended hospitalization, 5 months in a wheelchair, and prolonged physical therapy. In 1985 having finally learned how to walk again, I was independent enough to end the rehab program, but I was still very stiff, very weak and very fearful. In many ways, although I was young, I felt very old. It was at this time that I began studying Iyengar Yoga in San Francisco, California where I lived.

In 1991 I moved to Iowa City and in 1993 I founded Friendship Yoga. My intention was to establish the first Iyengar Yoga center in Iowa, and thereby connect Iowa to a national and international community of Iyengar Yoga teachers and students. See and

I am incredibly indebted to BKS Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar, and Prashant Iyengar for their brilliant teaching, and to all of my teachers, especially Janet MacCleod, Evlaleah Howard, Francie Ricks, Kristin Chirhart, Chris Saudek, Lee Sverkerson, Mary Obendorfer, Eddy Marks, John Shumacher, Lois Steinberg, and Laurie Blakeney. Without them, Friendship Yoga would not have come to be.

Nancy Footner in India


Jenn Bowen
Jenn Bowen, certified Iyengar Yoga instructor, successfully passed her credentialing exams in August 2013 and 2014, after several years of teacher training and apprentice teaching. She has has been a student at Friendship Yoga since 2004. Her very first Iyengar yoga class in 2002 captured her love and interest for the method's precision of instruction and alignment-based focus. Jenn remains ever intrigued by the infinite subject of yoga as a science, as an art and as a tool for self-exploration and understanding. Her mentors are Nancy Footner, Chris Saudek, and Kristin Chirhart. For many years Jenn has directed the Iyengar Yoga for teens and kids program at Friendship Yoga.


"I really appreciate the way yoga is taught at the Friendship Yoga studio. I feel like I'm learning yoga the right way. I have been to most of the yoga studios in town and Jenn is the best instructor I have had thus far."
- Bryan, Iowa City
  "...The teacher has to be able to not only stand on her head,
but think on her feet, as well..."
John Schumacher, Senior Iyengar Teacher