Founder & Owner

Leo Finegold, Founder of Radiance Yoga

Leo is the Founder of Radiance Yoga and Hatha Yoga instructor since 1973. Leo’s first experience with Hatha Yoga was an epiphany for him.  From that first experience, Hatha Yoga has been his faithful companion, a source of delight throughout these many decades.  “It has nourished my mind and body, and continues to play a significant role in my everyday existence.”
Additionally, Leo was a Professor of Life Sciences and the Russian language with the Community Colleges for over 30 years, a professional translator, author, and employed as a Russian language specialist with the State Department in the Soviet Union.  Leo is a WW2 Veteran, earned a Purple Heart, and was a POW at Stalag 3A, in Germany.  During the last 10 years, Leo shared his extensive interests and experiences with his many costumers as owner of the Mission Hills Art and Book Gallery (2002 – 2012).

Aura Finegold-Fechter, Owner & Director of Radiance Yoga

Aura Fechter is the owner and director of Radiance Yoga and Therapeutic Exercise Center and originator of Symmetry Yoga.

Aura co-founded Radiance with her father, Leo, in 1975. She then continued to deepen her knowledge of the body with an advanced education at San Diego State University. Aura is a Certified Athletic Trainer, a graduate of SDSU in Sports Medicine, a Senior Certified Symmetry Yoga Instructor, and has taught Yoga since 1974.

Aura specializes in Chronic Pain Management. Included in the initial assessment is a thorough review of one’s medical history, posture and gait analysis, daily living activities, and current exercise regime. Follow-up sessions are individually tailored and will include Yoga as a base for rehabilitation.

“I have loved Yoga since I was introduced at the age of 15. I have continued my Yoga practice throughout high school, college, the birth of my 3 children, and all the life events that have come my way. It has been an emotional, spiritual, and physical foundation to my way of life and I am eternally grateful for its presence.”

Yoga Instructors

Aura Finegold-Fechter, Owner & Director of Radiance Yoga

Aura Fechter is the owner and director of Radiance Yoga and Therapeutic Exercise Center and originator of Symmetry Yoga.

Aura co-founded Radiance with her father, Leo, in 1975. She then continued to deepen her knowledge of the body with an advanced education at San Diego State University. Aura is a Certified Athletic Trainer, a graduate of SDSU in Sports Medicine, a Senior Certified Symmetry Yoga Instructor, and has taught Yoga since 1974.

Aura specializes in Chronic Pain Management. Included in the initial assessment is a thorough review of one’s medical history, posture and gait analysis, daily living activities, and current exercise regime. Follow-up sessions are individually tailored and will include Yoga as a base for rehabilitation.

“I have loved Yoga since I was introduced at the age of 15. I have continued my Yoga practice throughout high school, college, the birth of my 3 children, and all the life events that have come my way. It has been an emotional, spiritual, and physical foundation to my way of life and I am eternally grateful for its presence.”

Alison Scola, Yoga Instructor

It was the gift of chronic back/neck pain that brought Alison to her yoga practice in 1993. After the first class she knew she had found a powerful tool to return her body to its natural state of health. As her practice unfolded, she also found that her body would provide a road map to emotional, energetic, and spiritual healing. Inspired to share yoga with others and a desire to go deeper in her own practice, Alison completed her 200 hour certification in 2007 at the acclaimed White Lotus Foundation with Ganga White and Tracey Rich. She went on to complete her professional yoga therapy certificate from Integrative Yoga Therapy with Joseph and Lillian Le Page and received certification from Michaelle Edwards in Yogalign, a dynamic form of yoga therapy that restructures the entire body for functional biomechanics. Alison’s perspective on yoga as a holistic healing modality inspires her to teach awareness and integration of the physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual elements. She views yoga as a way of life that connects us with our innate inner wisdom and endless capacity for compassion and self-love.

In addition to working with private clientele and teaching group classes, Alison is leading teacher trainings and retreats at Southern California Wellness Centers and exotic destinations abroad.

Alison is continuing her education as a body worker and is now certified in circulatory, sports, and Shiatsu massage.

Anna Berger, Massage Therapist & Private Yoga Instructor

Anna Berger is from Vail, Colorado where she has been working with athletes (snowboard, equestrian, yoga, climbing, dance, etc.) since 2000. She comes from a background as a P.T. Assistant, and has a Ba. Sci. in CAM with a minor in Art and Recreation Wellness; additionally working with bodies as an LMT and Personal Trainer. Through her personal experience she has learned the importance of maintaining a balance in life through living a healthy, active lifestyle. Anna has been practicing yoga since 2001, and obtained a 200+ hour cert through Forrest Yoga Teacher Training in Boston, Ma. in 2004. She has also had continuing education with Shiva Rea, Simon Park, Janet Stone, and many other fine masters local and traveling through Colorado. Anna’s athletic classes work with injuries and strengthening through toned, flexible muscles. Her teaching style is influenced by the beauty of movement that surrounds her in nature and recreation as each class incorporates a sense of strength, joy, and integrity for all as she pays great respect to detailed guidance with each asana. Anna invites you to open your mind/body with her in this playful and progressive atmosphere.

Anna’s Class Style: Anna’s teaching style is alignment centered and hatha inspired movement and stillness. Progressive postures lead up to more challenging movements, she respects the classical elements of yoga while enjoying creative expressions in the movement practice.

Dinah Cascolan - Radiance YogaDinah Cascolan, Yoga Instructor

Dinah Cascolan has taught Yoga at Radiance for over twenty years.

Dinah’s 14 years of experience in hospitals and Orthopedic clinics enables her to work with clients who require a more therapeutic approach to Yoga.

JoAnn Edwards - Radiance YogaJoAnn Edwards, Yoga Instructor

JoAnn is a former professional ballet dancer and has been teaching yoga for more than 18 years. She enjoys sharing a blend of Iyengar and Hatha yoga, along with physical therapy postures, and things she’s learned as a dancer. Known playfully as ‘The Prop Queen’, she has an in depth knowledge in the use of props of all kinds. She loves to learn new things from her teachers and students, and to share that knowledge with all who want to explore. “The body is the best teacher we’ll ever have!”

Lena Schmidt, Yoga Instructor

With a background in gymnastics and dance, Lena finds the physicality of yoga to be a delightful and challenging way to move the body without competition. The spiritual aspects of yoga have aided Lena in the never-ending search for peace, calm, and positivity within and she is passionate about sharing these tools with others. Lena is intentional about taking yoga off the mat and loves finding the bridges between the heart and mind, the individual and community, and mindfulness and expression. To complement the creative practice of yoga, Lena holds degrees in ethnic studies and women’s studies and is dedicated to making the joyfulness of yoga accessible to all people.
Lena’s Class Style: Lena offers a hatha/vinyasa class that includes strong asana, pranayama, breath-to-movement flowing transitions, alignment cues, a philosophical theme woven throughout, and ideas for taking your yoga off the mat.

Radiance Yoga San DiegoMary Osborn, Yoga Instructor

Mary Osborn took her first yoga class in 1977 while attending SDSU, where she received her BA in art. Mary enjoyed many styles of yoga over the years and then discovered her absolute love of Iyengar Yoga, in 1995. She enjoyed the benefits of attending weekly yoga classes and  eventually, trained to become an Iyengar Certified Instructor. Mary currently holds the Iyengar Certification for Introductory Level I and II. She continues her own home practice and yoga training with senior teachers in the San Diego area. Mary is happy to share with others the practice of Iyengar yoga with all of its many benefits.

Nancy Phillips, Yoga Instructor

Nancy Phillips has been studying Iyengar Yoga for 30 years. She is certified at the Junior Intermediate I level.  A disciplined and strong personal practice motivates her to provide a safe and uplifting practice.  The Iyengar style was attractive to her because of its emphasis on physical alignment giving stability in body and mind. As she continues her practice the lessons are infinite, discovering the necessity for balance, harmony and unity between the head and the intelligence of the heart.

Peggy Rausch, Yoga Instructor

Peggy Rausch joined the Radiance staff in 1983.

She is an exceptionally gifted teacher who specializes in the instruction of the Stretch and Relaxation classes. She is employed as a Cardiovascular Technician at San Diego’s Balboa Naval Hospital.

Sarah Jaeger, Yoga Instructor

Sarah recently relocated from Minnesota where she was the owner of Mystic Journey Yoga and Wellness Center.

Sarah’s journey to yoga started in 2010 to help release stress and anxiety and as a form of exercise. Little did she know that her entire world would change!

In the quiet of each pose she practiced, she found a little voice that was asking., “where do you see your life heading? Who are you? Who and what do you want to surround yourself with? Are you truly happy?” She realized that she was not living her truth. Sarah was living for others and not for herself.  Through yoga and meditation that little voice became louder and louder and sang such a pretty song Sarah could not deny it. She gained the confidence she needed to make healthy choices which then trickled to those around her as she shared her love for yoga.

In 2012, Sarah received her RYT 200 Yoga Teacher Training from Sun Moon Yoga in Mankato, MN and has been teaching all levels and styles of yoga since. Her focus is to bring yoga to those who may not be able to make it into a Yoga studio. Seniors or retirement aged people, wheelchair bound, Corporate settings and those seeking a traditional slower paced gentle hatha style of yoga will resonate with my classes. 

Sydney Scott-Cohen, Yoga Instructor

Sydney Scott-Cohen graduated from UCSB in 2007 with a double minor in Group Fitness Instruction and Personal Training.
Sydney has studied Yoga with some of the top instructors from San Diego to New York and is well-versed in Bikram, Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga. In addition, Sydney incorporates Therapeutic Yoga techniques into her sessions/classes according to the needs of the student.

Radiance Yoga San DiegoTracy Miller, Yoga Instructor

Tracy was born and raised in California. She attended SDSU and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology, emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy. Subsequently, she was employed in an Integrated Physical Medicine clinic for 8 years. Eventually she managed the exercise rehabilitation department, helping patients alleviate their pain and gain strength through functional exercise. Her personal passion for exercise, helping people, and living a life that encompasses a healthy mind and body led her on a new journey in 2010 as she discovered yoga. In 2013, Tracy became a Certified Yoga Instructor, focusing on Vinyasa from CorePower Yoga. She went on to complete their extension program in 2014 to further her yoga training. With her background in Kinesiology and Yoga, Tracy loves  to share her personal passion and vision with her clients as she helps them explore new pathways to recover and feel better! In 2015, she initiated her studies to obtain a Masters degree in Health and Wellness Psychology from the University of the Rockies. Tracy is so excited to be a part of the Radiance Yoga team and their philosophy of bringing overall health and wellness into others lives, and enjoying the transformation.

Personal Training

Anna Berger, Massage Therapist & Private Yoga Instructor

Anna Berger is from Vail, Colorado where she has been working with athletes (snowboard, equestrian, yoga, climbing, dance, etc.) since 2000. She comes from a background as a P.T. Assistant, and has a Ba. Sci. in CAM with a minor in Art and Recreation Wellness; additionally working with bodies as an LMT and Personal Trainer. Through her personal experience she has learned the importance of maintaining a balance in life through living a healthy, active lifestyle. Anna has been practicing yoga since 2001, and obtained a 200+ hour cert through Forrest Yoga Teacher Training in Boston, Ma. in 2004. She has also had continuing education with Shiva Rea, Simon Park, Janet Stone, and many other fine masters local and traveling through Colorado. Anna’s athletic classes work with injuries and strengthening through toned, flexible muscles. Her teaching style is influenced by the beauty of movement that surrounds her in nature and recreation as each class incorporates a sense of strength, joy, and integrity for all as she pays great respect to detailed guidance with each asana. Anna invites you to open your mind/body with her in this playful and progressive atmosphere.

Anna’s Class Style: Anna’s teaching style is alignment centered and hatha inspired movement and stillness. Progressive postures lead up to more challenging movements, she respects the classical elements of yoga while enjoying creative expressions in the movement practice.

Sydney Scott-Cohen, Yoga Instructor

Sydney Scott-Cohen graduated from UCSB in 2007 with a double minor in Group Fitness Instruction and Personal Training.
Sydney has studied Yoga with some of the top instructors from San Diego to New York and is well-versed in Bikram, Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga. In addition, Sydney incorporates Therapeutic Yoga techniques into her sessions/classes according to the needs of the student.

Massage Therapists

Anna Berger, Massage Therapist & Private Yoga Instructor

Anna Berger is from Vail, Colorado where she has been working with athletes (snowboard, equestrian, yoga, climbing, dance, etc.) since 2000. She comes from a background as a P.T. Assistant, and has a Ba. Sci. in CAM with a minor in Art and Recreation Wellness; additionally working with bodies as an LMT and Personal Trainer. Through her personal experience she has learned the importance of maintaining a balance in life through living a healthy, active lifestyle. Anna has been practicing yoga since 2001, and obtained a 200+ hour cert through Forrest Yoga Teacher Training in Boston, Ma. in 2004. She has also had continuing education with Shiva Rea, Simon Park, Janet Stone, and many other fine masters local and traveling through Colorado. Anna’s athletic classes work with injuries and strengthening through toned, flexible muscles. Her teaching style is influenced by the beauty of movement that surrounds her in nature and recreation as each class incorporates a sense of strength, joy, and integrity for all as she pays great respect to detailed guidance with each asana. Anna invites you to open your mind/body with her in this playful and progressive atmosphere.

Anna’s Class Style: Anna’s teaching style is alignment centered and hatha inspired movement and stillness. Progressive postures lead up to more challenging movements, she respects the classical elements of yoga while enjoying creative expressions in the movement practice.

Debra Funkhouser, Massage Therapist

A dedicated and professional health practitioner, Debra, is nationally and state certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and a professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

She uses multiple techniques for individualized and uniquely focused therapeutic sessions. In practice since 1999, she specializes in neck and shoulder pain, injury rehabilitation, chronic pain, and stress relief.