Mark Stephens began practicing yoga in 1991 and finished his initial yoga teacher training in 1995. He began teaching yoga in 1996. In 1997, he started Yoga Within Foundation, which has now grown to serve over 300 treatment centers, schools, hospitals, jails, and other settings across North America by developing yoga programs and training yoga teachers. In 2000, he was honored with Yoga Journal's inaugural Annual Karma Yoga Award for his charitable work. Stephens has developed and directed two yoga studios in Los Angeles: L.A. Yoga and L.A. Yoga and L.A. Yoga and L.A. Yoga She has taught seminars and retreats all over the world, including outdoor adventure retreats that include sea kayaking, trekking, skiing, and rock climbing. In 2004, he returned to his hometown of Santa Cruz to teach classes, workshops, and teacher trainings at Santa Cruz Yoga.