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Our Teachers                                                                  480-905-8801                             

Barbara Adams, owner
E-RYT 500, Anusara Certified teacher

Barbara is the owner of Yoga Village Fountain Hills since 2003 and Yoga Village Scottsdale since 2006. She has studied and practiced several styles of yoga but has enthusiastically embraced Anusara Yoga since 2003. She is deeply appreciative to her fellow teachers for daily inspiration. Barbara worked in behavioral health for 15 years and is delighted to see how yoga can bring contentment to so many hearts.

Barbara's husband (Wiley) and two grown children (Frank and Mae) have been a constant source of support and offer sure and steady help in running the studios and keeping it all fun. Barbara is a delightfully fun and witty, thoughtful and highly skilled teacher of Anusara Yoga. She is exemplary of all the best qualities in Anusara, both as a student and as a leader, and offers her wisdom in a heartfelt way through her teaching.

Paulette Bodeman,
E-RYT 500, Anusara Certified Teacher

Paulette is a dedicated and passionate student of Life, Anusara® Yoga and the teachings of Tantric philosophy and meditation. She humbly bows to all of her teachers, especially to John Friend for his brilliance and the gift of the Anusara® method of yoga and its life–affirming Shiva–Shakti philosophy. Paulette has completed studies with Professor Paul Muller–Ortega, Carlos Pomeda and Douglas Brooks. Paulette’s gift as a teacher is to gracefully weave the technical aspects of the Anusara® method with the rich foundation of its Tantric philosophy. Her light–hearted approach to the depth of the practice empowers her students to courageously explore and move through the limitations blocking them from enjoying a loving and joy–filled life. As a Certified Anusara® teacher Paulette leads immersions, teacher–trainings, workshops and retreats. She is also a mentor for those teachers aspiring to Anusara® Inspired and Certified status.Paulette lives in Scottsdale, AZ with her ever supportive loving husband, Steve, her son and guru, Steven, and their wild and silly Wheaton terrier, Max.

Angie Santucci,
Anusara Certified Teacher

Angie is articulate, compassionate and inspiring. Her most influential teacher has been Desiree Rumbaugh. Angie began her yoga studies in 1995 and has taught since 1998. Angie is dedicated student, passionate about Anusara yoga, yet she has a light-hearted, playful way of sharing this powerfully transformational yoga practice. Angie also has experience teaching and speaking to groups including: seniors, children, athletes, corporate groups and yoga workshops. Her knowledge and experience have also provided her with a successful yoga therapy business. She happily shares her life with her loving husband, Phil and 4 boys, Phillip, Patrick, Luke and Jake.

Katrina Abrams
RYT, Anusara Inspired Teacher

A devoted student of Anusara yoga, Katrina finds joy in her practice. Deeply grateful to all of her teachers, her experience has been one of transformation that integrates body, mind and soul. The study of Tantric philosophy has infused her spirituality with a new vibrancy and the physical practice has helped facilitate and maintain a 50 pound weight-loss. After completing the Anusara Immersions and Teacher Training at Yoga Village, she began teaching in 2007. Katrina believes there is a yoga practice available to every single body, regardless of age or body type. Her invitation to yoga is come-as-you-are. With her encouraging and empowering teaching style, she endeavors to make every class a playful opportunity to explore and expand. Eat well and prosper.

Leslie Ullstrup,
RYT 500
After many years of running marathons and competing in triathlons Leslie has taken a gentler approach to fitness.  After a back injury forced her to stop running, she opted out of surgery and instead expanded her yoga practice.  The results were so significant that she was inspired to “spread the word” and become a teacher.  Leslie trained with Martin and Jordan Kirk right here at Yoga Village, then went on to teach.  She has been teaching in the North Valley since 2005, and received her 500 hour certification in June, 2013, under the guidance of her teacher, Meg Byerlein. Leslie's teaching reflects her Anusara training, with an emphasis on good alignment, moving the breath, opening the heart, and also great humor. She enjoys teaching all levels but especially likes teaching restorative yoga and putting a different spin on it. Leslie is happy to have done a 360 and circled back to Yoga Village - “It is truly and honor and privilege to be a part of the Yoga Village Kula.”

  Sarka Hulpachova
RYT 500

As a former gymnast from Prague, Sarka's natural path has always been exploring how the physical body alignment and the mind work inseparably. She considers it a blessing that she discovered Yoga long time ago. Sarka is very pleased to observe how Yoga teachings have attained such a well-deserved popularity.  From her extensive studies of all aspects of Yoga, She learned about how broad complexity this way of life has to offer. Sarka received her certification in Yoga 200 hours Teacher Training from Scottsdale Community College, after taking 5 semesters of intense training.  Having graduated from this course, Sarka has continued to study with Carlyn Sikes to obtain 500 hours certification in Yoga instruction, as well as an Occupational Certification in Yoga Therapy. I am excited to know and share how we can use our own bodies to heal ourselves.


Mae Adams
RYT, Anusara Inspired Teacher

Mae began studying and practicing yoga with her mother at the age of 13, and began teaching in 2008. Mae has a great love and appreciation for the yoga community – our kula – and the underlying tantric philosophy. She owes her practice and her ability to teach to her mother, Barbara, and influential teachers Paulette Bodeman, Martin and Jordan Kirk and Jacqui Potokar. Mae also  graduated from NAU with a degree in Visual Communications and helps Yoga Village with design work.

Nicki Byrd,

Nicki has been teaching yoga for twelve years. Determined to heal herself after having her hip and pelvis broken in a car accident nearly fifteen years ago, she has effectively used yoga as a therapeutic tool. Nicki has made a remarkable recovery and continues with a dedicated practice. She regularly studies with senior Iyengar and Anusara teachers and radiates her love of yoga in everything she does. Nicki holds a special interest in therapeutics and is passionate about helping those who can most benefit from it. Nicki also teaches special workshops in Thai Yoga Therapy and chant.

Julie Lemerond
RYT 500

Julie grew up taking ballet for many years and always had a passion for dance and movement. But during college and beyond, workouts started consisting simply of running on a treadmill at the gym or lifting weights, and became boring and unfulfilling. Discovering yoga changed her life, as it sparked that passion for movement but also gave her so much more in the process.

After taking yoga classes for many years, in 2010 she finally decided to get certified to teach at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA), and has been teaching around the Valley ever since. Most recently she returned to SWIHA to receive another certification in Yoga Nidra with Kamini Desai, which she is proud to facilitate and share, knowing the tremendous impact meditation has on our bodies and souls.

Julie’s classes are centered around enjoying and having fun with the practice of yoga - finding peace and joy even in the midst of challenge. By doing so on the mat, we are better able to do it off the mat as well, which is one of yoga’s greatest lessons that we can continue to learn over and over again.
John Bucur

John is a 200 hours teacher, trained in the Anusara perspective, graduate of Yoga Village, where he had most of his studies with Barbara Adams and Paulette Bodeman. He also has trained with Jordan and Martin Kirk and has recently trained with Denise Hatch at Yoga Sports Performance. John found his love for YOGA unexpectedly, at his GYM where he still practices and teaches. His philosophy of yoga is just “Simply Yoga Sport” as he puts it. His emphasis is always on good Alignment, Strength, Flexibility and Balance, but you will be in for a very energetic flow practice, with sprinkles of party poses and arm balancing throughout. His classes are a must try and see for yourself, mixed level, high energy, with lots of beginner and advanced variations. His confidence level and strength projected in his teachings are contagious and will inspire you to try the unexpected and most likely succeed. John’s secular job is in construction and remodeling when he is not practicing or teaching yoga

Jen Brooks

RYT 500

Jennifer Brooks came to yoga in 2001 in order to find strength and flexibility. She immediately noticed benefits beyond the physical, and began her search for deeper meaning. Her yogic influences include Sharon Gannon and David Life, founders of Jivamukti Yoga. An ethical vegan, Jennifer's personal practice is focused on Ahimsa (non-harming) and Bhakti (devotion).

Trained at the 500-hour level (Yoga Pura, Phoenix, AZ), Jennifer has been teaching since 2007, Her challenging classes include philosophy, music and a sense of humor that will leave you feeling relaxed and inspired.

Jeanette Rosario

Jeanette has been a Massage Therapist since 1997 and a Registered Yoga Instructor since 2004. Her education background from Toronto, Canada consists of a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology and Psychology, and a 3000 hr Diploma in Massage Therapy. Jeanette moved to sunny AZ in 2000 with the thought of never having to shovel snow again. Having taught Massage Therapy for 7 years and taking a 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training course, she decided to incorporate the two modalities into her own private practice called “The Little Bohemian” located in north Scottsdale.
Being a vegetarian for over 10 years and reaping all the benefits of a clean diet, prompted her decision to actively pursue a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition and an additional 100 hr Ashtanga Yoga Training, which she is currently in the process of obtaining. In her free time she enjoys hiking and rock climbing and firmly believes that the secret to a long and happy life is finding balance between meaningful work, healthy relationships, a clean diet, an active lifestyle and positive attitudes.

Ashley Burns

Ashley embraces the asana as a beautiful physical representation of how different we show up everyday, and it is an honor for her to welcome this awareness in her students. This young yogini completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at The Spirit of Yoga under the guidance of Laura McKenzie, and is now continuing on with her advanced studies under Izzi Sunnes and Mary Bruce. You will hear her rejoicing with a “HALLELUYAH!” bringing a light – hearted, fun loving feel to her practice with chanting, dancing, and a few jokes to encourage her students to “lighten up.” She began practicing 3 years ago, when she came across a Energy Flow DVD, and her eyes have stayed open ever since. She recognizes that her mat is the window into her world, continues to show up, and enjoys growing both physically and mentally stronger. You can find Ashley teaching yoga in the park every Saturday morning, with DiRTYOGA, the all-donation based yoga movement she co-founded in 2012. “It’s all yoga!” she says frequently when referencing the union between all things, seen and unseen.  

Lisa Kneller

Lisa fell in love with the practice of yoga at age 43. Her fist influential teachers were Jordan and Martin Kirk with whom she studied for her 200 hour certification credentials. Lisa began teaching around the Valley in 2003 and has been a devoted student at Yoga Village since the cork floor was laid and she  helped to paint the walls. Anusara Yoga makes her feel most "at home" and she credits the very talented Anusara teachers who have shown her how to expand her heart, mind and body. She enjoys taking a great flow class and loves to teach beginning students. Lisa also holds a master level certification in Holy Yoga (M-HYI) and offers classes using Biblical themes to local area churches. Lisa is married and the proud mother of two great children. Her greatest passion is inspiring people to reach their potential in mind, body and spirit.

Valere Schlesinger

Valere has been practicing yoga for over 15 years.  She did her teacher training with Dave Oliver in Ashtanga.  Valere's classes focus on opening your heart while linking the breath to the postures with an emphasis on alignment.  Her classes provide a deeper sense of self-awareness.  Valere uses yoga as a way to energize and transform the body while calming the mind, and she wants to share that experience with her students.  She is inspired by her teachers, friends and family, but mostly by her two children who help her to stay focused on what's important and being present.

Rasoul Sobhani
RYT 500

The inspiring Rasoul brings a beautiful blend of experience to Yoga Village.  He has over 20 years of experience as a martial artist and teaches Tai Chi and Chi Qung.  He is a registered yoga teacher and graduate of the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.  He is a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) graduating from the Scottsdale Community College, with a focus on yoga therapy and alignment.  He is the creator of Chi Yoga Do Witch, where he creatively blends yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Qung into one fluid, yet meditative class.  Rasoul has a weekly yoga program featured on online at  To learn more about Rasoul, please visit

Jane Applegath
RYT 200

Inspired by the teachings of Jon Kabbat Zinn, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Austin Vickers, Jane came to yoga to find renewed balance and discovered so much more.  
Learning to embrace the beauty of an open heart, the love of community, the power of breath and the joy of being, have inspired Jane to share the gift of yoga with others.  An avid mind/body pupil and researcher in human capacities, her lifetime passion is encourage the inherent possibilities that lie within each person.

  Dana Arbel
RYT 200

Dana is a local yogini, with a degree in film and passion for cooking, yoga began as just another interest. Soon she was addicted, going to classes daily and establishing a home practice in between, trying out many different styles. On a whim, she signed up for teacher training at Urban Yoga, led by Dave and Cheryl Oliver. Truly life changing, she learned the traditional Astanga practice, philosophy, and chants that transformed her practice. Her classes blend traditional movements with creative, fun sequences that will both challenge and inspire her students. She believes in hands-on teaching, offering plenty of modifications and adjustments, helping students along the way. She wishes for her students to take what they learn on the mat, and carry it with them into their daily lives.

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