Our Teachers

Barbara Adams, Owner

E-RYT 500
Anusara Certified Teacher

Barbara has been 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 and is Anusara certified.  Barbara loves ALL that yoga offers and has especially focused on alignment and therapeutic approaches in her studies. She is deeply appreciative to her fellow teachers for daily inspiration.  Barbara has a MS in Counseling and Human Development and worked in behavioral health for 15 years - she is delighted to see how yoga can bring contentment to so many hearts and how the yoga philosophy weaves seamlessly with her Counseling studies.

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  offers her wisdom in a heartfelt way through her teaching.
Paulette Bodeman
E-RYT 500
Anusara Certified Teache

Paulette is a yoga and meditation teacher, a writer and an integrative professional coach. She is also a Reiki Master in the Usui method and is certified in the systems of Anusara Yoga and Integrative Yoga Therapy with a 500 hour RYT Certificate. She has been teaching yoga and meditation for over 15 years. Paulette has studied with meditation masters and Tantric scholars for over 20 years and she has a degree in Transpersonal Psychology. She continues to study and learn, which is what makes her such a great teacher and coach.

Paulette is the founder of The Worth System – a program that helps women improve the quality of their lives. She wants every woman to wake up to her worth. Paulette leads immersions, teacher-trainings, retreats, tele-seminars, plus one-on-one coaching. You can visit her and download 4 guided meditations: paulettebodeman.com or at facebook.

Angie Santucci
E-RYT 500
Anusara Certified Teacher

Angie began her yoga studies in 1995 at Arizona Art and Yoga with her most influential teacher, Desiree Rumbaugh, and has been teaching ever since. She furthered her studies with various styles of yoga in New York and Los Angeles, and is certified with Yoga Alliance RYT 500 as well as Anusara.  She teaches biomechanical alignment for therapeutic physical health and includes music and flow to achieve meditation and mindfulness with movement in hopes to create a space for clarity of heart and mind.  Through the years of many yoga teaching experiences, working with athletes, seniors, and medical professionals, she understands the deep healing that occurs with a consistent yoga practice, so she strives to deliver classes that are safe and effective as well as fun and challenging.

In her life outside of yoga, she markets and manages her loving husband’s orthodontic practice, and is on the tail end of raising four amazing boys.

 Katrina Abrams
RYT 200
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.
Leslie Ullstrup
RYT 500 
 After many years of running marathons and competing in triathlons, Leslie has taken a gentler approach to fitness. When 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, training with Martin and Jordan Kirk right here at Yoga Village. She has been teaching in the North Valley since 2005, and received her 500 hour certification in June of 2013 under the guidance of 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 a long time ago, and is very pleased to observe how Yoga teachings have attained such a well-deserved popularity.  From her extensive studies of all aspects of Yoga, Sarka learned about the broad complexity this way of life has to offer. After intense training, she received her 200 and 500 hour certifications in Yoga from Scottsdale Community College, with Carlyn Sikes, as well as an Occupational Certification in Yoga Therapy. She is excited to know and share how we can use our own bodies to heal ourselves. 
Mae Adams
E-RYT 200
Anusara Inspired Teacher
Mae began her yoga journey when she was 13. After many years of practice, she decided in 2008 to pursue teaching and has been in love with it since. Trained in the Anusara method she imbues her classes with thoughtful alignment, spontaneous humor, and heart. Mae is especially fond of deep back bends, but enjoys the well-roundedness of the practice. In addition to practicing Anusara Yoga, Mae is huge fan of Acro Yoga, which is a combo of traditional yoga, acrobatics, and Thai yoga massage. She has much gratitude for the teachers that have guided her along the path: Barbara Adams (mom and yoga teacher extraordinaire), Paulette Bodeman, Angie Santucci, John Friend, Noah Maze, Desiree Rumbaugh, and her many incredible Acro friends. 
Veda Spidle

RYT 200
Anusara Elements Teacher

Veda was born in Lithuania and immigrated to the United States, at a young age, with her family. Throughout her life she has been surrounded by yoga, meditation, Reiki, and books. For three and a half years she lived abroad in South Korea teaching English. This experience provided her with the foundation for connecting to students, making learning fun, and expanding her perspective for life. She also met her husband there, with whom she moved to Arizona. Wonderful opportunities presented themselves to her after the move, one being Yoga Teacher Training, which was a dream of hers to complete.

Veda is now a 200 hour certified yoga instructor. She teaches yoga to people of all ages and abilities including rock climbers, seniors, and children. She is always reading and studying to expand her knowledge in the ancient art of yoga, and hopes to share her love for life, health, and harmony with others.

Julie Lemerond

RYT 500

Julie grew up taking ballet, and always had a passion for dance and movement. But during college, workouts started consisting simply of running 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 got certified to teach by the Southwest Institute of Health and Healing Arts (SWIHA), and has been teaching around the Valley since. She returned to SWIHA to receive 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.

John Bucur

RYT 200
John is a 200 hours teacher, trained in the Anusara perspective. A graduate of Yoga Village, he had most of his studies with Barbara Adams and Paulette Bodeman, and has also trained with Jordan and Martin Kirk as well as Denise Hatch at Yoga Sports Performance.

John found his love for YOGA unexpectedly, at his GYM where he still practices and teaches. He describes his philosophy of yoga as "Simply Yoga Sport." 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. John's classes are must-try-and-see-for-yourself, mixed level, high energy, with lots of beginner and advanced variations. His confidence level and strength 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 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.
Elena Long

RYT 200
Anusara Elements Teacher

Elena took her first yoga class in 2004 and quickly fell in love with it. As a dancer in high school and in college, yoga felt natural to her, and she found herself very drawn to the practice. She started practicing yoga at Yoga Village in 2009 and gained a great appreciation for Anusara. Elena completed her 200 hour teacher training with Barbara and Paulette. She is also certified to teach kids yoga, and is currently teaching yoga to the kids at the Boys and Girls Club in Fountain Hills several days a week.
Lisa Kneller

RYT 200
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

RYT 200
Valere has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. She did her teacher training with Dave Oliver in Ashtanga. 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. Her classes focus on opening your heart while linking the breath to the postures with an emphasis on alignment, and provide a deeper sense of self-awareness. 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 on 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. Rasoul is also a graduate of the Scottsdale Community College, where he received certification as a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), 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 www.timebroadcasting.com. To learn more about Rasoul, please visit www.chiyogado.com.
Ann Mullins Bulka

E-RYT 500
Living and teaching yoga is Ann's calling. Drawn to yoga as a child, she often practiced alongside her sisters in her parents' living room. Her interest in yoga continued and the practice has helped with stress relief and low back pain. Ann's strong conviction that yoga is a living practice provides the foundation for her teaching which blends down-to-Earth practicality with playful, light-heartedness.

Ann took her initial Teacher Training at Desert Song in 2003 and has been teaching ever since.  She is committed to personal and professional development through diligent practice and on-going study of asana, yoga therapeutics, philosophy and Ayurveda.  She completed  Anusara Yoga Teacher Trainings in 2006 and 2012.  In 2012, she also completed her 500 hour advanced studies training under the guidance of Meg Byerlein.   

Her yoga is enriched by the fullness of her eclectic background:  a degree in Geography, park ranger for the National Park Service (National Mall, Washington D.C. and Grand Canyon), outdoor education counselor, a ten-year career in Girl Scouting and a short stint as a river guide.  

Clara Prouty

RYT 200

A friend first introduced Clara to yoga in 1996. As a practitioner of Kundalini Yoga, she found the relaxation and breathing techniques to be a perfect complement to the hours she logged running. In 2005, Clara began to explore more physically rigorous styles of yoga and noticed an improvement in her running performance and recovery. Over the years, she began to practice under the guidance of Tom Quinn, Quinn Kearney, Geri Bleier, and Claire Mark at Yogaview Chicago, where she completed her teacher training in the Spring of 2012.

Ashtanga and Anusara heavily influence her Vinyasa Flow style and practice, and she has had the privilege to study with many master practitioners, including Tim Miller, Maty Ezraty, Sianna Sherman, John Friend, Natasha Rizopoulos, and Desiree Rumbaugh. Clara's love for yoga is evident in her approach, and she cherishes the opportunity to share the gift of Yoga with others.

"Barbara...you provide a great service, not only of knowing one's body through Yoga, but also of building community and friendship. You are an inspiration to all women."  ~YD

"Paulette - I want to share my appreciation with you for the way you show up in the world and teach. I am grateful every time and in some ways, I am experiencing yoga the way I always imagined it should be."  ~PS

"As a teacher, Angie invites your mind, your body and your spirit into the practice of yoga. She offers an exceptional environment to explore and discover. Always leading you in..."  ~LH

"Katrina - Your class is great, you have such a bright, positive spirit. Thank you!!"

"I just got home after taking a wonderful, heart opening, inspiring class this morning with Mae. As I laid down in Savasana, I was overcome with gratitude."  ~CD

"The way Veda teaches the class is truly beautiful. You can tell by her words and actions that she's really in touch with her practice and her students. She makes it easy for me to want to try and do things. She's wonderful."  ~SS




"Hi John, I just wanted to let you know that your class has been amazing for me...It has a welcoming environment, a challenging format, and I leave just a little proud of myself."  ~MS



"She's encouraging, talented and incredibly funny."  ~KB


"Her classes are creative, engaging, planned, and enjoyable...She offers exceptionally insightful instruction on critical considerations for each position, and inspirational messages throughout the class. Elena is a natural born teacher."  ~DI


"Lisa's personal attention is the best; she checks every student several times during class."  ~JG







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