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Meet Your Teachers

Lisa Marie

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Lisa Marie, RYT-500, CST, Reiki Master, has 35 years’ experience as a practicing yogini and 23 years’ experience as a Certified Yoga Therapist and Energy Facilitator. 

Founder of PremaYoga she offers an integration of Hatha Yoga and Embodiment Meditation to her students and private clients.  She recently joined the staff of Village 

Yoga Santa Cruz. She has been teaching for the San Francisco Zen Center for 8 years and leads retreats at Tassajara and Green Gulch. She is certified through Yoga Alliance to lead 200 hour trainings.You can also find her at Mount Madonna, in India and Bali with her students.  She is committed to supporting her students in accessing their own divinity or Sat Chit Ananda, and is in serivice to the practice of Yoga integrating all aspects of the 8fold path.

Find out more on Lisa's website:


Amy Mihal

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Sometimes I can’t believe I have been teaching yoga for almost 20 years!  There is still so much to learn and experience!


I have always loved moving my body.  Growing up with severe asthma, for me Movement = Breath = LIFE.  Not being able to breathe with ease, and in fact being told I was just a “bad breather” by one of my doctors, shaped my desire to learn how to feel better in my own body.  I wanted to figure out what foods or supplements would help me feel better, and I knew that playing sports, going to the gym, swimming, breathing deeply in the steam room, all made me feel REALLY GOOD!! Though having asthma was uncomfortable and often scary, it guided me towards a path of eternal study of the body, of breath and of feeling good!


In college, though I did take an Anatomy course, my focus was on International Business and languages.  This led me to taking a job in San Francisco in 1997, which is where I took my first hot yoga class, forever changing my life in such awesome ways!  My first class was such a cathartic experience, and I had never felt so good in my body. Through daily practice, I was slowly able to start decreasing my daily asthma medication, and wow did it ever feel good to free up my body and breath! Life-changing is all I can say, though words can’t describe my love for this practice and the profound ways in which it has shaped my life.


To practice and certainly to teach yoga is a lifelong journey of growth and study.  The subject of yoga is vast, which is partly why it is so exciting and never feels stale.  There is always more to learn, to understand, to experience and to be inspired by! Each class, whether practicing or teaching, is a unique experience when we are truly present in the moment, using our bodies and our breath as the means by which we explore and better understand ourselves from the inside out.  It is a fascinating journey!


My teaching is fueled by an unbridled passion for learning, practicing, and sharing yoga with others.  In the summer of 1999, I completed the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles. I have been teaching ever since, with a break here and there for a surf trip - ha! In subsequent years, I have done trainings and/or studied with Kofi Busia (Master Iyengar Teacher); Judith Hanson Lasater (Restorative Yoga); Leslie Kaminoff (Online Anatomy Course focusing on breath); as well as Anirudh Shastri (Traditional practice and philosophy).  I have been the co-owner, with Sally Adams, of Village Yoga for almost 18 years and am inspired day in and day out by all of the amazing people who continue to show up for themselves and do the work that we do on and off our mats to be better, kinder, happier, healthier human beings.


I am beyond excited to be offering our first Teacher Training, and thus to learn anew and experience being a teacher in a different way! I hope to impart to our Teacher Trainees that this training is a first step (and a big one) towards a lifelong of cool is that?!?!


Sally Adams

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I  have been teaching yoga since 1999. In 2001, Amy and I opened Village Yoga in Soquel.  I am thrilled to bring my experience as teacher and studio owner to Village Yoga’s first Teacher Training. I am a believer not only in the physical practice of yoga but constant study through teacher trainings, books, meditation and nutrition as a means to know myself better and become a better human being.


I believe yoga is the art of being a human being.

The study and practice of yoga helps us develop the tools to create a beautiful life….or at least a more peaceful one! Have you ever heard of anybody quitting YOGA? No way! They find their niche in whatever style because connecting with breath, moving the body, practicing mindfulness opens up not only your heart but so many doors in your life!

Being present for your life and taking responsibility for your body and mind is a revolutionary act.

I have been dancing since the age of 3! My mother owned a ballet studio when I was growing up, I went on to major in Dance/Drama at Syracuse University, soon thereafter found could say I feel most at home in a studio and I look forward to the long Teacher Training days/weekends ahead in the studio!

I am indebted to Rebecca Blair, my current ballet teacher, Kofi Busia, Judith Hansen Lasater, Mary Jarvis and Bikram Choudury for their influences in helping me become the yoga teacher I am today. I only hope to keep learning and growing from all amazing teachers out there, including the teachers and STUDENTS of Village Yoga.

Taking this next step into a Teacher Training can take courage, like when you first stepped on your mat! It's ok to be unsure, or doubtful or scared but deepening your understanding and knowledge of this ancient system for health and well being can only postively impact your life...and to start to share these powerful tools with others, what joy! We offer OURSELVES as teachers, and our job is staying on the path of awareness and becoming more and more of our amazing selves.

What could be more fun than diving deeper into everything yoga related: asanas, meditation, pranayama, philosophy, anatomy, ayurveda and more!

Learning how to build more and more awareness around this thing called life and helping others do the same...I can’t think of a more worthwhile way to spend my time.

I look forward to growing with you and having a blast while we do it.


Ruth O'Donnell

M.S. Kinesiology

Yoga Instructor - 200 Hr YA

Reiki Master


The design and function of the human body itself is miraculous.

And I’ve been studying it for the whole of my adult life.

How we express our human story with our bodies is by far my most favorite thing.

Well, maybe after the morning steaming hot cup of coffee.

I’m a lifelong student and educator in all things human body and spirit related.


In my early career, I spent many years teaching anatomy and physiology in junior colleges to those headed for the medical industry. I’ve worked in the fitness industry, with elite athletes who trained to find a sharper edge as well as sedentary folks searching

to find one small way to feel good in their skin.

I spent plenty of time in research laboratories studying spinal cord injuries and another whole lifetime learning the healing arts of massage therapy, cranial sacral therapy and reiki compassionate touch.

After 30 years in the human movement science field,

I’ve settled into teaching yoga and offering reiki sessions.


I moved from Long Beach, California to Santa Cruz and found my home away

from home at Village Yoga.

I was trained to teach hot yoga by the lovely Amy and Sally of Village Yoga and once

I began teaching this series...well let’s just say it was a match made it heaven.


These are the important things to me:


1. Facilitating groups of people simply moving together and breathing together is an indescribable joy.

2. Teaching people to understand the nuts and bolts of the human body architecture, demystifying the

science of anatomy and physiology and empowering teachers to feel confident to learn and use the material is endlessly satisfying.

3. Empowering people to reclaim the joy of moving while noticing the nourishing effects this has on a human’s life in these unprecedented times.

This is my offering.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this stellar teaching team at Village Yoga

I’ll see ya’ll in November!


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Shastri is a well-known and highly respected hatha yoga teacher with an extensive background in yoga philosophy. He has been teaching yoga for over 27 years, bringing his deep knowledge of the physical and spiritual aspects of yogic philosophy to his many students on the peninsula and in the South bay. Shastri trained in India and studied under the guidance of Shri Vishnu Prasadji.

Shastri was born and raised in a small village Shamli, India. He comes from a Brahmin family. Also, Shastri was brought and trained in the Yogic milieu. He studied yoga and yogic texts under the guidance of Shri Vishnu Prasad Ji and his own father, Damodar Shastri, a Sanskrit Scholar for 5 years.
He has been teaching yoga and yoga philosophy for the last 30 years. He mentored many students, in the Bay Area and across the US, who are excellent teachers. Over the years, Shastri has developed his own unique style of teaching which is based on traditional India, a homeland of yoga. This style is accessible to all at the same time complete and rigorous practice.


Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar

 BAMS, MD (Ayu. India)

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  • One of the most academically accomplished Ayurvedic Physicians in the US

  • Excellent Clinician who has treated more than 15000 clients successfully Lead faculty at several Ayurvedic institutions, worldwide

  • Lead Formulator of Zrii & NutriiVeda

  • Ayurvedic Consultant, Faculty: Chopra Center for Well being

  • Research Consultant for numerous Ayurvedic Nutraceuticals

  • Only Ayurvedic Physician practicing Medical Astrology in US

  • Featured presenter at NAMA, ACVA and several other organizations

Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar is a classically trained Ayurvedic physician and a gold medalist from prestigious Pune University. A Rig Vedic Bramhin by tradition and an accomplished Clinician by training adds tremendous value to his clients and students alike. He is an insightful Medical Astrologer and Vedic Counselor.

He worked with His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for over 10 years. During these years he and his wife Dr. Manisha, traveled extensively all around the world, teaching Ayurvedic Medicine, Jyotish, designing courses & curriculums, directing Ayurvedic Clinics and helping design new Ayurvedic formulations. He was the Chairman for Maharishi College of Vedic Medicine, a Professor at Maharishi University of Management and the Medical Director, at the Raj Pancha-Karma center in Fairfield IA.

He is a motivational speaker, presenting Ayurvedic Wisdom and sharing stage with Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Dr. Oz and many other leaders in the field.

He currently leads an Ayurvedic Clinic offering Pancha Karma, Diet & Lifestyle consults, Vedic Astrology, Vedic Counseling, Medical dietology & herbal medicine. He currently teaches the “Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor” & “Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner” programs to over 200 students, at different locations in United States.

Find out more at


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