about our team

Saskia Bergmans Smith, ERYT 500

Saskia Bergmans Smith has been teaching and studying yoga since 1997. Saskia is Dutch, yet she grew up in England. In Europe she studied with Dona Holleman and Orit Sen-Gupta. In Boston, MA, Saskia completed her 200hr teacher training in 2004 and her 500hr in 2007, with Kim Valeri, Founder and Director of yogaspirit® Studios. Saskia teaches in the style of the yogaspirit® lineage and is part of the yogaspirit® 200hr teacher training faculty. She ran and operated her own yoga studio, Studio Om, from 2003-2010, in Wakefield, MA.

Saskia currently lives in Hamden, CT where she primarily teaches Rusty Hinges, Mindful Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga. She is expanding her teaching to educating mothers on the importance of prenatal and postpartum self-care. She cultivates learning in her students through the traditions of the yogaspirit® lineage, guiding a multi-level class from the physical foundation of the body to the healing components of yoga. Saskia holds a safe and sacred space for her students to regain and build confidence in themselves and their bodies.Saskia, a devotedwife and mother of two little girls, continues to develop her teaching and healing skills  Saskia continues to develop her teaching and healing skills under the guidance of Kim Valeri and her 1000 hour teacher training program.

Tammy Dumais, B.S., ERYT 500

Tammy has been teaching yoga classes, workshops and teacher trainings to practitioners and yoga teacher trainers for the past 18 years. She is known for her energy, fun, and down to earth teaching style. She enjoys educating, empowering and assisting individuals toward a higher level of understanding of the human body through the use of asana, intuition, western medical science, meditation, pranayama, and the art of reflective listening.

Currently, Tammy works as a contracted health educator for the State of Maine, providing health curriculum development, coordination of the state’s Healthy Directions program and individual health & nutrition coaching. In addition to her “day job,” Tammy also maintains her private integrative wellness & coaching practice of 18 years, Balance Company.

Tammy is a graduate of yogaspirit® and is also recognized as an E-RYT at the 500 level by the Yoga Alliance. She is the founder and former president of Yoga Center of Maine, Inc. and former director of yogaspirit® Studios' Anatomy & Physiology Program. In addition, she teaches  Anatomy & Physiology, per diem, at the University of Southern Maine. Tammy holds numerous certifications in yoga and fitness, and degrees in Applied & Radiological Science, and Health Science/Sports Medicine.

Mandy Lubas, OTR/L, RYT, AWC

Mandy Lubas is a Holistic Occupational Therapist, OTR/L, Sensory Integration Certified, RYT, AWC, and a Certified Panchakarma Technician who has been in the field of medicine for 13 years. She is a pioneer in this emerging trend and writes about her Holistic OT experiences in OTAdvance Magazine. She works with clients of all ages, and practices at Project Child, teaches yoga on the North Shore of Boston and works within the medical community. Mandy is a graduate of Quinnipiac University, Kerala Ayurveda® Academy, yogaspirit® 200, 800, and 1000 Hour Teacher Training programs. Mandy is certified in Sensory Integration. By incorporating Alternative Therapies into her scope of practice, Mandy strives to improve the health and well-being of her clients and students by facilitating the awakening of their physical, emotional and spiritual health as they explore their true life purpose.

Patty Lynch, LMY, RYT

Patty Lynch has been teaching yoga since 2002. She is a graduate of yogaspirit®; 200 Hour Teacher Training and has studied with Kim Valeri at the 500 Hour level. She discovered yoga by dropping into a free class in 2000 and has been hooked ever since. Experiencing the profound effects yoga has had on her life, Patty wants to share yoga as a path of transformation and contentment. In 2006 Patty received her massage certification from Cortiva/Muscular Therapy Institute and is a practicing massage therapist. Her massage work focuses on injury/ailment treatment utilizing several modalities such as neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, deep tissue massage and yoga therapy. As an instructor at Cortiva Boston and as an Anatomy & Physiology instructor for yogaspirit®, she brings a light-heartedness to class as well as a love for the infinite miracle of the human body. Her classes are relaxed and fun, but also offer something for every level of student.  

Kathy Moore, KAA Academy Manager, M.ed, ERYT-500, AWC

Kathy has been practicing yoga for over 25 years. She received her training for 200, 500 and has completed her 1000 Hour Yoga Therapy Apprenticeship program with Kim Valeri of yogaspirit® Studios in Hamilton, MA.

As a senior trainer and faculty member of yogaspirit®
Studios, teaching budding yoga teachers, Kathy enjoys helping students learn about the fundamentals of yoga asana, assisting students to find the correct alignment for their own body. She strives to create an atmosphere where students can feel comfortable in their own body, pursue some spiritual insights and experience the subtle energies that are awakened by the practice.

Kathy also practices Thai Yoga Massage which she incorporates into classes to help students move deeper into their poses.She also sees private clients for Yoga Therapy and Thai Yoga Massage, having traveled to Thailand to further her studies.

As Academy Manager for Kerala Ayurveda Academy, and an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, Kathy finds great enjoyment in revealing the world of Ayurveda to those who are seeking to improve their health and others in a natural, organic manner.

Kathy continually strives to incorporate her yoga practice into everyday life and encourages others to do so as well. As a therapeutic horseback riding instructor, Kathy uses the principles of yoga to assist riders to gain confidence, stability and connection with the horse. 

Elaine O'Rourke, C-IAYT, 200 & 500 Hour Certified

Elaine O’Rourke, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist and Teacher, Sound Healer, EFT Coach, Recording Artist and Reiki Practitioner is based out of Gloucester, MA, USA.  She is Irish, born and bred, from scenic Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Her certifications since 2003 include, 200hr Sivananda Organization, 200 & 500hr YogaSpirit Studios, Anusara Immersions, Doug Keller Anatomy Therapeutics along with many classes and workshops from some of the top teachers including Barbara Benagh, Patricia Walden & Shiva Rea. She has assisted Kim Valeri (Director and Founder of YogaSpirit Studios) in 200 & 500 hr trainings as well as workshops at Kripalu.

She has the versatility, experience and knowledge to lead an array of classes, workshops, retreats to diverse populations such as beginner basics, restorative, vinyasa, senior chair yoga. In private therapeutic sessions (online or in person) she specializes in guiding people with IBD (Crohn’s, Colitis), Ostomies, Cancer, Body Image Issues and Anxieties.

Being an adventurous spirit, Elaine loves new experiences, places and cultures. Stepping into the unknown is thrilling and exciting to her as she finds it the best way to stay open to what life has to offer! She has traveled all round the world and loves to host retreats in beautiful, amazing places such as Italy, Panama and Costa Rica.

Her compassionate and joyful teaching style encourages you to be fully present in all aspects of life.  She recognizes that the beauty and the challenges of life are there to help us grow, how obstacles can be looked at as opportunities.  She draws from her own life-threatening experience of Crohn’s Disease, many surgeries and living with an ileostomy as a way to inspire others and herself! Having a good laugh is tops on her list and being light-hearted is part of her nature.

As a gifted Sound Healer, she offers group and private Sound Healing Journeys.  The trance-formative vibrations of the singing bowls, gongs, and her angelic voicing have the ability to bring you to a deep place of relaxation and awareness where real healing occurs.

Her CD “Silence of Time” is a collection of 10 entrancing songs and chants of pure love that will connect you to your heart. Perfect music to soothe the soul and to bring you to a place of peaceful relaxation. Her debut CD “No Beginning, No End” is an infusion of mystical folk, pop and rock.

Suzanne Otterbein, National Enrollment Advisor, RYT

My journey of yoga began in 2001 after the birth of my second child.  As a busy working mom of young children, I appreciated the overall sense of well-being and reduced stress I felt after discovering yoga. Since then, I studied at yogaspirit® Studios to become a certified yoga instructor and have been teaching for over nine years, focusing primarily on Flow & Power yoga classes, childrens yoga,  and prenatal yoga.

I am a graduate of Kerala Ayurveda® Academy, and yogaspirit® 200 and 500 hour teacher training programs and currently working towards my 1000 Hour yogaspirit® Yoga Therapy certification. I am inspired to share my experiences with my students, encouraging them, through their own practice, to see beyond their self-imposed limitations.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Ithaca College, Master of Science in Finance from Boston College and completed a CFA certification (retired status).; I am an experienced management consultant with expertise in investment analysis and reporting, business strategy, relationship management, customer service, sales, project management, and long-range financial planning. I am able to convert creative thinking into actionable tactics for business success with particular strengths in influencing and building positive work cultures.

I have worked and studied with Kim Valeri over the last nine years, consulting her on various financial and business decisions including: the development a 3-year business plan for growth, conducted ongoing assessments of progress against milestones; the re-alignment of company's financial success parameters with the founder's professional goals; and presented and reviewed quarterly financial analysis of company profitability and actual results vs. forecasts.

Currently my role at Kerala Ayurveda® Academy and yogaspirit® is National Enrollment Advisor for both schools. I also continue in my role consulting to Kim on various financial and business decisions.

Jean Popovich, RYT, AWC

Jean Popovich, RYT, AWC, has been practicing the Art of Yoga for over fifteen years. She has a solid foundation in classical Hatha yoga and Iyengar methods from studying under some of the best teachers in the US, such as Kim Valeri, Shiva Rae, and Patricia Walden, in addition to learning from great yoga therapists in India.

She recently received certifications as an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor through Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Ayurveda is a traditional form of Indian medicine focusing on bringing the body into balance through diet, yoga, breath control, and meditation. Her down- to- Earth, relaxed style conveys a deep understanding of these complex concepts while easily explaining all postures and techniques as well as their effects and contra indications. 

Stress relief, better concentration, coordination and toning of muscles are only a few of the many benefits you will receive under Jean's guidance. She will not only help you in class, but her goal is for you to ultimately help yourself by creating a private practice tailored to your needs.

Backaches, fatigue and weight loss problems can all be relieved by the practice of yoga with the assistance of a competent yoga teacher.

Jim Povey, J.D., B.A.

Jim Povey is a leadership guide, mentor and life coach. For the past 20 years he has been inspiring individuals in excellence as a US Army Officer, US Army Master Fitness Trainer and a faculty member for Command and General Staff College. In August 2014 Jim retired from the US Army Reserve after 23 years of service. He works as a Senior Program Manager for QinetiQ North America's Land Systems conducting strategic and operational planning, and leading program teams.

Jim has a J.D. from New England School of Law and holds a BA degree in History and Political Science from University of Rochester. He is a certified Project Management Professional and a member of the Mass Bay Chapter of the Project Management Institute.

Jim has a daily meditation practice, interests in Ayurveda and a regular yoga and exercise routine. Through a rigorous program of self-improvement, his path of self awareness and deeper spirituality began when he was 40 and after returning from Iraq. He learned that life is about balance, love and connection and is dedicated to serving the greater good. Jim says "Thanks to neuroplasticity you can teach an old dog new tricks. The key is being willing to learn."

Lauren Rutigliano, Retreat Coordinator and Enrollment Assistant

Lauren Rutigliano is 2013 a graduate of yogaspirit®  200 Hour Teacher Training and currently enrolled in Kerala Ayurveda Wellness Counselor program, devoted to working with others in an authentic and meaningful way, and helping others to heal and grow. Her unique talent with people and adventurous spirit led her to join the yogaspirit and Kerala Ayurveda team as our Retreat Coordinator and Enrollment Assistant.Her professional track begin in retail sales. During her years at Salem State College she studied Theatre Arts and worked as a DJ for college radio. Due to a healing crisis, she took a sabbatical from school and returned to the world of education with a new purpose: she enrolled in cosmetology school and commenced a career in the healing beauty arts. Her keen ability to intuit, connect and communicate with people from all backgrounds has allowed her to develop and nurture relationships with clients for 30+ years. She holds these relationships sacred, maintaining space for her clients to explore the expression of their higher selves through beauty, style and fashion.

In addition to her passion for healing, Yoga and Ayurveda, Lauren is a lover of the arts, visual art, tattoos, film, literature, music and dance. She enjoys being surrounded by nature, spending time with her two dogs and traveling to discover new people, places and things.

Suzanne Silvermoon LPN, C-IAYT, ERYT 500,

Suzanne Silvermoon, certified LPN, Therapeutic Yoga Practitioner, is a transformational healer and teacher who recognizes the multidimensional aspects of the human experience. She passionately assists people in transforming their lives into greater health, vibrancy, and spiritual awakening. Suzanne draws from a deep well of 35 years of meditation, personal yoga practice, and study as she expertly teaches the ancient art and science of yoga. With her wise and compassionate guidance, students and clients learn to free themselves from physical, mental, and emotional binds that hold them back from realizing their beautiful, radiant self. Suzanne believes that as each person transforms and awakens, the whole world benefits. 

Suzanne is a lifelong learner of body, mind and spirit. Her rich understanding of the physical body draws not only from her extensive practice and study of yoga, but from the wisdom of 20 years working as a holistic nurse. She is also an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, direct entry midwife, certified in pranic healing, therapeutic touch and attuned Reiki. She has studied the healing properties of gems and crystals, as well as essential oils which she uses in her private Chi Reisage (physical and energetic) healing sessions. She is also the proud mother of her 20-year old daughter who is thriving in her new adult life.

Inspired to impart the ancient art and science of Yoga and Ayurveda, Suzanne is a skilled, experienced and impassioned trainer for yogaspirit®. Along with her private yoga therapy and ayurvedic wellness counselling, she teaches spiritually focused energetic yoga classes, yoga focused workshops, guides annual spring and fall ayurvedic inspired cleanse retreats, has spoken at mind, body, spirit conferences, held a regular segment on Heartglow Living Radio, is a staff writer for the digital magazine The Inner Tapestry Journal, and a contributing writer for Seattle Yoga News.

Deborah Swann, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, AWC, Relax & Renew

Deborah Swann is a yogaspirit® certified Yoga and Meditation Teacher and a Certified Yoga Therapist. Deborah's teaching style expresses deep respect and care for each student and she is dedicated to the enhancement of their well being by cultivating the health of body, mind, and spirit. Her unique attunement with nature and the universal rhythms of life creates a deep sense of meaning for students and offers an integrated experience of holistic wellness. She infuses her classes with insight and inspiration founded in the philosophy and principles of classical yoga. Her approach to asana is based on the methodology of building a foundation of alignment and stability so that energetic expansion and freedom are a natural result.

Deborah's calming energy creates a sacred space for each student to attain greater clarity about their personal healing journey and their innate potential to live fully. Through the practices of yoga, meditation and ayurveda,she helps people live a more fulfilling life with greater health, happiness, and peace of mind while reconnecting to their inner source of strength and compassion. 

Deborah is a yogaspirit® graduate at the 200 Hr & 500 Hr levels, earned under Master Teacher Kim Valeri. She is also a yogaspirit faculty member who trains teachers, develops curriculum, and mentors Alumni. To augment her classical yoga training, she became certified as an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor from Kerala  Ayurveda Academy and integrates this holistic healing methodology into her perspective of health.Deborah has received the advanced certification of C-IAYT Yoga Therapist with extensive training, study, and personal experience in healing modalities: including alignment-based yoga for structural rebalance and healing, Ayurvedic Chikitsa and dosha assessments, pranic healing, yogaspirit mind body techniques (yogic psychology), mantra and yoga philosophy using yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, and Ayurveda lifestyle and dietary practices. Deborah's other certifications include Relax and Renew® restorative yoga certification from Judith Lasseter. Deborah teaches Meditation workshops and travels throughout New England guiding workshops with a specialty on Woman's Transitions. Currently, Deborah is participating in advanced studies in Contemplative, Mantra and Energy Healing. Deborah teaches in Monroe, Redding, Trumbull, Fairfield, and Westport, Connecticut. 

Lee-Ann Trigler, ERYT 500

Lee-Ann Trigler is a yoga business owner since 1999, a happily married woman since 1974, a dedicated mother of 3 children and a sincere learner in the lessons of life. Lee-Ann discovered her passion for teaching in the educational system as a certified secondary teacher. She continues to share her passion with yoga students at the Whitman Wellness Center and has been teaching Yoga since 1997.

Lee-Ann received her 200 hour and her 500 hour certification under the direction of Kim Valeri and yogaspirit® and is excited to be able to share the wealth of knowledge available and wisdom received through the program. Lee-Ann and Kim launched the first yogaspirit® Teacher Training on the South Shore in 2009.

Lee-Ann continues to shares her passion Yoga, Reiki and Self Empowerment. She is the co-founder of Haven for Healing Foundation, 1999 and is; dedicated to providing education and integrative healing for the health challenged. She is also a 2nd degree Black Belt, teaching Standing Strong programs to all ages through the State.



yogaspirit® is about going deep inside to discover the spirit behind the yoga asana. Teachers are trained in guiding students with precision and alignment that allows for safe and therapeutic practice. In a noncompetitive environment, students are invited to explore and open energetic pathways that lead to inner grace and well-being.” -Kim Valeri