Meet our circle of passionate and authentic teachers with many talents, beautiful practice and eagerness to share yoga with all students including: families, kids, and adults.
Aleksandra found yoga in 2001 during her first visit to Maine from Poland and she was drawn instantly into this transformative & healing practice. She completed her initial 200 h vinyasa teacher training with Jennifer Cooper and Sandra Pleasant in Virginia and since then studied with many teachers including Sean Corn, Shiva Rea, Patricia Walden, Jacqui Bonwell, Amy Wren, Nicole Clark and many others. She also holds 40 h Prenatal Training with Still Point Healing Method and Kids Yoga Teacher Training through ChildLight Yoga. Additionally she has a strong background and certification in Pilates, Ayurveda and is a Usui Reiki Master. Aleksandra completed her 500 h advanced Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga of Energy Flow.
Her teaching style is heart driven and based in alignment while allowing for creativity and intuitive sequencing. She encourages students to breathe into their space on the mat and educates them about ways of incorporating the practice of mindfulness and holistic health into their daily lives. She strives to create a safe space for healing to occur across all ages.
She is constantly grateful to all her teachers and students for endless inspiration and wisdom. She is passionate about bringing yoga and mindfulness to all ages and has a strong vision for Spiral Tree Yoga & Wellness within the community. When not teaching Aleksandra enjoys being in nature with her two children Natalia and Konrad and her husband Brian, dog Luna and cat Koko. To read more about her and the story of Spiral Tree click here.
Susan loves to share her passion for movement with people of all ages. In addition to teaching adult classes in her home studio, Mat Madness, she volunteers in a local elementary school teaching focus and self-regulation skills to children through practicing yoga. She is also excited to be working on a mindfulness movement project that will be delivered via live telepresence to middle school students in South Burlington, VT. Prior to moving to Maine in 2010, Susan developed after-school health enrichment programs for elementary school children, taught yoga to middle-school children as part of their physical education curriculum, and delivered Yoga/Pilates fusion classes in high schools and colleges throughout the Capital District of NY. As a yoga-pilates instructor for students and faculty at Sage Colleges, her fondest moment was being asked to introduce children participating in the Autism Spectrum Community Project to the abundant joy of yoga. Susan brings with her an intense passion for the overall health and well-being of all the people whose lives she touches. It is with gratitude to her many teachers that she is able to carry the work forward. And now that she is joining the sangha of teachers at Spiral Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, she wants to know: “Would you like to come out and play?”
When I was about 20 I took my first yoga class and was smitten. As some people say about their partners- we met and it was as if we had known each other all our lives. It was only natural that somewhere down the road I would end up being able to share this great tool with children. Prior to teaching children's yoga, I had been an educator in many senses for children of all ages. From a nanny to the director of an all-girls program, I felt like I'd done it all except for yoga, which changed after receiving my certification from ChildLight Yoga in early 2010.
I have a BFA in Art Education, and moved to Portland from Massachusetts 7 years ago to jump into change with my then fiance so he could attend grad school. Seven years later we're still here and have grown our family to 4 with an almost 5 year old son and almost 2 year old daughter. I greatly appreciate the gift I've been given and what I am able to pass on to the aspiring souls of the present and future!
While working as a substance abuse counselor with the homeless, incarcerated and mentally ill populations in San Francisco, Nicole was introduced to yoga. Nicole was inspired to continue her practice after seeing how the benefits of a regular practice affected her work, as well as her clients in a positive way.
Nicole has studied with Master Teacher Alice Riccardi at Portland Power Yoga, where she completed her 200 hour teacher training. In October 2012, she also completed her Childlight Yoga training. Since becoming certified, Nicole has shared her love of yoga and taught adults, kids and teens.
Nicole continues to use her knowledge of yoga to reach out to communities and people who may not have access to or knowledge of the healing and growth that is possible through a regular yoga practice.Nicole lives in Portland with her husband, two kids, two dogs, rats, one hamster, a cat and fish.
Melissa Ferrigno began practicing yoga when looking for an outlet to help with balancing all her day-to-day tasks, while reducing stress and countering her other work out activities. After her first vinyasa yoga flow class she was hooked. Melissa had found a place where she could let go and focus on her connection of mind, body, and spirit while toning and strengthening her body. Wanting to deepen her practice and learn more about the history and philosophy behind yoga, Melissa completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Breathing Room in South Portland Maine in 2013. She began teaching regular classes shortly after which helped her to develop her own authentic voice and style when practicing and teaching classes, and enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge with others. Melissa holds space with the hope that each student is able to come to class, let go of their busy lives, and become reconnected to their breath and body. She also holds certifications in Restorative Yoga, Prenatal, and Children’s.
Off the mat, Melissa enjoys running, hiking, and snowboarding. In warm months she enjoys relaxing at the beach and being in the sunshine. Melissa received an Undergraduate Degree in Communication with a minor in Holistic Health and Education, and a Master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education both from the University of Southern Maine.
Tania Neuschafer Zuckerman has been a Therapeutic Breathwork practitioner for over 10 years and facilitator of groups for over 15 years. She trained as a yoga instructor with the Breathing Room in South Portland. Through gentle, restorative and all levels flow classes, she offers new students opportunities to learn the physical postures and helps advanced students connect more deeply to the depth of their practice. Tania's yoga teaching style emphasizes the origin of working with an asana practice by incorporating both pranayama and meditation in all of her classes. Tania's classes provide every student the chance to explore for themselves the benefits of yoga- increased strength and flexibility, reduced mental stress, and greater sense of ease and clarity. Tania is also a minister through the Earth Circle School for Ministry since 2007 and has over 3 years supporting wilderness quests and ceremonies. To learn more about Tania visit www.spiraldancebreathwork.com.
Jen started practicing yoga over ten years ago when she discovered a restorative class that helped her manage chronic neck pain. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Bhava Yoga School in Portland, Maine. She enjoys creating a class in which students feel empowered, centered and lets them honor the strength of their mind, body and spirit. Jen is also an improvisor, actor, ukulele player and certified Laughter Yoga Leader. Yoga helps her remain grounded and in the moment both on and off stage.
Christine grew up in a household where her parents practiced yoga regularly and she was lucky enough to have gym teachers who taught it, but she still avoided yoga because she thought she wasn't flexible enough. When she finally discovered her own practice, she fell in love with yoga's soothing, transformative powers.
Yoga has since helped her through good times and bad, made her stronger physically and mentally, helped her become more confident, and opened her eyes to a new beautiful, magical, grateful perspective on life. She is so honored to be able to share these and yoga's countless other powers with students.
Elizabeth has been teaching and playing with children for more than 20 years. She has taught them ceramics (92nd Street Y, Breakwater); drawing (Metropolitan Museum of Art); math and reading (NYC School Volunteers Program), and has spent countless hours happily playing with them.
Elizabeth incorporates mindfulness, yoga, storytelling and art into her Discovery Room sessions with children, and leads fun and innovative yoga classes for tweens. She moved to Portland, Maine, in 2007, after 27 years in Manhattan. She is a studio artist
Melissa has been continually drawn to the union of mind and body in the present moment and the learning that can take place there. Coming from a background in theater and dance, she began sharing this as an important life skill with children of all ages through those mediums.Finding yoga while in recovery from a surgery, she realized that everything she loved most about teaching theater she could share even more deeply through yoga. She received her 200HR YTT from ShivaShakti School of Yoga in 2016 and is currently pursuing her 500HR. After completing her teacher training she has found a new love for teaching adults as well.
She runs caregiver/child and family yoga classes as well as workshops for teachers wishing to incorporate yoga and breath work into the classroom. She also loves the opportunity to introduce new comers to yoga and help seasoned practitioners go back to the basics to find new depth to their practice.
Melissa lives in Portland with her husband and two amazing daughters. Recently she noticed a quote one of her daughters had posted on the refrigerator that sums it all up for her. "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."
Katherine’s love of yoga began in 1994 in Boulder Colorado where she studied Iyengar style yoga at the Naropa University. She Received her teaching certificate as a Hatha Yoga Instructor from The Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago, Illinois, in 2006. She has been teaching yoga in The United States and internationally for over eight years. Katherine’s work has included Private & Group yoga instruction as well as guided retreat. She designed and directed a teachers training program for her community in Belize and has run travel retreats though out Central America. Over the years, Katherine has also worked extensively with special needs clients in private as well as group settings. Under the guidance of Padit Rajmani Tigunsit, Katherine is currently pursuing her 500Hr advanced teachers training through the Himalayan Institute.
Katherine’s exceptional style of teaching is both refreshing and effective. Her classes emphasize the dynamic interrelationship between breath awareness, mindfulness, and posture alignment. With clear and consistent instruction and a special focus on the logic behind the teachings, Katherine encourages her students to find dynamic and creative solutions to the challenges they face in their practice, on and off of the mat. Each class focuses on greater self-awareness, inner resilience, emotional wellbeing, and joy-filled living.
Michelle was given a gift that completely enriched her life years ago, and that gift was meaningful movement. Her exploration of self discovery began with yoga and quickly she learned the all encompassing therapeutic effectiveness of attuning the mind, body, and spirit. Navigating through life Michelle found her own practice to be a North Star, guiding her to a life of fulfillment and emotional prosperity. Now Michelle strives to meet all her students where ever they are, offering a sacred space for self care and appreciation, balanced with anatomical focus and integrity, with the sincerest hope that all persons she has the opportunity to teach will leave each class feeling confident and empowered.
Michelle is a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher who completed her 200-hour training with the Illumina Method. Michelle is certified in Mat Pilates and Reformer through Pilates Academy International. Michelle is trained in BarSculpt Barre, with sequencing heavily concentrated in anatomical alignment for the optimum Barre experience.
Cada May, Teen & Adults Yoga Teacher
Cada May was introduced to yoga as a teenager and began practicing at classes led by her Mom. Yoga and mindfulness lessons continued to be helpful during university, and after, as a school teacher Cada decided to take a Childlight Yoga teacher training so that she could weave the teachings into classroom learning and out of school programs. She has worked in classrooms, art studies, after school and summer programs with people ages 3-18 for the past 10 years in New England and abroad.
Cada has recently returned from living abroad in Thailand for 3 years were she was a teacher in a bi-lingual early education classroom at a gorgeous green and mindfulness centered school. During this time she also traveled throughout Southeast Asia and completed her 200hr yoga training with iFlow Yoga in Bali, Indonesia. She has a deep interest in Ayurveda and has continually studied it over the years with a variety of teachers.
Cada also enjoys whole food cooking and fresh market visiting, West African style dance, making pottery and being outdoors by the ocean, rivers or trees. Additionally, she holds a Bachelors of Science in Art Education and Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification.
Rachel Quank RYT 200 h, Adult Yoga Teacher
Rachel practiced yoga in her first year of college 2007, each time after she has been to yoga class, her mind and body feel so good and refresh, she loves that feeling. Since then, yoga has been part of her life. Her practice has helped her mind and body grow stronger and more flexible, living in the moment of mindfully. In 2015, she completed 200 hours Vinyasa flow yoga training with Leslee Yogave in Falmouth.