Dr. Jaime Stover Schmitt
Ed.D., C.M.A., S.M.E., I.D.M.E., E-RYT500, C-IAYT
Spanda®’s founder and director, Jaime Stover Schmitt, Ed.D. began traditional yoga training at age six, continued it through high school, and started teaching yoga in 1974. She began offering her integrative approach to yoga therapy as Spanda® Yoga Movement Therapy in 1987. Her offerings are informed by not only ongoing classical yoga study, but by her training in myriad forms of bodywork, movement therapy, career as a professional dancer, and doctorate in Dance Education.
Dr. Schmitt’s approach is firmly grounded in authentic yoga while benefitting from western scientific study of wellness and disease, as well as modern pathways of personal development. For the past thirty years, Dr. Schmitt has mentored yoga therapists, trained yoga teachers, and led classes and workshops around the globe.
In the Poconos and in the Himalayas, Dr. Schmitt had opportunity to study with H.H. Sri Swami Rama and with Sri Swami Veda Bharati, Master Yogis of the Bharati Order of Shankaracharya. As a former resident of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, Dr. Schmitt received her yoga teaching certification in an original volute of their teacher training. She continued to develop the work given to her under the guidance of the Himalayan Tradition through Pandit Rajmani Tigunait Ph.D. and Rudolph Ballentine, M.D. In 2009 she was doubly blessed to once again study with Dr. Joan Shivarpita Harrigan and H.H. Sri Swami Chandrasekharanand Saraswati preceptors of the specialized lineage of Traditional Kundalini Science.
Through her doctoral degree in Dance-Movement Education from Temple University and certification in Laban Movement Analysis, Dr. Schmitt focused on the transformational power of movement. Dr. Schmitt earned the School for Body Mind Centering®’s Somatic Educator and Infant Developmental Movement Educator certificates studying with Bonnie Cohen and the school for many years. With the visionary Janet Adler, she deepened her understanding of Authentic Movement, and with master therapist, Aileen Crow, she trained in many facets of therapeutics, creativity coaching, movement analysis, and counseling. Dr. Schmitt also has certification in a variety of bodymind modalities including Shiatsu-Amma, Chinese Five Element Theory, Alexander Technique, Experiential Anatomy, Cranial-Sacral Work, Swedish Massage, Reiki, and sundry other pathways to improved function, self-understanding, and wholeness.
While choreographing and performing professionally in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, Dr. Schmitt developed her true calling by offered classes combining yogic principles and practices with dance, hands-on bodywork, alignment work for performing artists, and fitness training as a Fellow at Temple University, an Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University, an Associate Professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and at other private and educational foundations including Princeton University, and the Institute for Advanced Studies.
Having served on the Yoga Alliance board of directors, and on Yoga Alliance’s Standards Committee, she’s participated in writing and updating the standards used worldwide for yoga teacher trainings. She now serves the yoga community by sitting on the International Association of Yoga Therapists Accreditation Committee, whose work it is to evaluate the merit of yoga therapy training programs. Dr. Schmitt is also pleased to be certified to teach Sanskrit for the American Sanskrit Institute. She calls semi-rural central New Jersey home, and thoroughly enjoys her lively private practice.
Relevant Published Work
Every Woman’s Yoga (Prima), Yoga for Pregnancy (HI Press), and Yogini’s Kitchen: A Recipe Book of Healthy Vegetarian Cuisine. She’s been a contributor to Yoga International Magazine, A Moving Journal, and is the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Authentic Movement and Somatic Inquiry.