Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! I’m Elissa Cirignotta. I’m a certified Special Education Teacher turned Entrepreneur, Writer, and Yoga Instructor. Before I moved to Iowa I had been running my small business Happy Mindful People in Portland, Oregon where I provided Wellness Consultation and Professional Development to School Districts, Small Group Special Needs Therapeutic Movement, Kids Movement & Mindfulness Classes, Movement & Mindfulness Summer Camps, and Adult Yoga classes.
Since being in Iowa I’ve mostly been busy making babies, teaching yoga, and doing some freelance writing for a few magazines. I also lead yoga retreats in my hometown of Scoglitti Sicily and am anxiously awaiting the day where we can travel internationally again.
In the past year I’ve almost entirely shifted my focus onto prenatal and postnatal yoga.
Why are you passionate about teaching Prenatal Yoga?
I think Prenatal Yoga is a vital ingredient to a healthy pregnancy. My number one favorite tool for overall wellbeing has been the practice of yoga. There are so many reasons to practice prenatal yoga, some of which you can learn about here. I created my Prenatal Yoga Series as a way to support women on their pregnancy journeys encouraging them to honor the changes happening in their bodies and connect to their beloved baby(ies) through breath, meditation, and movement. Pregnancy is such a wildly transformational and vulnerable time for a women’s body, mind, and spirit and I am truly honored every time I get the privilege of being able to support someone through this experience. I practice & teach movement & mindfulness because it brings me great joy.
Do you have a particular style or technique that you teach?
I am traditionally trained in Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga. My teaching reflects a fusion of these methodologies. I enjoy a slower paced creative flow with a focus on intelligent alignment. My prenatal yoga classes have a much softer approach. In these classes you can expect to safely move your body, gently stretch tight muscles, reconnect to your breath, find a space to restore & relax, and experience a sense of 'being held' by a group of women.
What makes this service vital right now?
In this time of uncertainty it’s so important to tap into a network of support. These prenatal classes become a community. I’m excited every week to see my new friends!
What are you hoping to do in the future to expand your services?
Right now my classes are all online allowing women from all over the United States to participate. As things become safer I look forward to also hosting in-person classes at Sacred Health.