We are especially excited to introduce you to Dr. LoRang’s sister-in-law, Elissa Cirignotta. Elissa and her husband, Greg, have just moved to Des Moines from Portland, Oregon. Elissa is digging into the health and wellness community and we’re so pleased to help welcome her to DSM. Clearly, DSM is the new PDX!
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a writer, teacher, visionary entrepreneur, and lover of all things travel & adventure. I believe we are all creative beings who can live happy, productive, and abundant lives. I hold a BA in Special Education and graduated Summa Cum Laude from George Mason University with a Masters of Arts in Teaching and Educational Reform. I spent the first decade of my career working in the Public Education System in Alexandria Virginia, Tucson Arizona, & Portland Oregon working with Elementary, High, and Post High School Students and Staff. In 2013 I took a huge leap into the world of entrepreneurship and started a company called . The unique offerings of Happy Mindful People provide each participant the access to valuable tools that can be easily and effectively incorporated into everyday routines, supporting calm, creative, mindful living practices. Classes integrate newest research on brain development, social play, creative movement, and/or a Vinyasa flow.
When I’m not teaching or practicing yoga you can find me growing plants, planning trips, and writing. I work remotely as a contributing writer for Red Tricycle Magazine and recently joined the team of writers at Yoga Iowa Magazine and Oregon Bride. I’ve had several features in Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, Elephant Journal, and in Oprah Magazine. In addition I write branded content for health and wellness businesses/private practices/organizations.
I’m brand new to Des Moines and excited for the fields of opportunities awaiting me here. 😉
Where can people find you?
Starting in March:
- Sunday April 7th
- Sundays April 8th-29th at Shakti Yoga: 2-3p
- Class Themes:
- April 8: Understanding and Practicing Empathy
- April 15: The More I Celebrate the More I have to Celebrate. A Lesson on Gratitude
- April 22: Understanding and Working through Anxiety. I can do Hard Things
- April 29: Fears are the Places Within me Awaiting my Love
- : A workshop for Parents, Teachers, Social Workers, & Therapists
- Saturday April 21st
Tell us about the Happy Mindful People curriculum and who it’s for?
The Happy Mindful People Curriculum is a social emotional movement & mindfulness curriculum. It’s designed for kids ages 5-11. I created it to help inspire kids to make positive personal & social changes, stay centered and courageous, and feel good about who they are.
In each of my classes we focus on a new theme that is intended to help children access skills and tools that support the development of their emotional intelligence. The curriculum is designed to help each child develop the skills needed to combat the emotional changes that often lead to aggression, angst, and lowered self-esteem.
In Movement & Mindfulness classes we incorporate group discussion, role playing, and mindfulness social skill instruction to help kids learn about the tools that help them get relaxed and centered. Combined with guided breathing and techniques to both strengthen and calm each body kids learn about ways to incorporate positive self-talk and the importance of advocating for their needs in any environment whether it is home, school, or at a community activity. Everyone is given the space and time to share their stories, work and play cooperatively, and grow a strong healthy identity.
I will be leading my first Iowa based Kids Movement & Mindfulness 4 week series this coming spring.
What do you love about Des Moines?
People here are really NICE! I’ve been in this state for all of 2.5 months and I’m amazed at how warmly welcomed we have been. I so much appreciate how passionate people are to be living in Des Moines. It’s a contagious energy.
How can people connect with you?
Say Thank-you, all the time. Be kind, be brave, be fearless; live your best life and never stop reaching for the stars.
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