Updated: Sep 19, 2021
Elisa is the "CEO" of Wild Soul Yoga Studio, Inc and has been an active yoga instructor for over a decade. Her first yoga experience was prenatal yoga in 2004 where the instructor was able to transform a cold, sterile room in a hospital, into a sacred space for movement, sharing and wellness. Elisa was so affected by the classes and found the physicality and meditation to be helpful in ways she never considered. There weren't many local studios yet and so she sought out classes at a Buddhist retreat center. She arrived thinking they offered yoga, but was surprised to encounter monks and lay people practicing and working together on a bucolic property in Ulster County, NY. It was there that her conditioned skepticism took a backseat to curiosity and she was instantly drawn to Buddhist teachings, methods and discussions. Elisa considers this to be a major turning point in her adult life, how she unknowingly started understanding the themes of impermanence and suffering in advance of some difficult years ahead. Meditation and philosophical discussions opened up an awareness that had been missing. After years of regularly attending weekly meditation and retreats, she was trained by monks to lead group meditation and facilitated with short retreats. It is this experience that ingrained the importance of Dharma and relating themes to our daily experiences.
Eventually, she found her way back to asana practice at local studios and after a few years of practice, enrolled in a 200hr. training. That experience further compounded the importance of observation, sense of self and acceptance. Elisa was immediately hired as a regular yoga instructor at multiple locations including studios, places of worship, by private clients, retirement communities and public schools. Her passion for practice and service was strong, she would sometimes prioritize teaching opportunities over her income earning career. Wild Soul Yoga Studio evolved from this passion and in 2014 Elisa became a full-time yoga instructor and studio owner for an underserved community in the city of Middletown, NY.
Over the course of 6 years, Wild Soul Yoga Studio was consistently voted within the top 3 yoga studios in the region, donated thousands of dollars to local community organizations such as Feerless HV (Safe Homes) and Hudson Valley Food Bank as well as the nationally recognized Veteran's Yoga Project (just to name a few). Elisa and the staff of wonderful instructors, offered and hosted many free community classes, grief support, social events, fundraisers, birthday parties, Girl Scouts, Middletown Rec programs, private events, group sessions and so much more. She also planned, organized and led destination retreats to rural PA, Martha's Vineyard, Wyndham, NY and Jamestown RI.
In addition to the above, she took time to keep her practice and information updated and appropriate in an effort to stay relevant and respectful. Below are some additional trainings worth mentioning.
YOGA THERAPEUTICS, RESTORATIVES & ANATOMY 40+ HOURS 8/2018 w/ Rodney Yee at Yoga Shanti Tribeca NYC
YOGA ANATOMY PRINCIPLES 3 TRIMESTERS 500+ HOURS 2015-2016 w/ Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews Breathing Project NYC
-Yoga Nidra Training - Indu Aurora Minneapolis 2017
- Silent Meditation Retreats 1 Day & Full Weekend -Ayurveda and Nutrition (2013, 2014, 2016)
-Level I Reiki
The physical space of Wild Soul Yoga Studio was forced to close due to COVID-19 in August of 2020. After many months of mandated closures, it seemed like an insurmountable loss to continue holding on to the space. Despite the devastation felt from that decision, Elisa (with the help of a few loyal and equally passionate instructors) continued to offer weekly classes online for most of 2020. In recent months, she built a small, home studio on her property and has invited in small groups a few times a week to safely practice in person. Thanks to inquiries from Wild Soul Yoga "regulars" an old, nagging idea came to the surface and that has quickly evolved. Elisa is so thrilled to be offering "Journey Into the Wild"... a project that has been a decade in the making.