The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 20, 2013

Ashtabula Township's Angel Salviano Griffith helps others the way she was helped

By ELLEN KOLMAN - For the Star Beacon
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — There is an Angel at Premiere Fitness, 2231 Lake Ave., with a passion to help people achieve healthier lifestyles.

Angel Salviano Griffith, of Ashtabula Township, a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer, began her own journey to wellness after she was injured in a car accident three years ago.

“I had injured my neck and back and could not take pain medicine because of my jobs,” Griffith said.

After joining the Ashtabula County Medical Center’s Health for Life program, she began taking Yoga and Pilates classes which made a huge difference in how Griffith felt.

“The classes strengthened my neck and back and helped with pain relief. They helped me to get better,” she said.

“I really want to thank Vicki Giangola, my Yoga instructor who helped me tremendously. She talked me into taking chair Yoga when I couldn't get off the mat in floor Yoga. Vicki also helped build my confidence in teaching Yoga, Griffith said. “Likewise my Pilates instructor, Rebecca Monda was very patient and helped to strengthen my powerhouse which made my neck and back stronger.”

Griffith soon made the decision to pass on to others what helped her so much.

“I wanted to try and teach Yoga and Pilates myself, and help others like the classes helped me,” she said.

At Premiere Fitness (, Griffith promotes  better health and positive thinking as she teaches Yoga, Pilates, and Pilates and Yoga Mixed. She also teaches several Silver Sneaker classes including Yoga, Muscle Strength Range of Motion (MSRM) class, and Silver Sneaker Orientation.

“All of the Silver Sneaker classes are done in a chair. Because of my injuries, I started out with the chair Yoga classes,” Griffith said. “Part of the Yoga class we sit in the chair and other part, we use the chair for support.”

Griffith also teaches “Come as you are Yoga,” at Premiere for the public, and at ACMC for their employees.

“The purpose of ‘come as you are,’ is so everyone can come and experience the benefits of Yoga without disrupting their day. No changing clothes required,” she said.

The benefits of Yoga, according to Griffith, are many including stress relief, flexibility, deep and efficient breathing, balance (physical and mental), weight loss, increased energy and relaxation.

Pilates has many benefits too, and includes providing a total body conditioning exercises that improves posture and focuses on the body’s “Powerhouse” or abdominal muscles.

“Pilates really helped to strengthen my back and improve my posture,” Griffith said.

Griffith can also be found at the Ashtabula Arts Center, 2928 W. 13 St., teaching a Pilates and Yoga Mix class at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. She also offers private classes to individuals and small groups.

“I have one Yoga class that meets in a home once a week. The class is a group of friends that have been getting together for a year,” Griffith said.

Griffith said she gains the most satisfaction from seeing her clients improve.

“Just like I was when I first started Yoga, one gentleman could not stand up straight when he walked. Now he has lost weight, walks great and he is taking intermediate to advanced Yoga classes,” she said.

“Some people feel results right away. I really enjoy my clients, it is fun getting to know them and helping them to feel better.”

When Griffith begins a class, the ambiance is also important to enhance relaxation and concentration.

Soothing music with trickling water and ocean waves provides the background, while candles provide a warm inviting atmosphere.

“I always end my classes by reading an inspirational quote to help promote positive thinking and to inspire hope,” she said.

“I could never have done any of this without God giving me the strength and I thank Him everyday, ‘I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me strength,’ (Philippians 4:13),” Griffith said.

For more information on classes with Griffith, contact Premiere Fitness at 440-998-3488; Ashtabula Arts Center at 440-964-3396 and Griffith’s phone number at 440-812-5268.