Lisa Ries



What’s your story?
I got into yoga through the fitness door. My mom had a belly-dance, fitness studio in oceanside and, when i was around 14 I used to go to work with her after school and work the front desk. At age 15 I taught my first fitness class there and have been teaching group fitness since. I have witnessed a lot of the industry changes, like the advent of certification programs and the east coast alliance conferences and the trends toward mind-body. My first fitness 'mind-body' experience was a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I walked on hot coals and spent evenings in the Jacuzzi on the hotel roof watching the snow come down. Another pivotal experience was a trip with a friend following a kree indian driving deep into Canada and camped out and went to sweat lodges. At this point in my life, yoga was not something that I had tried. I took my first yoga class by accident at a small, studio in Atlantic beach, and since no one showed up for classes, the yoga teacher, Adrienne Samuels would take my body sculpting class and I would take her yoga class. Essentially, we gave each other private lessons. I remember thinking how interesting it was i could hear the ocean in the studio, and then, gradually, figuring out it was her, breathing! Later I’d learn that was ujjayi breath. My early yoga experiences were highly cathartic. At that point in my life I was in my early twenties. I had moved out fairly young (at 19) and had worked to put myself through college (with a degree in creative studies). I lived with my boyfriend (now my husband) and while we were very strong together, I was going though what was probably depression. I used to run the boardwalk to my yoga class, remain completely solitary and downright unfriendly in class, and then walk home and cry pretty heavily. I vowed that yoga was only for me and I would never teach it. I sensed that yoga was unearthing things that were deep inside of me and working as a kind of therapy. Interestingly, even though I was essentially an athlete then, yoga was changing me physically, as well. My blood pressure dropped 10 points systolic and diastolic and has stayed that way since. I noticed changes in my personality, too. I was becoming more balanced, and from only one yoga class a week. Around that time, the gym I worked at told me they wanted me to teach yoga for them. It was my living and so I agreed, and started to teach myself more yoga from books.  I suppose I should give some credit to my dad as well as my mom here, since he has practiced meditation for as long as I can remember. He credits it for saving his life when he had a heart attack. He said he was able to slow his heart down enough until help came. My father is a psychologist and it is from him that I knew Herbert Benson's relaxation response which I would use to guide students during Savasana in my early classes. To fast forward, I basically fell in love with yoga and it seems that my love of yoga coincided with the crest of the mind-body trend in fitness. Gradually, I let go of all of my aerobics, step, abs and body sculpting classes until I only taught yoga. I’d been exploring yoga wherever I could find it and became most influenced by the styles at Sonic yoga and Laughing Lotus, which are Vinyasa, which translates very well into power yoga at the gym. The next step for me was to become part of a yoga community, and this beautiful experience has occurred for me at Revolution yoga, a small studio, maybe a full circle for me, where I come to work and am among family. One of the beauties of this is that not only do I consider the rev yogis 'family,' I have brought my literal family to practice (or feature) at revolution!

What are your biggest passions in life?

My four-year old daughter. Writing. Reading. Getting outdoors (like to the beach in any weather) or going deep inside (like by keeping a journal).
meaningful relationships: with my partner, Brendan, with my closest friends and with my family.  Super long showers or baths (probably the Pisces in me) and working very hard. i teach English and creative writing at the high school level, and I teach yoga.

How do you plan on changing the world?
I align myself with what I think is of highest value most and, to the best of my ability, give that my devotion. 

How many passport stamps do you have? 5
Besides various places around the US, like Illinois, Tucson or Hawaii, I have visited Canada, Jamaica, England and Ireland. 

Certifications and Trainings:
Ace Certification (American Council of Exercise) since 1989. 
200 hour yoga certification through Revolution Yoga. Bhagavad Gita Studies with Joshua Green. Yogic lifestyle and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika Studies with Yogi Amit. Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra Training with Evangeline Houlihan. Kids and Prenatal Yoga Module with Amanda DiGiovanna. The Art of Teaching Inversions with Kat Fowler. Power yoga certification. i attend the east coast alliance fitness conference either yearly or bi-yearly to maintain my ace certification. Ihave had the opportunity to study with, among others: jill miller, max strom, leslie kaminoff, rodney yee, dana flynn, robert steinbacher, desiree rumbagh, edvige gilbert, and kelly morris.