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“Reconnecting Paths: Introducing Lisa Vratny-Smith, Wellness Pioneer"

Updated: Apr 4

At INNOVATION Insights…We challenge you to be moved, to explore, reimagine, and innovate within your spheres of influence. Let's be the catalysts of change and the harbingers of progress.

In Episode 5 of the INNOVATION Insights Podcast, I had a blast interviewing childhood friend Lisa Vratny-Smith, founder and owner of Finding the Balance Within LLC. Lisa and I grew up together in Lamar, Colorado, and recently reconnected when her son Ellington chose to pursue his engineering degree at Iowa State University. I have also participated in her Saturday Morning Yoga classes virtually. Since 1994, Lisa has been a steadfast yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practitioner, teaching since 2002 and serving as a Sustainable Wellness coach in a Colorado school district.

Roots of Resilience: Turning Stress into Wellness

Lisa's journey to wellness began as a way to cope with the stress of her early career in Child Protective Services. She shared how she turned to yoga and High Touch Jin Shin, a Japanese energy work, to ground herself and manage her well-being. These practices were not just a hobby for Lisa; they became a transformative part of her life, eventually leading her to teach and share her knowledge with others. Her continuous pursuit of learning and certifications in various wellness disciplines is a testament to her commitment to providing holistic wellness services.

Lisa in the Dancer pose.

Embracing Change: Lisa's Serendipitous Shift to Virtual Teaching

Lisa's journey into virtual teaching began in January 2020, a serendipitous move that positioned her perfectly for the unforeseen pandemic. Lisa shared her transition to virtual teaching in January 2020, which inadvertently prepared her for the COVID-19 pandemic's push for remote learning. Her virtual classes kept the community together and expanded it nationwide, fostering connections and well-being during an unprecedented time.


Video from Lisa's Saturday Morning Yoga.

Beyond the Classroom: Lisa's Vision for Future Wellness Endeavors

As Lisa plans to conclude her school district career, she looks forward to sharing her extensive experience more broadly. Her future endeavors include teaching yoga, meditation, and self-compassion classes and providing compassion coaching, Reiki, and sound healing treatments. Moreover, she's keen on supporting schools and businesses in developing mindfulness-based wellness programs.


The Power of Community in Fostering Wellness

Our conversation delved into the importance of community and support in fostering wellness. Lisa's personal and professional journey has been significantly shaped by community — from the support she received to the connections she fostered through her virtual yoga classes. Her ability to adapt and integrate technology into her services has allowed her to maintain and expand her community, even in the face of global crises.


For those embarking on their wellness journey or considering starting a wellness business, Lisa's advice is to follow what speaks to you personally, start small, and continuously adapt and learn. She emphasizes the importance of tuning into one's intuition and seeking community support to navigate the path to well-being.


Lisa's Finding the Balance Within, Sound Bath Event at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Colorado, for the Aveda Store. 

Redefining Innovation: Lisa's Holistic Approach to Wellness

Lisa defines innovation as expanding perspectives and trying new ways of connecting with others to bring tools and resources that empower self-honor, acceptance, and healing. This definition beautifully encapsulates the essence of innovation beyond just technological advances — it's about evolving our approaches to enhance lives and foster well-being.

In wrapping up our conversation, I'm reminded of the power of resilience, adaptability, and the human spirit.


Lisa's journey from using yoga as a personal stress management tool to becoming a guiding light for others is a testament to the transformative power of self-compassion, mindfulness, and continuous learning. As I spoke with Lisa, it became clear that her mission to share her experiences was beginning.

Keep innovating, keep dreaming, and keep making a difference!

To view my entire interview with Lisa, click here.


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