Staff Spotlight: Lisa Atkins


Tell Us What You Think


Staff Spotlight

Andrew Moen

Alignment Yoga instructor Lisa Atkins and her horse, PhoenixThe Sports Medicine Fitness Center is fortunate to have many of Madison's finest fitness instructors. These special people are passionate about their specific programs. One of these extraordinary people is our Alignment Yoga instructor, Lisa Atkins.


Lisa started the Alignment Yoga class here last fall (2013). Her Wednesday (7:15am) and Saturday (11:30am) classes are getting rave participant reviews and continue to grow. We're delighted to have Lisa on our team.


Lisa has worked as a full time Physical Therapist in the Spine Clinic (upstairs on 2nd floor) for 16 years. Her spinal expertise contributes significantly to her yoga philosophy and teaching. Similarly, her yoga expertise reciprocally influences her skills as a PT.


Lisa was born in Gary, IN but calls Oregon, WI her home town. She is the second of three children (thus explaining her calm, well-adjusted personality). Always active, Lisa competed in a variety of youth activities ranging from soccer to cheerleading to classical piano. In college, she rowed on the UW women's crew team. Today, Lisa stays active by running, bicycling and practicing/teaching yoga.


Lisa is the proud owner of a couple of horses. Lisa's Verona home is just minutes away from the stable where Anthem and Phoenix reside. Lisa contends that her sister, a veterinarian (also a hopeless horse lover), turned her on to the equine lifestyle. Don't get too distracted by the horses and other household animals (dog, cat) - Lisa has a human family too!


She is the proud mother of 3 daughters and a son. With all of this action in her life, it's amazing and very fortunate for us that she has the time (not to mention, the energy) to teach Yoga. Maybe we owe a word of gratitude (or a sugar cube, a milk bone, etc.) to all the bipedal and four-legged members of Lisa's family for loaning her to us!


Get to Know Lisa


Get to know a little more about Lisa through her responses to the following:


Why did you choose to become a physical therapist?

I originally enrolled at UW-Madison as a Pre-Med major. During these studies I met a Physical Therapy student who took me to a yoga class. I immediately took to yoga and this further fueled my interest in the complexity and beauty of human movement. This prompted me to earn a degree in Biomechanics and subsequently to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. Who'd of guessed that "tagging along" to a yoga class could have such professional consequences?


What do you like most about working here?


Being a physical therapist and a yoga instructor are both challenging and rewarding.  Every patient and class participant is unique.  It is incredibly rewarding when I am told that, because of something we did (in physical therapy or in yoga class) the person "got part of his/her life back."


Hometown: Oregon, WI


Current residence: Verona, WI


Birthday: June 25


Family: Son (26), Three Daughters (18, 20, 23)


Pets: Dog (Meija), Cat (Jasmine)


Other Significant Animals: Horses (Anthem – 20 yrs, Phoenix – 11 yrs)


Favorite Music: I like a variety of styles and performers. A couple of my current favorites are Gaelic Storm and KT Tunstall.


Favorite Books: Sherlock Holmes mysteries


Hobbies: Knitting, yoga, being with my horses, and being with my kids


Favorite Sweets: Ice cream (anything but mint!), cheese cake       


Favorite Beverages: Coffee (black), dark beer


Favorite Vacation spots (thus far): Mackinaw Island, any of many Midwest bike tours


Favorite Athletes: I don’t really have a favorite athlete.  I guess I liked Nadia Comaneci as a youth.


People I admire: My mom and B. K. S. Iyengar (founder of Iyengar Yoga, one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world)


Something very few people know about me that I'm willing to divulge here: I enjoy writing inspirational poetry and hope to someday be published.