Lisa Ellisen, Soul Yoga: 2801 Yulupa Ave., Suite C, Santa Rosa, (707) 696-4382

See all Best of Sonoma County winners at www.pressdemocrat.com/best.

When Lisa Ellisen was in her 20s and working for a landscaper in Sun Valley, Idaho, she was required by her health-conscious employer to attend a yoga class. Begrudgingly, Ellisen went to class and, along with some aches and pains, discovered her life’s passion.

Today, she is a popular yoga instructor with 15 years of experience and her own studio, Soul Yoga, in Santa Rosa’s Bennett Valley. Her goal is to share the physical and mental benefits of yoga with others.

“When I found yoga, it just shifted my whole perspective,” Ellisen said. “I could feel my body for the first time ever. My body functioned better, and I started feeling better.”

Ellisen has trained with some of the most renowned yoga instructors around, bringing that expertise to her classes. Students range from 5-year-olds to a dedicated 96-year-old follower.

There are benefits at any age, for all body types and all fitness levels, Ellisen said. “It’s really about being mindful.”

Lisa Ellisen, Soul Yoga: 2801 Yulupa Ave., Suite C, Santa Rosa, (707) 696-4382

See all Best of Sonoma County winners at www.pressdemocrat.com/best.