Lisa Varno grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York, which nurtured the creative and contemplative parts of herself from an early age. The deep love she found for both sound and silence led her to center her life in music, yoga, and mediation. Lisa is a lifelong singer and pianist, and she earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Gordon College and a Master of Music in Music Education from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. Lisa taught choral music and general music in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania public schools for over a decade and directed numerous choruses ranging in size from ten singers to 300. She is the founding director of the Martha’s Vineyard Children’s Chorus.
Lisa’s contemplative practice began during her childhood days of letting her mind wander during long car rides. She later explored the contemplative Quaker tradition and has experienced silent retreats at SSJE, an Episcopal monastery in Cambridge, MA and Karma Choling, a Shambala Buddhist Center in Barnet, VT. After several years of yoga practice, Lisa was moved to pursue a more in-depth study in order to share with her colleagues and community members. Her yoga teaching experience has ranged from private in-home classes to classes in studios, fitness centers, schools, businesses, retreat centers, and outdoors, with students ranging from pre-teens to seniors.
Lisa transitioned from public school teaching to offer music, yoga, and meditation classes on Martha’s Vineyard. In Vermont, she created a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction curriculum for participants at Confluence Behavioral Health, a wilderness therapy retreat center in Thetford, VT. Lisa is continuing her studies at the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS Medical School and offers music, yoga, and mindfulness coaching in Asheville, NC, where she is currently based.