Our History

The Beginning

The Yoga Studio is Grand Rapids’ first yoga establishment and was created in 1979 by Carolyn Heines. She began by teaching out of a small room in her home long before the general public even knew what yoga was! Carolyn then began renting various locations around the city and could be seen transporting yoga mats, blankets and other yoga props from place to place which earned the studio a nickname: “The Mobile Yoga Studio.”

Settling In

In 1998, Carolyn moved the studio to a dedicated space on Carlton Ave. At long last she was able to keep all the yoga props in one place. She also had the capacity to hire additional teachers to support her mission of providing the benefits of yoga to the Grand Rapids’ community. After 2 more moves, the studio now calls the vibrant East Hills neighborhood home.


After over three decades of running The Yoga Studio solo, Carolyn partnered with teacher Kat McKinney in January of 2011 with a multi­ year plan to transition ownership of the studio to Kat, which took place in January 2015. In 2017, Kat , along with teacher Denise Baker, joined forces to manage and further grow the studio. The Yoga Studio is now solely owned by Denise as the studio celebrates over 40 years of quality, safe yoga instruction.

Denise and all of the teachers at The Yoga Studio invite you to join us and be part of our unfolding history.