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. They continued operation of the studio together to provide the quality instruction their students have come to know and expect as Kat learned the business side of operating the studio. In January of 2015, Kat took on full ownership responsibilities and plans for decades more yoga to come!

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