Catherine Schmidt, Owner & Instructor, RYT - 500
Catherine has been practicing yoga since 2012 and appreciates the balance, creativity, and fun that yoga brings to her life. Catherine began teaching yoga in 2016 after completing a 200-hour Power Vinyasa yoga teacher training with Megan Rader Yoga in Grand Rapids. She attended The Little Yoga House's Kids Yoga training and has been teaching kids yoga since 2018. Catherine completed her 300-hour teacher training program in 2019 at Peacelab Yoga with Melanie McQuown - a program focused on alignment-based yoga. She’s participated in additional training with Christina Sell, Manorama, and Gioconda Parker on her journey as a lifelong student.
Catherine’s classes are a healthy mix of proper pose alignment, intuitive movement, fun, physical work, and internal contemplation.
Catherine and her husband, Bill, have lived in Caledonia since 2015 with their son, Connor, and a hound dog named Walter. Catherine enjoys spending time outdoors, biking or walking the dog, and trying new restaurants around the Grand Rapids area.
Donna Evans, Instructor
Donna retired from owning Yoga Plus in 2018 after 12 years of building the yoga community in Caledonia. She is excited to be a part of The Yoga Zen in her retirement! Donna’s passion for health and fitness has been in her life for many years – she has had her Ace Group Fitness certification since 1997. Before teaching yoga, she taught aerobics, kickboxing, spinning, Pilates, and Zumba. Donna has earned 4 levels of yoga training through YogaFit and has received specialized training in prenatal and senior’s yoga.
In Donna’s classes her zest for life shines through and illuminates her students with motivation, gratitude, and their own enthusiasm for life!
In her retirement, Donna and her husband plan to do long periods of traveling. When not gone away on a trips, though, Donna will be back here teaching or practicing yoga next to her many friends, old and new.
Deanie Pettengill, Instructor, RYT–500
Lloydean Pettengill, known as Deanie to her friends and yoga community, has been practicing yoga since 2000. She was in her 40’s when she first came to yoga and felt the difference it made in her life immediately. She became passionate about yoga and received her 500 RYT certification from Beaumont School of Yoga Therapy in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Deanie draws inspiration from the Iyengar style of yoga, using props to focus on proper alignment. She has additional training in Yoga for PTSD for Veterans, Adaptive Yoga for Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, and working with people over 50 on the issues that came with aging. She is fueled by her personal belief that yoga is a fountain of youth and has great possibility to help others. She continues to grow her knowledge by taking regular training programs and studying with instructors in the yoga therapy field.
Deanie enjoys traveling, gardening, horseback riding, family, and experiencing new things.
Ginger Valentine, Instructor, RYT–200
Ginger began practicing yoga in 2007. She came to the mat to find relief from chronic back pain. Yoga not only helped her to move pain-free, but supported her in becoming a better mom, teacher and friend. Ginger brings a deep knowledge of yoga alignment and technique to her light-hearted, judgement free, and challenging classes. She has deepened her skill and knowledge of yoga while training with many internationally known yoga teachers, including Christina Sell, Desiree Rumbaugh, John Friend, Dr. Douglas Brooks and Gioconda Parker.
Ginger has the heart and experience of a teacher. She taught Spanish for twenty-six years at Cedar Springs High School and has been teaching yoga since August, 2015. She received her RYT 200 hour yoga certification with AM Yoga. She has additional training in Yoga for PTSD for Veterans, is YogaEd certified K-12 and has taught hundreds of yoga classes.
Ginger’s goal is to help others feel strong, flexible, and balanced both on and off the mat. Her motto is “Love Yourself.”
Ginger enjoys yoga and...more yoga, traveling, creating glass mosaics and working on her 113 year old home.
Hollie Longieliere, Instructor, RYT - 200
Hollie is a long time movement enthusiast. Growing up she danced on competitive teams and started teaching dance as a high school senior. After high school, Hollie’s path took some wild turns (like most life paths do) and she fell completely out of touch with dance and movement of any kind. She found hula hoop and belly dancing in her early 20s which eventually led to her first experience in a yoga class. She fell in love with yoga during that first class in savasana and has been practicing fairly regularly ever since. In 2013, she began using her practice as a tool to heal and move through the depths of severe depression and PTSD. Once Hollie started to see the true mind-body connection coming up through physical asana, she began meditating on her own and studying yoga philosophy.
In 2014, Hollie started her 200 hour training through Seva Yoga in East Grand Rapids. It was her sole intention to help others that led her to the training and inspired her to dive deeper. She continues to learn and attends various classes and teacher trainings.
In her classes you can expect to find balanced intuitive movement, be challenged, and find freedom within your body. It is Hollie's truest and deepest intention to guide others on their path to becoming the highest versions of themselves. She believes there is a guru in each of us, and all we have to do is slow down, surrender, and listen.
Hollie lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and puppy - Louie.
Sheila Lenhart, Instructor, RYT 500
Sheila began teaching Heart Centered Hatha Yoga in 2017 and has had a dedicated practice since 2011. She first came to yoga searching for balance and a desire to stay healthy and capable in life. Sheila completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2017 and her 300-hours in 2019 at From The Heart Yoga and Tai Chi Center, training with Behnje Masson and Rick Powell. In 2018 she received certification for a Wisdom Warrior teacher training with international yoga instructor Desiree Rumbaugh and physical therapist Karen Church. Sheila has studied extensively with Desiree, Professor Douglas Brooks, Ayurvedic Practitioner Sonam Targee, and internationally known instructor Christina Sell.
Sheila loves sharing her passion for yoga and how through this practice we can age gracefully with strength and vitality. She is dedicated to her studentship and enjoys participating in classes and workshops. She finds this to be life enhancing on and off the mat!
Leisure time is spent with family, her husband Dan and their Frenchies Buddha and Lotus.
Dawn Barber, Instructor, R-HYT 200
Dawn has been practicing yoga since 2012 and teaching since 2013. She has her 200 hour certification through Holy Yoga and is also trauma informed certified. She is constantly learning how the mind/body is connected. As a trauma survivor she uses her practice to find self awareness, empowerment, and peace. She loves the power aspect to work the body when the adrenals do not allow for anything more intense.
She is passionate about using yoga in this way for others. To create a holistic approach of mind, body and spirit. Even though she teaches vinyasa and power vinyasa she makes each class accessible to multiple levels.
Dawn lives in Delton with her husband, daughter and son on 40acres on a lake where she has a vision of serving others through holistic health, spirituality and yoga.
Jessie Lucas, Instructor
Jessie was first introduced to yoga as an adolescent by her mother, and dabbled in yoga on and off throughout her years growing up. In 2013, she began a routine home practice, and ultimately found consistent studio practice in 2017. Her at home practice helped her see the beginnings of the “something more” yoga has to offer as she saw benefits in both her physical and mental health, as well as her overall emotional state. However, it was studio practice that unlocked the host of possibilities of that “something more.” Jessie began teaching in November 2017 after completing training through Yoga Fit, and is currently enrolled in the Peace Lab Yoga Shala’s 200 hour teacher training program with Melanie McQuown.
Jessie hopes to bring others the opportunity to grow and discover the beauty and power within themselves. Her classes try to blend opportunities for self-discovery with moments of lightheartedness, and provide accessibility to students of varying levels of experience.
Outside of yoga, Jessie enjoys spending time with her husband, running, curling up with a good book, and expressing her creative side through writing/calligraphy, home projects, and crafts. Most who know Jessie will tell you she absolutely LOVES everything about Christmas and celebrates the season as long as she can. She also appreciates a good "Dad Joke," and will laugh at them harder than most would, without fail.
Melissa Andreychuk, Instructor, RYT - 200
Melissa has been practicing Yoga since 2012 and received her 200 Hour Teaching Certificate in 2017 from Twisted Hot Yoga in Grand Rapids. In 2018 she participated in a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training with Grand Rapids Healing Yoga in which she learned how to create an empowering space for all to safely practice yoga.
Melissa enjoys yoga not only for the physical benefits, but also for the sense of grounding and peace she feels whenever she steps off her mat. For Melissa, the yoga mat is a place to go where she can clear her mind and connect with her true self. Her mission as a teacher is to provide a welcoming space where students can unwind and find inner peace. She also strives to make classes accessible and "user friendly" for anyone who attends!
Melissa is originally from the Metro Detroit area, and currently lives in Lowell, MI with her husband Matt and Mini Dachshund (Fur Baby) Frank. As of June 2018, Teaching Yoga became Melissa's full time job! Not only can you catch Melissa at The Yoga Zen, you may find her teaching classes at a variety of community events!
Katie Richter, Instructor, RYT - 200
Katie first discovered yoga at the age of 19, but it wasn’t until serving in the military that she became truly dedicated to her practice. Yoga became the tool that helped her combat the pressures, demands, and stresses of serving on active duty in the US Army. In 2017 she enrolled in her 200-hour training and studied under Jenny Lintvedt at Yoga Fever in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Katie is also a certified Reiki practitioner; trained in the Usui Shiki Ryoho System of Natural Healing with Reiki Master Jennifer Nicol at Yoga Loft in Waipio, Hawaii in 2018.
As a Veteran, she remains a very strong supporter of our military and is extremely passionate about working closely with our Service Members, Veterans, and their families to bring the healing properties of yoga to this community. As a result, she completed her Level One Warriors at Ease Yoga training which focuses on trauma-sensitive yoga, meditation, and breathing practices to facilitate and promote growth, connection, and healing. The classes she teaches combine fluid sequencing of Vinyasa, meditation through mindful movement, and connection to the present moment through breath. Her goal as an instructor is to cultivate a space where all students feel safe, connected, and have fun in the process!
Katie is from Middleville and lives in Grand Rapids with her son and enjoys concerts, traveling, and hiking.