Meet the LJY Crew
What we have in common? Yoga. But yoga is so many things. At LJ's we are all about community and encouraging one another to grow—isn't that what yoga is all about?? Don't be surprised if you see us around town at other gyms, studios, or events—we LOVE to meet people and try different things. Beyond the physical practice of yoga we all do so much more. Learn about the teachers' lives both in and out of the studio!
Lisa Jo Schueller
Founder of Lotus Jo's + Lead Instructor
Lisa's yoga journey began when yoga was suggested to help balance the demands of her busy life. Trying to balance grad school, work, and family felt chaotic and overwhelming. Entering a yoga studio for the first time Lisa had no idea what to expect. Lisa fell in love with the dance of vinyasa style yoga and found herself moving from dragging through life off the mat to feeling the dance in her everyday life as well. Through breath technique, mindfulness, and practicing asanas, yoga went from a practice to a way of life.After 5 years of personal yoga practice, Lisa decided to take her love for yoga and bring it to the next level. Lisa completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training through Mindful Vinyasa School of Yoga under the guidance of the owner and established Yogi, Amber Kilpatrick.
Lisa started Lotus Jo's Yoga in 2017 to be able to share her love of the practice with others so they too may begin to dance through life with a little more ease. Lisa's goal in each class is to bring a lightness into each student's practice and to show them the way to lessen their burdens and feel empowered both physically and mentally. Lisa would love to meet you and guide you through your practice.
A few fun facts about Lisa:
Lisa is an undercover cocktail mixologist, LOVES to dance, has a weakness for live music, a passion for the outdoors and water, and is absolutely terrible at following directions.
Instructor + Goddess of hands-on assists
Schuyler began practicing yoga in 2010. After a knee injury that she was recovering from a yoga teach said “we were vessels and that coming to yoga and practicing helped keep our vessels filled”. Totally blown away, Schuyler began to use yoga to keep her cup full by finding people and practices that filled her vessel. Carrying on her yoga path Schuyler completed her yoga assistant training in 2013 and her advanced assistant training in 2015. During this time she worked at a yoga studio providing hands-on assistance to the yogis practicing there.
From assisting classes, Schuyler went on to complete her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training through Yoga Works in Detroit. Being a true child of the world, Schuyler took that show on the road, staying is hostels, she taught yoga to surfers in Costa Rica, backpackers across Europe, and divers in the Caribbean—she even used yoga to get a free drink in Budapest.
In addition to yoga, Schuyler is a huge fan of the great lakes and even resents the ocean for being salty. She loves green tea ice cream, making yoga playlists—even if they are all trap music, is a huge fan of reading, and lemon tea. Schuyler believes with all her heart that ice cream is not seasonal.
Schuyler is grounded, light spirited, and strong. Schuyler fills her classes with her passion, truly enjoys a booty-kicking power flow, and continues to grace her students with her incredible hands-on assisting skills.
Instructor + Owner of Wandering Roots
Anna VanAgtmael is a yoga enthusiast and travel designer with a passion for connecting with others. She founded Wandering Roots to help others check in with themselves while checking out of work. She is a RYT 200 certified yoga instructor who believes in trying everything once and her values lie in collecting memories over things. Through traveling, she has found a happier and deeper connection to herself. Wandering Roots’ mission is to inspire you to grow in your own journey.
She first discovered yoga when she was trying to heal from a back injury. While she did find physical healing, she found the best part about practicing yoga was discovering her true self. She’s been practicing yoga since 2012 and believes yoga is mostly about showing up for yourself.
Her favorite things are her husband, two dogs, the water and the mountains. The quickest way to get her to do something is to tell her not to do it. She owns a landscape company but has never actually planted a plant in her life. She loves long drives but has no desire to ever be behind the wheel; she considers herself a professional passenger.
She believes in trying everything once. Her values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back
Instructor + Owner of Bad Marketing
Abigail Schippers took her first class at 17 years old after getting sent there by her doctor. She was fed up with taking medicine to manage anxiety and depression and knew there had to be a better way. Abigail hated that first yoga class, but to her surprise it made her feel BETTER.
A few years later she began to get serious about her yoga practice and fell in love with vinyasa style flow. She earned her Yoga Assistant Certification so that she could begin giving back to her yoga community. In 2015 she took the leap, completed her RYT 200 and began teaching vinyasa yoga!
In addition to teaching yoga, Abigail owns and operates a web design and social media marketing firm, Bad Marketing Company. She also provides holistic life coaching for wellness retreats, helping attendees leave retreats feeling physically and emotionally restored. Yes, she is a busy person.
Abigail brings her whole self to everything she does - she uses her background in psychology, ministry and life coaching, as well as extensive yoga teacher training to empower her students to create a practice & life that feels good.
Fun Facts: Abigail is an avid, but irreverent Instagram yogi - taking pictures of her practice, her coffee drinks and talking about emotional wellness. Abigail has a passion for good tequila and bibimbap. Abigail loves wearing all black, if you see her wearing colorful clothes, know that she is in distress.
Instructor + Owner of Alchemy Yoga
Elaina Mackey has been teaching yoga for 4 years and has been through 3 different 200 hour trainings & just completed her 300 hour training with Jonny Kest at Center For Yoga. She believes that each class she teaches, it is her duty to help bring her students to a deeper place inside themselves. She started practicing yoga at 18 and fell in love instantly, 6 months later she signed up for her first teacher training.
What keeps her inspired is watching her students face their enemies, and conquer them day by day, class by class.
Her class brings a deep, sensual, creative energy. Allowing students to unlock the door to their inner teacher and watching them put their trust into their own hands is what makes her soul shine. Elaina also owns her own small yoga business Alchemy Yoga. She specializes in self study programs & workshops for women.
Kathy's yoga journey began in 2012 right in her living room, with rented dvds from the local library. After taking her very first studio class, she was hooked and quickly saw the benefits that yoga brought into her life. She completed her 200hr certification in 2017 through MindfulVinyasa School of Yoga and has been teaching in the community ever since.
Kathy is a firm believer that yoga is for every body and sees the beauty of how each person's practice looks for them. Kathy loves to bring a mix of playfulness, strength, and stillness to her classes (and the occasional themed playlist as well!).
When not in the studio, you can find Kathy hanging with her husband, two sons, and three cats (and depending on the time of year, some foster cats, too!).
A few fun facts about Kathy:
Kathy loves trivia, cats, tacos, sushi, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. Kathy is a true Westsider (westside best side!) and enjoys the coffee shops on the Westside and is expert caffeine consumer. Also, currently on sabbatical from LJY to love on more cats while soul searching.
Instructor + Bodywork Goddess + Owner of Little Dipper
Kate is deeply passionate about yoga, health and wellness, and a well-marbled, medium-rare ribeye. Although she practiced on and off throughout college and grad school, Kate's commitment to her yoga journey became real for her in 2013 when she started practicing vinyasa style yoga 4-5 times a week in-studio and, six months later, began assisting classes. She completed her 200 hour teacher training with Amber Kilpatrick at Mindful Vinyasa School of Yoga in early 2017 and the rest is history!
Her biology background and work as a licensed massage therapist fuel her love of all things anatomy and inform her teaching as well as the modifications and variations she offers her students.
For Kate, yoga is all about learning how to show up, connect, and move from a place of alignment with your deepest, truest YOU. Her classes will leave you feeling challenged, supported, and empowered to take ownership of your own practice.
In addition to teaching at Lotus Jo’s, Kate is the founder of Little Dipper — a therapeutic bodywork and private yoga practice located in the Eastown area of Grand Rapids (thisislittledipper.com). Her work at Little Dipper is grounded in her belief that the most transformative massage therapy, bodywork, and yoga isn’t about “fixing” anything about you or your body, it's about fostering a deeper connection to your own body and heart. Kate loves helping her clients address physical and emotional issues in a way that focuses on root causes so that they can move with greater ease and live in closer alignment with their own inner wisdom.
When she's not teaching yoga or working with her clients at Little Dipper, you can find Kate swimming in the nearest pool or body of water, at the farmer's market, or watching the latest Marvel Comics movie or TV show with her husband.
A few fun facts about Kate:
(1) Her go-to karaoke song is “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa. (2) She loves to read post-apocalyptic fiction and her current favorite book in the genre is “The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller. (3) She considers herself bit of an expert when it comes to GR’s best brunch spots and has never met a mimosa or a side of bacon she didn’t like.
Instructor + Artist & Owner of L.A.M Jewelry
Raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Laurel was introduced to yoga while attending NMU , while there she began to take yoga classes through friends and later began practicing at two studios in Marquette. In 2017 Laurel moved to Grand Rapids to reach a wider audience & seek more opportunities for her trade. She was seeking a way to help others through more than just artistry, Yoga & art for her go hand in hand so the next step was Mindful Vinyasa School of Yoga's 200hr yoga teacher training, which she completed in Summer 2018.
Laurel's artwork and life reflect strongly on sustainability, which she has great passion for. Using only recycled metals and sources many of her stones and other materials from right here in our great lake state.
Ever striving for more local/sustainable options! Laurel can be found working from a collective in Grand Rapids, Michigan called The Hot Spot.
Laurel can be found gardening, cooking, exploring the lakeshore, enjoying new restaurants or breweries & generally laughing through life with friends & family. She wants a dog... real bad.
Instructor + Workshop Leader + Owner of Yoga For You Online + Master Podcaster
Kelly Smith is an E-RYT 500, YACEP, founder of Yoga For You, and host of the iTunes chart topping podcast, Mindful in Minutes. Kelly was inspired to start sharing yoga and mindfulness as a teenager, when she saw the therapeutic benefits yoga and mindfulness had on her mom during her battle with breast cancer. At first Kelly did not start pursuing her passion as a career but the week after she graduated from University Kelly enrolled in her first yoga teacher training program and has never looked back. After a cross country move forced her to leave her full-time job in business management Kelly decided to turn yoga into her career. Kelly started with a small, modest studio in the rural midwest and has since expanded to thousands of students located all through the US, Canada, and the UK, offers yoga teacher trainings, workshops, and local and international yoga and mindfulness retreats.
Kelly believes that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to yoga and cultivates an environment that empowers her students to listen to their bodies, explore their personal practice through more than just yoga poses, and to find joy and gratitude for the life they have. She believes you already have everything you need to thrive instead of you, you just need the right tools, and a little courage to bring your true radiance forward and thrive. Kelly is an advocate for living your life with joy and gratitude, creating a yoga and meditation practice that fits you, and always having a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Kelly and Yoga For You have been featured in places like FabFitFun, KTVO ABC News, and numerous major lifestyle and wellness blogs and podcasts.
A few Fun Facts: Kelly has taught yoga on 3 different continents. Her podcast is played in 123 countries and has connected over 200,000 mindfuls all over the world. Kelly’s dog Mila often cohosts her trainings and is more popular than Kelly on Instagram.
Instructor + Owner of Yoga Tavas
Kate is a mother, wife and 200-hour RYT. Kate began her yoga journey almost eight years ago after her son Emery Cobra was born. Looking to heal her body and ease her postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms, she found a home in yoga. Life took twists and turns, and finally Kate made the leap to change careers and to pursue teaching yoga. Kate received her teaching certification through Kula Yoga in Grand Rapids.
Kate stands firm in her belief that yoga is inclusive. Yoga is for everyone. She strives to create that environment in her classes. Moving with intention and integrity in everything we do.
Music, travel and time with her family are some of her favorite things. Being a former wedding floral designer, she has an eye for all things beautiful. She’s also a dog mom to little River Frances Bean.
Owner of The Healing Space
Sam Kalawart is a Energy Therapist + Breathwork Practitioner in Grand Rapids. She uses her expertise in Breathwork Healing, Energy Therapy & Nutritional Cleansing to bring you to a state of total Body Peace. Its a transformation of mind, body & spirit.
She was led to alternative modalities after stumbling through her own health journey when Western Medicine had failed her. She now works with her clients to naturally lower stress/chronic anxiety, connect to themselves in a deeper way and heal the body from the inside out. She’s passionate about deepening your own mind + body connection so you are empowered to become your own healer. Begin your journey to Discover Body Peace by scheduling a 1:1 session or joining her monthly healing classes and workshops around Grand Rapids.
Like her on Facebook to stay up to date on all upcoming group sessions!
A few fun fact's about Sam:
She is free-spirit at heart and loves being in nature, especially up-north in her favorite town Traverse City. With a background in nutrition you will find her often cooking plant-based dishes for family & friends, sharing all the power of whole foods to heal from the inside out! She loves one other boy besides her husband and its her 6 year old min-pin, Cato.