About Us

Photo of east window inside studioMission Statement:

Heart and Sole Yoga believes that everybody deserves to move to their ability. We want to share the benefits of Yoga and Nia with everyone, especially communities that have been excluded or under-served.  These communities may include people of all shapes, sizes or colors.  Our hope is to help you create a practice regardless of your shape, size, level of fitness, or mobility.  We welcome people with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, or invisible disabilities such as chronic illness, emotional challenge or PTSD.  We welcome people with vision or hearing impairments, canes, walkers and wheelchairs.  Essentially everyBODY can create a practice. Our goal is to serve the community by creating a nurturing space where you can quiet your thoughts, and experience your body through yoga movement, breathing techniques and meditation. We offer classes that are taught in various styles for all levels and ages.  Each class will encompass elements that promote balance, strength, flexibility, and peace.



lisaLisa Sandin RYT 500 is the Director of Heart and Sole Yoga 

NPR This I Believe Story

Hidden Gems

Born with a birth defect, Lisa began doing yoga as a child to strengthen her deformed arm and shoulder. Four decades later, she returned to the mat seeking strength, flexibility and stress relief. Rediscovering her passion for yoga and the immense benefits to the body, mind and spirit she went on to become a certified instructor. Lisa completed her 200 hour teacher training in August 2008 with Sandy Carden at Union Yoga.  There she learned an eclectic approach to yoga, studying several styles and incorporating poses from many traditions. Her own physical limitations give Lisa insight into adapting poses to meet individual physical needs. Lisa shared her story, I Am Not My Body on National Public Radio’s program This I Believe and was featured in the USA Today Magazine and published in This I Believe II. Lisa’s personal philosophy is, “Moving into poses at my body’s ability today, in this moment without judgment, focusing on its strengths rather than its limitations helps me to receive benefits from every pose.” 

Completing her advanced 500 hour yoga teacher training in January 2012, Lisa’s focus is to bring yoga to all bodies, including those that are physically challenged, aging, or recovering from illness.  Additionally, Lisa received her certification in teaching Yin Yoga from Bernie Clark in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada in May 2015.  The yin practice includes powerful mental and emotional benefits as its practitioner becomes quiet, still and mindful of the present.  "I love Yin yoga because this style of yoga invites you to slow down and create space for stillness while nourishing joints, ligaments, tendons and fascia."  In June 2020 Lisa became a certified Accessible Yoga teacher furthering her intention to make yoga accessible to everyBody, believing that all people, regardless of ability or background deserve equal access to the teachings and benefits of yoga.

Wanting to explore other styles of movement which are healing to the body, and intrigued by Nia's roots in martial arts, dance arts and healing arts Lisa began taking Nia classes in February 2011.  Experiencing the healing power of Nia first hand, Lisa completed her White Belt certification in June 2013, her Blue Belt certification in October 2015, her Brown Belt in July 2016, her Green Belt in June 2017 and her Black Belt in September 2019.  Lisa is delighted to teach and practice Nia.  "Nia is much more than an aerobic fitness class; Nia is a playful, integrative practice for your body, mind, and spirit."  Nia is a holistic workout experience where a joyful healing sensation is manifested through your body.  "Using mindful movements set to music, we embrace being present in our body to foster physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being." For more information go to www.nianow.com

Lisa is a twenty-eight year resident of Big Rapids along with her family. 

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Mary Leone RYT 200 mary


Mary was introduced to yoga through books, reading BKS Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga,” and introduced to meditation from her psychology professor at Michigan State University. Her first on-the-mat class experience was in the mid-1990s at The Pierce Program in Atlanta, Georgia.  Mary practiced on and off, at home, in studios and in gyms, from numerous experienced yoga instructors until 2009, when she completed her 200-hour teaching training at a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS) through Nirvana Yoga, also in Atlanta. Mary is trained primarily in Hatha yoga, with roots in the teachings of TKV Desikachar. In this tradition, there is an emphasis of breath linked to movement.  Mary’s philosophy is that yoga is accessible to every body.  Mary will challenge you to explore your personal “edge” both on and off the mat.  




Your Body Your Yoga by Bernie Clark

Yoga for Everyone by Diane Bondy

Accessible Yoga:  Poses and Practices for Every Body by Jivana Heyman

“Me Talk Pretty,” Yoga Journal, August 2007

“Yoga for At-Risk Populations,” Yoga Journal, July 2008

The Daily OM:  www.dailyom.com

“The Four Agreements,” Author Don Miguel Ruiz

Pandora stations:

            Yoga Sanctuary Radio

            New Age Ambient Radio