Rob Rasmussen, E-RYT

I have been teaching yoga for over 20 years and began my training in the Iyengar method in the early 90’s. I attended multiple teacher training in Estes Park Colorado sponsored by Yoga Journal Magazine and was exposed to a variety of advanced teachers and styles from all over the world. Eventually, I gravitating towards a more therapeutic approach to Yoga. I have also been an instructor at various yoga teacher trainings.

I encourage my students to explore their limits in a safe and supported environment. This allows you to listen to your body and inner guide, your heart, so as to practice at a level appropriate for your current ability and existing range of motion. And most of all, to enjoy the practice!

RACHEL KOHN, Specialized Yin Yoga Teacher

I began my yoga practice 15 years ago with a very active, strict (yang) style.  I loved working my muscles intensely and still do but the Yin bug bit me and I was hooked.  Yin Yoga is a lovely compliment to any yang movement.  Yin is where we "use the pose to get into the body", we don't "use the body to get into the pose".  The practice is quiet and simple.  I am so excited about this type of yoga, I attended two teacher trainings in 2019 so I could share with you the benefits of it, why we do it, and how we do it. I would love to share Yin Yoga with you! 


I found the practice of yoga in 2015 as a way to care for myself and to give back to my community. My goal is to share the teaching of health for the whole body. I have curated my professional certifications(Reiki, Thai Bodywork, Ayurvedic therapy) as a way to bring yoga to everyone. I believe the practice of yoga should be accessible to everyone with the intention to help the body function to its fullest potential.  I studied at the Shoshoni Ashram, and Devanadi School of Yoga.

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Here’s a Bit More About Us

Meet Our Staff

Lakes Area Yoga Association was founded in 1995 as a not-for-profit association dedicated to bringing yoga to the Lakes area. LAYA, and the late Healing Center,  were the first organizations offering yoga in the Brainerd area. As yoga has grown in popularity, so have the number of places to find yoga in the area.  We remain dedicated to what we are doing and teaching, providing an authentic and sincere slate of classes rather than a "fitness-model-one-size-fits-all" style of yoga.  As a non-profit organization, we depend entirely on class fees to operate.

Our classes are generally eclectic and vary with each teacher’s background. Our teachers respect each individual’s abilities and needs, and offer appropriate variations and props for the asanas (poses) when needed. We make yoga accessible to all, regardless of age, size or abilities. 

LAYA offers classes year-round in Brainerd, with a variety of levels and experiences available.  Our studio is in the Franklin Arts Center, studio 228 on the second floor.  Our address there is 1001 Kingwood, and is found approximately four blocks east of the historic water tower in the heart of Brainerd.

​Our Board of directors is currently made up of 3 community members with diverse backgrounds and expertise in their fields. They work together to make decisions to encourage the growth and integrity of Lakes Area Yoga. 

JESS mcMullen, RYT 200

I completed my training with the Yoga Center of Minneapolis in 2017.  I initially found Yoga 15 years ago as a form of pain relief from scoliosis and fell in love with it for the mind-body-spirit connection. Yoga is my way to make sense of the world and bring balance to this life.  I see yoga as a holistic tool to stay young and healthy, inside and out.