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.  As yoga has proliferated in the Lakes area, and throughout the country, we have begun to specialize in gentle, restorative and therapeutic styles of yoga.

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. 



I have completed my 230-hour yoga teacher training in October of 2017 from the Yoga Center of Minneapolis. Over the years yoga has taught me how to live mindfully and bring balance to my life. Yoga is my way of turning inward and creating time for myself to relax, unwind, and recharge. I look forward to teaching at LAYA and bringing others joy that yoga has brought to my life. 

JESS mcMullen

I found Yoga 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. 

RYT-200.  Jassmine, better known as Jazzi, loves Vinyasa Flow styles of yoga!

Here’s a Bit More About Us

Meet Our Staff

E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) and member of LAYA's board of directors.   Sarah has been teaching since 2006 and specializes in gentle and  restorative practices.

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I am a Yoga Alliance certified 200 - RYT and completed teacher training with Mary Beth Nehl at the Yoga Loft in Willmar.  I began my yoga practice in 2000 and love the strength of​ body and mind that comes from a powerful vinyasa practice.  Yoga has been my tool for calming my busy mind and helping me find gratitude and peace, both on and off the mat.  I also have additional training in yoga therapy and appreciate a good yin class to balance out the energy of Ashtanga.