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. 


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.

Jenna Olson 
She completed her yoga training through the Marianne Wells Yoga School in Nosara, Costa Rica in April 2019. Jenna first came to yoga 10+ years ago in search of a new way to exercise. She quickly discovered that in addition to the strength and flexibility, yoga offered emotional benefits as well - including stress relief and a better relationship with herself. Since then she has cultivated a strong personal practice that helps her stay balanced and aware of her personal strengths and weaknesses. She believes that yoga is for everybody, and is excited to share her positive, uplifting energy with you to encourage self love and exploration on the mat.

Rob Rasmussen
A well-renowned yoga teacher in the Brainerd Lakes Area for over 25 years. LAYA is honored to have Rob teaching with us again - welcome back Rob!

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.

Sandra Kaplan 
I have been teaching yoga for four years. I specialize in Iyengar yoga and embrace Dianne Bondy’s Yoga
for All practice and (body positive/empowerment) philosophy. Like Ms. Bondy I know that yoga benefits
all bodies, regardless of their shape, size, age, ethnicity, or ability. “The divine resides in all of us”.

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