Come Practice With Us

The teachers at Yoga Lab believe that a consistent, sustainable yoga practice can make us all happier, healthier, stronger, and more balanced individuals while at the same time improving the community in which we live. Together we share a common interest in anatomy and functional movement, and in combining Western science with Eastern wisdom. We are committed to teaching a sustainable yoga practice that integrates and enriches the body, mind, and soul. Our goal at Yoga Lab is to guide you in the process of self-discovery. By teaching you how to calm your mind, reduce anxiety and stress, and tap into your physical and mental strength, you will be better prepared to confront whatever challenges you face in your life, both on and off the mat.

Meet Our Teachers

Yoga Lab Co-Founders

Mark Agrusti
Mark AgrustiE-RYT 500, YACEP
Mark is passionate about helping students discover the practical, everyday applications of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga in their own lives. His teachings focus on the cultivation of compassion, strength, balance, flexibility (physical and mental), empathy, and kindness, and incorporate chanting, pranayama, Buddhist philosophy & practice, and evidence-based stress reduction techniques. He collaborates on mindfulness & meditation interventions with the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State. Mark is an advocate for compassionate vegan & plant-based lifestyles, and teaches workshops at yoga festivals and vegetarian expos across the east coast.

Mark’s Website

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Kristen Boccumini
Kristen BoccuminiE-RYT 500, YACEP
Kristen has been teaching yoga for over 14 years. She teaches to help people connect to their bodies and release tension through fun creative yoga flows in a positive atmosphere. Kristen cares about helping you move in biomechanically healthy ways to support physical longevity. She believes body awareness leads to self awareness to improve the quality of your life and your influence in the world. Kristen started Yoga for Unity and Yoga On The Mountain to support local and global humanitarian work. Through these efforts she has raised over $26,000 for charity. Kristen is also a holistic life coach and certified in yoga for pregnancy and postpartum, with 3 of her own kids (teachers) at home.

Kristen’s Website

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Anna Engels
Anna EngelsPh.D., E-RYT 500, YACEP
Anna’s yoga teaching and practice combines her background in psychology with a strong grounding in anatomy and functional movement to create intelligent and fun sequences that flow with the breath and connect you to your core. She has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and her clinical interests and academic research focus on stress, anxiety, depression, and their associated patterns of brain activity using fMRI. She currently teaches yoga at Yoga Lab and in the Penn State Kinesiology Department. She is also a photographer and loves traveling the world, capturing moments of beauty.

Anna’s Website

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Jeremy Engels
Jeremy EngelsPh.D., E-RYT 500, YACEP
Jeremy is a Professor of Rhetoric at Penn State. His research asks the question, what practices of the care of the self are necessary for us to be confident, competent, capable, compassionate, ethical citizens of the world? Based on his research in the U.S., Europe, and India, he is currently writing a new book that describes the how Americans have engaged with Indian philosophy as they wrestle with the truly difficult questions about the meaning and purpose of life. He is also learning Sanskrit so he walks around the house making strange sounds.

Jeremy’s Website

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Ariel Xu
Ariel XuE-RYT 200, LMT
Ariel’s classes combine functional movement, traditional yoga postures, pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, mindfulness, and smiles to balance students’ bodies and help them release into silence and stillness. Her lifelong passion is to bring health and wellness for people and animals. She is a licensed massage therapist and offers private yoga and massage sessions locally. Ariel is also an advocate for animal rights and a plant–based lifestyle, and she teaches annually at Vegetarian Summer Fest in Pittsburgh. Ariel is a native of China and her practice and teaching is influenced by Chan (Zen) Buddhism.

Ariel’s Website

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More Awesome Teachers

Laura Van Velsor
Laura Van VelsorE-RYT 500
Laura wants to make the world a better place for her fierce & compassionate daughter. When she isn’t teaching yoga you can find her volunteering in the community or loving animals (all the animals). In 2015 she started Happy Dog Yoga to combine her passion of yoga with animal rescue and has raised over $10,000 for local charities thanks to yoga!

Laura’s Website

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Brendan Plunkett
Brendan PlunkettE-RYT 200, YACEP
Brendan believes in the ability to open our hearts, strengthen our bodies, and free our minds through practicing yoga. He aims to teach movement in his classes that empower and restore the body. His favorite thing about yoga is the community it creates and the friends he has met along the way

Brendan’s Website

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Anne Williams
Anne WilliamsRYT 200
Anne has been teaching yoga for 6 years. Her teaching journey started in State College, Pa at local studios, gyms, and community events. She now teaches out of Philadelphia and is currently completing an additional training in the LYT method with Lara Heimann. Anne is continually inspired by the many knowledgeable instructors & friends who have reinforced her love for yoga. She finds joy in the great outdoors, as well as in the spirit of children through her work as a teacher. Her style is approachable, yet challenging – inviting people to step in, observe, and experience strength and ease in movement.

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Lisa Banse
Lisa BanseRYT 200
Lisa is an international professional softball athlete and youth softball coach, ACE Group Fitness professional, Spinning, and MOSSA certified group fitness instructor, and a RYT-200 Yoga Teacher. Basically, an all-around rockstar. Lisa believes the super secrets to life and movement are: MORE Legs, MORE Core, MORE Alignment, and MORE BACKSIDE!

Lisa’s Website

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Courtney Latorre
Courtney LatorreRYT 200
Courtney combines her creativity and her ability to connect with students into her yoga classes for a fun, grounded flow. She is a graduate of the Yoga Lab 200-hr teacher training and is working on her MPS in Art Education at Penn State University. Her favorite thing about yoga is the community it cultivates. Courtney is a teacher of both young artists and yoga students alike and finds happiness in teaching humans of all ages. In addition to yoga, she spends her time making art, cooking vegan food, and listening to live music.

Courtney’s Website

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Taylor O'Connor
Taylor O'ConnorRYT 200
Taylor’s approach to yoga combines her professional training in language and communication, her personal ethics as a forever-student, and her deep gratitude for community and connection. She is a PhD candidate and instructor in the PSU departments of French and Philosophy, and a junior scholar of post-humanism and animal philosophy. She is a lover of live-music, coffee shops, and thrift stores.

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Sima Farage
Sima FarageRYT 200, MBA, CHC, CEE
Sima recently graduated from the Yoga Lab 200-hr teacher training. She is also a certified Ayurveda and Nutrition coach and loves to infuse her flows with Ayurvedic themes. She’s passionate about health, wellness, meditation and animal rights. Sima aims to make her classes fluid, warm, and challenging. Her flows are inspired by the playful energy of her little fluffy dog, Pluto.

Sima’s Website

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Max Schultz
Max SchultzRYT 200
Max has been teaching yoga & movement since 2015 and currently works full-time with physical therapy patients in a clinic in Colorado. Along with yoga, he studies the Ido Portal method, the Fighting Monkey Practice, and contemporary & freestyle dance.
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Josh Maurer
Josh MaurerRYT 200
Joshua Maurer has been teaching yoga since 2016. Most recently he completed sound practitioner training through WOOM Center’s Sound School in New York City, studying the healing effects sound has on the brain and body. Josh’s classes include mindful movement, deep breathing, and self-empowering affirmations. His intention is to bring our awareness back into the body, ease the mind, and tune in to our intuition. Josh’s classes are accessible to all and support those who are both new to yoga or more experienced but wish to find relief from stress and burnout. Whether playing music, dancing, serving or doing yoga, his dedication to happiness has made him driven to practice and share all these tools with the community around him. He believes a better world is possible; all we need to do is relax and listen.

Josh’s Website

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Katie Travis
Katie TravisRYT 200
Katie is a recent graduate of the Yoga Lab 200hr Teacher Training program and is excited to join the Yoga Lab team. As an actor, Katie has performed in “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway and in over 700 performances as Christine Daae in the North American Tour, and she currently sings with symphonies and regional theaters across the country. Katie is an MFA candidate in Musical Theater Vocal Pedagogy at Penn State. In her training at Yoga Lab, Katie worked to connect her years of breath work as a singer into her practice and teaching, and her yoga classes are rooted in curiosity and the desire to learn. In 2017, Katie made the decision to have preventative double mastectomy. She is passionate about sharing knowledge and information about Breast and Ovarian Cancer risks. She is a marathon runner, a level 2 certified Reiki practitioner, and has taught abroad in both Ghana and Kenya. She has hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro and is dreaming of her next adventure.
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Sara Davis
Sara DavisRYT 200
Sara is a new yoga teacher looking forward to the journey of sharing movement and meditation with the world. Her classes are designed to reset the body and teach functional movement that students can take into their daily lives. Besides practicing yoga, she also teaches Spanish, loves biking and swimming, and travels as much as possible.
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Xiaohong Yin
Xiaohong YinRYT 200
Originally from mainland China, Xiaohong is offering yoga classes exclusively in Chinese. She is a graduate of the Yoga Lab 200-hr teacher training program. Her deep love of yoga has developed over the years of her regular yoga practice. She loves the joy and energy that arises from yoga practices. She is excited to teach safe and sustainable yoga classes to the Chinese community in State College and worldwide. She is a mother of three lovely children.
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Jennifer Peacock
Jennifer PeacockRYT 200
Jennifer is thrilled to join the Yoga Lab team after recently graduating from the 200-hr teacher training program. Yoga and mindfulness have greatly enhanced Jennifer’s life and she is excited to share this gift with her students. Jennifer is a pianist and music director at the Penn State Musical Theatre program. She loves nature, hiking, fitness, art, books, coffee, laughing, and learning.
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Scott Brown
Scott BrownRYT 200
Scott first began exploring yoga (and Pilates) in 2009, in part, to improve flexibility/mobility to recover from ankle injuries sustained in recreational team sports. Since 2017 he has maintained a daily practice and recently completed his 200YTT at YogaLab and will complete LYT Level 1 training shortly. Scott’s intent is to create classes that challenge body and mind in order to build strength and confidence both on and off the mat.
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“What I love is being an investigator.
And then figuring out how to best serve others. Connecting to core and alignment in body and spirit are pillars in this quest.
For me and you.
Let’s keep being curious.”
Lara Heimann
“It is profoundly satisfying indeed to feel the love of learning and a sense of adventure in discovery come alive in the classroom and see it manifest in your students’ work and lives through the cultivation of mindfulness. As teachers, we live for this.”
John Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness for Beginners