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

Kristen Boccumini
Kristen BoccuminiM.S., E-RYT 500, YACEP, CES
Kristen has been teaching yoga for 17 years. She teaches to empower students by finding freedom on the mat through fun creative yoga flows and sparking positive action with inspirational themes. With an MS in Exercise Science and as a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) Kristen cares about helping students use biomechanics and functional movement to optimize benefits from yoga to support physical sustainability and longevity. Kristen believes body awareness leads to self awareness which can enhance the quality of your life and your influence in the world. She started Yoga for Unity and Yoga On The Mountain to support local and global humanitarian work. Through these efforts she has raised over $28,000 for charity. Kristen is also a holistic life coach and certified in yoga, and soon to be corrective exercise, for pregnancy and postpartum. She has four children and has experienced the process of recovering and reconnecting to her body and athleticism each time. Kristen has a special interest in pregnancy and postpartum, and in addition to her regular group class, is available to work one on one to help women find their way back to themselves and their bodies, while supporting their baby and family.

Kristen’s Website

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Anna Engels
Anna EngelsPh.D., E-RYT 500, YACEP
Anna is a yoga teacher, photographer, clinical psychologist, fashion designer, and an optimistic activist. Her yoga teaching focuses on mindfulness, interconnectedness, sustainability, alignment and functional movement, and compassionate action, on and off the mat. 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. In 2013 she shifted her career from brain imaging research to focus on yoga, following her interest in experiential approaches to improving health and wellness. She now teaches yoga in the Kinesiology Department at Penn State, where she has earned Teaching Excellence Awards for her yoga teaching. She loves spending time in nature, hiking, and traveling the world, capturing moments of beauty with her camera. She created Sunny Get Up (, an eco-friendly line of yoga clothes with designs drawn from her nature photography, to raise money for environmental charities. She hopes to inspire people to get up, get moving, and get involved in causes they care about to help make the world a better place.

Anna’s Website

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Jeremy Engels
Jeremy EngelsPh.D., E-RYT 500, YACEP
Jeremy David Engels, Ph.D., is an award-winning scholar and teacher committed to building wiser and more mindful democratic communities that can thrive in a world on fire. He is currently a Professor of Communication and Ethics at Penn State University. His students know him as the “bed-headed professor” and “yoga prof.” Formally trained as a scholar of American politics, culture, and rhetoric, he has been studying and practicing yoga and meditation for 25 years, and he brings the insights of his spiritual practice to bear on his scholarship and his scholarship to bear on his spiritual practice. He has authored four academic books, including, most recently, The Ethics of Oneness: Emerson, Whitman, and the Bhagavad Gita (University of Chicago Press, 2021). He is a co-founder of Yoga Lab Studio, and enjoys sharing practices that promote greater balance and deeper compassion with his community. He lives in State College, PA, with his brilliant wife Anna Sunderland Engels and two cuddly cats.

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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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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More Awesome Teachers

Laura Van Velsor
Laura Van VelsorE-RYT 500, YACEP, RRCA Coach
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! She is also a certified Running Coach with RRCA.

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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Sara Bamat
Sara BamatRYT 200, ACE
Sara is excited to show others just how strong and compassionate they can be. She started teaching yoga in 2018 and after a quick hiatus from having her daughter in 2020, she is back and ready to help guide you in your yoga journey. Sara is not only a 200 RYT, but an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Functional Movement Specialist. She works full time at F45 Training State College, which she claims is the perfect compliment to Yoga Lab. You’ll often see her personal training experience emerge in her flows connecting mind to muscle. When she’s not at the gym, Sara loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and 2 dogs.
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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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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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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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Latisha Franklin
Latisha FranklinRYT 200
Latisha, born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, is an advocate of self-discovery. Beginning as a graduate student in Biochemistry Microbiology and Molecular Biology Doctoral Program in 2016, she soon realized she was also receiving a degree on herself. Latisha believes practicing yoga allows for acceptance, reconnection, and self discovery. She is also available for private sessions. Latisha is the founder of Gratified Grad, LLC, ( where it’s her goal to empower students to live a holistically healthy lifestyle and graduate with gratification. Latisha is also a co-founder of Black2Reality (, which seeks to serve the State College community while showcasing Black excellence through various events.

Latisha’s Website

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Katy Stager
Katy StagerRYT 200
Katy graduated from Yoga Lab’s first ever pandemic-inspired virtual intensive 200-hour YTT program in August, 2021. She enjoys yoga as the “yin” energy to balance her “yang” love of running. Along with running and yoga, Katy’s personal practice involves meditation, mindfulness, and a growing interest in spirituality and energy healing. She hopes to provide students with a sense of grounding and mind/body connection through classes that focus on alignment, strength, and functional movement paired with thoughtful mantras, quotes, and other inspiring words. Off the mat, Katy is mom to 4 humans and 3 greyhounds. She’s a passionate volunteer for Nittany Greyhounds, where she’s helped raise more than $30,000 to support rehoming retired racers. You can find Katy and her Team outdoors, usually hiking, swimming, biking, etc. She hopes to inspire her kids and students to challenge the mind, follow the heart, and tune in to the body.
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Sima Farage
Sima FarageRYT 200
Sima graduated from the Yoga Lab 200-hr teacher training in 2017. She is also a certified Ayurveda and Nutrition coach and loves to infuse her flows with Ayurvedic themes. Her flow helps cultivate body awareness, develop the breath and empower you to find your potential. She is a believer that yoga is for everybody, and her uplifting energy will lead you to an amazing inner journey.
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Collette Learn
Collette LearnRYT 200
Collette is a 2020 graduate of the Yoga Lab 200hr teacher training program. She realized her love for yoga after her first class in 2016, when a twin pregnancy left her feeling physically & emotionally out of balance. Collette developed diastasis recti, which caused a lack of core strength along with low back pain. Through training at Yoga Lab, she essentially repaired the abdominal separation. In turn, she found core strength, a feeling of empowerment & much needed stress relief! By practicing mindful movement daily, Collette continues to work towards unity of mind, body & spirit. She is excited to help others to find this balance while teaching at Yoga Lab!

Collette’s Website

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Allie Baczynski
Allie BaczynskiPh.D., RYT 200
Allie is a graduate of the Yoga Lab 200-hr teacher training. She first began practicing yoga while in graduate school to help relieve stress. Yoga has continued to be an important part of her life and helps her center and ground herself within the often hectic academic environment. When she’s not at Yoga Lab she can be found in another lab, where, as an organic geochemist, she uses the chemical signatures of molecules left behind in rocks by ancient plants to reconstruct past landscapes and climate. She loves the Yoga Lab community and is excited to expand her practice by teaching.

Allie’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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“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