Studio Owner and Yoga Teacher
Jennifer Smith was introduced to yoga nearly 20 years ago. But in 2009, yoga became a major part of Jennifer’s life and she established a daily practice of her own. At that point, she had just spent a year recovering from a car accident that led to surgery and extensive physical rehabilitation. She has seen the transformational effects of yoga first hand and loves to share it with others.
Jennifer has studied numerous yoga traditions Iyengar and vinyasa with a diverse and talented group of teachers. She completed a 280 hour teacher training under Neva Ingalls in Chevy Chase, MD. Continuing education is a priority for Jennifer. In 2014, she started taking intensive workshops with Master Teacher Alexandria Crow. Alex's focus on functional body mechanics while applying the philosophical teachings of the Yoga Sutras, has deeply shaped Jennifer's teaching style and practice.
In September of 2012, Jennifer moved to the Brainerd Lakes Area after spending 7 years in Bethesda, Maryland. She started Nisswa Yoga in October of 2012 Having grown up in Minnesota, Jennifer has lived and traveled around the world. She is delighted to be back in Minnesota, having her family nearby and being surrounded by the pristine natural beauty of the bold north.
Studio Assistant and Yoga Teacher
Devon graduated from a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program through her teacher, Katie Silcox, in 2015. She is currently an undergraduate college student at Mankato State University and spends summers and many holidays in NIsswa with her family.
Devon began practicing yoga as a way to cope with debilitating chronic illnesses. After recovering from these (with some help from a gentle, daily yoga practice!), she began exploring yoga further—advancing her physical practice, working toward a more mindful lifestyle…and eventually signing up for yoga teacher training. Through this training, Devon’s yoga practice has evolved into incredible tools for living life better.
As our studio assistant, Devon will respond to your emails, and help you to book private classes. As a yoga teacher, Devon strives to create a safe space for her students to connect to the unique, awe-inspiring qualities that exist inherently within each of them. When she is not teaching yoga or going to yoga class, Devon might be found studying, reading, hiking, coaching youth soccer, drinking herbal tea, or cuddling with cats.
Melissa Holland was introduced to yoga 15 years ago. After taking her first yoga class with local yoga instructor, Kari Stengrim, she knew there was no going back!
Melissa found her passion for teaching yoga while attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison. When she moved to Chicago in August 2013, she was eager to continue learning and growing. She completed CorePower Yoga’s 200 HR Power Teacher Training in December 2013 and her Yoga Sculpt Certification in June 2014. Melissa moved back to Nisswa in June of 2014 and is grateful to be teaching in the Brainerd Lakes Area where her passion for yoga first took root.
Yoga has supported Melissa’s desire to live the active lifestyle she loves. She enjoys bringing the grace, strength, and anatomical knowledge she acquired over the years onto her mat and into her sequencing. She values a practice that is athletic, rejuvenating, and accessible to all bodies. She believes that with the proper tools anybody can experience the benefits and many joys of yoga!