[email protected] news 1992 Hastings High school graduate Amy Zellmer is not afraid to run her own business. Zellmer is a longtime portrait photographer that had studios in Shakopee and St. Paul. A freak accident in February of 2014 changed all of that. Zellmer had just returned from a walk in St. Paul, and as she headed down an inclined driveway towards her apartment, she slipped on a patch of black ice. Of course, her hands were not empty as she was carrying some precious cargo, her Yorkie, Pixxie.
As she was falling, her instinct was on keeping Pixxie safe, which she did, but the fall caused her to land on her head on the parking lot, hard. It is something many of us do, slip and fall, thinking nothing of it, but Zellmer knew something was wrong. It turns out, she had a major concussion. She later learned that a concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI’s affect people differently depending on where the injury occurred in the brain. For Zellmer, it affected a lot of her day-to-day function, that in turn affected her ability to work, which ultimately ended her career as a photographer.
Do not let that get you down though, her career took a turn no one saw coming. Zellmer became an author and advocate for people with TBI’s. She wrote a book called “Life with a Traumatic Brain Injury: Finding the Road Back to Normal”. Her first book was a big hit and that led to a second book, “Embracing the Journey: Moving Forward After Brain Injury”. Zellmer travelled the country gathering stories about TBI which brought her to the podcast world where she created a top-rated podcast, “Faces of TBI”.
Zellmer joined the ranks as an award-winning author for her work on the book, “Concussion Discussions: A Functional Approach to Recovery After Brain Injury.” Zellmer, along with Co-Author Dr. Shane Steadman, received a Gold Medal in the non-fiction anthology category of the Midwest Book Awards, a long-running 12state regional awards program first established in 1989.
Additionally, the book was selected as a finalist in the anthology category of the Book Excellence Awards, an international book awards competition with thousands of entries from around the world. Their book was awarded for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal.
The injury, while devastating at the start, paved the way for a new career, a career based on helping people heal. All the experiences she gathered from the different forms of media gave her the opportunity to start her own magazine in 2019, “The Brain Health Magazine”.
MN YOGA + Life Magazine started back in 2014, the same year as Zellmer’s TBI. The owner kept it running until 2018 when she stopped production, Zellmer explained.
“It just kind of sat idle for the last four years. YOGA + Life Magazine is a national brand, I met the owners, Bobby and Kim. They also own CO YOGA + Life Magazine. They asked if I had any interest in purchasing the Minnesota magazine, and I was like, ‘no’. But after some discussion, it felt like the right fit and the right next step,” said Zellmer.
MN YOGA + Life Magazine will be published twice a year to start, April and October, with a goal of moving it to three times a year, and the contents will be more than YOGA, Zellmer added.
“It will have all things yoga and life. It's not strictly a yoga magazine. It will have a lifestyle section, health and wellness, yoga and movement, upcoming events throughout the state of Minnesota, and highlights of our wonderful partners who help support the magazine,” she said.
The magazine will be available for free at various partner locations around Minnesota and a subscription can be purchased at mnyogalife.com for just $20 a year.
At the office, located at 1112 Highway 55 in Suite 103 in Hastings, Zellmer records podcasts, leads online yoga, holds one-on-one yoga sessions; but it is not a yoga studio, the space is not setup for more than just a few people at a time.
Zellmer first joined the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce in February of 2022. A few months later, she joined the Prescott Chamber, and now, she closes on the local chamber trifecta by joining the Cottage Grove Chamber.
“I’m very excited to be part of the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce,” said Zellmer. “Laurie has been so supportive, great to work with, and she connected me with their Women in Business group. I look forward to collaborating with both more in the future.”