About Jennifer

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Hi!  Thanks for coming here to find out a little bit more about me…

I have been teaching yoga in the U.S. and Australia for 14 years and am a Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 and Certified Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) Over the years, my passion for movement education inspired me to create and facilitate hundreds of hours of teacher training including YA certified 200 Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Trainings, Yin Teacher Trainings, and Anatomy for Yoga Teachers.

How did I get here?  Well, I was definitely not born on a meditation cushion chanting mantras! I found yoga the same way many people do – I suffered an injury and was trying to fast-track my recovery. I wandered into the nearest gym and took the first yoga class.  As luck would have it, the instructor had a commanding presence. I was drawn to the clarity and intelligence of her instruction and her passion.  After a few classes, she took me under her wing and eventually encouraged me to advance my studies.  So, I took a month off work to live in a Sivananda ashram and immerse myself fully in yoga.   To prepare, I had to find a tent that would be my home for a month and give up caffeine and meat.  Worse (for an Italian) I was also not allowed to eat onion or garlic!   But, I soon discovered that giving up meat or spices were the least of the challenges of ashram life.  Much more difficult was the process of witnessing (and trying to care for) the parts of myself I’d managed to avoid for so long by staying busy with work and sports and…well…just about anything I could find to avoid quiet, contemplative space.   A month later I emerged with the title of yoga teacher and the new yogic name of Purna, which can be translated as “fullness” or “wholeness”.  But rather than feeling whole, I felt kind of pulled apart…

I kept studying and practicing, experimenting with the discipline of Ashtanga and liberation of Prana Flow with Shiva Rea.  I mastered poses and executed complex sequences.  But staying awake to the moment-to-moment experience of what was unfolding in my body and mind proved more frustrating and elusive.

Eventually in 2009 I turned to Paul Grilley. And he pointed me towards the “why” of the pose. It seems like such an obvious question: “Why am I putting my body in this shape and what is changing when I do?” But it profoundly changed the way I practiced. I began to experience my body as a laboratory – a place I could experiment and ask questions and gather data. This kind of conversation with myself through movement was ongoing and fascinating! I wanted more ways to understand what I was experiencing beneath my skin so I began studies with leading fascia researcher and educator Tom Myers and dissected a human cadaver under the instruction of Gil Hedley.

Today I still consider Paul Grilley my mentor and with him I learned the anatomy and philosophy of Yin Yoga and completed advanced studies in the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali. Interested in Mindfulness Meditation, I also completed Yin training with Sarah Powers.

Because of my insatiable curiosity I am always finding new ways to move. Over the years (and alongside yoga) that has included Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Belly Dance, and Olympic Lifting (to name a few).  Recently I’ve been crawling and climbing with the primal movers at MovNat, investigating the relationship between complex movement and brain function with Fighting Monkey, and exploring Functional Range Conditioning and Viewpoints with GraceinMovmnt.

In a nutshell this is my movement philosophy: Mindful Movement is a means to question everything you believe about yourself and the world around you and the uncomfortable “friction” of learning something new sparks your creativity and lights  you up – inside and out.   I use this approach in every class I teach and every training I offer because I believe (from my own experience) that investigating your movement potential is a way to realize your human potential.

Reflecting on the name Purna and why it was given to me so many years ago in the ashram, I came across this quote:

The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one’s whole being.  Nothing less will do; there can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises – Carl Jung

It’s a pretty fierce challenge but I think I’m up for it!  Care to join me?

Find me on Insta and FB or email me: jencrescenzo@gmail.com

Jennifer Crescenzo backbend

 

 

  • Kate

    Hi Jennifer,
    I want to thank you for the extraordinary ‘Dragon’ sequence that you led at Grass Roots Studio last Thursday. It was probably a bit advanced for me, but I left feeling invigorated and inspired, as if I really had been flying across my kingdom. I have never experienced such an imaginative approach to yoga. I loved it.
    Thankyou so much.
    Kate

  • Mick

    Great class this morning, thank you! Perfect start to the day (after a 5km run) and before a long flight to Chicago!

  • Liz Paynter

    Hi Jen, are you doing a retreat in Daylesford?

    • Jennifer

      Hi Liz,
      Yes, I am and I’d love if you and Brian can join me. I have emailed you details. And you have also reminded me that I have to get the flyer up on my website 🙂

  • Zoe

    Hi Jennifer, great site! beautiful writings. Im interested in any Yin Yoga workshops or TT that you are offering. Please add me to your mailing list and forward me future event details. Would love to join you! Peace , zz

    • Jennifer

      Hi Zoe,
      Thank you for reaching out and for your feedback on the website. For now, here is a calendar of upcoming events. The Yin retreat in Daylesford Aug 1-3 might be a lovely way for us to meet and for you to learn more about Yin Yoga and Chinese Five Element theory in a peaceful forest setting with nourishing food and and a total of only 10 guests. There are Early Bird rates through July 1 and booking is done through our host Le Yoga Daylesford 0431840788 or adrian@leyoga.com.au

      If you are are specifically interested in teacher training, there are places left in the L1 and L2 trainings at Grass Roots Yoga in October and November and bookings are made by phone or web through Grass Roots Yoga http://www.grassrootsyoga.com or by contacting studio manager Tyneal on 0395 349642 or tyneal@grassrootsyoga.com

      I will definitely add you to the mailing list for future events as they are scheduled 🙂

      Thanks and I look forward to meeting you!

  • Jacinta

    Hi Jen,
    Missing you at the centre, the classes just aren’t the same.
    I’m actually relocating interstate to Adelaide to continue my study and wonder whether there’s anyone over there you can recommend for me that teaches Ying Yang.
    Also interested in devevloping my practice and would love to particpate in one of your workshops, or is something is happening in Adelaide.
    Do you have anyone you can recommend???
    Cheers,
    Jacinta

    • Jennifer

      Hi Jacinta,
      When do you relocate to Adelaide? Any chance you can get away for a Winter Yin retreat in Daylesford Aug 1-3. We only have 2 places left and I’d love for you to join us.

      Warmly, Jennifer

  • Sally

    Hi Jen, The Yin Training level 1 at Grass Roots is this specifically for Teacher Training? Or is it possible to do this because I want go learn more, go deeper in my understanding of Yin yoga (which I get so many benefits from).
    If it is not possible to do this workshop as a non-teacher, do you have other workshops open to explore yin yoga?
    thanks
    Sally

    • Jennifer

      Hi Sally,
      You do not have to be a teacher to come to the Level One Yin Training. Please join us! We always have a mix of yoga teachers and yin yoga students interested in deepening their personal practice. Often teachers who come to the training have minimal experience with Yin so you may have the opportunity to educate them by sharing your Yin Yoga journey. Register directly at Grass Roots Yoga.

      I look forward to meeting you!
      Jennifer

  • Melissa Falcone

    Hi Jen,

    Can you please add me to your mailing list for any future yin teacher training and/or retreats.

    Thanks.
    Melissa.

    • Jennifer

      Will do, Melissa! It’s lovely to see you weekly at Yin Yoga classes at Power Living and I look forward to working with you in a retreat or TT setting some time soon.

      Warmly,
      Jennifer

  • deanne

    Hi, I would love to be on your mailing list for upcoming teacher training workshops. I am unfortunately not available for the October one, and I live in Adelaide so would have to travel over.

    • Jennifer

      Hi Deanne,
      Thank you for getting in touch! I will add you to the Yin Yoga mailing list.

      Since you have to travel, perhaps you would be interested in the 30 hour training I will run over Easter in March 2015? This will be a retreat style training over 5 days in beautiful Daylesford. The training will be limited to 10 students so it will be easier to ask questions, receive feedback, and enjoy group discussion.

      I will send more details as I have them!

      Warmly, Jennifer

  • Joan greaves

    Please add me to your email list I am interested int training and am in nz but visiting melbourne again in dec.
    joan

    • Jennifer

      Hi Joan,
      Thanks for being in touch! I will definitely add you to the Yin Yoga Mailing List to keep you updated about future events. Unfortunately, I concluded my retreats and trainings for 2014 this past weekend with a final Yin and Chakras retreat in Daylesford. So, I don’t have anything to offer you in December. But, I am running a 50 Hour Yin TT retreat in Daylesford over Easter in April 2015. If that is of interest, let me know and I’ll send details as there are only 10 places and 6 are already booked.
      Warmly,
      Jennifer

  • Sarah

    Hi, I am interested in doing some yin yoga teacher training. Do you have any plans to run a course in Sydney any time? Also could you please put me on your mailing list for workshops, teacher trainings?
    Thanks
    Sarah

    • Jennifer

      Hi Sarah,
      I will happily put you on my Yin Yoga Mailing list to keep you informed about future trainings and events. Next year I am currently scheduled to run training in Perth, Adelaide, and Melbourne but nothing is scheduled for Sydney. If that changes, I’ll let you know. Or if you work with a studio interested in hosting a Yin training in Sydney, I’m happy to discuss! If travel is an option for you, I’m running a 50 Hour TT retreat in Daylesford over Easter. It’s a peaceful bush setting and the retreat is limited to 10 students so it will be a really intimate experience. If you are interested, I’m happy to send details.
      Warmly,
      Jennifer

  • Tina

    Hi Jen, do you have any Yin teacher training in Melbourne this year? I would love to learn more about it!

    • jencrescenzo

      Hi Tina,
      Thanks for being in touch! Unfortunately my first 50 Hour Yin TT of the year in Daylesford over Easter is currently waitlist only. But, I am running another 50 Hour training over several weekends in October and November at a Melbourne-based studio. If you send me an email, I can put you on the Yin Yoga mailing list so that you receive updates on upcoming trainings and events. Or you can check the Events page on my website, or follow me on FB or Instagram. I’d love to see you at a future workshop or training! Warmly, Jennifer

  • Leanne Hall

    Dear Jen, I’d love to be included on your email list for Yin TT, please. Many thanks, Leanne

    • Hi Leanne,
      Thank you for being in touch. I am happy to add you to the Yin Yoga Mailing List. Out of curiosity, do you live in Melbourne?

      Warmly, Jennifer

  • Mandy Spencer

    Hi Jen, Please include me on your mailing list for Yin TT. Thanks, Mandy

    • Hi Mandy,
      Thanks for being in touch! I will happily include you on the Yin Yoga Mailing list.

      Warmly, Jennifer

  • mitty

    Hi Jen,
    Mitty here from the Thursday group. You said you may be able to help me find a good yoga school/resort in Vietnam. Preferably Yin or a mixture.

    Thanks Mitty

    • Hi Mitty,
      Nice to chat with you in class. Your trip sounds wonderful. I did reach out to several traveling yoga teacher colleagues and friends but none of them know a good place for Yin in Vietnam. I have the sense that the yoga community in Vietnam is a newer community and may not have many well established schools or centers. You could try yinyoga.com as a resource. Visit their Teacher Directory page and search for Vietnam. If you find an instructor, you can contact them directly. Good luck with your trip and I look forward to seeing you in class again soon.

      Warmly Jennifer

  • Korinne McNeill

    Hi Jen,
    I was wondering if you are running yin yoga teacher training any time soon?
    Thanks!