A lifelong athlete, I discovered yoga in 2000 after suffering an injury. A few years later, I found myself in a Sivananda ashram, learning to chant and struggling to meditate! I emerged with the title of yoga teacher and the yogic name Purna, which can be translated as "completeness". But, I felt like I had only just begun.
Mentored by my long-time teacher who saw potential in me, I began teaching yoga part-time around my busy schedule as a documentary filmmaker. And I continued my yoga studies, exploring everything from the electrifying Vinyasa flow of Shiva Rea to the discipline of Ashtanga. In 2009, I discovered Yin Yoga and went to the redwood forests of California to study with Yin Yoga founder Paul Grilley. Paul's inquisitive approach to the body and the grounding stillness of yin postures fundamentally changed my practice and became a gateway for mediation. Today my Yin Yoga studies continue under the expert guidance of Paul and Suzee Grilley and Sarah Powers.
In 2010, I left Washington D.C. and my life as a documentary filmmaker behind to move to Melbourne, Australia. Such a radical change seemed like the perfect opportunity to give full-time yoga teaching a try! The more yoga I taught, the more fascinated I became with how movement influences the body and mind and the emerging science behind how yoga helps people relieve stress, enhance athletic performance, or enjoy better overall health. I intensified my study of anatomy and was drawn to the pioneering work of fascia gurus like Tom Myers and Gil Hedley. In the past few years, I have studied with both Myers and Hedley, exploring the role of fascia and the nervous system in posture and movement and dissecting a human cadaver to peel back the layers of the human form.
For me, yoga has always been part of a broader fascination with movement and over the years I have trained in dance, martial arts, and most recently Olympic Lifting. I apply what I learn from yoga to each of these disciplines and incorporate movement principles from dance, martial arts, and lifting into how I teach yoga. I am always asking, “What makes movement purposeful, powerful, and coordinated?” and “How can we teach movement in the classroom that can change the way someone moves through the world?"
Today you will find me leading weekly Yin Yoga and Flow Yoga classes in Melbourne. I also develop and facilitate 200 Hour Hatha teacher training, 50 and 100 Hour Yin teacher training, and continuing education modules including Anatomy for Yoga. Learn more at yoga.jencrescenzo.com