Jen Crescenzo

Student level
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I started my yoga journey through an injury. Unable to do my normal running and jumping things, I went to a yoga class at my local gym because I thought it would be easy and stretchy - and might help me recover. One class with an incredible teacher immediately changed my perspective! Yoga was not easy and I sensed it was different than all the sports I had played. I knew how to train and compete but I didn't know much about self-connection or self-care. And in my mid-20's it seemed like it was time to learn. Gradually that led me to a tent in an ashram, immersing myself in yoga and meditation.

After that, I taught part time and continued my yoga studies. Eventually I gave up my career as a documentary producer and became a full time yoga teacher. My own journey very much informs the way I teach. Like my first teacher, my style is practical and accessible. But I don't dumb it down. I think you are smart and curious and creative and capable of learning and growing. I know that I'll have to push you a little outside your comfort zone for that to happen. And I know you won't always like it! But I want to help you understand how you move and to help you feel where you're stuck. I've done my job when you start to feel new possibilities in every movement, moment, and breath.

Teaching & Certification

My first 200 teacher training was in 2004 at a Sivananda Ashram where I learned classical Hatha Yoga. Through the years, I continued to explore different styles of yoga with many teachers including Shiva Rea, David Swenson, Cameron Shayne, Max Strom, Tara Judelle, Rod Stryker, and Donna Farhi. In 2009 I met Paul and Suzee Grilley and began my Yin Yoga studies.

Through the years I have returned to Paul and Suzee for 300 hours of study including advanced trainings in chakra meditation, the Bhagavad Gita, and Patanjali's sutras. In addition I have trained in anatomy and movement with Tom Myers, dissected a cadaver with Gil Hedley, and learned about embodied trauma with Bessel van der Kolk. I am a certified E-RYT and Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) through Yoga Alliance.

Teaching Style

  • Adjustments/Assists: I do not push or pull you further into poses. I sometimes use touch to bring your attention to areas of your body that need energy or care.

  • Theming: I use themes to organise my sequences and inspire my cues. My themes and sequences change but they always reflect my own experiences.

  • Sequencing: I like my sequences to help you connect things - whether that's all the different parts of a complex, advanced asana or the way different joints contribute to a slow, deep Yin stretch.

  • Music: I use music occasionally but rarely throughout a class. My tastes are pretty varied.

On & Off the Mat With: Jen Crescenzo

As a yoga teacher, what inspires and motivates your teaching?

Movement. I'm constantly exploring. I walk everywhere. I lift. I climb. I dance. I learn by moving and I teach what I discover. I'm also really inspired by people like Tom Myers, Lorimer Moseley, and Todd Hargrove who are changing the way we think about movement and health.

How has your own yoga practice evolved since becoming a teacher?

At the beginning I cared more about mastering advanced postures. I thought that was the hard stuff. Now my practice is much more simple, subtle, and internal. And I've realised that's actually the hard stuff!

Do you have any yoga teachers that you admire and/or look up to? Who are they?

Paul Grilley, Donna Farhhi, and Jenni Rawlings.

For those of us that haven't practiced with you before, what can we expect from your classes?

The unexpected!

I've done my job when you start to feel new possibilities in every movement, moment, and breath.

What type of class could you teach all day, everyday and why?

A class with fewer poses and more play.

Do you practice any other form of movement or fitness besides yoga? If so, what kind?

Yes. Through the years I have played just about every sport. I have always been a runner. And I have trained as an Olympic Lifter, performed as a belly dancer, and competed as a martial artist. Currently, I'm learning to boulder and training Kung Fu. Yoga is not how I exercise. It's how I feel and integrate different parts of myself. But I think a consistent yoga practice can help you with any sport.

What's your go-to spot in Melbourne to get inspired?

Right now it's Urban Climb!

Which 3 icons or figures would you want to sit next to at a dinner party and why?

Hmmm...I'll go with Tina Fey, Jad Abumrad (creator of Radiolab), and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. They are all funny, smart, and self-aware people who have changed the face of comedy, radio, and law.

Finish this sentence. "I feel the most like myself when..."

I'm learning in motion.

And lastly because it's fun, what's your spirit animal?

I don't know so I'll just say Dragon.

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