My Top 10 Exercises to do at your desk to feel great!
Hi, I’m Jenn.
I love what I do: helping others find optimal health through yoga and whole-body natural movement. It’s been a life’s journey to arrive at what I’m doing now.
Here is my story.
As a kid I was exposed to aspects of yoga, various spiritual traditions, and the self-help and personal-growth movements, but I really found the practice of yoga during university where it helped me ground, focus my mind, and find clarity and balance in my life.
I continued practicing yoga for several years and eventually decided in 2004 to certify as a yoga teacher.
The timing of my certification ended up coinciding with the timing of my mother’s battle with cancer and the commitment my sister and I made to care for her at her home. Having always had an interest in holistic approaches to health, witnessing my mother’s journey while also training as a yoga teacher inspired me to want to learn more about the therapeutic aspects of yoga. I continued to practice both vigorous and gentle forms of yoga while studying and taking training in many different styles, always with an interest towards the healing and therapeutic benefits of the practice.
As I grew closer to motherhood I took training in prenatal yoga as part of my desire to prepare for a natural childbirth.
The process of becoming a mother and the various unexpected bumps and struggles along the way really shaped my journey with yoga, health and movement and tied it into my views of the natural world in ways I never would have anticipated.
I’ve always been a nature-lover and have a degree in Environmental Science. I knew as a human and as a mammal my body was designed for childbirth and I believed whole-heartedly that I could birth my baby naturally with no ill effects. I prepared. I read. I learned.
And while I did birth my first son without pain medications, it fell short of the complete natural birth experience I desired and also resulted in a fairly serious and long-lasting injury to my pelvic floor. Why did this happen? Why did so many human mothers struggle with childbirth when other mammals seemed to birth their babies so easily?
These questions started me down a path that led me to study biomechanics (how forces affect our biology); learn more deeply about the connection between breathing and core function; and find out how our modern lifestyle with its lack of whole-body natural movement (think hours and hours seated in chairs) has contributed to many of the affluent ailments so common in our society (including but not limited to difficulties in childbirth).
Before my second son was born I taught myself how to work with my breath, pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to breathe my baby out. His birth was so calm, peaceful, natural and enjoyable (yes birth can be enjoyable!) that he was accidentally born at home because we didn’t realize the late stage of labour I was in until moments before his arrival. This powerful experience gave me a new passion to share what I’ve learned with other women on their journeys to become mothers. I took doula training and continue to study new practices and techniques that are helpful to prepare the body and mind for childbirth or to heal afterwards.
My experience also led me to want to learn more about how biomechanics and natural movement might have an effect on other areas of our health.
While many books, practices and teachers inspired my journey, what I learned from reading the work of biomechanist Katy Bowman had the most profound impact on me. I enrolled in her 2-year Restorative Exercise Specialist training and learned about the science of movement and how we can make simple lifestyle and movement changes to restore optimal function to all of our body systems; improve birth outcomes; get out of pain; deal with common conditions like osteoarthritis and diastasis recti; develop strong bones; and generally live better in our bodies.
In addition to my passion for biomechanics and the science of how our movement affects our biology, I am also passionate about the need for deep relaxation amidst our all-too-busy and sometimes stress-abundant lifestyles. I have practiced and taught restorative yoga for many years and have recently certified as a Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga Teacher with Judith Lasater.
I continue to study, learn, practice and grow and this evolves my personal practice and lifestyle as well as what I teach. Right now I’m working to drop my ribs to improve core function and I’m also practicing hanging to build upper body strength and improve my shoulder and upper body mechanics.
both from within yoga and beyond.
I combine all of my learning and personal experience to teach beneficial practices that are informed by both the long history of the yoga tradition as well as modern science and research.
Follow along with me on my blog as I explore movement and mindfulness and provide useful tips. Join me in a class, workshop or private session to get personalized attention that will help you with your health goals. Subscribe to my newsletter (below) to stay connected about my latest blog posts and updated class and workshop information.
If you’d like to read more about
my credentials and studies click here.