Kenna is a dancer & yogini, teacher, trainer and artist based in Encinitas, California. She has enjoyed a rich career in performing & healing arts since graduating from UC San Diego in 2008. Her studies in Dance & Sociology (and the Great Recession) led her to carve out her own professional path, embracing artistic movement culture, yogic lifestyle and holistic wellness wholeheartedly. Kenna had the privilege to work extensively in San Diego and travel the world dancing and teaching with the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective from 2008-2014. As part of The Salon Dance Series, at the Encinitas Library in May of 2014, she directed, choreographed and performed in I Only Know (What I Don’t Know), a 40-minute dance concert. While living abroad in Europe in 2016, Kenna taught independent weekend Spring + Fall workshops (barre, contemporary dance & yoga) at Ballettwerkstatt in Heidelberg, Germany. That year she also led her first group of Ballet Sculpt Barre Teacher Training in Dubai, UAE at Inspire Yoga + Fitness.
Kenna moved back to California from Italy with her husband in November 2016 and since then has been focusing on building her yoga and dance-based business. Kenna has studied well over 1,000 hours in Yoga, beginning officially with Anusara in 2009 with Sherry Schreck. From there, she studied Vinyasa, which after countless practices took her to southern India to receive her advanced training with Danny Arguetty and Lora Heiner in 2015. The magical essence of India inspired Kenna beyond belief and cemented her passion and love for the rich history, philosophy and spirituality of Yoga. In May 2016, Kenna discovered and fell enamored with Yin upon studying the foundations with Joe Barnett in Zurich, Switzerland. Her weekly Sunday evening Yin class has become a staple in the local community in which she resides and brings so much peace, balance and joy. She cannot wait to study more Yin Yoga!
Kenna most recently dove into Yoga Therapy studies with Dr. Alison McLean and Elia Nikolaev in 2018 at Prana Yoga in La Jolla and she continues to finish her case studies, working toward another 100 hours of certification. Yoga as therapy education has brought so much heightened awareness to Kenna’s teaching, in public classes as well as through her private practice, which has grown extensively in the last few years. She is looking forward to being able to serve more people from a wide range of backgrounds as she continues to add more tools and techniques for facilitating Yoga as an empowering and healing experience.
In the corporate world, Kenna has provided on site yoga at various locations, helping employees to unload stress and practice self-care so that they may be productive, creative and happy in their jobs. Social justice and activism are very important to Kenna, too; she is honored to have had the experience of providing free yoga to groups of women on federal probation, working with their parole officer to re-integrate them back into society with tools for success. Kenna sees a future in further education and possibly work in the social realm, to combine her love of helping others through the medium of Yoga/Dance with a greater impact across more layers of society and potentially within the civil/political sphere. Her immersion into Street Yoga (a Seattle-based organization that provides services and education on yoga for at-risk populations) back in 2011 planted a seed that has been sprouting ever since, now ready to blossom.
Among the most pivotal of places in Kenna’s journey of yoga practice and teaching over the last decade has been Yoga Six, formally Haute Yoga. This is where Kenna has consistently taught (and learned) in north county San Diego for so many years and developed a very special community along the way. In addition to teaching classes and workshops, Kenna assisted Katie Brauer in leading 200-hr. teacher training in 2017, and then led her own group in the Fall of 2018. Now she serves as the Lead Teacher for Yoga Six Solana Beach, bridging the teaching and management staff and coaching incoming and existing teachers to be the best, most inclusive teachers they can be that reflect the high standards of Yoga Six.
Kenna teaches ballet-based barre classes in Del Mar at Kim Kelly Fit, where she intends to organize another round of Ballet Sculpt Barre Fitness Teacher Training in the near future (stay tuned!). The wonder of experiencing her students evolve in opportunities like teacher training or at a retreat lights Kenna up from the inside out. She is so proud of the trainings she has been a part of and the yoga retreats she has led since 2014 in Southern California, Italy, Mexico and Wyoming, most recently with her partner Arielle Rabier. Deep study, immersion and travel are a sheer joy and getting to do any or all as a part of her job is a major perk of the business.
Kenna is a proud ToeSox Ambassador since 2015! She is happily married with a cat. Beyond yoga and dance, Kenna loves to be in Nature, traveling, surfing or snowboarding. Food is also a passion, along with music, coffee, culture, flowers, aromatherapy, art, film, literature, friends and family.
The rhythm of a flow yoga class has its roots in Vinyasa; as the breath guides and supports the body's natural motion in time and space, it serves as a continuous thread, linking each asana (posture) of the practice into a fluid dance. Flow moves energy in dynamic ways, igniting inner fire with Surya Namaskar (salute to the sun) and strong movements such as chaturanga dandasana (high to low push-up) and variations. Pulsation, as well as active stillness, supported by pranayama (breathing technique), continue to build heat. Typically, a flow class will work up to a more challenging peak pose, such as an inversion or balancing posture, incorporating twists, backbends, forward folds, side stretches and hip openers to prepare the body for this particular apex. Spiritual themes may be incorporated through out the class as opportunities for inspiration, meditation, self-reflection, celebration, and love. Creatively opening and aligning the body and its energy centers (chakras) in an organic and seamless sequence of poses, no one flow class is exactly the same, and this is part of its complex beauty. The vast depth of possible exploration into the laboratory of the human body, mind and spirit, equipped with the tools of Yoga, is infinite!
A lighter, slower-paced yoga class, incorporating props (blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets, the wall) to support well-structured alignment and enhance the pose's healing qualities. Initially, the body builds heat via a gentle, rhythmic pulsation linked to the breath (pratipana), so that blood and prana (life force energy) circulate naturally and prepare the body for deep release. This gentler class contains fewer postures than a typical flow class, and they are explored for longer periods of time. The class aims to balance deep stretching with light strength-building and intelligent therapeutics for the body, promoting safe and sustainable flexibility and joint mobility, as well as a deep release of tension and stress, body and mind.
When the body is completely supported, it can truly surrender and let go, even into the connective tissue and the emotional-energetic body. Deep relaxation promotes healing and it is especially helpful for relieving chronic stress and slowing down. Consistent engagement with the physically more subtle yoga practices can positively address less than ideal, long-term postural habits, physical asymmetries, old injuries, and trauma of all forms held in the body.
As each person has a unique body, background and experience, there are no one-size-fits-all yogic remedies. A private yoga session, however, can address specific, unique needs and tailor the practice around them, refining alignment and breath, strengthening particular muscles and/or relieving others, like a form of bodywork. A deeper examination of the client through visual assessment of muscultoskeltal structure, dialogue on injuries and/or habitual movements/posture, prop use as well as manual assistment and adjustment bring a very detailed and personalized element to this practice and altogether realize the wonderfully rehabilitative & therapeutic aspects of Yoga on the individual level. Mental yoga, meditation, breath work, lifestyle and philosophy discussion may be included here.
Ballet Sculpt~Barre Fitness is inspired by dance, yoga, fitness, and music! The class begins with variations of Salute to the Sun, followed by an intense series of ballet-based warm-up/training exercises at the barre, strengthening and lengthening the muscles while getting the heart rate going. Light weights may be used through out the class in order to enhance the burn and promote toning. The tempo is upbeat and the movements rhythmic; strong, yet smooth. It is a full blast workout for the legs, gluteus and core, with deep stretches interspersed through out for recovery and conditioning. Discover new muscles while moving through the building blocks of classical dance technique, develop musicality and coordination, lift and shapen, balance strength with flexibility, own it... and work it!
BARRE TEACHER TRAINING THIS FALL! @barre59 La Jolla. Sept. 14-23, 2018—Fri. night, Sat. + Sun. afternoon.
With a strong Ballet foundation, for overall quality and balance of strength and lightness, Kenna's style of contemporary dance is innate and influenced by various elements of her life experience in movement: Yoga, classic Modern, Jazz, West African, Latin, Hip-Hop and Funk/Street. She explores the fusion of dance genres, gesture, structured improvisation and real life inspiration to create movement that is physically cutting edge, dynamic, and authentic. Music remains an integral and influential aspect. Kenna believes that a trained & passionate contemporary dancer ideally embodies the blend of an all-around athlete, intellectual, investigator and artist. Her work reflects this and is her medium with which she engages the world.
Compassionate, authentic, and inspirational are three words I would use to describe Kenna. I have been her student since 2010, and have participated in many of her classes including Vinyasa, Hatha, ballet sculpt, and contemporary dance. Kenna's use of spontaneity and evolution to the "peak pose/movement" always leaves me inspired and eager to learn more. Ballet sculpt with her is a fun and powerful exercise that worked my little booty into shape. Kenna's emphasis on proper technique and alignment has helped my yoga practice evolve immensely and guides students of all levels in practicing safely. I favor her flows because she incorporates dance in a way that not only feels good in my body, but is filled with Kenna's passion and playful spirit. Through movement and stillness, strength and flexibility, Kenna has helped me embrace the fact balance is key -- on the yoga mat, dance floor, and everyday life.
When I first began my yoga practice, I was physically and psychologically stiff at best. Hoping to loosen up a bit, I dropped into one of Kenna's classes by recommendation. That was a game-changer. One class with Kenna taught me what a truly graceful, poised, and fluid yoga practice looked like, and I became mesmerized. Kenna made me feel welcomed and comfortable, guiding me patiently through pose modifications and adjustments. Over the last few years taking Kenna's classes, I have become stronger, more flexible, and more fluid in my approach to both yoga and life. For this, I thank Kenna for helping me to continue to become the best version of myself both on and off the mat.
Several years ago, while living in L.A., I began taking classes in the Lotte Burke method of exercise. It was an isometric series of movements that were very subtle & strengthened the core. Living in San Diego, I read about the Barre method & enrolled in various classes @ Rancho Valencia Resort & a national franchise. The concept was similar to Lotte Burke. However, after awhile, I was getting bored & going through the motions. That is, until I began taking Kenna Crouch's classes. Kenna is a professional dancer who brought her own unique method to Barre with a strong influence in dance - ballet in particular. No two classes were the same & I always looked forward to attending the classes. In a short time, I noticed a stronger core, better posture & more graceful movements in my overall exercise program. Kenna & I now live on two different continents but I'm keeping in close contact so we can hook up somewhere in order for me to participate in her classes. As hard as I try, I cannot find anyone who comes close to the excellence in which she teaches!
I am a professor of literature and the author of three books, but writing a testimonial for Kenna Crouch is very hard for me. Kenna changed my life, and this is not hyperbole. She became one of the most important people to me, and she did this through movement, touch, a spiritual sense of self, and her lovely smile. I have no “yoga fixed my back” or “after finding yoga I quit my job and became a new person” story. I met Kenna when I was in a good place in my life, in healthy physical condition, and maintaining a basic yoga practice. But, Kenna introduced me to the beauty and power of yoga, and this gift has changed me for the better. Kenna is a dancer, a beautiful being for whom yoga is not a series of poses and postures but a way of moving and being. I often think of the famous statement from Ernest Fenollosa, the nineteenth-century American sinologist: “A true noun, an isolated thing, does not exist in nature” (“The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry” 1919). Kenna shows this to be true. She teaches yoga as natural movement. She lives and loves the hybrid of dance and asanas. She is creative in her practice and pedagogy. Kenna teaches her students to find joy in yoga so that they can find joy in their bodies and space in their lives. I can think of no greater gift. I am thankful for Kenna’s guidance every day and wish that every day I could be next to her on my mat.
Kenna is rare in so many ways; she performs dance with beautifully artistry, she is a yogini with few peers, she is an expert in the use of the Barre, she is exceptionally well versed in kinesiology, and, oh boy, can she teach! And to top it off, she is one of the kindest, most sincere, and genuine people you will ever meet. Kenna’s multidisciplinary training in yoga, modern dance, ballet, and body movement is evident in the way she moves, as well as in the manner in which she instructs. She is not only aware of the limitations of her students, she is able to assist them in making each asana, dance movement, or training exercise work for their unique body-style and structural limitations. I am able speak to Kenna’s expertise, as a professor of both academics (sociology) and athletics (jiu-jitsu), a former ballet dancer, a struggling yogi and a broken, but still competitive, jiu-jitsu player. Kenna’s instruction and guidance have helped me stay functional, limber, strong, and yes… competitive. Kenna has aggregated much of her knowledge in the foundations of ballet, modern dance, yoga and the human body into a system of movement based on the use of the Barre. Long an apparatus used to warm up for ballet practice, Kenna has brought together a number of strength and stretching techniques used at the Barre and added techniques more closely identified with other systems of movement (yoga and modern dance) to create a holistic Barre exercise system. It is truly unique, just not as unique as Kenna!