Jennilee Toner

Jennilee has the best job in the world…travelling the world and teaching four of her passions: yoga, human anatomy, injury prevention, and mythology of the asanas.

Jennilee Toner is student and teacher of yoga and human anatomy and the author of The Perfect Chaturanga: A Comprehensive Guide to the Human Body Through the Practice of Vinyasa Yoga. She has been practicing Hatha and Vinyasa yoga since 1996, teaching Hatha and Vinyasa yoga since 2003 and teaching experiential anatomy to yoga teachers in training internationally since 2010. She has also been teaching her own Hot Warrior Yoga 200-hour teacher training courses since 2012 and Inner Sanctum Yoga 300-hour teacher Trainings since 2016. Jennilee has been a college professor of Anatomy and Physiology in Upstate New York since 2021.

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Why yoga?

In 1996, after many years working as a Deputy Sheriff, training as a Medic, Military Policewoman and Drill Sergeant for the US Army, and living in shock after the sudden death of her young mother, Jennilee found herself waking up to the fact that she wanted to be a kind and compassionate person, wanted to live her life intimately aware of the tender bitter-sweetness of each moment. In that illumination, in that wanting, she found herself at her first yoga class…in an attic, standing in tree pose, weeping as the teacher read a poem about the unconditional giving of the earth’s trees, For the first time Jennilee felt the precious interconnectedness of all things. She has been a lover and practitioner of yoga ever since!

To teach or not to teach…

There really was no question. Already a belly dance and fitness instructor, Jennilee immediately knew that yoga would be a perfect complement to any workout regime. At first, Jennilee taught from a purely physical fitness standpoint…oh how she can still ROCK a good kick-butt cardio flow! Then, just as all things in this universe organically evolve, Jennilee began to both expand and deepen her perspective. In the process of practising Bikram yoga 6 days a week consistently for two years in Key West, she witnessed tremendous shifts in her body, in her mind, and in her heart. In 2008 Jennilee found her way to Yogi Hari of Sampoorna Yoga (Sivananda lineage) to study with him in his Miramar, Florida ashram. The study and then teaching of classical yoga began.

Silent Meditation and Hot Warrior Yoga

In 2010 Jennilee shaved her head and enthusiastically embarked on the inevitable journey of a yogi into Self…a ten-day silent (no eye contact) Vipassana style meditation retreat. Oh, how her mind entertained her for 8 of those 10 days! While she was supposed to be focusing her mind solely on her breath and the sensations in her body, Jennilee found her mind continuously wandering. By day eight of the retreat she had created (in her head – no writing utensils were allowed) the 50plus posture practice that is Hot Warrior Yoga (a 75-90 minute creative, intelligent and safe sequence based on Bikram Yoga and Hot Power Vinyasa) – plus the teacher training format and the manual that would accompany it. It was only on the 9th day of the retreat did she finally quiet her mind in order to concentrate deeply.

The best job in the world

Jennilee feels lucky to have been able to travel the world and teach three of her passions: Human Anatomy, Injury Prevention and Vinyasa Yoga. She feels blessed to have worked with some of the best yoga teachers in the field: Vidya Heisel, Jennifer Yarro and and the amazingly awesome training team of Frog Lotus Yoga Teacher Trainings. She’s also grateful to her top-notch training team for Hot Warrior & Inner Warrior Yoga Teacher Trainings, Esther Ekhart and the brilliant team at EkhartYoga and the creators and teaching teams of all of the national and international trainings she has taught Yoga Anatomy and Language & Myths of the Asanas for.

And now …

After writing and self-publishing The Perfect Chaturanga: A Comprehensive Guide to the Human Body Through the Practice of Vinyasa Yoga (illustrated by the talented Suzanne Martin) and travelling for two years on an around-the-world Perfect Chaturanga book and workshop tour, Jennilee’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching safe and intelligent yoga continues to grow. After 3 years of studying Traditional Chinese Medicine at The Pacific School of Health & Sciences, she’s now started teaching anatomy and physiology at the local college. Jennilee loves inspiring others to explore the wonders of the human body. Much of her time is now split between the loves of her life (Dan and their two “fur-babies” Papousa and Beagle Baby), teaching 12 yoga and fitness classes a week, and writing about yoga and anatomy!

You can train with Jennilee on EkhartYoga Academy

Jennilee Toner, side stretch

Embodied Anatomy – A 23-hour anatomy immersion, exploring both the Western view of the ‘physical body’ and the yogic approach to the ‘subtle body’. This course is designed to provide you with a deep understanding of human anatomy so you can teach and practice in a safe and sustainable way.