Jen Kraft thought she was the last person to ever become a yogi. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English, she moved right to Manhattan and entered Corporate America. She managed marketing & promotional programs at CNN and then went to The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to receive her MBA in Marketing. She then moved on to American Express where she developed new products and also managed travel-related marketing for their premium brands until she left to be a full-time mom.
To anyone looking in, Jen had it all together...strong resume, friends, happy family life, fit body. No one would have guessed that ever since she could remember, an obsession with her weight plagued her. She became anorexic in her late teens and although she "recovered", she remained a diet and gym junkie striving for the "ideal body" that only exists on airbrushed magazine covers. After her 3rd knee surgery at the age of 39, she begrudgingly walked into her first yoga class, telling herself she was just there for the physical benefits and would never buy into the "weird" spiritual stuff. But before long, the yoga philosophy began to sink in...life changing ideas that thoughts become things, that our lives are unfolding as they should, and that our bodies are gifts that should be respected, not tortured and starved.
As Jen began to realize how yoga was helping her to make peace with her body, she became eager to share with others. She obtained her 200 hour yoga teacher certification in 2014 from Ben Wisch at FLOW YOGA/Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ and soon after opened her yoga studio, DEFIANT YOGA. DEFIANT YOGA's mission is to help students learn to love and accept themselves exactly as they are and DEFY anything that gets in their way. In January 2015, Jen was thrilled to help Kula for Karma launch its first Body Positive Yoga program for students suffering from eating disorders and/or negative body image and teaches the class weekly. Jen has also trained with Dr. Melody Moore of the Embody Love Movement, Leslie Kaminoff of Yoga Anatomy, Charlotte Stone of the Stone Center for Yoga and Health, and Christine Loyacano of the Bergen County Transcendental Meditation Center. She lives in northern New Jersey with her husband, Matt, and their two sons.