Color Vision Doyennes; Yoga teacher Benedicte Clementsen
Benedicte is someone who has a very special charisma - there is a calmness and a decisiveness I've always admired when I've met her. I wanted to know more about her journey with yoga, and how her daily life looks now as the owner of Yogarommet. In addition I was lucky enough to work with her and super talented photographer Linn Heidi Stokkedal on some amazing pictures for the Color Vision Doyennes interview, which you can read below.
I’m curious, tell me - who’s Benedicte?
The thought of having to describe oneself seems so definite, it feels too final somehow. Maybe this is also why I’ve explored so many different arenas in my life. I have a large variety of experiences that helped shape my personality, some of which only a few people know about.
Yoga is your passion – tell me how you discovered it!
I was a 19-year-old theology student when I first experienced yoga at a gym in Stavanger. I remember reading an article on yoga in a fashion magazine, from which I discovered that Madonna practiced yoga. This awakened an interest inside me as I was deeply fascinated by her. With experience in dance throughout my youth, a transition to yoga felt natural.
With a growing interest in visual art, and some love in the air, the city of Bergen was calling for me. During my very first week in my new hometown, a friend and I signed up for a yoga introduction course, coincidentally at Yogarommet. Line Damli, the former owner, was my first teacher, and I really enjoyed the studio from the very first moment.
What does yoga mean to you?
I’ve always had a strong interest in architecture, gravitating towards what I like to call contemplative spaces. Many of my memories revolve around spaces, whether it’s an art gallery, the space in-between buildings in a city, a library or church. Both as an artist and a yoga teacher the open space appeals to me, with its potential for content.
If I was to describe what yoga is to me using one word, it would be space. Yoga to me revolves around the space inside our bodies. The body in relation to the space surrounding us and the curiosity for the space that is still unknown.
I ask myself existential questions – and to me yoga creates a room for contemplation and reflection, which is a necessity for me as a human being.
What is it like to run Yogarommet?
It’s very rewarding, and an amazing privilege. When I was asked to take over the studio three and half years ago, I’d just embarked on my master’s degree in art praxis. I was convinced my course was set. Although, admittedly I’d been teaching yoga whilst studying but when I started my master’s degree in the Netherlands, I took a break from teaching indefinitely. When I was asked to take over the studio it came as a surprise, but the next day I had already made the decision; I had to seize the opportunity.
In addition to Ingvild Toppe, a fellow yoga teacher whom I invited to join the company as a partner, I work with some amazing and talented people from the creative field. I work in close collaboration with designer Magnus Nyquist and photographer Linn Heidi Stokkedal. Together, we are constantly developing content and a visual language for Yogarommet.
Creativity and experience from the art scene is particularly useful in running a small company. In many ways my mindset is similar as before – but now I am operating on a larger scale. The integrity of the content we provide is our priority, and our proceeds provide the realization of this.
Our teachers come from very different backgrounds and they all keep other exciting jobs on the side. This makes their contribution to Yogarommet unique. The students at Yogarommet consist of so many different people with different stories, each and every one fills my life with joy. The members at Yogarommet mean more to me than they might think!
Is fashion important to you, and in that case why and how?
I have always been into clothes and interested in what they represent. I like to play with form and identity. My closest friends keep commenting on my frequent change of character, this is something I toy around with through changing my clothes and hair styles. A little bewilderment and displacement is always good.
Do you like colours?
Colours are unbelievably important. They influence how we experience the world. I am particularly engaged with colour in relation to interior and design. We just bought a house from the 60s. It's exciting that most of the house is intact from the year it was built; the colour palette is amazing.
Any exciting projects ahead?
I was supposed to be in India right now. I had planned and organised a month long stay for studying, which has been cancelled due to the pandemic. On a personal level the renovation of our new home is my main project going forward. As for Yogarommet, in all honesty it is a matter of keeping our heads above water these days. Like for many others the restrictions caused by Covid-19 are affecting us. We have developed a new platform, Yogarommet Online, where people can practice yoga from home. We are constantly readjusting and are hopefully better prepared for the future.
Read more about Yogarommet here;
Visit Benedicte Clementsen
All pictures by Linn Heidi Stokkedal
Earpieces by Elio Jewellery
Yogamat by Innpust