One of the delights for 2013 .. was meeting Jenni Morrison-Jack from Ihana Yoga.

I had watched with interest the opening of a new yoga space in my local neighbourhood .. and I felt drawn to introduce myself. It has been an absolute joy to share meditation at the studio .. and we will be back again in 2014.

The Focus On articles are designed to share individual journeys in meditation, an opportunity to listen and learn from others.

Name: Jenni Morrison-Jack, Founder of Ihana Yoga
Special Interest: Yoga

Tell us about Ihana Yoga:
“At Ihana Yoga you can practice Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in its two traditional forms and its modern spin-off Vinyasa Flow. We are committed to providing high-quality yoga teaching based on solid anatomical understanding. At Ihana Yoga you will learn safe alignments and healthy movement patterns in physical yoga practice.
Through the philosophy and practices of yoga we aim to inspire, motivate and empower you to live the healthy lifestyle you dream of. Our mission to raise consciousness is based on the core philosophy of yoga; Union or Oneness with all of life”.

Tell us about your Special Interest
My special interest is Yoga in the full meaning of the word; psycho-spiritual tradition. All yoga traditions tell us that there is something beyond the body-mind complex, which has always intrigued me. Living in this fast paced modern society, we need this age-old tradition more than ever. Yoga helps us heal the body-mind, and then fine-tune it in order to lead a more conscious life.

How long have you been practicing, or working in this area?
I started my asana (postural yoga) practice 14 years ago, but I feel like I’ve done yoga all my life. I was a rhythmic gymnast all my childhood, so an individual physical practice that requires concentration has always been in my life. More importantly, I’ve always been drawn to the yogic way of thinking; at around the age of 10 when I had read all the kids books at our local library, I started going through all the spiritual books the library had to offer – from Eastern tradition of reincarnation and soul travel to astrology, angels, and out-of-body experiences.

How did you ‘find’ meditation, and how long have you been practicing meditation
I’ve always needed alone-time, and even as a young child I used to sit on the window ledge by myself staring at the sky, doing nothing. Formal meditation didn’t come til much later when I attended a couple of Reiki courses in 2005. The love for my inner experience grew and I was introduced to different types of meditation on my travels. I attended a couple of 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreats in India and the Himalayas of Nepal, which gave me a good kick-start to meditation in 2007 and 2008.

Do you have a regular practice – daily, weekly, other?
Yes. I wouldn’t go a week without meditating, but I still go through stages of more or less meditation. Longer periods of daily meditation always show that I am happier and my life feels more purposeful when I meditate every single day.

What inspires you to keep meditating .. returning to your practice?
At first the benefits of meditation weren’t clear to me. I felt good, but I couldn’t pinpoint it to meditation only. The more regular my practice became, and the more I got used to feeling good, grateful and happy, the more I started noticing the lack of meditation as a lack of what my family calls the ‘happy-life syndrome’.

Why meditate?
It allows me to tap into the unlimited source of universal energy. After sitting for 30min in a strong energy flow, I feel completely re-energised and recharged. No matter what the form of my meditation is on any given day, my intention is to raise the level of consciousness to remember our origin as well as understand our true nature.

Do you have a particular technique(s) that you have found most suitable for you?
After the Vipassana meditation retreats I’ve attended, it still is easy to go back to a body scanning technique that emphasises equanimity towards all sensations, whether pleasant or unpleasant. On some days, I feel I need to keep my awareness in the physical body and observe bodily sensations to stay grounded, whereas on other days I enjoy scanning the energy body around and inside the physical body, which feels like a more healing and clearing meditation.

AM or PM?
AM ideally as it sets the intention for the rest of the day. However, if I miss a morning when I teach at 6am, I enjoy sitting before lunch. My preferred meditative position is sitting on the floor cross-legged on a beautiful meditation cushion that a dear friend has given me.

Have you a dedicated space for your practice?
My favourite place to meditate is at our yoga studio, where we have created a strong energy grid with selenite, rose quartz and clear quartz. Otherwise, I sit at home in any empty room.

Have you attended a meditation retreat?
Yes. Two 10-day Vipassana meditation retreats.

Any favourite books/CDs/Resources that you might share with others?
As simple as it sounds, my favourite meditation resource is the Internet. There is so much info online, including guided meditations.

Any thoughts you might share with those who are new to meditation?
Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals, like meditating 1h twice a day. Meditation seems more accessible when you start with little 2-5min meditations.

7 Random things about you?
* I baby talk to all random dogs coming my way.
* My fingernails and toenails are matching colour 95% of the time.
* I have a Master’s degree in Finance and even worked in the corporate world for a while.
I don’t like watching the news, but love getting hooked on TV series and watching episodes back to back without commercials.
* I love studying and learning new things.
* I’m proud to be a book worm and a geek!
* I have designed our mosaic table after my favourite constellation, Orion’s Belt.

Thank you Jenni 🙂