I founded JoogaTaival (which means Yoga Trek in Finnish) in January 2015. Initially it allowed me to teach yoga part-time alongside my job as a Finnish language instructor. My final decision to devote myself to the yoga path and nature came about at the time when cherry trees were blossoming and frogs were mating in spring 2016. May was exceptionally warm, offering me the chance to develop my ideas and to begin to turn my dreams into reality.
I have named the frog in my logo (drawn by artist Raili Takolander) Sakura, which is a Japanese word that means 'cherry blossom'. The frog can be seen as a symbol of transformation, fertility, hidden beauty, healing and creativity. The frog has a very keen sense of sight and hearing and the power to leap far, feeling at home on land and in the water alike. The Japanese often take a frog with them on a journey to bring them luck and to guarantee a safe return. I hope Sakura brings luck and well-being to me and you, my partner on my journey.
Cherry blossoms and frog mating festivals in the spring are just two beautiful examples of nature's gifts to us. Colours, sounds, experiences, silence, intoxicating smells, nourishment, growth, opportunities to reconnect to yourself and find something new around you, endless beauty... We can see the most amazing things and details when we boldly go out on a trip in nature and are prepared to stop, listen and sense everything around us. Various studies show that nature can work miracles on our health. 60% of people's most favourite places are in nature. Moving about in nature raises your spirits and increases your psychological well-being. Even a 20-minute walk in nature can reduce your stress hormones and relax your mind.
We need a relationship to nature and our environment – nature gives to us and similarly nature needs us. We are part of nature, which is something we sometimes forget in today's hectic world. The air we breathe and the water we drink flow endlessly between us and nature. Our choices and small deeds and exercising while respecting nature can have a profound impact on preserving the diversity and beauty of nature. According to eco-psychology, humans' and nature's well-being (or lack of it) go hand in hand. Our current times demand that we remain good friends with nature. Each and every one of us can make a small or big promise to nature that we will do small eco-deeds in our daily lives and raise our children to respect a rich and clean nature. When nature's doing well, you're doing well!
I'm a 37-year-old nature-loving, creative and positive woman. My soul landscape is in the holiday setting of my childhood in Suomussalmi in Kainuu, where my mother was born. It was in Suomussalmi, and especially in Hossa, our new national park, where my love for and connection to nature were born and deepened. At the moment, I feel it is my mission to share the empowering effects of nature and yoga with others.
With my diverse competence, I aim to provide professional, goal-driven and exciting activities that promote well-being for us humans and all of nature. I feel I'm on the right path, a path that is leading me directly to nature. Come along!