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.

Nature's gift to us

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.


Our gift to nature

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!


My gift to you

I’m a nature-loving, creative and positive thinking woman, born in 1979. 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.

A short CV

  • JoogaTaival combines my skills and experiences, which I have picked up in my backpack along my path in life. Ever since I was a small girl, I have been trekking in nature, exercising, dancing and making theatre and handicrafts. I have travelled in Spain, India and Japan, among other places.
  • I studied at the University of Jyväskylä in 2000–2005 to become a teacher of Finnish language, literature, Finnish as a second language and drama education. I worked as a teacher with teenagers and adults in 2005–2016.
  • I became interested in holistic well-being, which I felt was something I personally really needed, in 2009. I soon found the calming practice of yoga, namely the gentle disciplines of hatha and yin, and later Buddhist mindfulness meditation. In addition to regularly practising yoga, I have been to several meditation and yoga retreats and courses. Yoga and meditation have given me the tools to manage the stress and pressures of work, to deepen my self-knowledge and gain a lot of self-confidence and calmness in my life, as well as the courage to build a good way of living.
  • I studied to become a mindfulness yoga teacher at the International Bodhiyoga Yoga Teacher Training Programme in Spain in 2013–2014.
  • I have taught yoga at the Espoo Adult Education Centre, at workplaces, in my own classes and as a fill-in at Shanti yoga school in Helsinki. In summer 2016, I held a four-day well-being break at the Hossa Visitor Centre, during which we did yoga, hiked and enjoyed the silence in the magnificent natural park.
  • In summer 2016, I also studied to become a nature connection instructor at Riitta Wahlström's Taiga Institute and the principles of Green Care at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences.
  • In summer 2017 I graduated as a Nature and Wilderness Guide from Lappia vocational college in Muonio, Finland.
  • In 2018 I will study at an association in California to become a registered Nature and Forest Therapy guide. I will also undertake training at an academy in Spain to become a Mindfulness Coach.

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!

What is...

...mindfulness yoga? care?



JoogaTaival, Saija Taivalmäki

+358 50 3562006