Taru Tuohiniemi

Birthplace? Espoo, Finland

When did you move to OZ?  I came to Australia – for a holiday – in 2013.

What’s your signature dish when you cook?
This could be classical risotto, but I love testing out new combinations and recipes.
My private student recently gifted me with an Ottolenghi cookbook which is full of fabulous and creative dishes, including desserts! I have sweet teeth…

Tea or Coffee? Both: almond milk cappuccinos and herbal teas please

Cat or Dog? Both

Star Sign? Aries

What quote do you live by? What can I say… Yoga citta vritti nirodhah.

What Yoga style do you practice?
Yin, hatha, prana flow, movement meditations where the rivers of yoga and dance meet, seated and still meditations and I’m currently learning about classic tantrik meditation practices.

How did you start yoga?
I found yoga classes while living in Tanzania and working for the United Nations. First seated pranaym made me sweat bullets, few classes later I had less pain in my body, and a few more classes later I started to notice that there was more to this practice, beyond the physical… The sense of calm, awake, being at ease. So I continued to practice in front of the Indian Ocean views. Not a bad way to start on the path.

Can you sum up what Yoga gives to you in a few words?
It often feels like coming back home: simply being, witnessing, a state of calm, relaxation yet awakened, energised, clear.

When and where did you do your first Teacher Training?
After having lived and worked in New Delhi, India for two years I was desperate for peace and quiet, despite practising yoga and Tibetan meditation 2-3 times weekly.
I ended up in the hillsides of the Himalayas for a yoga retreat, which turned out to be my first yoga teacher training! So I became a yoga teacher by accident in 2013!

Favourite pose?
This changes seasonally, daily, monthly. But when I injured my knee (dancing) and broke my hand (while doing knee rehab…) I came to crave my downward facing dog, adho mukha svanasana, and reclined hero, supta virasana, they both provide so much for me!

Least favourite pose?
Rolling panda (yin).

If you could study with any teacher, who would it be and why?
I’ve been studying with Christopher Wallis online since the lockdown (March 2020). Heis attitude, approach and knowledge to teach Tantra philosophy and meditation  is absolutely lovely: sharing, caring, challenging, knowledgeable, practical, humane and funny. I would also always go back to study more with Shiva Rea and Delamay Devi.

Best in-class blooper?
Place your palm inside your head.
I’m sure there are many more in Finglish!

Where would be your ultimate Yoga retreat destination?
With all the elements, in nature, without wifi!

What do you love most about your job?
Being able to help, empower and connect.

What have you given up to teach yoga?
Nothing I can’t live without.

What have you gained by teaching yoga?
Connections, community, support, growth and of course more time to do the things I love!

What was the best thing about COVID lock-down?
Slowing. Everything. Down.

If you could talk to your pre-yoga self, what would you tell her?
Do less, slow down, take those deep breaths.

What hobbies/activities do you have outside yoga?
If I’m not offering yoga or holistic change coaching I dance, enjoy outdoors hiking, rock climbing, occasional canyoning, skiing (when I can), swimming, painting, reading or cooking.

How long have you taught at Qi?
From June 2019 – and am very grateful for that.

  • Making sense of an unfair life: musings from my mat
  • poem by Mari Andrew In such a connected world we often hear insanely unfair and distressing news all around us. Read More

  • How to make your health and your practice a priority
  • Once we get clear on our values, our priorities shift.
    One of the biggest things I’ve come to understand when people tell me they want to be healthier, happier and start getting into good practices but don’t know how. . .
    Is that it’s all about getting real on your values and priorities.

  • Why is it hard to meditate? Even when we know the benefits? By Rachel Long
  • You value your health and wellbeing right? You eat well, exercise regularly, go to a regular yoga class where you Read More

  • How mindfulness works with strong emotions. By Rachel Long
  • A big feeling caught me by surprise recently. Within moments of reading an email, my rational mind shut down, my Read More

  • 4 ways mindfulness helps with stress. By Rachel Long
  • Fascinating research by neuroscientist Sara Lazar showed mindfulness meditation practitioners, even after just 8 weeks of practising, had a reduction in amygdala activity