Yoga Teacher Interview with Tia Tuovinen

Hello Tia, tell us about yourself !

I am Tia, originally from Finland but have lived in 6 countries and counting. I am currently in Barcelona and South Europe doing yoga, drinking coffee, taking pictures and writing.

 

Yoga

When and how did you encounter yoga for the first time?

I first started doing yoga in high school, and I was challenging myself a lot with ashtanga back then. It took a few years for me to relax and incorporate also restorative/yin yoga in my practice.

What style of yoga do you practice or teach?

I practice power yoga/flow as well as yin and restorative, and I teach those styles too. I want to teach the kind of yoga I practice; I want yoga to challenge me both physically and mentally, and I want my students to feel rejuvenated and like they’ve overdone themselves after the class. I practice power yoga/flow as well as yin and restorative, and I teach those styles too. I want to teach the kind of yoga I practice; I want yoga to challenge me both physically and mentally, and I want my students to feel rejuvenated and like they’ve overdone themselves after the class.

 

What does your personal practice look like?

My personal practice is an active flow with an emphasis on core work, but I like to mix it up a lot. I have some favorite poses I love doing, but I want to explore new asanas as much as possible and not get stuck doing the same over and over again.

Do you remember your first ever yoga class? Share it with us

My first class was when I was 16 and went to a class with a friend; for some reason we both started laughing uncontrollably at one point of the class…she didn’t go back, but I did.

Do you have any tips for aspiring yoga teachers?

Just do it. Get yourself out there, volunteer to help, listen to other teachers, learn as much as you can, and more than anything else, keep practicing yourself.

What is the most beautiful place that you have ever practiced yoga?

I have been lucky to do yoga in several different countries, in various settings. I have some studios I absolutely love, and also some tropical surroundings that were just surreal. Many places have a special place in my heart for different reasons.

What do you find most challenging about yoga?

The most challenging part for me about yoga is coming to terms with the fact that I am a work in progress, and that some poses might not be attainable to me no matter how I try. We are all different, and what comes easily for some is nearly impossible for others. Realizing this will make your practice more progressive and proactive.

What is your favorite asana and why?

I love three legged dog because it’s a great stretch for the whole body; I have grown to love half pidgeon too; I used to hate it more than anything, but the more I’ve done it, the more I love it and now I could stay in it for ages!

What are you working on at the moment?

Handstand has been a goal of mine for a long time, but I am exploring with a lot of other arm balances at the moment. I like to just take a leap and try new poses when I get the chance, and on the odd occasion I nail them and get a great feeling of success. Or then I fail and keep practicing!

How has yoga made a difference to your life?

Besides the obvious physical flexibility, I am more relaxed and I think my mind is also more flexible. I am more willing to let life take me places as opposed to trying to force things too much.

Who is your favorite yoga teacher?

Satu Tuomela, who is an amazing human being. She started Pranama, a pay-what-you-can yoga studio in Helsinki, Finland. She teaches now in Sweden and hosts retreats and trainings all over the world; I haven’t taken her class in a couple of years, but I will always remember her classes as incredibly powerful and empowering. She is my “yoga teacher goals”.

 

 

Travelling

How do you fund your travels?

I fund my travels by working as a copywriter, translator, photographer, yoga teacher, and whatever else I can find and find interesting. I am also a trained barista so my skills are a mix of things. I have taught photography, been a personal photographer, and worked crazy hours in a restaurant to save money. Somehow this crazy mix has worked for me so far, but I sometimes also volunteer just to be able to experience a new culture.

Do you have any funny travel stories?

I have so many funny travel stories I don’t even know where to start. I’ve taken a yoga class taught by so incredibly good looking Spanish guy I kept getting shaky every time he came to assist me, I’ve traveled in a local minivan from Vietnam to Cambodia, and learned how to ride a scooter in Bali. If I have a local SIM card during my travels, I often post on Instagram stories about my days.

What is your craziest travel experience?

This is also in the category of “I can’t just name one”. Most of the days I wake up thinking that my life is pretty crazy!

Where is your favorite destination?

I love Japan and Australia. But it depends on the duration and purpose of the trip, and the time of the year.

If you could get on a plane anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

Probably Japan. It’s still cherry blossom season over there.

 

Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travelers?

The more you hesitate and come up with excuses, the more you should do it. There is no feeling like the feeling of getting out of your comfort zone and realizing that the things you were worried about were just problems in your head. Overcoming anxieties and fears feels amazing, and it makes you a stronger person. And the more you get out of your comfort zone, the easier it becomes to do it again and again.

How do you keep track of your expenses when you’re on the road?

I am very bad at this. I usually have an idea of how much I want to spend, and then I try to keep under that amount. I don’t really restrict my purchases, but I try not to buy things I don’t really need. I am trying a new thing this month, which is paying for everything with my credit card. I know this might sound horrible and impossible to some people, but I am a saver in nature so I am not too afraid of blowing the bank this way. At the end of the month it will be easy for me to see how much I have spent, and if this system works for me or not. I am trialing this because I got a credit card tied to an airline, so I am checking to see how many points I collect!

What lessons have you learned from travel?

That I can survive in tough situations even if I am alone; and that there are good people that will help me if I need help. I can take care of myself and that no matter what feelings come up (on the road or where ever), nothing lasts forever. The only thing that stays is change.

What are your future travel plans?

At the moment I don’t have any future travel plans, besides going to teach yoga in Portugal in May. I will see what comes up, I’m going to do trips around Barcelona and probably elsewhere in Spain but other than that I have kept my options open for this year.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Seeing what comes up. I might end the year in California or Europe or in Sri Lanka, I have no idea! It is pretty amazing to think that I have this kind of freedom.

Aside from the obvious essentials, what can you absolutely not travel without?

My camera. I rarely leave the house without my Sony a7. I am also sometimes too attached to my phone, and of course my laptop is very essential in my travels.

 

 

Personal

If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Relax, everything will be fine and things will go the way they’re supposed to go; enjoy the ride and take every bump as a learning experience.

Who do you look up to?

I look up to people who are unapologetically following what they believe in and working every day to improve themselves and keep going. Everyone has struggles others don’t know about, but it’s easy to forget about that when all you see perfect Instagram pictures everywhere.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Mine and my brother’s motto is “sisulla siitä selviää”, which could be translated into “grit will get you through it”. It’s a Finnish thing, I suppose, encouraging me not to give up.

 

 

Blogging and Social Media

What is the name and URL of your travel blog?

http://www.tiatuo.com My site is called Tiatuo, cause it’s easy and short and I am not tied to just a certain topic with that name.

When did you start your blog?

I first started blogging in 2012 when I started traveling, but all of those posts are stored somewhere else now. I switched to my new website just a year ago.

I write with my own voice about the things I find interesting, as opposed to writing about what I think will bring the most traffic/revenue to me. I want to be authentic and inspiring to people.

What is your most popular blog post?

https://www.tiatuo.com/life/comfort-zone The post is about getting out of your Comfort zone.

What do you wish you knew about blogging before you started?

SEO, design, all kinds of stuff. When I started, I just started writing to the text box in wordpress and that was about as much as I knew about it.

 

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Tia Tuovinen avatar

tiatuo

Globetrotter with 10 years' yoga experience in 8 countries exploring different styles of yoga. I teach power yoga and restorative and want to give my students a truly unique experience. I am also a photographer, writer and I love surfing and good coffee.

1 comment

  1. This is a really insightful interview with a wonderful person. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tia myself and can highly recommend readers to go check out her blog. Thank you for posting this interview..I’ve really enjoyed it.. 🙂

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