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The Inspiration Download: Interview with Estonia-Based Recipe Blogger & Yoga Teacher Kadri Raig

The Inspiration Download: Interview with Estonia-Based Recipe Blogger & Yoga Teacher Kadri Raig

The Inspiration Download interview series features different people who are bringing ideas to life and sharing something with the world that they are passionate about, whether it's through teaching yoga, creating a business, doing work in their community, creating art, hosting events, bringing to life new wellness products, or more.

These interviews highlight real people who have brought ideas to life and give real-life insight and inspiration on their processes and journey. 

This session is with Kadri Raig, a Tallinn, Estonia-based recipe blogger and yoga instructor. Kadri is a marketing expert, food blogger, and yoga teacher from Estonia. She has been contributing recipes to YogaDownload for over a year and most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time.

The time spent outside of the kitchen is often spent right next to the kitchen as she has turned her living room into an online yoga studio for the time being and teaches most of her classes online. In addition, she helps small businesses to be visible in digital media.

Two of her current passion projects are Cork Yogis - a UK based social enterprise who in addition to using only sustainable materials (cork and recycled tree rubber) to produce awesome yoga mats also supports girls and women in India who have managed to escape sex trafficking. The other is Green Bite - an Estonian company producing superfood bars that are sustainable and use cricket flour as their main protein source.  If you wish to follow her personally,  the best way to do so is on Instagram @kadriraig

What are you passionate about sharing with the world and how does this inspire you?

I wear many hats (I hope this is an expression in English too). I am a yoga teacher, I cook, and I write recipes. I am a freelance marketing consultant for many small and very inspiring companies. Very rarely, I call any of those things work. Since marketing has been my “real job” for many years, this is something I still call work sometimes out of a habit, but since I choose my clients very carefully, all the companies I work with inspire me in return, so work does not refer to something unpleasant here. 

In my 36 years on Earth, I have been lucky to have reached the point where I mostly only do things that inspire me. Well, I am not very fond of cleaning my bathroom or washing the floor, but these are just small inconveniences I can live with and everything else I do inspires me. 

I hope I am able to inspire my students, clients, and people tasting my food in return because life is the constant circle of energy. I have figured out that my goal in life is to make people happy and feel good about themselves. Whether it is through food, yoga, or the success of a small company – all these things are about being happy in essence. 

How does your at-home yoga practice benefit you?

It benefits me big time! I practice pretty much every day and still every time I get on my mat, 3 minutes in I am thinking - why didn’t I do this sooner. Especially if I have been lazy and skipped a few days of practice.

But, I would like to mention here how my life as a yoga teacher has changed in the last year. I was mostly teaching face to face, so everything digital was not even a consideration in my classes before March 2020. However, we all know what has been going on and Estonia is unfortunately not an exception. All classes canceled, contacts minimized etc. Lucky since we live in times of internet I had to and was able to move my yoga classes online. Easy? No. Not at all. But I have been growing in many directions, so I still find positives in these difficult times. 

I am a rather hands-on teacher – I love physical adjustments and often I feel I can help my students with a simple physical nudge better than with only words. Teaching through the screen means that often I can't even see my students, and even if I can see them, I still can't give them little physical nudges of support and encouragement. It is a challenge, but at the same time, it helps me to grow. I needed to figure out how to explain all the little details that I always fixed with a simple touch before. And guess what? I can use these little tricks in real-life classes too! 

Some students only started practicing with me last spring during the first lockdown. Many of them still practice with me today and find some peace and quiet during their busy everyday lives. Yoga does not care where you are and the distance is not really an issue either. The last year has been proof that all you need to do is show up on your mat and everything is coming.

What are your favorite classes on YogaDownload?

I love all the classes by Pradeep Teotia as he is just such a positive teacher. And thinking back there are very few classes that I have not enjoyed. For me it is very important to have my own practice and practicing with other teachers is a very good way to grow and keep learning.

Where are you from

I am from Estonia, a tiny country in Northern Europe right between Finland, Latvia, and Russia. The fact that our country is small does not stop us from doing big things. Maybe you have heard about Skype or Transferwise – both are Estonian companies. Also, almost all of our communication with the government, banks, and other official business is done online. Last year it took me 3 minutes to do my taxes, for example. It takes under half an hour to set up a company. Wifi is almost considered to be a human right.

At the same time, we have a lot of nature to be proud of – the woods cover almost half of our country and we still have places that one can be completely alone and away from all the big cities. Our capital city, Tallinn is more like a capital village with only around 500,000 inhabitants.

I also think it is an advantage to grow up in a country where English is not natively spoken because it is so easy to pick up English from the movies, books, etc. In fact, as I went to German School, the first foreign language I learned was German and if I remember correctly, the English classes did not start before I was maybe 15. Today I use English almost daily because I have several clients in Canada, UK, and the USA. I am far from being on a native speaking level, but it doesn’t really matter as long as I am able to express myself. I also speak a little bit of Finnish, Russian, and Spanish (as well as my native Estonian).

What advice do you have for people starting a new project?

My best advice is just to get started. It takes forever to plan things out perfectly, and sometimes if it has already taken 2 years of planning and writing down the perfect plan, by the time you are ready to start executing, the circumstances have already changed too much for the plan to work. Trust yourself more and everything comes easier.

Of course, I am not saying here that if you have an idea that requires millions of dollars of investment just to jump in without a plan. I am not against planning at all. In fact, excel is definitely one of my favorite computer programs and every business-related thing I do has calculations and analysis to back up my ideas, even if I only do something for my own benefit.

But, often people dream about starting something and never really go through with it. Just get started. You don’t need to quit your full-time job to chase your dreams but just start with something. If you would like to start teaching yoga one day – sign up for a teacher training or if you already have done your training, just start teaching classes once per week and see what happens. If you dream about starting your own business, just get started with a few hours of work every week and see what it brings. Everybody has exactly 24 hours every day, so the lack of time can never be an excuse. It is purely a question of time management and everybody can find a few hours every week or maybe even every day to take a step closer to their dreams!

Maybe I have just been lucky in life, but I have noticed so many times that if you take a small step towards any goal, life supports you with opening new doors and opportunities.

Why do you think it can be hard for people to show up to yoga regularly?

Let me answer this question from a different angle. For the people who practice regularly, it is not that hard to show up every day (or at least 3-4 times per week). Regularly doesn’t have to mean every day. Showing up regularly is difficult for those who have not felt the power of yoga themselves. Every new practice is difficult at first and needs dome dedication, but I am sure that after you really feel how yoga affects you, you don’t have any issues with showing up regularly.

Saying that, I don’t think that every person should practice yoga. It is completely okay if somebody doesn’t like it. I just hope that they find something else that helps them center themselves! It doesn’t matter if it is knitting, singing, ice skating, or basketball – as long as it makes them feel good. And maybe one day they also find yoga. But everybody needs to find it for themselves! Nobody else can take this step. 


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