5 minutes with…. Jemina Talja, CEO of Adventure Ashram/Yoga Stops Traffick

Jemina Talja started out as a charity manager and fundraiser and is now involved with a number of international development and women’s rights organisations. This includes running the annual Yoga Stops Traffick campaign attracting hundreds of studios and practitioners across the globe to take a stand on human trafficking.

With a passion for vegetarian cooking and a love for travel she enjoys, ‘getting away from it all’, in her rustic little Finnish cottage.

Jemina tells us more about her role, and what makes her tick!

What is your role at work?

I run the charity Adventure Ashram, supporting anti-trafficking work and disadvantaged children’s access to education and healthcare in India. This includes running the annual Yoga Stops Traffick campaign uniting yoga practitioners across the globe for a day of raising awareness and funds to support survivors of human trafficking.

What is it like working at Adventure Ashram/Yoga Stops Traffick?

Working at Adventure Ashram and on Yoga Stops Traffick is extremely rewarding but also very challenging as we face all the usual challenges of small charities. Every day we see the very worst and very best humanity has to offer with the harrowing stories of those we are working hard to help and the love and kindness offered to them by our amazing supporters across the globe.

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m involved with a number of other international development and women’s rights charities and spend a lot of time supporting their work. I spend time with my two children and enjoy vegetarian cooking, reading, travel and yoga. I do wish I had more spare time to enjoy though, as I’m sure many of us do!

What type of exercise most defines you?

I enjoy group activities. Yoga is especially great for my balance and has helped me immensely with my back and my calm since having my children. I am also partial to ‘running it out’ on a treadmill hidden in my shed.

Downward dog or the lotus position and why?

Downward dog! My back loves it and it feels like the start of ‘something good to come’.

What’s the most useful piece of advice you have ever been given?

Be kind to yourself. No-one else notices/remembers if you’ve messed up.. learn & let it go.

How would you define your style?

Casual. Random. I like many different things and then end up with items that really don’t go together at all.

Which three films could you watch over and over again?

Ouch, impossible to choose only three.. so I’m choosing three feel-good films.. Captain Fantastic, Everyone Says I Love You, Lars and the Real Girl

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Cheese.. but I am working on it! I’m very aware of the horrors of the dairy industry and the environmental impact of animal agriculture.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Until recently we had a tiny little summer cottage on an Island off the coast of Finland (where I’m originally from). Very basic and back to the nature with no running water etc. True to the Finnish style it had a wood heated sauna though! The sauna had a run down little patio looking out to the sea where you would cool off in between getting your sweat on. I would return to that spot and that view every day if I could.

What was the last gift you gave someone? 

Secret santa book for a fellow book club member