Tara Stiles first seriously started hitting the British waters a few years ago when Reebok asked her to collaborate on their first ever Yoga clothing line. Since then alongside her strong You Tube presence, book launches and various other collaborations (Wool and the Gang, W Hotels to name a couple), she is commonly recognised as the Rock and Roll Queen of Yoga.
However, perhaps what is even more exciting is the associated rise of Strala Yoga. ‘Strala is the movement system that ignites freedom’ www.StralaYoga.com. Founded around 6 years ago by Tara Stiles, Strala Yoga focuses on moving over posing, and helping people find their own way into their own bodies, with a calm ease carried through easy and challenging things alike.
Although Tara did well as a model and a dancer, it was her Yoga teaching which catapulted her onto the international stage. Teaching in New York City, initially at her home, in the park and later in studios, it was the incredible experiences of her friendly, non-pressurised teaching style, that drew people in flocks to her classes. After quite a lot of persuasion, she began to refine and teach others what she was doing and the Strala universe was born.
Having just finished my training to be a Strala Guide, it was clear to me that this was what she was made to do. Amongst the partnerships, collaborations and travelling, teaching Yoga is what Tara excels at and without that she would not be as well respected as she is today.
With the creator dubbed ‘the Yoga Rebel’, you would expect nothing less than Strala Yoga to be turning the ‘Yoga rulebook’upside down and throwing it out! From the way the Strala classes are designed, to the way instructors are trained and how the Strala universe (as Tara cleverly explains!) operates, it breaks the conventional rules and turns them on its head.
This rebellious nature is not malicious in anyway. It is the complete opposite. The heart of Strala Yoga is to breakdown the barriers/rules which prevent people from practising Yoga. There are many aspects to a traditional Yoga class which puts people off. Chanting, listening to speeches pre-prepared by the teacher, not being in the ‘click’, holding uncomfortable and damaging poses and not really knowing what you’re suppose to be doing (trust me, I have been there and experienced that myself).
In a Strala Yoga class these barriers (amongst many more) disappear which allows you to feel relaxed and at ease in a nourishing and safe place. You have the space to practise being at ease and the time to allow yourself to breathe and create relaxation in your body wherever you feel you need it. A Strala class feels like a journey. Listening and connecting to your body, you tune in and are able to pay attention to what your body needs in order to feel good. Play and exploration are at the heart of the sequencing with strategically placed opportunities to challenge and delve a bit deeper into certain movements.
It is the most inclusive and rounded exercise class I have ever experienced and that’s why I wanted to become a guide. Once your body starts to feel good and you are giving yourself space to listen and connect to your body, your mind starts to follow the same process. When I practise Strala Yoga I seem to have more patience and understanding. It’s like unlocking a tool to being the best version of you!
Think open source, sharing, authenticity, ease, connecting and nourishment. That pretty much sums up the Strala universe. Sounds pretty good hey?! This ethos runs through every vein of Strala.
With over 1000 Strala Yoga guides across the world (and more each month adding to that number), this is only the beginning. With plans to develop Strala communities across the Globe, Strala Yoga is becoming way more than just one, amazing Yoga teacher, it’s a movement.
words by Rebecca Dalby Pilates & Dance Fitness Trainer