Tara Stiles - Strala Yoga

Courtesy of Strala Yoga
Yoga is much easier with Tara Stiles, the yoga rebel who speaks in a soothing voice,
takes things slow and frequently laughing, even when she's conducting a yoga class.

Born in Illinois, United States, the 36-year-old New York-based yoga instructor was labelled
 the coolest yoga instructor by the Vanity Fair and a yoga rebel by the New York Times.

I was surprised to find that she was a model and actress before she went full-time in yoga!
But one would've guessed it as she's drop-dead-gorgeous with that face and body,
I don't think she needs any make-up nor touch-up for her photoshoots.
Courtesy of tarastiles.com
The founder and owner of Strala yoga, Tara was one of the first yoga instructors
to use social media to spread her yoga tutorials all around the world.

So first things first, everybody starts everything with some sorta inspiration.
Be it people, things or even food that you just ate. Inspirations are everywhere.

Courtesy of RSH Malaysia and YTL Hotels
"When I was 16, I took up ballet class and was introduced to yoga by my teacher."

"Since then, I started studying and doing various types of yoga with the goal of
connecting with myself as well as to feel good".

As Tara was excelling in yoga, she had a hard time getting her friends to practise with her.
They claimed they were not flexible enough and fear that they could not do the poses correctly.
I could totally relate to that.

Nevertheless, that didn't stop her from trying.
Instead, it motivated her to upload tutorials on Youtube to show her friends that
yoga can actually be easy-going and it's all about following how you feel.
Courtesy of RSH Malaysia and YTL Hotels
Her yoga brand, Strala, has a distinctive difference from other yoga out there
as Strala doesn't associate with religion and there is no chanting.

I remember my first yoga class back in 2010, I didn't know about chanting or whatsoever,
all I wanted was to correct my posture. I still have very bad posture.

After that class, I was very happy and I told my church friends about it. Their reaction?
Christians are not supposed to practise yoga.

I was very much affected and discouraged, but that was not the reason why I stopped yoga la
Courtesy of RSH Malaysia and YTL Hotels
"In Strala, we don't call ourselves gurus, we don't even use the word 'teach' and 'preach'
but instead, we guide."

"Strala is all about helping people to feel good about themselves.
We guide people to lead to themselves,
it is a process of paying attention to your body and mind," she said.

Tara added, yoga is not about burning calories and diet restriction.
One should always respect their body, listen to their body and
eat things that make themselves feel good.

"Many people stresses on the ideal body they want instead of following how they feel,
which is not effective in achieving what you want".
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"Focus on the internal, eat food that are close to nature and naturally,
you will achieve the body you desire without even thinking about it."
Now isn't this comforting?

A lot of times when I tell my friends I hit the gym and they would ask,
"Oh so what did you do at the gym?", "How fast were you running on the threadmill?",
"That's not fast enough, and you should run for at least *insert your desirable time here*",
"You should do weights", "How come you're still fat",
"Maybe you should just quit all together" and yada yada yada.

I was actually happy that I hit the gym and just glad that I was moving at my own pace
without pressure but there were just too much discouraging words. But not with Tara *confetti*
Courtesy of RSH Malaysia and YTL Hotels
Tara was featured in many magazines including the Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Esquire
and has worked with many major brands such as Nike, Adidas and GAP.

She is also the ambassador of Reebok, she even designed and launched the brand's yoga line in 2013.

She has three yoga studios in NYC, Seattle and Singapore which was launched just few weeks back.
Among her many devotees, the renowned American author and public speaker
Deepak Chopra is one of them!

To date, Strala has more than 1,000 instructors in partner studios, clubs and gymnasiums in 15 countries.
Courtesy of tarastiles.com
She has also published three books, which were Slim Calm Sexy Yoga, Yoga Cures and
Make Your Own Rules Diet. She will publish her next recipe book,
which she collected healthy recipes from people she met all around the world,
expecting to be out in November.
Tara shared there are abundant benefits in practising yoga, including making a person to be more productive, improving immune and blood circular system and dealing with challenges easily.

"When you practise yoga, you are more connected with yourself emotionally and mentally,
which made you more sentisized to your own feeling.
Then you will know, what works for you and what doesn't".

"Your fears start to dissolve, you hardly get sick anymore.
Basically, yoga improves every single thing in your life!"
Courtesy of RSH Malaysia and YTL Hotels
When I first saw Tara, the first question that popped into my head was,
"Does she even have fats?"
She's down-to-earth, super friendly and does the peace sign more than I do.
She didn't start this yoga business for fame, but plainly wanting to share what she loves to the entire world.
She has inspired me to take baby steps to practise yoga as often as I can,
be it a 10-minute easy stretching in the morning or the one-hour which I am(trying)
committed to every Tuesday with my friends and some help from Youtube and yoga apps.
It was a great pleasure meeting you Tara! :)


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