Yoga is a life secret in so many way: Tara Stiles

Yoga is a life secret in so many way: Tara Stiles
CT131016-JB-TARA- Tara Stiles, Yoga instructor and founder of Strala Yoga in New York City during a session at W Hotel in Dubai on Thursday 13, October 2016. Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

By Arti Dani

Published: Sun 16 Oct 2016, 3:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Jan 2017, 10:44 AM

LAST WEEKEND MANY residents of Dubai woke up to a special yoga class from international model turned yoga instructor Tara Stiles who was in the Dubai as Reebok's global yoga ambassador to promote the new range of yoga styling. Because why should one wear boring old clothes for yoga, right? But New York-based Tara is more than just a pretty face who is promoting the global phenomenon of yoga. She understands the fact that yoga has the power to keep one happy in their daily stressful life. She is also the founder of Strala Yoga, a yoga style that started in New York City. It focuses on mind-body connection, conservation of energy, and having fun.
She discovered Yoga by accident herself. "I grew up very simply in a countryside where we would grow our own foods. All these things, I realised later, are a way to lead a good lifestyle. So I would go to the woods and meditate and feel good. I didn't know it was meditation or things like this. I found some philosophy books on yoga and I was really interested in finding other people who practice or could teach me. During that time, I couldn't find anyone. I took to dance while growing up and in my conservatory; we had a space for stress relaxation. This was forward thinking from my dance school. In the Seventies, we had a teacher who used to practice yoga and would do meditation. I remember coming into his yoga class, and this man in the room was smiling and was happy for no reason and I thought, 'This is it. This is amazing.' I never thought it would be a job for a career and me. It wasn't really a career for anybody I knew then, but I knew that I wanted to learn yoga for myself and to help my friends or anybody I met feel better.
While talking to City Times, Tara focussed on the fact that yoga can bring inner peace if we listen closely to our body and soul. "For me, yoga is about connecting to yourself. The goal is to feel good. So when you are practising and moving your body in connection to your breath, nothing is external about that. It is all coming from inside. You move in a way that is just natural, not just in your yoga class but also in other parts of your life. Decisions become easier because if something is forced, rigid or not working, you can go around and find another way. It is a life secret in so many ways and it's not just about the process."



Tara is 5 months pregnant. She is also travelling the globe promoting yoga. Isn't that cool?

My daughter is coming out in February. It is amazing and it has been great for me especially if you can concentrate on feeling better to do the amount that makes you feel good, and not worry about what you could do before you were pregnant. It helps you stay active. Every pregnant woman should do yoga. It will keep you calm. Pregnancy should not be an excuse to stop taking care of your body and fitness.
Fun and trendy yoga wardrobe. Why wear boring old clothes in your classes?

I was working with Reebok in 2012 and there was no yoga for them. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on yoga clothes, I used to wear my old dance t-shirts and things that were comfortable. I felt that was missing from yoga. So we came up with the idea of creating clothes that were comfortable and that would help people focus on their body and just trying to make people feel better about them by using a lot of colours. Before,  it was just black yoga legging.
On celebrating diversity in Dubai

It was so much fun teaching yoga enthusiasts in Dubai. It is so hot, but I love Dubai and people seem to be from all over the world. There are people from Europe, US, India and I had fun. Since I come from New York and it is a big melting pot like Dubai, people come from around the world for the training programme. So it is very diverse in a way. I think it depends on what your approach is because there is a lot of yoga that is all about working out. But for me, it is about celebrating diversity.
Yoga can boost fertility

The happiness that I see on my students' face is the biggest prize. You can never plan on it. It happens spontaneously. You get these great stories from people and they are doing better in their lives, career and family. I had people who had fertility problems, and all of the sudden they are pregnant and their body is working better for them now. Many chronic health-related problems can be solved by adding yoga to your life.
How can one look as perfect as Tara while pregnant?

I am #PerfectNever because I always aspire to challenge myself for something better. I cook a lot of vegetables at home, but I prefer eating simple foods like smoothies, soup and salad. My body does well with things that are closest to nature and not processed or junk food. But it is so much (fun) to have cookies and ice creams occasionally.
Tara's favourite yoga poses

1) To de-stress I love the pigeon pose, it is great for the hips and back. It calms your mind as well.
2) I love simple meditation where you can just breath and concentrate on yourself.
3) Any dancer pose is a favourite of mine because it opens up your whole body.
arti@khaleejtimes.com

CT131016-JB-TARA- Tara  Stiles, Yoga instructor and founder of Strala Yoga in New York City during a session at W Hotel in Dubai on Thursday 13, October 2016. Photo by Juidin Bernarrd
CT131016-JB-TARA- Tara Stiles, Yoga instructor and founder of Strala Yoga in New York City during a session at W Hotel in Dubai on Thursday 13, October 2016. Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

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