One of the most prolific producers of yoga information for the consumer is Strala Yoga creator and advocate, Tara Stiles. With more than a dozen books published, some three dozen Strala instructions videos produced, and with Strala studios located around the world, Tara has become a real force in the yoga and health niche of the wellness industry.
As she explains at her website, Strala Yoga is not just another bunch of poses to practice:
“Strala is a way of being, moving, and healing that helps people connect with how they feel, move how it feels good, and handle challenges with ease. This is yoga that moves far beyond poses, helping you blow past your goals and get into your dreams. It’s a freedom flow that expands your limits and cracks you wide open. You reveal your radiantly inspiring self.”
Strala Yoga brings you to what is known as a “Flow State,” using calm connected movement, through all kinds of challenges. This is your body and mind working at levels beyond your imagination. It’s the way you are meant to be.
The goal of Strala is not to stress your body, but rather, the bring you to trigger what she refers to as a “Relaxation Response”; a chemical cascade responsible for overall health, healing, and wellbeing. This doesn’t happen in common yoga or exercise systems, which stimulate the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
“By contrast, when we move with ease through all conditions, we trigger our body’s Relaxation Response. This is where we want to live most of our lives. The good news is, we can activate our own Relaxation Response by moving gently and exploring where we are, rather than forcing to be somewhere else. We get happy, creative and intuitive.”
The idea behind Strala Yoga classes is that you should move slowly and continuously, all the while guided with deep breath and easygoing movement from your middle. This releases tension while building strength, balance, and flexibility. Classes are available that allow you to focus on core strength, gentle flow, body awareness, energy, relaxation, and strength.
Strala was created by Tara Stiles, drawing on her background in classical ballet and choreography, as well as her long-time personal practice in yoga. Tara trained with Paul Taylor Dance Company choreographer and dancer Eileen Cropley, and began her yoga study in the 1990s with her ballet teacher, Rory Foster of American Ballet Theater.