Striking a balance in life may be as simple as carving out time regularly to indulge in an activity of choice. Yahoo Shopping chats with personalities who share their passion for a sport or wellness activity they enjoy, which helps them take on the world with zeal. We hope this monthly series will inspire you to find an interest that will add that sparkle to your life.
Trained in classical ballet and choreography, Tara Stiles co-created Strala Yoga, which infuses principles of tai chi, yoga, qigong, and traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. Wellness expert Tara revolutionized yoga into an everyday movement that supports ease and well-being. Practised in more than 100 countries, both online and in-person, Stiles is also a bestselling author and podcaster.
We were lucky to have the opportunity to attend Stiles’ class when she was in Singapore in February for Glow Festival at Marina Bay Sands and find out more about her practice and beliefs. Plus, we'll point you to the necessary equipment for your fitness journey!
Yahoo Life Singapore: You have co-created Strala Yoga, which infuses principles of tai chi, yoga, qigong, and traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine into the practice. As someone classically trained in ballet and well-versed in choreography, what was your transitional journey towards Strala Yoga like?
Tara Stiles: I got lucky. My ballet teacher Rory Foster brought a hatha yoga teacher into our programme for relaxation. I was instantly hooked, not only on the practice but also on how the teacher exuded calmness. That was the first time I saw someone at peace, happy and calm for no external reason. That feeling was cultivated through yoga, and I knew I wanted to explore that to guide my life. But then I wondered, why don't my friends and everyone do this? This yoga has so many secrets to living a good life; I wanted to have this for my life and also share it with those close to me and anyone I could help.
Yoga has so many secrets to living a good life; I wanted to have this for my life and also share it with those close to me and anyone I could help.Tara Stiles
I didn't see this as a job but as something I wanted to help with. The more I studied yoga and, eventually, the healing arts, the more I realized I could contribute and help make yoga more accessible. I lead it in a way that feels more like the person practising and less like a scary practice to master. My experience in choreography helps a lot with making movement rhythmic and comfortable and building a path to progress. My study of tai chi and shiatsu helps tremendously to connect our breath and body. The activities are smooth and feel good for people, leading to real progress.
Leading yoga and co-creating Strala was a gradual transition from helping people one on one and in small groups to feel better with yoga to realizing we have the opportunity to bring the healing approach in yoga for more people to feel better, more connected, and live vibrantly – just like that first peaceful teacher I was so lucky to have. I feel fortunate and grateful to have a vibrant community of Strala Guides and people practising worldwide.
What are its benefits, and what do you love about yoga?
I love that this practice helps with strength, balance, stability and creating a good range of motion. I love that the physical, mental and entire self is connected during a practice. A feeling of harmony and peace is created within. I love that the result of practising moving well makes a desire to live more in harmony. It's easy to be good to yourself and others when you practice moving well. For me, this is a massive secret of life.
How often do you indulge in it, and with whom?
I love to practice every day. We have live classes together on the Strala Yoga app, and I also love practising alone or with friends and family.
Was there any point you wanted to give up?
Again I feel lucky and haven't felt the desire to give up. This practice is gentle and strong and supports all I do. It's always easy to keep this with me, and sharing it with others is a joy.
What do you need or wear when engaging in the sport or wellness activity?
Peaceful Lavender aroma, comes with microfibre cleaning towel
Available in 8 colourways
Please share one thing you learnt from this sports activity or what you wish others to discover.
Moving well with yoga has taught me I can live with less stress and tension and accomplish more when I do. This self-awareness is big because it's the opposite of so many messages we hear. We hear force, push and struggle, and you can do more, but it's false. We can do more for a while that way, but we can't reach our potential this way, and we ultimately burn out or get sick. When we move and work efficiently, we get much more and drop the stress and tension along the way. It's a massive secret and life lesson that I'm so happy to share.
We hear force, push and struggle, and you can do more, but it's false. We can do more for a while that way, but we can't reach our potential this way, and we ultimately burn out or get sick.Tara Stiles believes in moving well to achieving mental clarity
Could you share more about your podcast Feel Better with Tara Stiles?
I am so grateful to have this opportunity to chat with people through Feel Better with Tara Stiles, the podcast. I love to dive into topics that explore how this practice helps with life. There isn't a chance to talk about life during yoga practices, so this podcast is the perfect opportunity. I love sharing portable practices people can do during the day that help drop stress and tension. I also share much about careers, family, nutrition, and vibrant life.
Could you share with us your life philosophy or insights that you have gained thanks to yoga?
You can do more when you do what you can without panic. Moving from the centre and bringing the principles of tai chi into yoga and life have taught me that I can do more when I use my whole self and don’t push through panic. When I back off a little, I can do more physically and notice more emotionally. The force and struggle don’t work well with yoga or life.
As a well-known figure, how do you inject positivity to the public?
It's essential to be good to myself and everyone all the time. Everyone is unique and important. It's good for my well-being to be good to others, notice others, and do what I can for others. This is a big life secret I subscribe to. When we are good to others, our well-being is rewarded, and we feel good for helping someone, even in small ways. Giving someone my full attention might be the best gift I can give.
What do you love most about yourself?
I'm proud of creating a life where I can be useful to others and use my gifts for good. I love that I care for myself and others, and I understand that connection is crucial.
Is there anything else you would like to share with Yahoo readers?
Take excellent care of yourself every day. Move, love yourself, and great things will continue to happen.
Inspired by Tara Stiles? Yahoo Life Singapore shares fabulous finds to set you on your fitness journey.
Yoga Cures: Simple Routines to Conquer More Than 50 Common Ailments and Live Pain-Free by Tara Stiles
Available in 12 colourways
5-star resort, Alba Wellness Valley by Fusion, promises a tranquil and relaxing retreat with all-inclusive pampering daily spas and onsens.