AN INTERVIEW WITH TARA STILES, STRALA YOGA FOUNDER
Not only is Tara Stiles the founder of Strala Yoga Studio, author of Slim Calm Sexy, yoga expert for Women’s Health magazine, and a part-time model – she’s also taking time out of her busy schedule to head up the Ultimate Yoga Bootcamp at the Power Up Sundance retreat (our Boutique opens Wednesday, July 7). Get in on the action, and read what the yoga guru had to say about her craft.
Rue La La: Why yoga?
Tara: Yoga actively combines the body and the mind. Regular practice puts you in touch with your intuition, so you get a radiantly healthy body from the inside out – and a sharp, active mind. And if that doesn’t convince people, I tell them yoga reverses the aging process – it’s true!
Rue La La: How many times during the week do you actually have to do yoga to see results?
Tara: Three or four times a week is best to see results physically and mentally. When you practice regularly, you’ll see the benefits like stress reduction, sharper focus, and heightened creativity and intuition seep into your daily life. Moments like, “Hey, I have a great idea,” and, “My crazy boss doesn’t seem to get to me as much” start to happen more frequently.
Rue La La: What are these Power Up yoga retreats all about?
Tara: They’re fun, healthy, hip, and socially responsible. Power Up combines energizing and relaxing yoga classes to leave you inspired, alive, and refreshed. We’ll be in the gorgeous setting of Sundance with lots of active and relaxing activities, besides yoga, to choose from each day. And it’s important to me that we are funding environmental and social change by working with Robert Redford’s foundation.
Rue La La: We know it’s about the deep experience, but… can you divulge your celeb clientele?
Tara: I’m Deepak Chopra’s personal yoga instructor. We have lots of actors, designers, and other interesting types that come through Strala, including Mariel Hemingway, Brooklyn Decker, and Langley Crisman to name a few.
Rue La La: Any funny yoga stories?
Tara: Oh, so many. I think it’s normal in some studios but we’ve had a few groaners at Strala. The people who come to Strala aren’t used to people making noise in class so when others start to moan and sigh audibly there were for sure quite a few chuckles. And OMG speedos. Wow. And guys with too-short shorts – not ok.
Rue La La: What’s a great before-yoga snack?
Tara: All that twisting and turning works best on an empty stomach. If you’re starving before class something simple like a banana can hold you over and stay put in your tummy.
Rue La La: After yoga?
Tara: People usually feel pretty great after yoga, which leads to healthy food choices. Your senses are also heightened so food tastes better – bonus! If it’s dinnertime, a big salad with lots of veggies is always a nice option. I’m a big fan of homemade pizza too!
Rue La La: How about some advice to all the beginners out there?
Tara: Don’t worry about what shape your body is in during each pose. Focus on the breath and the body will open and strengthen. Patience is the best thing to practice. The more you practice, the easier and more fun it gets.