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The Complete Guide To Yoga

With Tara Stiles Featuring Michael Taylor
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This course is led by Tara Stiles, founder of Strala - the widest-reaching style of yoga in the world - and named "Coolest Yoga Instructor Ever" by Vanity Fair. Strala co-founder Mike Taylor joins Tara in giving you everything you need for yoga at home right here. Whether you're brand new to yoga or a long-time practitioner, this course will get you learning, moving, and having fun!

Class Videos

Module 1
Introduction to Yoga

You can always be safe in yoga, and you don't ever need to get hurt! If there's a single takeaway on how to keep your yoga safe and working for you, it's simply: stay easy in your body. 

Breathing is useful! Obviously, it keeps you alive. It also helps you feel into and sense what's going on in your body. And finally, it's the beginning of how you can move your body more easily.

Moving our bodies regularly - every part, in every direction - is central to healthy alignment and function, plus it just feels great!

Meditation is a great way to feel and connect with your body. It's also a great way to create some calm and clear space in your mind, which opens the door for all your creativity and inspiration. But that can sound like a whole lot when your mind is racing and lists are piling up the moment you sit down.

Many people look at yoga and right away say "I'm not flexible, I can't do that!" The thing is, yoga isn't about getting limitlessly flexible.

Whether you're training for a sport or just undoing a day of sitting still at your computer, it's important to think of what you want from your training.

Healthy alignment refers to your combined system of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints all functioning efficently together.

It's important to move when you travel.

Yoga is a perfect anywhere, any time activity to get you feeling great and having fun.

The important thing about poses is, they're all yours! It doesn't much matter what other people look like in poses, or what poses other people can or can't do.

Module 2
Sitting Poses

Good starting point for breathing and checking into your body. Don't worry if your knees are up in the air. Just get comfortable and breathe easy. If it's hard to stay upright, just put your hands on the ground behind you and lean some weight into them.

Release tightness in your ribs and lower back.

Relax your whole back and neck.

Open up your belly, chest and shoulders.

Great for your hips.  Don't worry about pushing your knees down, it's perfect to just let them do their own thing!

Opens up your hips, hamstrings, chest and shoulders.  You might even feel your neck relax with this one.

Good release for the backs of your legs and hips, as well as an easy way to relax your back and neck.

Release tension in your ribs, hips, and some hard-to-reach corners in your lower back and belly.  Gets into your hamstrings as well.  For an extra-relaxing version, try this one with both your knees bent.

Release tension in your ribs, hips, and some hard-to-reach corners in your lower back and belly.

Great to relax your back and next, while getting into your hamstrings.  Try this one with your knees bent.  No need to stretch for anything, just relax and breathe, let you body go where it goes.

Great to open up your chest and get some extra mobility in your hips and lower back.

Release tension in your ribs and hips, and relax the muscles around your spine.

Great hip release. Just let your knees hang wherever they hang, no need to push on them. See how it feels to place your feet close to you body, as well as further away.

Good for strenghtening your core, lower back, and hips. Can be done with legs straight or knees bent, and sometimes nice to sit on a blanket for this one.

Good for strengthing your core and lower back. This one is fine with legs straight or knees bent. There's no need to keep your arms and legs flexed, just work what needs to work, and relax the rest. 

Great for strengthing all sides and hard-to-reach corners of your core, as well as the small muscles around your spine.

Module 3
Standing Poses

Great work for your thighs. To keep your knees safe, make sure they don't come much forward of your ankles.

This one is home base, but not always easy in the beginning. Rather than keeping your arms and legs locked straight, put a bend in your elbows and knees, and move a little. Lean gently side to side, forward and back. Your heels don't need to reach the ground, just stay easy and breathe deep.

Great for opening your hips, toning your butt, and working with balance.

Good for working your thighs and playing with balance. If balance is tough, check your feet. If they're lined up front to back like they're on a tightrope, widen your stance to bring your feet in line with your hips rather than with each other. It's also fine to have a slight bend in your back knee.

Great hip opener, for both hips. To get into more of your body, try rolling a little forward and back, as well as side to side.

Great hip opener, and a nice release for your back and ribs.

Good easygoing way to release tension in your hamstrings. If things are pretty tight, just bend your knee and find a position where you can relax.

Good way to get into tension in both hips. It's fine for both knees to remain bent here, and don't try to force this one. Just relax, breathe easy, and let your body do its thing.

Good for releasing tension in your hamstrings and hips. Bend both knees enough that your fingertips can support some of your weight on the ground. With both knees bent, try gently rolling around in your hips.

Great for playing with balance, as well as toning your butt and backs of your thighs.

Good for balance and thigh strength.

Great for balance and releasing tension in your ribs and along your spine.

Great for balance and opening up your rib muscles.

Strengthen your thighs, open your hips.

Great to open up your belly, ribs and shoulders.

Good opener for the hamstrings, chest and shoulders. Try softening both knees a bit, especially when you're moving in and out of your triangle.

Good opening for hamstrings, chest and shoulders, and great for getting into the corners of your belly and lower back.  

Good opener for your ribs and hips, as well as a good thigh-strengthener. Try bending your back knee slightly, and rolling around your hips a bit to get more into the coners of your belly, chest, back and shoulders.

Strengthen your thighs, open your hips.

Good for opening your hips, while releasing tension in your back and neck.

Great for playing with balance, building leg strength, and opening your hips. Keep your hand on the ground for extra stability, or play with your hand off the ground to test your balance.

Great for playing with balance, while opening up your hips and shoulders.  Try lifiting your elbows and taking extra-deep breaths to get into your upper back.  To make balance easier, just rest your toes on the ground.

Nice easy release for your neck and whole back. Try bending your knees just a little and swaying gently side to side. For a bigger release in your lower back, bend your knees enough to rest your torso on your thighs.

Good release for your neck, back and shoulders.

Great way to release tension in your wrists and forearms. Bend your knees enough to get your whole palm under each foot, so your toes can massage your wrists.

Great for getting into the corners of your belly and lower back, while playing with balance and building leg strength.

Great release for your whole back, neck, and shoulders.

Good for releasing tension in your hamstrings and lower back, and for opening up your chest and shoulders.

Good starting point. Try softening your elbows and knees, and rolling your hips gently side to side.

Nice opener for your chest and ribs.

Nice opener for the sides of your ribs and belly. Try softening your knees, and rolling your chest toward the ceiling, and toward the ground, for an extra opener in your chest and upper back.

Taking very deep breaths, press your hands firmly into your chest to help lift and open your chest, and lengthen your upper spine.

Great for working on balance. Let your move gently around if it wants, and try closing your eyes for extra fun.

Good balance work, and nice opener for your hips and hamstrings. It's fine to keep your standing knee slightly bent, and bend your other knee as much as feels good.

Good balance work, and nice opener for your hips, inner thighs, and hamstrings. Your legs can be straight, or try letting each knee bend as much as feels good to bend.

Nice for balance, and good hip opener.

Nice opener for your hips and hamstrings, and good for building leg strength. Try softening your knees so you can move gently around in your split.

Good hip opener. When coming into and out of deep knee bends, avoid unwanted strain on your knees by putting your hands or fingertips on the ground, and using your arm strength to help you lift and lower.

Good hip opener, and nice release in your lower back and belly.

Module 4
Arm Balances

Great for building strength in your arms, shoulders, abs, and lower back. Try holding this one for a minute or two, and don't forget to breathe!

Great for strengthening your arms and sides of your back, ribs, and abs. Also good for working on balance; try lifting your hips a little higher, and raising your top leg up in the air.

Great for opening up your hips, while strengthening your arms and shoulders. If you look directly at the ground between your hands, that's where your head is going to go. So keep your head up, and lean easily into this one while squeezing your knees around your arms.

Good for arm strength, as well as releasing tension in your lower back and corners of your hips and belly.

Great for both strengthening and improving mobility in your shoulders and backs of your arms. Also good strengthening your core.

Good strength work for your core, lower back, and shoulders. To get into your lower back, try softening your knees and rolling your belly open to the left and right.

Good for playing with balance, as well as strengthening muscles in your shoulders, core, and ribs.

Classic strength-builder for your chest, shoulders and arms. Go slow. What makes it yoga is using your breath to move and feel into your body; over time, that's also what makes you more capable in your body.

Module 5
Backbends

Nice opener for your hips and back. Also great for playing with balance and building leg strength. Don't try to force anything here! Just stay easy, breathe lots, and let your body open up in its own way.

Good opener for your chest and back. If you want to get into your upper chest and back, stay low to the ground, just lifting up a few inches. To get into your middle chest and back lift up about half-way. Use extra-deep breaths to augment this opening.

Great for getting into your lower back, as well as opening up your chest and shoulders. Try softening your elbows and rolling your hips around to get into some extra corners in your back and belly.

Great easygoing way to open up, release tension, and bring added mobility to the full length of your spine. Try softening your elbows and rolling your hips around side to side to get into your whole body.

Nice opening for your back, as well as your hips and shoulders. You can lift straight up, or your roll onto your left and right sides for a more easygoing way to open things up.

Good opening for your chest, shoulders and lower back. You can do this one hand back at a time, or with both hands. To bring this opening more into your upper chest and back, take very deep breaths, and try holding briefly at the top of each breath.

Nice opening for your chest, shoulders and back, as well as a good strengthener for your lower back. Try rolling gently side to side for a great rib massage.

Nice easy opener for your chest and back. Along with deep breaths, gently pull your forearms toward you, and open your chest through your upper arms for extra opening.

Great way to open up your middle to upper back and chest, as well as your hips. You can lift straight up to get more into your hips and upper back, or you can lift just a few inches from the ground and roll gently left and right to get into your lower back.

Nice opening for your chest, back, shoulders, and hips. Also great for strengthening your arms, shoulders and thighs. There's no need to push hard here. Stay where you body is easily movable and breathable. Lift a little on your inhales, relax and rock gently side to side or forward and back on your exhales.

Module 6
Inversions

Great for playing with balance, while strengthening your arms, shoulders, and core. Rather than try to bring your legs immediately together, leave your legs apart and knees slightly bent for easier balance. The more relaxed you are in your body, the more your body can naturally find its own way into balance.

Great for balance, as well as even strengthening in your arms, shoulders, chest and back.

Great for releasing tension in your neck and throughout your whole back. Can be done with straight legs, or with your knees bent, thighs resting close to your chest. If your back hurts and this feels good, breathe deep and spend some extra time here.

Good for strengthening your core, arms and shoulders. There's no need to be vertical in this pose. If your neck feels tight, don't push against it. Stay easy in your knees, and easy on your neck, supporting some weight with your hands on your lower back.

Module 7
Restorative

Great easygoing release for your hips and lower back. Legs can be straight or bent. Try rocking side to side for a nice back massage.

Great hip release. If you like it here, breathe deep and hang out for a while.

Good for releasing tension in your hip. Try gently rolling the hip around, hugging close to your shoulder then releasing further away, opening to the side then crossing over your body.

This is a really great release for your lower back, as well as a good opening for your ribs and chest. You'll get into different parts of your body depending on how you position your legs, so try different things here: knees close to your body or farther away, knees deeply bent or legs a little straighter. If you're having back pain and this feels good, breathe deep and stay a while.

Nice for releasing tension in your hips and inner thighs. Try different positions for your feet, close to your hips and further away.

Let it all go here. No need to do anything. Just breathe and relax. If your mind wanders off, bring it back to resting, breathing and feeling into your body.

Great for releasing tension from your hips. If your top knee is up in the air, that's fine, let it go where it feels good to go. You can lean forward over your thighs if that feels good, or lean back, supporting some weigtht in your hands.

Great release for your hips and lower back. This version can also be easier on your knees than seated ankle-to-knee. There's no need to use any force here; just the weight of your arms is perfect. If you're having back pain and this one feels good, stay here a while, breathe deep and relax.

Nice for releasing tension throughout your whole back. Try rocking gently side to side for a nice massage.

Nice release for your whole back. To release your shoulders as well, let your arms lie alongside your body. Breathe deep to feel into your back even more.

Module 8
Sequences

Sun salutations are a very straightforward way to get your whole body moving and feeling great. With this kind of simple repetition, there's no need to think about what's next. You just get to breathe and feel.  

Beginning your day with yoga is a great way to energize your body and mind, and get ready for everything that's coming your way. 

We have a secret for you. You're inspiring!

Just because you're stuck behind a desk all day, it doesn't mean you can't get a yoga fix in.

What's important here isn't just the moves. It's how you do them. 

You don't have to be flexible to do yoga. If you need to touch your toes, just bend your knees! That said, a healthy amount of flexibility in your body and mind can make life a whole lot easier, at work, in your relationships, and your athletic endeavors. Remember that flexibility isn't gained by pushing and forcing your muscles to lengthen. Flexibility happens first in a calm mind, which then signals your muscles that it's safe to release. You don't need to try hard for this one! Just stay easy, move gently, and breathe deep.

Playing with balance is a great way to practice your focus. It's also a great way to practice finding ease in your body and mind.

Yoga is a great way to build multi-directional strength, evenly throughout your body. It's also a great way to get to know your own body extremely well. 

One of the greatest things about yoga is it connects you to how you feel. When you connect to you, you can't help but become your own best caregiver. 

Your major detox organs are your kidneys, colon, liver and lungs. Quick fact: contrary to populat hot-yoga myths, sweat is not a big player in your body's very capable detox lineup.  

11. Abs 10:50

Having a strong belly makes everything easier.

The key to inversions is, stay easy.

It's perfectly good to do hard things the hard way.

Work can be stressful. Even if you love your work, it's easy bit by bit for tension to build in your body and mind.

Sleep problems are very common, and very fixable. You can fix it! 

Yoga is a perfect anywhere, any time activity to get you feeling great and having fun.

Module 9
Relax Class

Strala’s RELAX class is a moving flow that releases tension throughout your entire body and mind.

Module 10
Strong Class

Strala’s STRONG class is a moving flow that builds strength, balance, and flexibility evenly in the body while resting focus calmly on the breath.

Love Tara Stiles. Best yoga instructor I've worked with. I didn't think yoga would be challenging for someone athletic like me. I really couldn't have been more wrong. It made me control and move my body in ways I never could before, and it was an amazing outlet for stress.

- Brooklyn Decker

One of the things I like about Tara is her ability to make yoga accessible to people who might be scared of it or think it might be too esoteric.

- Jane Fonda


We are both nonconformists who have incurred the wrath of traditional yogis," Mr. Chopra said of Ms. Stiles, whom he now considers his personal instructor. “A lot of the criticism is resentment of her rapid success. I have been doing yoga for 30 years. I have had teachers of all kinds. Taking lessons from her has been more useful to me than taking yoga from anyone else.

- Deepak Chopra


Tara Stiles has got to be the coolest yoga instructor ever.

- Vanity Fair

About the Instructors

Tara Stiles
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Named "Yoga Rebel" by the New York Times, Tara Stiles is the founder and owner of Strala Yoga, widely known for its inclusive and straightforward approach to yoga and meditation. Tara has been featured in several media outlets, including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky, InStyle, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Shape, Self, The

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Michael Taylor
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Mike is a co-founder, guide, and resident healer at Strala. Named “Best Mover” by MindBodyGreen and one of Shape Magazine’s Hottest Trainers, he’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu, for more than two decades. Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and alternative medicine and…

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Testimonials

Love Tara Stiles. Best yoga instructor I've worked with. I didn't think yoga would be challenging for someone athletic like me. I really couldn't have been more wrong. It made me control and move my body in ways I never could before, and it was an amazing outlet for stress.

- Brooklyn Decker

One of the things I like about Tara is her ability to make yoga accessible to people who might be scared of it or think it might be too esoteric.

- Jane Fonda


We are both nonconformists who have incurred the wrath of traditional yogis," Mr. Chopra said of Ms. Stiles, whom he now considers his personal instructor. “A lot of the criticism is resentment of her rapid success. I have been doing yoga for 30 years. I have had teachers of all kinds. Taking lessons from her has been more useful to me than taking yoga from anyone else.

- Deepak Chopra


Tara Stiles has got to be the coolest yoga instructor ever.

- Vanity Fair


What You Get

  • Discussion boards to interact with the instructor and other students
  • Closed captions (English only)