Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Yoga But Were Afraid to Ask

A regular at Strala told me yesterday after class that I have a lot of power. He told me he did the entire class with his eyes closed because he was able to follow my instructions and advice clearly, and that took him inward to a place where he got incredibly happy. Yup, that happens. Yoga shows us that we have an incredible amount of intuition and power to live our lives however we choose.

Someone who took their first ever yoga class at the studio a few weeks back shared with me that he felt a whole lot better than good. He was accustomed to feeling either not so good, or just plain good.  This better-than-good feeling was entirely new.  He started walking back to his hotel after the class and broke out into a sprint, because he simply felt like it. He said he ran faster than he ever does and had an incredible amount of energy, stopping only because he got to his destination. He never felt that kind of energy before.

What I'm doing with yoga is bringing it back to its original source as a whole-health system, without the exclusivity or private ideologies. When something works, makes people feel great, there's a tendency for misguided leaders to wrap it up, complicate it a bit, and make people feel like "You have to go through me to get this great thing." But yoga isn't complicated, and the control is all yours. You don't have to study Hindu philosophy, or any made-up system of convoluted pyramid-influenced ideas that cloud the power of yoga. You don't need to assign your loyalty to a teacher or leader. It's not all good. Lots of systems attach themselves to saying they are yoga, and simply are something different. Yoga is your own self-reliant system that provides whatever you need to be healthy, as a whole person, which includes all together your mind, body, spirituality, and happiness. All the tools are right there, and you already have them.

Yoga is for you. It's about you. It will give you power. It will make your body healthy. It will make your mind healthy. It's the most efficient and effective form of exercise. It trumps exercise. It trumps intellectual study. You will feel connected and grounded to yourself and your surroundings in a profoundly spiritual way. You will become strong, fast, supple, and focused. It is the ultimate self-empowering toolbox that you need to accomplish anything you desire in your life. It's up to you to practice. It's my mission to show you how to practice in a way that makes you feel better than good.

Throughout history systems that make people feel empowered, intuitive, creative, and healthy have been turned into systems of control. The history of yoga is not exempt. The problem in yoga isn't that people get happy and healthy when they practice yoga; it's that the teacher, or guru, tirelessly attempts to convince people that they, not the student, are the reason for this happiness. This problem has turned many people away from a system that, in its pure form, is exactly what we need for whole health right now. The source of yoga is available to everyone. You may be guided through ways of practicing by a teacher, but you are ultimately your own and most important teacher. The universe is within you and you are the universe. That may seem out there and strange, but when you start to practice you can realize your own potential.

I have no interest in sitting at the front a studio after I teach class, to receive blessings and praise from followers. If you feel great after class, that's because you worked your body and mind in a way that connected you with that feeling. That feeling is you. If you have a question about yoga, injuries, health, or anything else, I'm happy to help. Yoga is for you. I've felt it all my life in me and I'm happy to share it widely now. I'll be doing it until the day I die.

Deep breaths!



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Tara Stiles

Strala Yoga Founder & Best-Selling Author
Tara Stiles is the founder of Strala Yoga, a revolutionary approach to healing through movement. Thousands of guides are leading Strala classes around the globe in partner studios, gyms, and clubs. Strala has been illustrated in a case study by Harvard Business School, and its philosophy of ease and conservation of energy are incorporated by business leaders, entrepreneurs, and well-being professionals around the world. Tara teams up with W Hotels on Fit with Tara Stiles—a program bringing Strala Yoga classes and healthy recipes to W properties around the globe. She has collaborated with Reebok, working closely with the design team on their yoga lifestyle range as well as developed a line of knitwear and homeware with Wool and the Gang. Tara has authored several best-selling books including Yoga Cures, Make Your Own Rules Cookbook, and Strala Yoga, all translated and published in several languages. She has been profiled by the New York Times, Times of India, The Times (UK), and featured in most major national and international magazines.
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Tara Stiles

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