New York based creator of Strala Yoga, Tara Stiles, is that girl. You know, the one guys love and the girls want to be. Funny, kind and super talented (not to mention her rocking body), Stiles is the first to collaborate with the W Hotels on their new global FIT program. We caught up with her at the W Bali, the third in a series of glam retreats around the world for 2014.
Seriously, there isn’t one! Strala’s about having a good time and being carefree. I’d say the same about the W. It’s a work hard, play hard mentality and experiencing fashion, music, culture – and now fitness – while travelling. We’ve made some great in-room videos geared towards travelers. Poses for getting ready, boosting energy and detoxing.
When I moved to New York I was going to all these different studios and workshops that were contradicting each other and I began to see a great divide. I was seeing a lot of people getting discouraged because they couldn’t achieve the goal of the pose.
I just wanted to share a class that was fun, approachable and accessible, so I played contemporary music and started describing everything in English, making it more about the process itself. It’s a more fluid, graceful, easygoing approach that hadn’t really existed in yoga and there was great feedback. I was never trying to develop a style of yoga, it just evolved naturally.
I never got into this with the intention of making it a job, so everything I do is a choice and something I genuinely want to be doing. I’m also one of those people who is comfortable wherever I am. I love the studio and being home in NY, but I also love travelling.
Yes, it was an incredible experience. A lot of people say that Strala’s very non-traditional. But from my perspective, having done every type of yoga my whole life, I don’t feel like I’m breaking away from anything. I just feel like I’m bringing the authenticity of my own experience and perhaps that’s something that other people can connect with as well. Being in such a traditional environment was really special.
I eat lots of chocolate but I don’t binge or splurge. I just follow how I feel and prioritise eating the good things. I’ve been into cooking for a long time and I always carry healthy snacks. I’m not crazy worried about having to be a certain size or anything because I know that if I eat well then that’s how my body’s meant to be at that particular stage of life. I have a holistic approach. And I love chocolate-coated espresso beans!