Named the “yoga rebel” by the New York Times, Tara Stiles has inspired audiences worldwide with her relatable approaches to movement, meditation, exercise, awareness, nutrition, and everyday well-being.
Stiles, a classically trained dancer and former model is the founder of Strala Yoga,a studio that embraces a revolutionary approach to yoga practice. She is the author of several top-selling books including Slim Calm Sexy Yoga, Yoga Cures, Make Your Own Rules Diet, and Make Your Own Rules Cookbook, has created several workout DVD’s and videos, and she’s became the official yogi of W Hotels, bringing Strala Yoga classes and healthy recipes to W properties around the globe. Not to mention, Stiles is the designer and face of Reebok’s yoga lifestyle collection.
We were fortunate to catch up with, and practice alongside, the inspiration entrepreneur and yogi while she was in town to officially launch Reebok’s range in Australia.
Meet Tara Stiles
What sparked your interest in health, yoga and wellness?
Oh gosh, I grew up doing classical dance, meditation and yoga so I guess it’s always been a part of my life style. But when I moved to New York everything was more busy and faced-paced and I think that’s when I got into a healthy lifestyle of cooking, eating better and taking more time for myself.
What inspired you to open your own studio?
I couldn’t get any of my friends to come to yoga, so I needed to do something about that. I started a place that was easy-going and fun. I really wanted to help people do yoga and feel better about themselves.
What are some of your most popular workout videos?
Oh gosh, anything that’s stress relieving, and yoga to feel better. I think stress is people’s number one problem right now.
Can you tell me a bit about your new book?
I have a cookbook that has been out since last year called Make Your Own Rules Cookbook. It’s all plant based recipes but it celebrates different cultures around the world, showing that you can eat healthier, but also eat delicious food. It offers a lot more variety and shows how you can be cost effective. And I have a book on Strala Yoga coming out in August that’s about how to practice with ease.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your career?
I think that the biggest challenge is to slow down, stay calm, easy-going and make sure I’m doing what I want to be doing.
What does your workout regime look like?
Mostly just walking and yoga. I also like anything that’s outside; paddle boarding, swimming or hiking. It’s nice having the studio because I can pop in for class and just do my own practice here and there.
What is your food philosophy?
Eating, simple and close to nature but also not rigid. I like what Michael Palm says, “Eat food not so much, mostly plants.”
If I’m not feeling good it’s not so much about eating healthy foods it’s about coming back to yoga and meditation so I feel better.
Can you talk me through a typical day on your plate?
I’ve tried to do all the tricks and been so unsuccessful all the time. Finally, I’ve started waking up with hot water and lemon. It sounds so cheesy, but it feels really good. And then I like to make a smoothie with banana and almond milk or scrambled eggs. I love breakfast. Throughout the day, it just depends on what’s happening. If I come home from the studio or office I’ll make a big salad of quinoa and veggies. At night I always love something that’s more warm and wholesome like a hearty soup, veggie bake or pasta.
What are your favourite pieces from the Reebok collection?
This season I love the show street art theme and I’ve always been obsessed with Andy Warhol.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
Anything outdoors, so having time to just walk around the city and just explore.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
The new book in August and we’re publishing our teacher training manual that’s called Guiding Strala. It’s for anybody that wants to get inspired to lead with ease in whatever you’re teaching. We’re also travelling and have an online training course coming up so people can book in and get inspired for their own practice.
First thing I do in the morning: Meditate
Last thing I do at night: Meditate
If I could only do one yoga pose a day, it would be: Dancers Pose