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Why is Strala so Special?

In a nutshell, it feels great. People feel happy! They get super-healthy. They make their own rules, and their own yoga that suits their bodies and what they need in that moment. It spills out into their lives, because they are practising an extremely expansive, freeing, creative and intuitive movement style.

The magic is in the breath, movement, ease, and fun.

Strala Yoga is a way of being, moving, and healing, that helps people release tension and handle challenge with ease. When you find ease in effort, your body and life become very capable and strong. You become an expert at creating space in your life for peace, creativity, inspiration, and all-around feeling great.

I guide people to feel great in their body and calm in their mind. With this process, hard things become easy. Challenging poses and movements become simple.

Another radical approach is that as a Strala guide, my main job is to take care of myself to take care of everyone.  To connect with myself and stay connected with everyone throughout the class, so that I can orchestrate the continuous flow of movement.

And did I mention the music?  I love to curate playlists which enhance the flow and connection of breath and body, and bring uplifting energy or calming notes to your heart.

The founders of Strala are super inspiring

For me, Strala is ahead of its time.  It’s no surprise, when the style originates from the movement principles and vocabulary of tai chi, from Chinese and Japanese medicine, with a focus on moving well on the mat and in life.  The style is backed by mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra, as well as Harvard Professor of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi.

Strala was created by Tara, drawing on her background in classical ballet and choreography, as well as her long-time personal practice in yoga.  Tara has authored several best-selling books including the teacher training manual for Strala Yoga, (a rare sharing of intellectual property) and is a sought-after speaker on topics of entrepreneurship, health, and wellbeing. Tara supports The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an initiative with the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation, to combat childhood obesity. This brings Strala classes to more than 30,000 schools around the United States. She also supports the BOKS program, which delivers Strala classes and wellbeing resources to educators across North America.

Super inspiring, right?  Tara’s also incredibly supportive to the Strala Guide community.  “This is important work you’re choosing to do. Helping people feel great helps yourself and the world”.

The science and movement of Strala is also guided by Strala co-founder Mike Taylor and Sam Berlind. Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and complementary medicine at Oxford. He has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qi gong, for more than 40 years.

In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions, by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. His record established the strength of finding your own way in your own body, rather than copying the techniques of other people’s traditions. As he got older, he continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the U.S. and England, Mike left his healthcare roots. The internet was just getting started, so he joined a web company, and then started a couple more. Through Strala, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, and become their own best caregivers and creators.

Sam Berlind, led and created the curriculum for the Ohashi Institute in New York City for 20 years, and practices shiatsu in NYC.  He graduated from the University of Edinburgh, studied Zen Shiatsu, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Japanese Medicine, and martial arts, and began practicing yoga in the 1980s.

The founders, Tara and Mike Taylor, deliver all the trainings to keep the quality super high, and I’m proud to be part of a really diverse community with over 1000 guides in more than 100 countries across the globe.  They continue to explore, learn, share and inspire which means that no two trainings are the same; they are constantly evolving.  Tara describes in-person trainings as her happy place and is just as excited to meet us as we are to see her again.  She shows up in relaxed moveable gear, rather than high end brands, demonstrating that external perfection is not the goal - soul to soul is where it’s at.

Why I chose to guide Strala

I discovered Strala Yoga shortly after moving to Paris in 2013.  I was keen to find a yoga class for myself and came across the Tara Stiles (founder) online; shortly afterwards, she came to Paris to lead some classes at a fitness expo.  I bought a ticket and practised with her in an inflated yoga bubble which was lots of fun, and the following year, dived into a 300 hour yoga teacher training.

I feel really grateful that my teacher training journey began with Strala, because it has informed every other style that I’ve learnt since including vinyasa flow, yin yoga and therapeutic specialisms.  I also strala-ise any class that I attend, because it feels so much better!  In 2018, I jumped into Advanced Leadership Training, and Connect and Heal.  It was so inspiring that I sought out further training in Chinese Medicine for Yoga, Female Health, and Mental Health & Wellness, which has been an incredibly fascinating journey and underpins my Health Support Programmes.

Tara went viral in 2006 as the Yoga Rebel.  She threw out the rulebook of dogmatic and rigid styles of yoga that asked people to perfect poses, chant in Sanskrit, be pushed and pulled into “better” positions and perform challenging pranayama.  She wanted to connect with people and create accessible yoga classes, with the focus on feeling good from the inside out.

As someone who is always looking how to do things in a better way rather than blindly following a set of rules, Strala resonated with me.  Based on natural movement principles, Strala simply makes sense for a sustainably happy, healthy life.

I’m fresh out of an intensive Strala Yoga & Tai Chi training in Geneva, and am feeling grateful to have had such an opportunity with two revolutionary leaders in wellbeing and longevity.  I’m ready to deliver magic and help people feel fantastic!

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