Named “Yoga Rebel” by the New York Times, Tara Stiles has inspired a wide audience around the world with her relatable approaches to yoga, meditation, exercise, awareness, nutrition, and everyday well-being. Tara is the founder and owner of Strala Yoga, widely known for its unpretentious, inclusive, and straightforward approach to yoga and meditation. She is the personal yoga instructor to Deepak Chopra, with whom she’s collaborated to create several apps and DVDs, is the designer and face of Reebok‘s yoga lifestyle line, which launched globally in 2013 (you can by via Rebel Sport). Jane Fonda named Tara “the new face of fitness” and Vanity Fair declared her the “Coolest Yoga Instructor Ever.”
So let me introduce you to Tara…
For the people who aren’t familiar with you (or just want to know more), tell us a bit about yourself?
I am the founder and owner of Strala Yoga, our headquarters and original studio is in New York. We train yoga instructors how to lead with ease and lead Strala STRONG & RELAX classes all over the globe. People love the approach for its easy attitude, results driven quality of movement and approach to healing. Also, it’s crazy fun.
I also write books, design and partner with Reebok on our Reebok Yoga range, make videos, and collaborate with inspiring people on a variety of projects.
What made you choose the path of leading a healthy life and was there a particular turning point?
I meditated in the woods when I was a kid. I felt connected to myself and nature and a strong sense that we are here to help each other. I started practicing yoga in a class in my teens. It was part of a ballet program I was in. Around the same time I was doing some modelling, which was super fun and allowed me a lot of free time in between shoots to explore and share yoga. During this time I cultivated what is now Strala, and formed ideas about sharing and leading with ease, that I didn’t see existing in the current world of yoga. I saw an opportunity to help and I decided to see if I could be useful.
What does your usual daily routine look like – what is on your ‘must do’ and ‘must take’ list? (rituals, food diary etc)
When I am in NYC I’m spoiled. I head to Strala in the am, and depending on the day, I either lead the first class, or take it. Depending on the day I’ll either have a shoot or am working on a project or at my computer writing for a good portion on the day. I try to schedule in some time for cooking and unwind during the day usually with a knitting project or a good book.
Let’s take a peek in your bathroom cupboard – what are your must have products?
You’d probably be a little surprised. I’m not a typical girly girl. I have a plant-based face wash and moisturizer and one of those electric toothbrushes that is supposed to do a really good job. I don’t wear makeup unless I’m going to dinner, and maybe I’ll toss on some mascara, but nothing too much. If I go to an event or shoot I have a great makeup artist that makes me look appropriate, but for daily use, I keep it really simple so I can get more done in my day.
What do you always have in your kitchen (both fridge and supplements)?
Lots of veggies to make juices, smoothies, and create all-round goodness in the kitchen. Spinach, kale, cucumber, peppers, ginger and almond milk are usually in my fridge. In the cupboard, Rockin’ Wellness for an all in one super fuel, quinoa, pasta, coconut milk, and coconut oil, and lots of spices!
How important is clean, nutrient rich food in your diet?
Food is everything when it comes to health. I eat mostly plant based food as I know that is what suits my body.
How do you like to move and keep fit? Is exercise an important part of your life?
I practice Strala every day. I walk a lot, and take the stairs when there is an option over an elevator. It’s important for me to feel strong in my body so I can accomplish what I’d like in my life.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your health journey?
Everyone I meet when leading Strala whether in NYC or when traveling has an incredible, heart-warming story of how this work has transformed their lives. Whether health related, curing tension, pain, or disease, or improving quality of life, work, relationships, self-confidence, or better connection to intuition, the stories I hear from the people I meet are incredibly personal and touching.
At the moment I am obsessed with my FW13 collection of apparel which I have created in collaboration with Reebok. I believe that style is an expression of who you are and expressing myself in many ways has always been a huge part of my life. I really love that I have been able to bring some of that style and expression to the Reebok Yoga collection. I live in my Reebok Striped Cashmere Sweater. The material is soft and so flattering that I wear it over the Make Your Own Yoga Striped Long Bra Top whenever I can! I also love the Strong Relax sweat Pants, they come in so many really cool colors which can be matched with a nice comfy tee. I wear them out everywhere.
* you can buy the range from Rebel Sport
Fave local cafe or restaurant?
When in NYC I love Ground Support coffee shop. For dinner with friends, Gemma at the Bowery Hotel or Bread in Nolita for amazing salads.
As your parting gift to us – what is your favourite recipe?
Here is a recipe that I love for a totally delicious and indulgent chocolate pudding. It is so rich and creamy you’d never guess it was dairy free and actually made from one of my favourite foods – avocados!!
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 heaping tablespoon coco powder
1 heaping tablespoon coconut sugar
Blend it all together. I like using beaters ?
Top with cinnamon and enjoy!
More goodies and inspirational stuff below: