We feel guilty about our guilty pleasures because somewhere in the back of our head, we believe there’s a set of rules for eating healthy. Instead of following diet rules, just start with you – and your body. Start observing how your body feels, and pay attention to how your food choices affect how you feel. If you rarely eat fruits or vegetables, give them a try. It’s a much more interesting way to find out what’s good for you, rather than just believing what you’ve read in a diet book.
Look how many free video’s you have to choose from! I have been a fan of Tara’s videos for a couple of years now, I would do them whilst studying at University and in my first year starting my business and interning. You can fit in a few minutes in the morning or piece different videos together to make a longer practice.
I was lucky enough to visit Strala on a business trip to NY in February and I attended some of the best yoga classes I have ever been to. I saw great improvement in just a week and most of all I felt relaxed and happy amidst the chaos and the people of New York Fashion Week. I chose to visit Strala on the evenings and weekends instead of the show after parties with alcohol and bad food and I felt so much better for it!
Thanks again for making me feel at home in NY Strala team, I can’t wait to come back in September 2012!!
Here are some of my favourite short practises from Tara…
Great athletes aren’t straining their bodies with their minds. They’re just moving. They do what they do with power, grace, fluidity. They do it without thinking. They don’t need to make the decisions for their bodies. Athletes move for what they want, and trust their bodies to find the way.
This isn’t some concept reserved for a chosen elite. Why would you train to be good in your body, when you can train to be great? Why would you train to be good in your life, when you can train to be great?
This also isn’t just about how to have a great run or an inspiring climb, although it will get you there. It’s about how to be great in your life. You can stress and strain and obsess about controlling every movement in your life. Or you can trust that there’s a better way, that you already have it, and start using it.
Before I had the good fortune to discover Strala I was of the very miss-guided mind set that it wasn’t a good yoga practice if I didn’t sweat my body weight (being someone who is always cold this is not easy to do) and leave feeling absolutely exhausted and perhaps wake up the next morning sore. Harder equaled better.
As this was how the practice of yoga was initially presented to me, it didn’t occur to me that it could be any other way. I actually thought that yoga, and the peace of mind that the physical practice brought, could only be obtained through punishing my body and beating myself to a pulp.
Not surprisingly, I sustained multiple injuries in my practice when it was still very new: pushing my body beyond its limits, not listening to what it was saying, ignoring pain over and over again. In the community I was in, injuries were practically worn like badges- proof that you were a seasoned, dedicated, even “hardcore yogi”. And then one sad day, I was being “adjusted” by an instructor with whom I had been practicing for years, when I heard the two loudest, most sickening pops, followed by the feeling of fire in my right hamstring. Well, that stopped me in my tracks; literally- two out of the three hamstring muscles had been torn. I was pretty much immobile for a while. My ego, that I was convinced I didn’t have, took a pretty big hit. I could barely walk, much less do down dog or warrior one.
So, I slowed down. I took one breath at a time. When my body felt like it was ready, I started going to Relax classes, taking it slow. Very gingerly, after months, I tested out some Strong classes, and came to see first hand what I always say, hear, read and write about: it is the how, not the what. It didn’t matter what class I was taking or what pose I was doing, what mattered was how I was approaching each moment in each class: listening to my body, and moving accordingly. Strala provided me with the space and environment to do so: never pulling me or asking me to push beyond my personal limits.
Much to my surprise, the more I took a less aggressive approach and came at every moment with ease, the stronger and more capable I became physically (I like to think mentally as well.) All of a sudden, things that I had once put effort into became very easy, requiring little to no effort at all. The less I pushed and forced, the more I became open to receive. The more I continue to seek out the ease, the stronger I become.
Have you experienced either side of this? Have you pushed yourself beyond your limits? How have you learned to let go and allow things come without force? If it sounds crazy (or maybe even lazy) to you, try it out sometime: find the strength in ease!
I came across yoga podcasts by Tara Stiles around 2 years ago, I loved them, they were easy to fit in before, between and after work or join together to make a well rounded class! So naturally being the Twitter and blog addict I am, I started following Tara’s tweets and blog, which is where I discovered Strala Yoga! I just got home from a whirlwind 8 days of work in NYC and I knew I had to fit in some Strala Yoga classes whilst I was there!
I went to Heidi Kristoffer’s STRONG class on my first day in NYC. When I walked into Strala I instantly felt welcome and warm. Heidi’s class was a very strong workout and was so much fun. From her direction and instruction, to her jokes and her STRONG playlist I left feel energised for work and grounded amidst the chaos of fashion week. I had to get back ASAP!
I went to Tara’s STRONG class on Saturday morning, again it was sweaty, energising and most of all inspiring! A great, well rounded workout! So I proceeded to go to Strala daily until I left NYC on Thursday.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone there for being so welcoming, kind and fun! Strala was my haven away from the insanity of fashion week, it kept me focused on my work and helped me stay positive about being away from home without my friends. I’ll miss Strala, but I am inspired to keep up my daily practise!