Nov 05, 2013

    Yoga isn't about rules, it's about you

    Playing by the rules is certainly not on the list for American celebrity yoga trainer Tara Stiles, who was named "Yoga Rebel" by The New York Times.

    The 32-year-old, who counts holistic guru Deepak Chopra and actress Jane Fonda among her followers, is the founder of Strala Yoga - known for its unpretentious and straightforward approach to yoga and meditation.

    My Paper spoke to the nonconformist yogi, who is also Reebok's latest global fitness ambassador, to learn how yoga can help working executives feel on top of their busy schedules.

    What inspired you to come up with your own approach to yoga?

    (When) I started exploring the world of yoga, I discovered a lot of rigid ideas, postures and practices.

    But I'd always understood yoga to be an amazing practice, one that anyone can do to connect with themselves. I shared my vision of yoga and, over time, it developed into the system that is Strala.

    I've rebelled against the history of yoga and its spiritual talk, intellectualising philosophy and contortion competition. Yoga, for me, is about connecting with yourself, not with an outside force or a guru.

    How can busy executives benefit from doing yoga?

    Yoga helps people have an easier time focusing, better health, better stress management and improved connection and creativity.

    Busy executives will become even better at their work. You'll get more done with less effort and have more energy left over.

    What are some moves that people can do in the office after sitting down for hours?

    The best thing to do is to get up and walk around during the day.

    Do a few shoulder openers and standing forward bends to get your blood circulation moving.

    Any tips for staying healthy?

    Practise (yoga) daily. I offer loads of free videos (you can follow) on YouTube.

    Drink lots of water, eat healthy, clean, and sleep well. Also allow yourself to follow and live your dreams. More happiness, more health.