“Strala is an elegantly simple and sophisticated way to move our breath, our body, and our whole self into the state we need, to create who we want to be: The optimal expression of ourselves.”
– Dr. Rudolph Tanzi – Chair of Neurology at Harvard and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital
Understanding Strala Yoga
What is Strala Yoga ?
Strala Yoga is a continuous flow through simple and challenging postures lead by the breath. These postures rather than being “held” statically for long, flow together in a soft relaxed controlled style carried along by the natural flow of breath similar to a Thai chi experience. Indeed, observers of a Strala experience have commented that it’s like watching yoga “underwater”. This movement, this breath-body-mind connection is designed to stimulate the bodies relaxation response stimulating feelings of immense well being and joy.
Strala Yoga was created by Tara Stiles, drawing on her background in classical ballet and choreography, as well as her long-time practice in yoga. Tara trained with Paul Taylor Dance Company choreographer and dancer Eileen Cropley, and began her yoga study in the 1990s with her ballet teacher, Rory Foster of American Ballet Theater.
The science and movement of Strala Yoga is also guided by Mike Taylor. 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 30 years.
Sam Berlind is a long-time contributing member of the Strala Yoga Training Faculty, with primary responsibility for Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine. He led one of the most prestigious Traditional Japanese Medicine schools in NYC for 25 years.
Who gets the most out of Strala Yoga
The Science Behind StralaYoga
Flow State. Strala Yoga brings you here, using calm connected movement, through all kinds of challenges. This is your body and mind working at levels beyond your imagination. It’s the way you are meant to be. Creativity is heightened. You achieve a super-human state of strength and movability in your body, and calm focused awareness in your mind. You move through the familiar and unfamiliar with far less effort, taking you much further without tiring, just feeling good.
Relaxation Response. Strala Yoga is designed to activate your body’s Relaxation Response – a chemical cascade responsible for overall health, healing, and wellbeing. This doesn’t happen in common yoga or exercise systems, which stimulate cortisol production. When attention is aimed narrowly and forcefully at accomplishing goals — for example in yoga, jumping and pushing into poses — our body is bathed in stress hormones, including cortisol. We become chemically less able to see the full range of options available to us. We are less creative and less intuitive. We’re ready to survive an attacking tiger, but that’s about it. Keep pushing this way, and we’re likely to gain more weight than we need, injure our bodies, and suffer from a variety of stress-related disorders.
By contrast, when we move with ease through all conditions, we trigger our body’s Relaxation Response. This is where we want to live most of our lives. The good news is, we can activate our own Relaxation Response response by moving gently and exploring where we are, rather than forcing to be somewhere else. We get happy, creative and intuitive. It feels amazing!
Strala Yoga with Margaret Holland
Margaret first practised yoga 32 years ago. In Thailand (2011) she completed the “Absolute Yoga Aademy” teacher training. She travelled to Bali (2014) to complete another 200 hour teacher training in “Vinyasa Flow” at the The Power of Now Oasis studio. Same year she studied at Strala in New York City with the founders of Strala yoga Mike Taylor and Tara Stiles.
“This changed everything for me”, explains Margaret, I had practiced and studied a lot of different styles and schools of yoga over the years but this to me made the most sense for my body and for my students.