What It Means to be a Guide

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Hi Friends!

The thing about alignment is, it’s important.  We should always be in agreement with ourselves.  Not part of us doing something another part doesn’t like.  So this is important.

It’s just not something we can think our way into.  And it doesn’t come from outside us somewhere, from correcting, manipulating, or pushing.  We fall out of harmony, out of alignment, when we don’t move well. When we make some bad choices. Sometimes we choose stress and struggle. If something challenges us we might choose force, instead of peace. We might practice aggression, instead of grace, ease.  We fall into disconnection, disharmony, this way. We become limited, this way.

So we come back to harmony by making better choices, better movement. Moving well, we create a whole self in agreement, free of the habits that hold us back, that keep us playing this limited role of ourselves.  Moving well is how we become who we are.


So we should be in a practice that has us in alignment all the time. Not moving badly, stopping, then trying to fix it. This is more a practice of being wrong. It doesn’t work so well. We want a practice that builds on what’s right about us. This works better.


We’ve been remaking the yoga forms in the last couple of trainings, following the same discovery process that developed the tai chi form. Which has been interesting. What we’ve found is, you can’t remake a good form from a bad static form. Which is what vinyasa and many yoga practices that call themselves “alignment-based” keep trying to do. Once it’s bad it’s bad. Tension, disconnection, disharmony. It’s difficult to make something good, from here.

So the answer seems to be somewhere in moving well first. Then having a context. What is this movement for? What does it need to accomplish? And from here, this combination of moving well, within a context, the form comes out of you. The form is you.  So the Eastern approach is much better than Western thinking here.


Alignment isn’t copying a form. It isn’t something a teacher does to us. It’s not an idea, of what we should be, should look like. These kinds of ideas can be so destructive. Ideas of what we should be get so much in the way of what we are.


Alignment can’t come from ideas. It comes from inside. Releasing the bad habits that keep us stuck, keep us creating the appearance of what we think we should be, rather than simply being. So we reconnect this way. Create harmony. And learn to move well again, through everything.

One question often comes up about now.  “What about beginners? Don’t they need some cuing, adjusting, correcting and copying, until they get all this?”  It’s a really good question that surfaces so often, especially with people (like me) who are used to alignment-based external cuing and adjusting in yoga. Because this cuing and correcting is often explained as critical for beginners. So this kind of cuing and copying the look of things is one approach, but not the only one.

Another is a more Eastern path, which teaches you first to move well, and guides people carefully through this kind of movement, every step of the way. So the focus is on movement, which is very different from correcting people once they’re stuck in a pose that needs fixing.


An advantage here is your body puts itself naturally where it needs to be, through this kind of instruction. So you’re always practicing in a way that feels like it comes from you. Which is something different from practicing in a way that feels a bit awkward, and then needs fixing by a teacher.


Of course, this takes some study, to learn how to do this. And then some experience. But it’s a wonderful process to be in, beginning with your own body, your own life. So much good comes from here.

In many ways, this is what it means to be a Guide. It’s not that you’re teaching yoga, all the time. So many of us, Strala graduates everywhere, are implementing all this in everything we do, from art and architecture, to law and government, business and finance, health and healing.


Being a Guide means staying in this process of connection, harmony, ease, moving well. It means creating something clear in our way of being, in how we move through our lives, that points us in a good direction. And it does the same for the people around us.


Tara talked about this recently, following up from our trainings in London and Berlin.  It’s about leading, how we move ourselves and each other.  I’ll share with you a bit of what she wrote here.


“Saying the right things means little to nothing when you aren’t doing the right things. It’s nice to have what you say match what you do, and your words are only impactful if what you are doing is the practice.”


So it’s good to practice this, connection, harmony, ease, peace. More than anything, much more than what we say, it’s our being that we give to each other. It’s our being that creates everything there is.

– by Mike


About Strala Yoga Training

Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.

It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.

In our Strala Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.

Who’s What’s and When’s of Strala Yoga Training



Strala 2023 Calendar supporting @thecharliefund is here for you. stralaapparel.comDesign of the calendar and repost @jes.lock“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”
– Helen KellerGrowing up, I never felt connected to a community. I’m sure many (and first gen immigrants) can relate; the feeling of being an outsider, of not belonging in the only place(s) we know as home.I’ve had a lot of healing around community. I carried the belief that no matter where I went, I didn’t belong. This belief was challenged when I went to my first @stralayoga training back in 2017 in Amsterdam.Even though we were all from different backgrounds and cultures, this group of people felt…warm. We were gathered together momentarily for a similar purpose: to connect to ourselves, to feel better.“How you are is how you lead” Tara and Mike’s words still echo through everything I do.Because for the first time, it wasn’t about proving myself or trying to be someone in order to fit in.For me, it was about finally softening into myself. Allowing myself to take up space, to be seen. To stop pushing and honouring where I’m at (instead of beating myself for not being where I could be)And around me, so many people were also unlocking their own lessons.We’re all echoes of each other.
Because as cliche as it sounds, we heal together.When we take care of ourselves, it ripples into everything around and within us.For the first time, I felt at ease in this group of “strangers”. I could feel the resonance, the openness, the belonging.And years later, this community keeps growing while spreading softness and ease. Embodying their values.Prioritizing their well-being even when it’s challenging at times. Because self-care is not selfish.We are body and mind.
Taking care of my body helped soothe my mind.
Taking care of my mind helped heal my body.So proud and grateful to be part of this beautiful community ❤️ Thank you @raebroderick for such a brilliant idea, thank you @tarastiles @stralayoga for all the connections, opportunities and ease.
Just a little you time, every day, leads to a whole lot. Love the joy oozing out of @livs_campbell#joy #handstand #stralayoga
Iceland is awesome and we are so grateful to have had the most epic time with a wonderful group from all around the world thanks to @iamerinmarie dreaming up @eatpraymoveyogaA trip of a lifetime that we want to repeat over and over. 🙏🔥🧊scenes from #iceland. #eatpraymoveiceland @eatpraymoveyoga
Now that we have seen the auspicious well fed Icelandic street kitty, the retreat can begin! Excited to be here with a lovely global group and @eatpraymoveyoga guiding the way!#stralayoga #eatpraymoveiceland #stralaiceland #iceland
Yoga the Tai Chi Way is a great way to start the day @moseholmyoga
Yoga the Tai Chi way🤍
An amazing way to start your day!Reset the energy, release any tightness, shake off what’s stuck and stay grounded🤎#feelgood #yoga #taichi #yogathetaichiway #stralayoga #breathedeep #movewithease #feelgood #reset #recharge #staygrounded #shakeitoff #wellness #health #yogamom #yogamamma #yogainspiration #yogavideo #yogaforeveryone
Getting in that meditation made easy from our friend @aceyogala
🥱 Happy Monday! ☺️
*original sound 😂
Stay Brave in your pursuit of JOY! 💌
#rest #monday #mondaymotivation #mondaymood #fashion #motivation #health #love #photos #life #peace #video #lifestyle #like #healthylifestyle #happy #happiness #live #joyforlife #aceyogala
@raebroderick is hosting her lovely retreat in Ireland again. Registration is open for the experience of a lifetime.
🇨🇮Ireland Yoga, Surf + Music Retreat: May 21-25, 2023🇨🇮The doors are open, sweet friends, for you to reserve your space. Save $250.00 with code EARLYBIRD at checkout.Yoga, Cliffs walk, meditation, food, accommodations, music, spa facilities, opening + closing receptions (plus a special gift!😉) are included.À la carte additions include surf lessons at @thegreenroomlahinch + on-site massage with Denis Jackson-Wade.I don’t have many photographs of yoga inside the space because we don’t allow for pictures during this special time. Daily @stralayoga with yours truly, as well as thoughtful + relaxing Yin Yoga with @theden.yoga.This retreat is for you. Take what you need + leave the rest. Take all the classes. Take none. No matter. Honor how you feel.I wish these posts did justice to the magical place that is @cliffs_of_moher_retreat.More details at the link in bio. These retreats do sell out every year, so, if you’re on the fence, drop me a line. Let’s connect. Prices will increase December 16.I don’t have any fancy marketing, so, shares + tags for folks you think may want to join you or may be interested are deeply felt + appreciated.Roll on May.🤎
Great advice from @the_a_life#slowdown #stralayoga #unplug
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