Finding Health and Happiness Through Strala Yoga

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Hi Friends!

 

Being healthy has been an interest of mine since my early 20’s.  Since my childhood and adolescent years consisted of me playing a lot of sports for schools, I became accustomed to the idea of moving my body.  Throughout my adolescence I struggled with trying to fit into a “skinny” mold, which I’m assuming many young girls and boys before me have as well.  I became obsessed with dieting and working out.

I was an advertiser dream; a consumer that bought into anything that was labeled “healthy.”  This included weight loss pills, weird diet drinks, fad diets, and a overwhelming amount of self-hatred.  I battled with trying to look a certain way, which turned me emotionally into a wreck and left me very unhappy with my body and myself in general.

But just like most teenagers, I grew up and grew out of my need to be something that I wasn’t.  I took up running (maybe a little too much) and I ate healthy (or at least I thought I was eating healthy).  My early 20’s became a path toward finding what being healthy really means and I thought I found the answer with running.  Every day I would lace up my sneakers and go for a 5 mile run (yes,  EVERY DAY).  This went on for 5 years; if ever I missed a day, I would become so angry with myself, that it would ruin my entire day.  It became a battle, internally and externally.  At the end of those 5 years, I hit a point of pure exhaustion.  Running had become an enemy; something that I felt I needed to do, but hated the idea of doing.

When I moved to New York, I started doing yoga regularly and cut running completely out of my life.  Yoga helped me slow down and listen to my body, but it started to bring me back to that old feeling of having to fit some kind of mold.  During various yoga classes teachers would come around and try to adjust me into what the pose was “supposed” to look like and most times, my body did not feel good when I got pushed into these poses.  However, I ignored the way that my body felt because I thought I had found the secret to health in the teachers that I was meeting.  I held tight to every word they said about how people should act, eat, feel and move.  I bought into it all:  the seriousness of the practice and the idea of what being a yogi meant.  Simply put, I substituted my obsession with running with an obsession for yoga and everything I thought it stood for.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 that I started to question the idea of yoga and health.  After trying out various yoga studios in the city, I started to realize that yoga was simply just another way of telling people that if they could stretch this far or push themselves into a pose this way then they would find some kind of euphoria, which just wasn’t the case. I felt restricted in my body and my mind, and I found myself once again not feeling very happy.

As most of you know, that all changed when I stumbled upon Strala Yoga.  Since my first encounter with Strala, I have become a guide at their studio and I have had the opportunity to learn more and more about what makes Strala Yoga so amazing.  A few weeks ago after attending a Strala Strong class I sat on the subway, feeling better than ever and I thought, “what is it about Strala Yoga?  Why does it make me feel so good?”  What immediately came to my mind was just happiness.  Since I’ve started Strala, I have become really happy, like I mean REALLY happy.  I laugh more, I smile more, I care more, I love more and I FEEL more.

After being so inspired by Strala’s idea of doing things that feel good rather than doing them for some kind of superficial reward, I started to actually enjoy running again.  However, this time my mindset with running is:  I run if it feels good, not because I want to look good.

 

I no longer look at moving my body as a way of losing weight; I look at it as a way of feeling good.  What I love about Strala is that I never dread going there.  It never feels like I’m working out.  It just feel like fun and in turn my body has never felt so good and my mind has never been so clear.  Strala has changed the way I look at life and the way I feel about life.

 

When I noticed that Strala Yoga is going on the road to spread their happiness around, I was inspired to tell my story because if Strala Yoga can make me feel this happy then I know it can make everyone around the world feel happy too.  So check out Strala Yoga’s training page to see when they’re coming to town near you so you too can feel how easy it is to be happy.

-Anna

 

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

 

Finding the right distance. It’s a practice we can feel out and adjust in every moment. Cool thing is when you create a good relationship with yourself, finding the right relationship with others becomes a joy.From @stralayoga training in Berlin a couple years back. We are hoping to be there with a nice group next summer celebrating finding the right relationship.#stralayoga #shiatsu #yogateachertraining #taichi
When we soften, much more becomes possible. #stralayoga #taichi #shiatsu
It’s so easy to stick to habits that are familiar, even when they are destructive. We all have our reasons, our armor and our guard up to protect ourselves against whatever specific formula triggers us. We are afraid if we are more gentle with ourselves, we won’t be braced to defend ourselves, but the opposite is true. Moving like you love yourself in yoga and life is a choice to create a new, lasting habit, a way of being truly you.Tai Chi, nature, science, and the wisdom of your Great Grandmother, remind us when you go to war with yourself, you lose. When you move with whole self harmony towards progress, treating every bad habit you find along the way as a gold mind opportunity to move toward balance, you feel better, your body works better and you have access to more of yourself. You have a chance to do some good.I move like I love myself. It can start with an idea, a mantra, a practice, a way of being. If you choose to let it make a home in you, you will have gone to peace with yourself. Anything is possible.Pic by @jes.lock & @arslanstype @sundanceresort for Rest & Renew Training & Retreat#connection #selflove #wellbeing #stralayoga #taichi
Giveaway Time 🎁📚Long time @stralayoga friend @rainesfordstauffer a bright star for good, has written a beautiful new book An Ordinary Age.It’s so great to see so many great reviews and impactful media coverage for such a fantastic young person and topic. We’re giving away (buying and sending as a gift from me to you) three copies. (3 copies from @stralayoga account and 3 also from @tarastilesTo enter:
Comment on what you are doing for self care today.
Tag 2 friends who you want to feel better.
Follow @rainesfordstauffer @stralayoga & @tarastiles so 6 copies in total)Take good care.We’ll announce 3 winners in our story on Monday May 17.#selfcare #rainesfordstauffer #anordinaryage #giveaway #bookstagram
We share the relationship we are already having with ourselves. Self care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary and takes the pressure off of trying to fix everyone & everything.@bibinsb & @lexluca are great examples ♥️Great memory from a great group in Amsterdam. #stralayoga #connection #selfcare #shiatsu
Fun one 👋Why do you practice ease? To feel better, to be able to enjoy more, serve more, to have enough energy to run around with the little ones in your life or something else? Pic by @inaraa_yoga before class in Berlin.Let us know in the comments.
Every  breath is an opportunity to feel better.
I create calm. When I choose to center myself, I create calm for me and the world around me.Welcome May, welcome our monthly theme, welcome our practice calendar, welcome calm. #stralayoga #createcalm
The mute button. 🤫An easy DIY #shiatsu to practice with yourself or with a partner. This #tsubo (entry point to a #meridian highway) has a way of calming an overactive mind. We named it the mute button in #stralayoga for a reason 😉Where
Below the big toe bone and a little in toward the center of the 🦶How
Press your thumb into this place as you lean in and away from the center of yourself or your partner.Now what
Soften yourself, breathe deep and make sure you are moveable. Hang here a bit without trying to make anything happen. Just chillNow what
Lean away from your partner to disconnect. Give them a bit of time to relax and maybe ask for some feedback.Don’t forget
Ask your partner for your turn 🙌
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