It’s Not The Yoga That Heals You, It’s You That Heals You.

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Hi Friends!

Hi Friends,

I love that reminder. The practice of yoga has the potential to empower us to radiant wellbeing, if only we practice consistently. In that practice it’s essential to remember yoga is the magical tool that teaches us how to heal ourselves. As normalized as yoga now is, there is still the uber common perception that you have to be “good at yoga” in order to practice yoga. The self described inflexible and un-zen can feel unwelcome and that yoga isn’t for them. When we remind each other that yoga is about getting great at being you, not great at making yoga poses with our body, it shifts the perspective right where it counts, on you.

 

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We’re so thrilled to work with BOKS kids, bringing mindfulness and easygoing yoga to an international, well rounded program serving tens of thousands of children around the world. Learn more about BOKS here.

Here is a fun video of an intensive training Mike and I (8 months pregnant with Daisy) gave to a wonderful group of educators.

 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwMYd0F6Gts[/youtube]

 

A huge thank you to everyone in the BOKS family and everyone out there who works with and on behalf of helping children connect to themselves, live mindfully, and grow strong and confident with ease. If you are interested in sharing easy going yoga with children, here is part of simple routine we often use with groups in schools and other settings. Feel free to adopt or add to your own creations!

 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8q1EbR3ucM[/youtube]

 

I was lucky as a kid to grow up with a healthy dose of mindfulness without the side of pretense. My parents led by example that it was important to take care of our bodies by eating close to nature, take care of ourselves and each other by acting with kindness, and take care of our surroundings and the planet by being mindful of our daily actions. We recycled everything from milk cartons to old clothes. Picking up trash in ditches was a fun weekend activity.

It may have seemed strange at the time, but this way of being instilled the philosophy of yoga in my life in a real-world and super useful way. It is just how they live and it makes a lot of sense. For me, the way of being came first and the poses second. I was introduced to the physical practice of yoga in my teens, when I really needed it.

Physical yoga provided a vocabulary of movement and pretty great structure for practicing how I wanted to be. Healthy, connected, radiant and happy. Picking up cans in the ditch was one way to practice. Moving with ease during simple and challenging moments alike on the yoga mat is another. Essentially both led to the same place, and how we are in one moment is how we are in everything. We have an opportunity to practice with everything we do.

With STRALA we address how we are first, learning a way of being easy in body and mind. We practice being gentle with ourselves, and responsive in our movement to who we are and how we feel. This combined way of being and moving leads us to some pretty spectacular results. We become sensitized to how we feel and responsive to what we need to be radiantly healthy. We become pretty great care givers of ourselves, and from this place have a firm ground to help others.

 

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I’m thrilled that STRALA is now a part of BOKS, helping so many kids connect with themselves, get and stay radiantly healthy, and feel fantastic in the process. Having a little one now (our baby Daisy is 3 months old), I feel the importance personally of putting our attention on the wellbeing of children.

How we are is ultimately the experience we give to others.

I learned growing up how I wanted to be, and in my teens I learned a vocabulary of movement to continue this practice.

When I was a teenager, tension and rigidity had started to find their way into my life, as it does for most of us at some point or another. Learning a physical practice that matched the sensibilities and mindset I discovered as a kid was mind blowing. I realized we collect stress not through the things that happen in our lives, but in how we choose to live.

The coolest part is we can learn and practice a better way to deal with the simple and challenging moments alike. It begins with dropping the tension, and re-learning how to be in alignment with our selves through a mindset that says no pain no gain is a myth, and our best path to accomplishment is in feeling good every step of the way. It continues through a practice of natural movement in our lives, that agrees with our mindset.

Of course it’s really challenging sometimes to change our mindset. It’s so familiar to us, it’s in all our habits, and we’re comfortable here. We wear our stress with a badge of honor. If we’re exhausted, we must be working hard and achieving big things. If we’re super-frazzled, we must be headed toward our goals.

 

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The tricky reality of living this way, soaked in stress, is our mind and body cannot function properly. In tension mode we can accomplish some things, but we eventually break down. In tension mode we fall out of the flow of possibilities. Our body literally can’t maintain optimal performance in these conditions, and to put it simply, is always preparing for battle. This is a strategy that works for the short-term, and when real dangers are present. But it’s not a strategy we can sustain, and it doesn’t work when the obstacles we face are mostly inside of us.

When we’re living in stress and tension mode, we collect more stress and tension, and eventually break down. When we live in harmony with our self, anything is possible.

Yoga is a wonderful practice with a rich vocabulary of movement. It allows us to get into our whole body and move in every direction possible, so every part of us can come into harmony with every other part. But the problem we run into with our yoga is the same problem we run into in our lives. We make it about nailing a pose, and hitting a goal. We bring our tension and stress along with us for the ride.

The amazing thing is, we come to yoga to de-stress and gain health and wellbeing, but it’s impossible to separate how we are in the rest of our life from how we are for those moments when we’re here to practice mindfulness. So we need to practice how we are, as a way to replace the old habits that don’t work so well with new ones that do.

We need to practice shifting our mindset from stiff and tense to soft and fluid. We need to believe in ourselves, and believe that when we stay in the process and focus on moving naturally, in alignment with ourselves, we’ll achieve more than when we force, push and struggle our way through life. This is a massive shift in how we are, and when we’re brave enough to take a look at how we are right now, we have massive opportunity to cultivate how we would like to be. This isn’t about becoming great at yoga. It’s about becoming great at you.

When you shift your attention away from the goal of a pose and onto yourself, you’ll be able to achieve so much more with grace and ease. You’ll be able to drop the tension and stress that lead to so many of our problems, and you’ll feel fantastic along the way.

You have everything you need, right inside, waiting to be discovered.

Tara

 

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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