Stråla Yoga https://stralayoga.com Sun, 13 Oct 2019 21:01:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://stralayoga.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-Strala_Yoga_Favicon-1-1-32x32.png Stråla Yoga https://stralayoga.com 32 32 Who are you? What do you love? Be that. Do that. https://stralayoga.com/blog/who-are-you/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=who-are-you Sat, 12 Oct 2019 21:40:35 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=29144 Every time and every place we get together with people, this question comes up. “I need more peace, more ease in my life, so I’m here. Seeing where I’ve been so much a stress and no-pain no-gain kind of person.Read the rest >

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Every time and every place we get together with people, this question comes up. “I need more peace, more ease in my life, so I’m here. Seeing where I’ve been so much a stress and no-pain no-gain kind of person. Seeing how I can find another way, and how good it feels when I do. But, does all this mean I can only do strala? If I love other things and those other things are the old me, do I have to give it up?”

There’s a big answer here. It goes right to the foundations we share with tai chi, and it’s why we do what we do.

What we practice together with Strala isn’t to learn isolated techniques for one separate place. The foundations of tai chi aren’t learned first to be better at tai chi. These are human foundations, and they are meant to make us better at being human.

What are these foundations? Well we can begin just with Noticing where you are so you can work with where you are. From here you have the 5 Foundations of Tai Chi, which you can also call the 5 Foundations of Being a Better Human, which form 5 big take-aways in our 200+Hour Leadership Training. Practicing Always, Everywhere you are, in Everything you do, because if you want a better way in you when things get complex and tough, you need to build that better way first where things are simple and easy, Bothering to get things right even when you don’t have to, Living in the big picture because nothing hurts, heals or prospers in isolation, Focusing on Foundations Over Techniques, so you have one way and one you that works for every kind of effort, Following the Old Mountaineer, which means learning to move well in your life, by using harmony and balance rather than force as a life strategy. They’re simple, and there are simple practices to make them all real in your life.

And this happens to help with everything there is to be done. What we’re sharing here works with everything, any style, any practice you love to do. Ease, peace, connection, harmony. Choosing to do what feels good, over what feels bad. Taking it into whatever you practice, whatever you do in your life, is wonderful. It’s why we’re doing all this together in such a diverse human community. We’re not doing it for one corner. We’re doing it for all the corners, and everything in between.

Does this mean it’s all good baby? Of course not, and yes this question comes up a whole lot as well, each time we gather together in these trainings.  People are telling their stories here, and some of this turns toward experiences of pain, injury, and in many forms, abuse. Not just in yoga, but since we’re all humans doing yoga, of course it comes up. It’s a human problem, part of a global conversation that’s happening now, and one we all want to keep going until it’s fixed. Abuse isn’t ok, at any point in its continuum. We can support each other to make this stop, and stop supporting where it doesn’t.

The point of all this is a human one. Who are you? What do you love? Be that. Do that. It’s something I love about the people who come together with us in person, and online too. You’re all doing so many things, so many practices – in your forms of yoga or wellbeing, sports or business, community or family. What’s consistent is we share the foundations that make us better. Better humans. Not isolated but connected. Moving away from what harms and toward what helps. Slowing down and being kind to our selves. Bringing a better way, into everything.

 

About Strala 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 Training

 

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Pain, Challenge, and What To Do When You’re 7,000m up an Ice Wall https://stralayoga.com/blog/pain-challenge-and-what-to-do-when-youre-7000m-up-an-ice-wall/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pain-challenge-and-what-to-do-when-youre-7000m-up-an-ice-wall Fri, 11 Oct 2019 21:16:34 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=29091 A friend of mine asked some good questions about guiding people who are experiencing pain and difficulty.  In this case she was talking about pain in down dogs and high lunges. In more cases, we’re talking about pain and difficulty, trauma and challenge, across pretty much all of life.… Read the rest >

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A friend of mine asked some good questions about guiding people who are experiencing pain and difficulty.  In this case she was talking about pain in down dogs and high lunges. In more cases, we’re talking about pain and difficulty, trauma and challenge, across pretty much all of life.

The yoga poses are one place where we might see these things. What’s hard, what hurts, what helps. How do I handle things like this in my life. And maybe the yoga, tai chi or whatever we practice can become a place to work on it. Noticing what we’ve got is is how we begin working with what we’ve got.

From here there’s something simple you can practice, to make the changes you want to make.  It will change what you find in your yoga.  It will also change what you find in your life.

As a start, when there is some difficulty, always begin where you’re comfortable. You don’t learn to climb mountains by dropping yourself out of a helicopter at 7,000m onto a vertical ice wall with a couple of axes. The best you could do here is survive, and you’ll do it by scratching and clawing using whatever strategies and abilities you already have. Which are likely the same ones that got you into this predicament in the first place. Change happens very far from here. It happens in what you practice when things are simple, easy, and ordinary. The things you do all the time, without much need to think about whether you’re doing them in the best possible way. Because you’re not on a vertical ice wall. Well, now it’s time to think a little different.

 

If you want a better way when you find yourself 7,000m up on that vertical ice wall, one way or the other, it needs to begin right now. Because there’s nothing that hurts, heals, or prospers in isolation of space or time. Where you are is always created by how you got there, every step of the way. And it’s created by everything in that picture, your whole life. Everything counts, especially all those moments you think don’t count. Count those double.

 

 

So begin where you’re comfortable. This can be from sitting or standing, on hands and knees or lying down. Roll gently around from here to see that your whole body is easily movable, and create a good base to support this movement. A good base means a position for your hands, feet, whatever connects with the ground, that supports where you are and where you want to go, so you don’t need to use extra strength to be where you are or go where you’re going. Now breathe deep, and create a connection between your body and breath, so your breath moves you. From here, you can begin.

Whatever the challenge, pick a place to be nearby that is comfortable. If the challenge is down dog, begin on hands and knees and follow this process above. If the challenge is some balancing pose, like high lunge, begin standing easily or from hands and knees, both work fine.

If the challenge is approaching people at work that create a 7,000m wall of anxiety, also begin here. Pick something something simple, something in yoga, tai chi or qigong, that looks a bit like that wall. Back away a bit, and practice from simple. The habits and abilities you create in your body here are the habits and ability you’ll have in your body everywhere.

So from this place, move from your center. When you want an arm or leg to go somewhere, move your whole body as a whole body, not as a collection of disconnected parts that need individual instruction and fixing. This never goes well. Instead, move what needs moving from your center, so it moves first because your whole body is movable, and then because your whole body is connected as a whole body, through your center.

 

 

Let’s look at the down dog challenge. From hands and knees, create a nice wide stable base – hands and knees at least as wide as hips and shoulders, probably wider. And the distance from hands back to knees not so long. Now roll from your center, leaning gently to the right, opening your belly a bit to the left, so your left hand might slide a bit toward the right, and your left knee might unweight a bit, maybe lifting and hanging an inch from the ground. Not because you’ve tried to move your hand or your knee, but because you’ve moved your center, and your arms and legs happen to be connected to your center.

Repeat on each side a few times, gradually increasing the size of these movements until you’re in a very gently down dog, soft in your elbows and knees. Here, soft can mean bendable, not locked tight. So for one person you might see a deeper bend in knees sometimes, for another it might look more straight, but without energy invested in locking anything straight. Soft, movable.

You can follow the same process from a low lunge with back knee down, moving into a high lunge. Or from standing, sliding a foot back, coming into a soft and movable lunge position.

Pain often happens where people are carrying too much tension in their bodies, investing too much strength and concern in “getting it right” – performing the right pose, looking the correct way, copying what someone else has done. Which is very different from creating out of your own center, your own being. We might all look somewhat the same, we’re all in these human bodies. But,

 

How we each get where we’re going is what matters most. Because the reality of where we get is created by the reality of where we are now.

 

It can be with stress, tension, and pain, one disconnected isolated part at a time. Or it can be with ease, connection, and harmony. The places we end up might look kind of the same. But the reality couldn’t be more different.

The most important thing in your position as a leader in all this, is that you practice this way yourself. Even if something is easy for you, even if you can just do it any way at all, always take these simplest things, simplest movements and moments, and use them to practice how you soften, allow yourself to be moved, and then move your whole self as a whole self, in harmony. This takes a lot of practice, and it needs to begin where things are easy for you, to have it also where things are challenging.

If you teach other people only from what you have studied, or what you think might be right for them, this is more difficult. It doesn’t tend to work very well. It’s better to teach simply what you have done, and what you always do for yourself every day. And the more your practice in your own body and life in a wider variety of situations and settings over time, the more those people you lead become not so different from you, and your own experience. It’s a better place for you to be. It’s also a better place for you to lead.

 

About Strala 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 Training

 

 

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5 Take-Aways from Part 1 of Strala 200+Hour Leadership Training https://stralayoga.com/blog/5-take-aways-from-part-1-of-strala-200hour-leadership-training/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-take-aways-from-part-1-of-strala-200hour-leadership-training Sun, 06 Oct 2019 22:55:38 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=28875 We just finished up Week 1 of the Strala 200+Hour Leadership Training here at Sundance, and wanted to share a bit with you all from the first section of this course, focused on foundations for practice. Since what we do draws on the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi, across the practice forms of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and TCM, many of our practices began with tai chi, and expanded from here into yoga and the rest of life.… Read the rest >

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We just finished up Week 1 of the Strala 200+Hour Leadership Training here at Sundance, and wanted to share a bit with you all from the first section of this course, focused on foundations for practice. Since what we do draws on the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi, across the practice forms of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and TCM, many of our practices began with tai chi, and expanded from here into yoga and the rest of life.

Each morning we went for a group hike, which began a daily focus on one of the foundations of tai chi. It turns out this was a wonderful way to learn and practice together, so we’ll keep this one going on the beach this January in Miami, in the mountains at Sundance in April and Zermatt in June, and the hills of Ibiza in October.

One thing I love about tai chi is it begins with these 5 Foundation of Tai Chi, which you can just as simply call the 5 Foundations of Being a Better Human. Because you don’t even need tai chi to discover, grow, and prosper from tai chi. You only need the foundations, carry them with you where you like. Many of the most inspiring and impactful people I know have never practiced tai chi. But they all have these foundations that thrive in the people they are, every step and moment of the way.

So long before you study forms or techniques, you learn the ground for how to move through and meet challenges across your whole life. You discover first who you really are, what you love, how you want to be. I’ll outline these foundations and practices, that guide this discovery for you below.

 

 

1a) Notice. To work with how you are, you must first notice how you are. This one comes even before the foundations. In a way, it’s simply about turning all the lights on. And it turns out a really good place to notice you is when you’re up to something unusual. So we created something unusual in two ways.

First by heading straight uphill at a starting elevation of about 2,000m. And second, by breathing in a way that’s quite different from normal. Very long, unhurried, extra deep inhales, holding for a moment at the top. Even longer, even more unhurried exhales, holding empty a moment at the bottom.

Now, add purpose. On the inhale scan through your body, to see what’s going on. Where is there some extra tension, some feeling of one part disconnected from the next, that gets in the way of your body moving and expanding easily? At first this is simply mechanical, the feeling of your breath physically pushing an expansion that is more than what you’re used to feeling. So you might notice an oddly raised shoulder, maybe some corner of your back is a bit tight, your neck a little stiff. Gradually this practice carries your attention into all your corners, every part of your body and mind.

And from here on your exhales, do something about what you notice. Let a little something go. Drop some of this tension that disconnects and blocks easy flow of energy and movement. Make it just a bit easier, to be where you are.

It’s easy to mask unneeded effort, stress, and tension when we’re doing what we always do. Because here we have more than enough strength and ability just to get it done. We might even put on a good show of relaxation and ease, even when that’s not the real inside-story of what’s going on.

So this is why the unfamiliar can be useful. Put yourself in the middle of something different, something challenging in an unusual way, and you’ll see very quickly what you’re really doing, the strategies you really follow in your life. When things get tough do you isolate, disconnect, and push a little harder to get what you want? Do you feel only limited by the amount of strength that you have, so if you can’t do something it just means more pushups, literally or figuratively?

Or, do you have a different path available inside you, meeting challenge with peace, connection, harmony. It’s not binary, all one way or the other, for any of us. And luckily we have practices that can create more of the path we want in our lives, and in our world.

 

1) Practice Always, Everywhere, in Everything. This is another way of saying, you don’t need tai chi to practice tai chi. You simply need an understanding of foundations for becoming better, and a will to make better every moment that comes your way. Not by manipulating, forcing, or controlling that moment. But by simply being the best possible you, within whatever this moment happens to be.

So don’t wait for tai chi time, or whatever your special practice might be. Because it’s already time, always, everywhere, in everything you do. Everything counts, especially all those moments you think don’t count. Count those double.

 

2) Bother to get it right, even when you don’t have to. Even when you could simply use more force, more pushing hard just to get it done, choose a different path. Learn how to do things a better way.

This always must begin where things are easy for you, which is why it’s so difficult to change habits, to create new wiring for something better in your life. Because when it’s easy, why change? But it’s true, you never learn a better way to climb mountains if you’re dropped by helicopter at 7,000m on a vertical ice face, and handed a couple of axes. This isn’t where you learn a better way to navigate through your life. This is where you survive, following whatever strategies you already have.

And if your wiring is really good, you know how to use you in an optimal way. Because you practiced this on the ground, many times, even when you didn’t have to. Which creates something very special. The ability to do much more in your life than simply survive.

 

 

4) Live in the big picture. There’s a question that often comes along in discussion of alignment, and again in healing practices. Isn’t it good to isolate and focus on one small part of your body at a time, and carefully put it back in the right place if it’s out of line?

It’s intellectually appealing, to direct focus this way at a problem, get it right, move on to the next. So maybe for this reason I’ve seen it come up in so many wellness practices over the years. And in medicine this has been standard practice, especially in areas like surgery. Keeping with this example, it’s also why the outcomes have been so disappointing for so many problems.

Take surgery for sciatica as an example. The 2-year efficacy for surgery here is the same as not having surgery at all. And the data is the same or worse for most wellness practices. At best equivalent to placebo, what might occur simply through spending time with a charismatic healer, or that your body might manage on its own in spite of whatever you do.  So why doesn’t this isolation approach often work? Simply,

It’s extremely rare that one link in the chain acts on its own, extremely improbable that any one part of us hurts, heals, or prospers in isolation from every other part. We’re holistic beings living in a holistic world. Everything counts, and everything matters.

When your back hurts, and you push into line or even cut out the part that hurts without addressing why it hurts, it goes back to hurting again. Unless you change the life that got you there in the first place. It’s how you move through everything you move through that created this pain, this challenge or problem. And it’s rarely isolated fixes that actually fix anything that’s difficult to fix.

This is why even Western medicine has been exploring more holistic treatment, even in surgery. The outcomes simply aren’t good enough, and cost far too much, to keep practicing isolation and disconnection. Whether you look at it through the lens of alignment, anatomy, mechanics, energy, or psychology, how we got to where we are is created by how we were along the way. So we need to change how we are, how we go where we’re going, to have a better result. To be healthy and happy wherever we arrive.

How do we make the shift to big-picture living? Put it in what you practice, simply and easily, every day, everywhere. Disconnection and isolation, part by part manipulating and fixing, always seems so appealing in intellectual theory but rarely works in our reality. Life is more complex than this. If you don’t change your life, your life won’t change. Neither will your back.

Always practice connection, unity, harmony. The whole picture is the important picture. How you do Everything you do is the important picture. The whole company, the whole system, the whole person. Whatever it is you’re looking at, living with, or practicing, the whole thing is the important thing.

 

 

4) Focus on foundations not techniques. One thing I love in traditional tai chi learning and practice is right here. The techniques, forms or poses, tips and tricks, all this comes last. What comes first is the ground you stand on. Who you are, how you are, how you move through each moment in life, in all the moments there are. This is first, by many years.

Imagine for a bit the other way. Always learning techniques, it’s something I see so much in the wellness world. Always jumping around, crystals, oils, energy, shiatsu, chakras, yoga, qigong, taiji. All with some possible benefit for some people. But, not so much when they are taken each as a new set of techniques to learn. So much information! How interesting!

The results are not so good. There’s not time on this path for uncovering and creating the one foundation you need: you. With all these techniques first, you get something quite different from you. Some call it “mile-wide inch-deep.” Studying many things, good at no things. Another way to say it, collecting so many techniques, you get only the scattered expression of yourself.

Nothing works well without foundation. Moving first in a positive, holistic and harmonious connection with yourself. Which makes it possible to form a positive harmonious connection with other people. And from here, after many years of practice, techniques might become valuable, going along with whatever you choose to do.

Tai chi was built for this. Your whole life comes first, techniques last. So it can be ground for anything you want to do, by learning to create your most optimal self. By the time you get to the techniques for any particular form, whether it’s tai chi or yoga, shiatsu or medicine, business or building a strong community, there’s one ground, a way of being that doesn’t change for one effort or the other.

 

5) Always follow the old mountaineer. There are three ways to be, in whatever you choose to approach. And since we’re talking about mountaineers, let’s take mountains as a start.

First, you could be someone without any great strength, or any great endurance, or any great ability to move easily uphill. Maybe you won’t get up the biggest mountains this way. But, you have a very great advantage. When you start to climb, you will feel you. You’ll notice exactly what’s hard, exactly where you struggle, and you’ll have no choice but to figure something out: the vey simplest and easiest way to walk where you want to walk. And it turns out, this gives you something in common with the old mountaineer. Something that’s very good.

Second, you could be someone who has great strength, great endurance, but without any particularly great ability to move gracefully or easily. You might not make it up a truly great mountain this way, but you’ll get up lots of them just fine, because you have the force needed to make it happen.

And third, you could be someone who has a great ability to move with grace and ease. When you climb, it appears you have found a way to make water flow uphill. If you’re not so strong, you can still play forever in the mountains with no fear, only joy. And if you’re strong, there’s something extra. Something very different is open to you.

The first person is in a perfect place to learn, maybe not to be a mountaineer overnight, but to notice who they are, and build something good from the ground up.

The second person is in a perfect place to become an X. Ex-climber, ex-runner, ex-athlete, ex-walker, ex-person who can get around without pain, injury, or surgery. It might work for a short time when they’re younger. But never learning to use your body efficiently as one whole connected body, instead pushing hard one part at a time just to make it happen, this is a perishable strategy. Meaning, you perish this way, one injured, overworked, and worn-out part at a time.

The third person, if they’re also very strong, they have what’s needed to be truly excellent at what they do. And as they get older, strength might be less, taking challenge by force is no longer even an option. But, it never needed to be. They have an ease that carries them wherever they want, without falling or failing. This is the old mountaineer. Because always eventually, force fails and falls. Which in mountaineering terms means, you will never be an old mountaineer.

 

About Strala 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 Training

 

The post 5 Take-Aways from Part 1 of Strala 200+Hour Leadership Training appeared first on Stråla Yoga.

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What About Old People? https://stralayoga.com/blog/what-about-old-people/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-about-old-people Sat, 05 Oct 2019 22:09:12 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=28825 There’s this question that came up in our training time here at Sundance. It comes up in every training we ever have. It’s asked about yoga, and then it’s asked about pretty much everything else we all do, together with each other as people.… Read the rest >

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There’s this question that came up in our training time here at Sundance. It comes up in every training we ever have. It’s asked about yoga, and then it’s asked about pretty much everything else we all do, together with each other as people. And usually it begins pretty simply, in one of two ways.

a) What do I do with old people? … or … b) How do I lead Beginners?

And from here the question always grows. Old people, young people, sick people, injured people, small people, big people, tall people, expert people, office people, school people, family people. How do I lead people who seem different from me?

What helps here is very simple. Focus on leading movement, rather than poses. The poses are there, but they’re not the aim. Learn to move well, teach people to move well.

Focus on poses can be quite separating. This group can do these poses. That group can’t do those poses. Suddenly you’re leading people who are different from you. This makes things more difficult, more theoretical. Instead, lead movement.

 

We all have these human bodies. Movement practices and principles follow the same path for all of us. And learning is about the same for everyone. We might look different to each other. But how we move through it all, we’re not different. We’re not separate. We’re together, and we’re so much the same.

 

How to begin? That’s simple. Begin where it’s easy to begin. I’ll give an outline for you below from the Four Corners Methodology for problem-solving, practiced in the Advanced Leadership Training this Summer in Berlin.

Your starting point might be from sitting or standing, lying down or on hands and knees. Wherever it’s easy for you to be comfortable. Create a good base to support where you are, and where you want to go next. Soften, enough that you’re movable. Create a relationship between your body and breath, so your breath moves you. Now, move your body as one whole body, from your center, a little in this direction, a little in that direction. Gradually, you cover all the directions.

Practice this way yourself, so you learn how to move well from wherever you are to wherever you want to go. And bother to get it right – softening, creating the right base, using your breath to begin each movement, then your center, whole body as one whole body, harmony not disconnection – even when you don’t have to. Even when you could simply choose disconnection and force, push harder rather than learn to do better, just to get it done.

If you practice this way, you’re not different from these old people. Or someone who’s sick, someone who doesn’t have a foot, someone injured, bigger or smaller, taller or shorter. Whatever our differences, they aren’t so different, they don’t separate us, when we practice this way. It’s a better place for you to be, and also a better place to be when you lead.

 

About Strala 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 Training

 

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What Yoga Alliances Can and Can’t Do For Us https://stralayoga.com/blog/what-yoga-alliances-can-and-cant-do-for-us/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-yoga-alliances-can-and-cant-do-for-us Sun, 22 Sep 2019 22:11:02 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=28360 I heard recently from a friend in a European yoga alliance, asking about troubles they’re seeing in the American YA. In case it’s helpful, I’ll share a bit of our discussion with you all here. It begins with a question. What do you think we can ask of a yoga alliance?Read the rest >

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I heard recently from a friend in a European yoga alliance, asking about troubles they’re seeing in the American YA. In case it’s helpful, I’ll share a bit of our discussion with you all here. It begins with a question. What do you think we can ask of a yoga alliance? What’s possible here, and what’s not possible? And a couple answers have come up for me, thinking about YA, as well as companies and organizations in general.

1) Be clear about what you are, and what you can do.
Also be clear about what you’re not and can’t.

2) Don’t try to be big. Try to be good.
If that gets you big, fine. But aiming at good rather than big will always keep you doing what you love and know is right, no matter where the road takes you.

Ethics and Abuse

I’ve heard this before, that quality is declining as the American yoga alliance grows in numbers. And likely it comes up as any group gets bigger, not just in yoga. So maybe it’s very simple, to understand that as more and more people do something, it’s more and more difficult for quality to stay high.

At the same time, more people doing something means more chance of a few truly amazing people emerging. So we all get something good out of growth, even though it’s not always all perfect.

But, we don’t want to brush off bad things as simply unavoidable, a part of growth. We should always make things better. So much that needs change has come to light in the movie industry. But it’s not just a movie problem, it’s a human problem. And so it’s a yoga problem. The great big elephant in the yoga room, and an obvious enormous problem with the American YA, is that they’ve certified every founder, teacher, and yoga style involved in the sex crimes that have surfaced in the last years. Bikram, Iyengar, Astanga, Jivamukti, Anusara, Sivananda, just to get started. That’s a lot teachers, and a lot of yoga styles.

There’s something else important here. We can’t separate the style from the founder. So many systems were created by abusers, and reflect that abuse both in how they approach people, and in how they teach us to approach our selves. And this isn’t just in yoga. We can’t love the approach and hate the founder. The two are the same.

But it’s hard to see our selves sometimes. It’s hard to take an honest clear look at what exactly am I practicing. We’re all looking for connection, harmony, peace, maybe to have a positive impact on the world around us. But that’s not what we’re practicing in an abusive system. We’re more practicing disconnection, disharmony, aggression, even self-abuse, at the hands of manipulative teachers who assert superior knowledge as means of control. It’s easy to see when you get some distance from the practice, but really hard when you’re in the middle of it. I’ve been there, in all the yoga cults. So I know about this one a little too much.

Seeing all this, it’s the beginning of how we get better. We can stop following teachers who abuse people. And we can stop following the systems these teachers use to enable and justify that abuse. When we let go what doesn’t work, we can start practicing something better together.

This is one way of saying, I think it will take some time and substantial change before the YA can regain any credibility. And there is unlimited potential for other alliances to do better.

 

 

Quality: Hours and Experience, Science and Common Sense

Serious crimes aside, it has always been clear that the YA is a marketing organization, without ability to assure quality or give real support to teachers. Unlike a real union, it doesn’t provide quality standards, doesn’t find work for teachers, and doesn’t provide financial assistance when a teacher is out of work. So it’s not clear what the YA does, aside from convince teachers that they need to pay a fee in order to get a job. Which isn’t true. Especially as employers learn that quality assurance isn’t provided. That’s only a myth.

Hours

Establishing a number of training hours isn’t a quality standard. Two hundred hours eating at McDonalds isn’t the same as 200 hours eating from your own garden. Time spent learning nuclear energy from the scientists on Bill Gates’ TerraPower team isn’t the same as time spent hearing from someone who finds energy interesting this year.

Alliances aren’t able to board certify teachers and schools the way doctors and medical schools are certified. To do this they’d need a board of experts from many related fields – mind-body medicine, neurology, psychology, health, aging, genetics, spirituality, wellbeing. And for the best in each field, these experts would be from a global human community, not just a limited yoga or wellness community. Of course this isn’t how the YA operates. But for the most part, yoga teachers are also not performing surgery. The risk isn’t so high if someone goes to a not-so-good yoga teacher, compared to a not-so-good surgeon. It just begins to matter more if someone really needs to heal, or really wants to do more than they can do right now.

Years

Another approach to quality is tied less to hours in training, and more to years of yoga teaching experience. But there’s a problem here, too. Just doing something for a long time, for example as a yoga teacher, doesn’t make you good. I’ve seen many relatively new teachers who are more positively impactful than longer-term practitioners. And there’s a simple reason. We give to each other what we have in our own lives. Much more than what we say, study, or memorize, people follow who and how we are. Someone might be new to teaching yoga but have truly substantial, meaningful experience and accomplishment in their life. So this person might also accomplish much more when they teach yoga, than a long-time yoga teacher who lacks this life-ability. It’s more than time that counts. What counts is what you do with that time.

Science

Are we able even to decide in yoga what is good quality? It’s not entirely easy. Maybe we could begin by cutting out everything that simply isn’t science. There are entire systems of yoga teaching that twists are detoxifying, as one of their primary reasons for doing what they do. So yoga provides some entertainment for the scientific world, at least until people get injured or run into serious health problems. Imagine if our organs actually worked this way, through mechanical manipulation. Where would all those toxins go? What a mess! Luckily, it’s not true.

I don’t know many yoga teachers who have studied health and healing outside the relatively narrow yoga or wellness community. Harvard, Stanford, so many top universities have such strong online education now. It just makes good sense to learn from the best people in every field, from wherever you are. As Neal deGrasse Tyson points out, science is how we keep from passing around things that aren’t true. Which gets pretty common in any community that sees itself as isolated, specially chosen, or above the rest of the world. It leads to a lot of pretending, and much less progress than our potential. We can do better together, than we ever can with this sort of separation.

Sense

Science aside, maybe an alliance could at least stop accrediting what simply doesn’t make sense. A favorite doctor friend of mine often says “We shouldn’t wait for science to prove what we already know is true by common sense.” So for one example, we could look at the field of “alignment-based” yoga. This yoga seeks to achieve alignment by disconnecting all our body parts from each other, then fixing and manipulating them one at a time, until an idea and visual of perfect alignment is achieved.

Of course unlike Eastern art forms, yoga doesn’t have much history of movement. And its pose history is just a small handful of forms to get ready for meditation. Nothing ancient or proven here. So understanding that alignment is important – it keeps us safe, and helps us to accomplish more – it’s useful to look East.

In every East Asian art form, from martial to healing to calligraphy, alignment is created by moving in harmony with your self as a whole connected being, not by isolation of separate parts, and not by external manipulation of a form. Alignment can not be achieved through isolating, disconnecting, and manipulating one static part at a time, although it’s a common recent practice in yoga schools. Try it on your own, you’ll immediately feel that this doesn’t work. It’s nearly impossible to get anywhere once you immobilize yourself with disconnection and tension. And when you do need to go somewhere, you’re much more open to injury. So it’s simple for the older art forms, that are grounded in human movement and connection. They all begin with moving into harmony and unity, as the foundation for alignment and the beginning of everything. It’s not just an abstract idea. It’s practical, and it works, for everything.

But science, common sense, or whatever your challenge to dogma might be, it’s not always what everyone wants. There are so many reasons why it’s sometimes easier to pretend about things, or hold onto something that’s not true, together in a group where we all hold the same belief. Even if it doesn’t get us where we want to go, it can still be comforting and meaningful in our lives. So this brings me to a last thought, about what a yoga alliance can be, and how it can be meaningful for all of us.

 

 

Alliances, Shared Values and Approaches

Maybe an alliance can simply be a collection of people who like each other, have similar aims and ideals, and who want a place to support and share and grow together. So each alliance could simply state that it’s members share these certain aims and ideals, and each alliance would be a smaller group than the whole of yoga teachers, because we have some differences. We’re all more alike than we are different, but here and there, we have a few differences.

If I think about what we’d want to share with our own group at Strala, it might include our vision, and our practice for making it real.

 

We can dramatically improve how we do everything we do, by using a few simple-always-everywhere practices that rewire us, replace the habits that don’t work, and uncover who we really are: the optimal expression of our selves.

Where we once believed we need only more strength and aggression to get what we want, we learn instead how to replace force as a strategy with harmony, peace, ease in how we do all we do. And we get much further this way.

We all know it’s true. We all believe that peace would be better than aggression, with our selves and with everyone else. Now there’s a practice that makes what we know into something real in our bodies, and our shared lives.

 

But even before this, we’d want to assure in any alliance that the abuse crimes can’t continue. The teachers involved in these crimes are not in our group. The systems created by these abusers, that enable and justify their abuse, are also not in our group. We can move away from this. Together we can create a much better way.

Of course everything we’ve talked about here, these aren’t all just yoga problems. They’re human problems. How we are in one place is how we are in every place. Yoga is just one place that we have a chance to look at how we are, what we’re creating in our lives, and make some change for the better. And alliances can be one place where we support each other, to find our way here.

 

About Strala 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 Training

 

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Strala Online 200+Hour Leadership Training, Part 2 of 2 https://stralayoga.com/cat-events/strala-online-200hourtraining-part2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=strala-online-200hourtraining-part2 Wed, 11 Sep 2019 17:42:24 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=27926 “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

Just like our in-person trainings, this course gives everything you need get started and keep progressing, in both your personal practice and your leadership – with yoga, work, relationships, and across your whole life.… Read the rest >

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“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

Just like our in-person trainings, this course gives everything you need get started and keep progressing, in both your personal practice and your leadership – with yoga, work, relationships, and across your whole life.

This Level 2 Training takes you into all new big-picture concepts, approaches and practices for creating harmony and peace, accomplishing more in your life while healing what needs healing, and sharing all this with the world around you. It’s also the second of two parts, that completes your Strala Online 200+Hour Certification.

You’ll gain a strong foundation and practical ability in movement, leadership, health and healing practices, that complements and progresses from the Part 1 training. You can take this course on its own, or together with Part 1 (click here for Part 1 info) to provide you with a complete Strala Online 200+Hour Certification.

With over 50 sessions and 15 classes, plus a comprehensive Guidebook, we’ve designed this training to give you the experience of being here, together and sharing with a group. You’ll work through instruction and practice in a wide variety of topics outlined below. And we’ll share with you the common challenges, questions, and solutions that always come up in our in-person trainings, and give loads of daily practical guidance to create a structure for inspiring progress.

It can be nice to begin at the beginning, but people go through all our trainings in every order, so it’s also perfectly fine to begin right here. And you can still take part in the early-bird special by registering here, even if you want to wait until after you’ve completed Part 1 (Level 1).

 

Early-Bird Registration is Now Open

The early-bird gives you $500 off the normal cost of $1,295, and continues through October 31. Your remaining amount is $695, which you can complete when the course launches.

We expect this training will be ready for everyone to begin in December 2019, and we’ll keep you updated as December approaches.

Once the training launches you can begin whenever you like, and go all at your own pace. Also once you’ve completed the course material, it all remains yours for ongoing review and practice, whenever you want. Please understand that once a registration is made, we are not able to give refunds.

Click Here for Early-Bird Registration!

 

 

Whether you’re new to Strala or a long-time practicer, looking to teach yoga or discover new ways to drop stress and bring more ease into your whole life – you’ll love this course.

 

Topics, Concepts, and Practices Include

– Getting Where You Want to Go From Where You Are Now
– Always, Everywhere, for Everyone Practice
– Yoga Form Breakdown, How to Practice From Here to There
– Qigong, Tai Chi, and Everyday Human Movement
– Being Who You Are and Leading What You Love
– The Art of Sequencing
– The Artistry, Musicality, Composition, and Inspiration of Leadership
– Creating Connection in Every Form
– Healing, Healthspan, and Nutrition, Progress Through Practice
– Learning to Love Uncertainty, the Opportunity in Change
– Problem Solving, Finding the Best Answers for Right Here Right Now
– Case Study Method, Real World Challenges and Solutions

 

What You’ll Find Here

This online training gives a perfect way to get ready for our in person 200+Hour Leadership and 300+Hour Advanced Leadership Trainings, and also provides good ground for ongoing review and development once our time together is complete.

It’s also perfect for everyone who can’t make it to an in-person training, giving you the ability to complete a 200+Hour Certification online. We’ve designed this to help everyone get started and advance with your practice and leadership from wherever you are, right now.

You’ll discover in this course how to form a positive connection with yourself, and with others. You’ll learn to release stress, bring your whole body and mind into harmony, and move more easily through all kinds of challenge. You’ll also learn to accomplish more in your professional life, transform your personal life, and create your dream life.

 

 

Who Is This For

Everything we do is designed to help people move more easily from right where they are each day. So wherever you are is a perfect place to begin. This is true for all of our courses, including the online program.

Our trainings all have people from a wide range of backgrounds and experience, from beginners to long-time practicers, people looking to teach and people wanting to carry what they learn across their work, relationships, and whole life.

Our graduates are a wonderfully diverse and inspiring group of people. They range from 16 to over 80. They’re from dozens of countries worldwide. They are entrepreneurs and chief executives, professors and librarians, scientists and researchers, studio owners and fitness instructors, yoga teachers of every style, psychologists and physiotherapists, life and health coaches, doctors and lawyers. They are moms and dads, daughters and sons, and lifelong friends.

 

What You Get

Watch: Over 50 instructional sessions and 15 classes, covering a wide variety of topics and uses.

Read: A comprehensive Guidebook covering each section of the course, that gives additional direction and detail alongside of regular practice and homework assignments.

Progress: A 1-Month and Multi-Month training and practice plan. Everybody learns in their own way, at their own pace, and this training is yours to go through in your own time. We follow an adult learning model with all our trainings, and we’re here to support everyone individually.

Community: During the course, you’ll have access to our private online training community, so you can connect with us and each other throughout this shared learning process. And once you’ve completed this course, you’ll access our private online community of Strala graduates worldwide. Connect with each other, and with Tara and Mike, for ongoing questions, sharing experience, and progress.

Final Exam and Continuing Support: To bring this course even closer to our in-person trainings, our exam process here is through video sharing of both personal practice and leading, with feedback, next steps and followup practices.

Certification: We provide a Strala 100+Hour Leadership Training Certification upon completion, and list your certification on our website.

If you’ve also completed our Level 1, Part 1 in this Strala Online 200+Hour Leadership Training, you’ll receive a full Strala Online 200+Hour Leadership Training Certification on completion, which is listed on our site, and you’ll receive our formal Strala Online 200+Hour Leadership Training Diploma as a pdf.

Our program is credited by mind-body-medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra, as well as the Chair of Neurology at Harvard Dr. Rudolph Tanzi. We’re also accredited by the global Yoga Alliance Professionals. YAP doesn’t certify online programs, but we expect this to change shortly. Harvard, Stanford, and all the best universities now have wonderful online degree programs, it makes good sense to learn from the best people in every field, from wherever you are.

Continuing Education Credit: This course counts for continuing education and practice credit in our longer in-person trainings, including both the 200+Hour Leadership Training and 300+Hour Advanced Leadership Training.

Continuous Improvement and Updates: What we do together is always growing and evolving, and people who take our in-person courses each year always notice that it’s different (and better!) every time. The same holds for this online course. We’ll be continually improving and adding to what we share in the reading and video sessions, and you’ll have ongoing access to this course so you can review whenever you like, and keep progressing over time. This way we all get to grow together here.

Lifetime: Taking good care of yourself is the practice of a lifetime. When you learn to release stress, find harmony in your body and peace in your mind, heal what needs healing, and accomplish challenge with ease, you have something amazing to share.

 

 

FACULTY

Strala Trainings are all led entirely by the founders. Our program is backed by mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Chair of Neurology at Harvard and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi.

 

Tara Stiles is the founder of Strala. Strala is practiced in more than 100 countries, and thousands of people are leading Strala in studios, gyms, and schools worldwide. Even more Strala training graduates bring what they learn to their office, team, healing practice, and across all of life. The mission we share is to help people accomplish far more, through softening and connecting with our creativity and purpose.

Tara has authored several best-selling books including Slim Calm Sexy Yoga, Yoga Cures, Make Your Own Rules Diet, Strala Yoga, and Guiding Strala, all translated and published in several languages. She has been profiled by The New York Times, Times of India, The Times (UK), and featured in most major national and international magazines. Harvard profiled Tara‘s work in a case study, and she has spoken with students at Harvard and New York University about her experience, and approaches to creativity and leadership.

Tara supports The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Heart Association initiative to combat childhood obesity, as well as BOKS, which together are bringing Strala classes to more than 30,000 schools around the United States and Canada.

Tara studied classical dance with ABT Principal Rory Foster, and choreography with Paul Taylor original member and world renowned master Eileen Cropley. She is married to Strala co-founder Mike Taylor.

 

 

Mike Taylor is the resident healer and co-founder of Strala. Named “Best Mover” by MindBodyGreen, he’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu, for more than three decades.

In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions, by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. As he got older, he continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and complementary medicine at Oxford. After running into walls with standard medical practice, Mike left his healthcare roots and turned to mountaineering. He worked at a steel mill, joined a web company, then founded a biotech software company.

Now Mike has found his way back to health care done right, helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, and become their own best caregivers. Mike still climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is married to Strala co-founder Tara Stiles.

 

 

When Can You Begin

We expect this training will be ready for everyone to begin in December 2019, and we’ll keep you updated as December approaches.

Once the training launches you can begin whenever you like, and go all at your own pace. Also once you’ve completed the course material, it all remains yours for ongoing review and practice, whenever you want.

 

Questions

If you have any questions or need something, it’s always fine to reach us directly, using Mike@StralaYoga.com.

 

Open the door to a whole new way of connecting,
sharing, and growing with everyone in your life.

These trainings are an incredibly rewarding
life-long adventure of mutual support,
and inspiring accomplishment.
We’re really lucky to have this in our lives.

 

Thank you so much everybody, we’re excited to get started with you here!

xo – Tara & Mike

 

Click Here for Early-Bird Registration!

 

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Strala 200+Hour Leadership Training, Simplify in Ibiza, October 2020 https://stralayoga.com/blog/ibizaoctober2020/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ibizaoctober2020 Sun, 08 Sep 2019 22:33:37 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=27770 “We know that we are each in the driver’s seat of our own lives, in control of our personal destiny. We know we can change our own health, and our entire life experience, through the choices we make each day. Our lives are our own to create.”

– Dr.Read the rest >

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“We know that we are each in the driver’s seat of our own lives, in control of our personal destiny. We know we can change our own health, and our entire life experience, through the choices we make each day. Our lives are our own to create.”

– Dr. Rudolph Tanzi – Chair of Neurology at Harvard and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital

 

Registration is Now Open

What: Training and Retreat. This training is a special retreat for you to slow down, connect, simplify, and discover new practices for taking good care of you. You’ll create the ground you need to move easily, confidently and capably through your whole life. And if you’re looking to lead classes in yoga, tai chi, or carry new approaches, skill-sets and practices into your work, it’s also a Leadership Training which provides a Strala 200+Hour Training Certification.

Where: Sol Beach House Ibiza, in Ibiza, Spain.  A beautifully peaceful spot on the sea, with pool, spa, and all you need for a perfect rejuvenating practice.

When: Friday October 2 – Thursday October 15, 2020.  If you’re joining as a retreat for you, you’re welcome to arrive early or late, depart sooner or stay longer.  If you’re joining as a leadership training for certification, you’ll want to be here each day.  Also it’s always fine to join these trainings one week at a time, if this is easier for your schedule.

Schedule: We’ll meet all day each day with weekend days a bit shorter, along with breaks for lunch and plenty of relax time.

Training Cost: Early-bird special through November 30, 2019 gives you $500 off, so the special cost for two weeks is $2,800, or for one week is $1,400. After November 30 the usual two-week cost is $3,300, and for one week is $1,900.  Click here to register.

Accommodation: There are many good hotel and Airbnb options all within easy driving or taxi distance, and Sol Beach House Ibiza has very good rates now for our dates, you can reserve online or reach them directly through their International Reservations at +34 902 14 44 44, or their local number in Spain here +34 912 764 747.

Click Here to Register

 

Our program is backed by mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Chair of Neurology at Harvard and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi.  Strala is also a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with Yoga Alliance Professionals.

 

“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

 

 

In Person Is Magic

I’ve been craving a nature haven ideal for coming together. A place where we can take the pressure off as easily as we do our shoes. A place where we can let go the tension and step into our real, most authentic selves.

It gives an immediate invitation to soften, breathe deep and connect to yourself and the nature around envelops your being. Tensions drop, and after a few moments to steep, a personalized blueprint on how to proceed most gracefully in life emerges.

We need this space to breathe, live, feel and thrive.  We will lean on each other. Breathe deep. Reconnect with ourselves and each other.

This training is a curve back toward your most natural self. It’s time for you to gain what you specifically need at this moment in your life. Whether you are craving some time for yourself, jump start your passion, gain insight for your practice or leading, entering a new phase of life, or just feel the urge to come for a reason you’re unable to articulate yet, you are invited to lean into this week of ease and connection. I am happy to welcome you all here.

We will meditate, practice tai chi, walk by the fire, dip in the pool, practice yoga, and gather for group workshops. We will be together for our classes and venture into the wild for hikes, swims, and nature time throughout the week.

I can’t wait to be with you to experience this transformation.

Love, Tara

 

What You’ll Find Here

All our trainings and retreats have a unique curriculum that’s different from what’s covered in other 100, 200, and 500 hour programs. So what you learn here will be all new approaches, practices, and skill-sets, and makes a nice continuation from any previous studies with Strala or anywhere, without repetition. You’ll always discover new ways to take good care of yourself, find harmony and ease in your body and life, and give this to the people you lead.

All this begins with you.  You’re always leading what have, how you are, in everything you do. It’s in how you get around a room, how you get around your life, that people follow. Much more than what you say.

And it’s wonderful, magical, when what you say agrees with what you do.  So we’re coming together here to share this as a practice.  To create the ground we all need to be how we want to be, first in our selves, and then for each other.

It’s not always complicated, but it’s also not easy.  It takes some slowing down, simplifying, subtracting the noise around us and in us.  From here we see where we are, and discover who it is we’re meant to be.  What are you good at?  What do you love?  It’s in these simple practices to find this, and grow stronger, more capable, in who we really are.

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 Is This For

Everything we do is designed to help people begin where they are, and develop the concrete practices that carry us where we want to go. So wherever you are is a perfect place to begin. This is true for all of our courses, including this week-long training.

The people joining our trainings and retreats are a wonderfully diverse and inspiring group. They range from 16 to over 80. They’re from dozens of countries worldwide. They are entrepreneurs and chief executives, professors and librarians, scientists and researchers, studio owners and fitness instructors, yoga teachers of every style, psychologists and physiotherapists, life and health coaches, doctors and lawyers. They are moms and dads, daughters and sons, and lifelong friends.

Some are relative beginners, some are long-time practicers and teachers.  Some want to teach, and some want to progress with their own yoga.  Wherever you are now is a great place to begin.  We’re lucky to have this rich diversity, it makes wonderful ground for real-world learning and sharing.

You might join for your profession, for teaching yoga or tai chi, or you might join just for you.  Whatever your purpose, we have this time to share a set of holistic skills and practices, that carry across your everything you do.

 

What You Get

Strala is moving with ease during restful and challenging circumstances alike. When you find ease in effort, your body and life become very capable and strong. You become an expert at creating space in your life for peace, creativity, inspiration, and all-around feeling great.

Helping people release stress and tension from their bodies and minds, learn to move with grace and coordination through all kinds of challenge, and heal all kinds of injuries and ailments is important work. You’re empowering everyone you reach to become creators of their own destiny, on the level of their health, and their whole life. It’s a wonderful thing to share.

People are leading Strala all around the world following our Leadership and Advanced Leadership courses. You gain a unique set of skills, for living and sharing this way of being, moving, and healing, that people love everywhere you go.

 

Approaches, Practices, Skill-sets: We’ll explore practices to discover and enliven who and how you are, in everything you do, using Strala’s approach to yoga, tai chi, qigong, and meditation.  You’ll carry with you something both simple and straightforward enough to practice every day, right where you are, in whatever you’re doing.  And powerful enough to change everything.  It all begins with you.

Community: Leading up to this training, you’ll have access to our private online meet-up community, so you can connect with us and each other before our time together begins. And once you’ve completed this time, you’ll access to our private online community of Strala graduates worldwide. Connect with each other, and with Tara and Mike, for ongoing questions, sharing experience, and progress.

Certification: We provide a Strala 200+Hour Training Certification upon completion. You’ll receive a formal diploma, and a profile on our website that documents your hours, coursework and degrees completed. Also this program progresses with new topics, concepts, and skill-sets each year, so you can keep connecting and growing with ongoing education and practice together.

Strala is credited by mind-body-medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra, as well as Chair of Neurology at Harvard and Director of the Genetics Research and Aging Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi. We’re also accredited by the global Yoga Alliance Professionals.

Continuing Education Credit: This training provides you with 200 hours of credit, which also fulfills the additional study and practice components in our 300+Hour Advanced Leadership Training.

Lifetime: Inspiring and uplifting leadership – creating the space for ground-breaking achievement in your own life and the lives of the people you lead – is the practice of a lifetime. When you learn to release stress, find harmony in your body and peace in your mind, heal what needs healing, and accomplish challenge with ease, you have something amazing to share.

 

 

FACULTY

Strala Trainings are all led entirely by the founders, and every member of our faculty has more than 20 years of practical experience, and between 4 and 10 years of advanced education at top institutions, including Harvard, Oxford, and University of Edinburgh. Our program is backed by mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Chair of Neurology at Harvard and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi.

 

Tara Stiles is the founder of Strala. Strala is practiced in more than 100 countries, and thousands of people are leading Strala in studios, gyms, and schools worldwide. Even more Strala training graduates bring what they learn to their office, team, healing practice, and across all of life. The mission we share is to help people accomplish far more, through softening and connecting with our creativity and purpose.

Tara has authored several best-selling books including Slim Calm Sexy Yoga, Yoga Cures, Make Your Own Rules Diet, Strala Yoga, and Guiding Strala, all translated and published in several languages. She has been profiled by The New York Times, Times of India, The Times (UK), and featured in most major national and international magazines. Harvard profiled Tara‘s work in a case study, and she has spoken with students at Harvard and New York University about her experience, and approaches to creativity and leadership.

Tara supports The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Heart Association initiative to combat childhood obesity, as well as BOKS, which together are bringing Strala classes to more than 30,000 schools around the United States and Canada.

Tara studied classical dance with ABT Principal Rory Foster, and choreography with Paul Taylor original member and world renowned master Eileen Cropley. She is married to Strala co-founder Mike Taylor.

 

 

Mike Taylor is the resident healer and co-founder of Strala. Named “Best Mover” by MindBodyGreen, he’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu, for more than three decades.

In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions, by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. As he got older, he continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and complementary medicine at Oxford. After running into walls with standard medical practice, Mike left his healthcare roots and turned to mountaineering. He worked at a steel mill, joined a web company, then founded a biotech software company.

Now Mike has found his way back to health care done right, helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, and become their own best caregivers. Mike still climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is married to Strala co-founder Tara Stiles.

 

 

Certification, Strala 200+Hour Leadership Training

Our program is backed and recommended by mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Chair of Neurology at Harvard and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi.

All this begins with you, for you.  What we have for our selves is always what we’re able to share with the people we lead, the people all around us.  So to begin, this is a place to connect with your self, release stress, and discover practices for creating harmony and ease in your body and mind, and your life.

You’ll learn to understand and lead a Strala experience from the ground up, whether it’s in a class, at your work, or in whatever you share with the people in your life.  You’ll discover our Vocabulary of Movement, designed to harness your breath-body connection, and get you moving easily through any challenge. We’ll explore sequencing, pace, flow, psychology, language and music. You’ll learn how to create space, to support positive connection, healing, and inspirational accomplishment. You’ll also learn to be incredibly capable in your own body, and in your life.

We begin with breath, getting into your natural flow. You connect to creativity and intuition. You get happy. And you get to help everyone around you find their own way to energized, inspired, and all kinds of feeling great.

 

Topics

Movement, breath, meditation, sensitivity, alignment, experiential anatomy and physiology, touch, support, safety, strength, flexibility, stability, mobility, injuries, stress, healing, chronic pain and ailments, disease, psychology, anxiety, depression, therapy, health, nutrition, spirituality, history, language, voice, sequence, pace, music, position, body language, attitude, adults, children.

Softness and Breath Body Connection. Softness enables you to move your whole self without a fight. Movement is guided and fueled by your breath. Every inhale lifts, expands, strengthens. Every exhale softens, makes it easier to be here, and moves you further. This oceanic experience allows your body to go along for the ride, creating space for lightness and ease in your experience.

Principles of Movement, Tai Chi and Traditional Medicine.  How to accomplish far more, in everything you do.  Begin with softness, the ground for moving your whole self with ease. From here you discover how to use breath, center, and all the movement principles found in tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, to unlock energy and bring your whole self into harmony. Challenge is met with peace and ease, rather than force and aggression.

Feeling. Slow down and breath deep enough to feel, believe that what you feel is worth responding to, and respond. Your connection to feeling and intuition allows you to move into exactly what you need in each moment.  You’ll learn to be in alignment with yourself always, and feel good every step of the way.

Practice: Make Hard Things Easy.  It’s possible to get where you want to go by learning to drop the stress, and move easily through challenge. In fact, it’s not just possible. The best among us – the most inspirational of any human effort – has been achieved in this way.

We’ll replace the self-limiting myth of no pain no gain, release stress and struggle from our bodies and minds, and use the principles of movement to make the impossible possible.  This becomes your way of being. It becomes how you move, how you create yourself, and the world around you.

Whatever goals you might have, how you feel when you get there is created by how you are along the way. In yoga, this is why challenges like handstands are best achieved not by practicing handstands – but by learning to move easily and comfortably in your body, through everything you do. Of course you can take a handstand by force – jumping and crashing, using muscle rather than coordination and grace. But this will never feel good. And the goal will lack meaning. We’ll have learned only to reach our goals by force, by not feeling good.

So of course there’s a better way, moving with grace and coordination, rather than by force and struggle. We learn something valuable about ourselves, moving this way. We learn that we can accomplish much more in our lives without stress and struggle than with it. We learn that we can get to wherever we want from wherever we are. And we learn that we can feel good, always.  It’s not about the handstand. It’s how you get where you’re going that creates what you have.

Guiding: how to create an uplifting and enabling experience.  Your first responsibility is to take really good care of yourself. What you have for yourself is what you have to give to others.  From here, we move through the best ways to orchestrate an amazing experience for everyone around you.  You’ll learn to lead people into their own freedom, intuition, creativity, and radiantly good health.

Healing: Touch and Support.  How to create a supportive, enabling, and healing relationship with yourself, and with others. We’ll detail the core principles of safety, alignment, and practical anatomy, and provide an effective approach for healing of both acute injury and chronic pain.

Stress, Health & Nutrition.  We’ll explore your mind-body connection, the role of stress in disease, and techniques for releasing stress and activating your body’s Relaxation Response.  We’ll also explore the microbiome, and various nutritional strategies for curing ailments and enabling optimal health.

Leadership, Work, Life.  We’ll carry our practice of being, moving and healing into how you create the life you want.

More Practice.  All of our trainings are very practical.  We’re not just talking about all of this – we’re going to do it together. So we have plenty of real class time for practice, exploration, and making what you want real in your everyday life.

 

Take care of yourself to take care of everyone

 

Your main job as a Guide or teacher is to take great care of yourself. From here you can begin to help others. You’ll sharpen your tools, your skills, and your delivery. What you are truly sharing is the experience of how you feel about yourself. We’ll dive into exploring self care through mindfulness, thoughtful movements, and clear language, opening up multiple paths for you to be of service to yourself and others.

 

 

REGISTRATION

Training Registration: Early-bird special through November 30, 2019 gives you $500 off, so the special cost for two weeks is $2,800, or for one week is $1,400. After November 30 the usual two-week cost is $3,300, and for one week is $1,900.  Click here to register.

Accommodation: There are many good hotel and Airbnb options all within easy driving or taxi distance, and Sol Beach House Ibiza has very good rates now for our dates, you can reserve online or reach them directly through local phone numbers given at the top right of their website.

Food: Wonderful options are everywhere around you, this setting really is perfect.

Getting Here and Around: There is easy airport access to Ibiza, and simple to rent a car or take short taxi rides wherever you like.

Note: open enrollment will close when full. It’s a good idea to reserve early, space is limited for this training.

Payment plans may be available, just email Help@StralaYoga.com.

Please understand that all payments are final, and this is non-refundable, except if you are not admitted this time. Admission to training is solely at Strala’s discretion.

 

 

About Strala

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. 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.

 

Resources

We have a library of classes and trainings led by Tara and Mike that’s available online, and we add new videos pretty regularly here.

In addition, we have a Strala Online 200+Hour Leadership Training available now, that provides substantial breadth and depth for carrying this approach and practice into your life and leading. It’s a good way to prepare for or review following our intensive, Ready-to-Lead, and Advanced Leadership courses, and also gives wonderful ground for ongoing progress from wherever you are, if you’re not able to join us yet in person.

Ultimately it’s not just the certificate that matters, it’s being great at what you do. We’re here to help.

 

Questions

If you have any questions or need something, it’s always fine to reach us directly, using Help@StralaYoga.com.

 

Open the door to a whole new way of connecting, sharing, and growing with everyone in your life. These trainings are an incredibly rewarding life-long adventure of mutual support, and inspiring accomplishment. We’re lucky to have this in our lives.

 

Thank you so much everybody, we’re excited to get started with you here.

– Tara & Mike

Click Here to Register

 

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London Open Classes Oct 19 at Spring Studios https://stralayoga.com/strala-training/london-open-classes-oct-19-at-spring-studios/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=london-open-classes-oct-19-at-spring-studios Thu, 29 Aug 2019 14:27:28 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=27403 Hi Friends,

I’m excited to host a pop up Strala day at Spring Studios Saturday, Oct 19th. I’ll be leading 3 classes with plenty of hang time in between. Come on over. Bring friends for the ease. Make sure to sign up in advance please.… Read the rest >

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Hi Friends,

I’m excited to host a pop up Strala day at Spring Studios Saturday, Oct 19th. I’ll be leading 3 classes with plenty of hang time in between. Come on over. Bring friends for the ease. Make sure to sign up in advance please. Join for one or all 3 and make a day of it.

10am Energize

1pm Relax

4pm Gentle

Also I hope to see you Friday afternoon, October 18th at the OM show for a new juicy practice experience Liquid Love.

love,
Tara

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London Om Show, Liquid Love with Tara Stiles https://stralayoga.com/strala-training/london-om-show-liquid-love-with-tara-stiles/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=london-om-show-liquid-love-with-tara-stiles Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:36:43 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=27086 What the world needs now is love, sweet love. We’ll practice moving with self-love on the mat so we can align with our real selves off the mat. How we move is how we are. Practice dropping the exhausting habit of proving yourself to the world and fall into being the liquid love you naturally are.… Read the rest >

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What the world needs now is love, sweet love. We’ll practice moving with self-love on the mat so we can align with our real selves off the mat. How we move is how we are. Practice dropping the exhausting habit of proving yourself to the world and fall into being the liquid love you naturally are.

Please note, this workshop ends after the main show has finished so please ensure you have all your belongings before entering the workshop as re-admittance to the hall is not permitted.

Please note that an entrance ticket to the OM Yoga Show London is also required for all workshops.

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12 Take-Aways from Part 1 of Strala 300+Hour Leadership Training https://stralayoga.com/blog/11-take-aways-from-part-1-of-strala-training/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=11-take-aways-from-part-1-of-strala-training Mon, 05 Aug 2019 14:46:49 +0000 https://stralayoga.com/?p=26392 Hi everybody, I just wanted to share with you a few take-aways from our training time so far in Berlin. Part 1 has focused all on you, what you’re able to do for yourself and how you navigate through each day.… Read the rest >

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Hi everybody, I just wanted to share with you a few take-aways from our training time so far in Berlin. Part 1 has focused all on you, what you’re able to do for yourself and how you navigate through each day. I’ll share from this part below. We’ve also moved through Leadership concepts and practices, and now we’re in a week of focus on healing. More coming soon!

1) The harder you work, the less you can do. Learn to be moved. Learn to unweight yourself. Learn to exhale. Together these practices allow you to work half as hard as you do now, and accomplish more than twice as much.

2) Learn to love uncertainty. The only thing certain is what’s already happened. So if we insist on seeking security in certainty, we get trapped in the past. The best answers for now always come by surprise, by letting go of what’s already happened and being fully present now. Everything is created only here, and everything is possible only here.

3) What makes something Advanced? a) Practice always and everywhere, not just in separate moments and places. b) Patience. Progress with big things is measured in months and years, much more than hours and days. c) Bother to get it right, even when you don’t have to. Your body, your mind, the whole world around you, are all learning from how you do what you do, all the time. d) Lose the costume. There isn’t one look for experience, ability, success, or wellbeing.  Focus less on what you look like, more on how you do what you’re doing, how you get where you’re going. What you look like will develop beautifully and magically from here.

4) If you think it’s just nature to be how things are for you now and nature doesn’t change, think again. Nature is change. Change is the only constant there is. Nothing ever remains static. So you never really just coast. Either you’re getting better, or you’re getting worse. Stress, isolation and disconnection, force and control as life strategies, all lead to more stress, less ability. Things get worse from here, we accomplish less than we can, aging is much more difficult. Connection, harmony, and peace lead to greater ease, accomplishing more, and growing older in a very good way.

5) Practice more of what you want, less of what you don’t want. We’re extremely consistent, much more than we think, and this consistency is strengthened right down to our neurological pathways. So we don’t really have a work personality, a family personality, a vacation personality. We mostly do things the same way we do them, all the time. So it’s helpful to see where we immobilize ourselves before we try to move, where we practice isolation, disconnection, and force as we try to control and remove uncertainty from our environment. And it’s helpful to practice something very different. If you want harmony, connection, and peace in your life, practice harmony, connection, and peace with your self. Always putting it into how you get where you’re going, all day, in everything you do. When you’re not struggling against the universe, a universe of possibilities opens up for you.

6) Alignment is created by moving in harmony with your self as a whole connected being, not by isolation and manipulation. Alignment – which lets you accomplish more and keeps you safe – can not be achieved through isolating, disconnecting, and manipulating one static part at a time, which is a common recent practice in yoga schools. Try it, you’ll immediately feel that this doesn’t work. All Eastern arts, from martial to healing to calligraphy, all start with moving into harmony and unity, as the foundation for alignment and the beginning of everything.

7) A method for problem solving, in every situation. a) Embrace uncertainty, the best answers always come by surprise, and the biggest potential is always right now. b) Show me. If you’re helping someone with a problem, assume they always know more than you do. Ask them what helps, and what hurts. Do more of the first and less of the second. c) 4 Corners Method. Go to a place that’s both comfortable and close to this problem, not in the center of it. Surround the dragon, don’t attack it head-on. d) Play around the problem, following the principles of becoming movable so you can be moved, creating the right base to support where you are and where you want to go, and moving your whole self from center, as one whole connected self. Every problem is answerable in this way, and the answers are always best when you’re playing in an unexpected present rather than trying to repeat the past.

8) The world perfectly reflects how you are with yourself. What is big and strong tends to be calm in its use of force and control. Small and strong tends to be feisty in its use of force and control. Not so strong tends to be more unpredictable, and might have the greatest chance of dropping the never-ending use of force and control in an attempt to banish uncertainty from life. The greatest chance of peace might begin here. You can see people are not so different from communities and countries. How we treat our selves, the strategies of force and control we use to push ourselves and get around in our own lives, are all reflected perfectly in the world around us. So maybe we should look less to the world as cause and solution for personal problems, and more to our selves as cause and solution for world problems.

9) Have you ever noticed there’s a rift between the yoga community and the human community? This one is very easy to fix. In the yoga community, we can stop pretending to be so special and so different. When we pretend crazy things like a twist detoxes our organs or a yoga pose cures disease, sacred alignment comes from manipulation by a guru or standing on our heads makes us a better person, we create a separation from humans. It’s good to admit some magic into your life, but pretending disconnects and exhausts us all. Science is useful here, as a first step. And maybe worse, pretending leads us into small-picture thinking, where we honor gurus and keep following systems whose founders and teachers are repeatedly caught in sex and power abuse scandals – ashtanga, iyengar, bikram, jivamukti, anusara, it’s a long list. If we want the world to heal, if we want these rifts to heal, we can’t stay in small picture thinking where we see one benefit and stand by pretending blindness to harm. Healing begins easily, rifts go away easily. We can stop pretending about separation and isolation, and simply be human.

10) Will these practices change me now that I see how resistant I am to letting go stress and moving more easily? No. The practices don’t change you, until you change how you practice. When you let go of isolation, disconnection and force, and begin to experience connection, the ability to be moved and unweight yourself, the ability to move as one whole harmonious self, then the practices change you.

11) You have a clear path not to become better than you are, but to be as good as you are. Stress, struggle, force and control puts you up against the entire universe. If you’re older, aging is not so good from here. If you’re younger, it just means you can’t do what you can do, which is a very weird position to put yourself in. Like a rigid and immovable yoga pose. Practice harmony, connection, and peace in how you get where you’re going, always, everywhere. Be patient. Bother to get it right, even when you don’t have to. And learn to move within the unbounded potential that exists in uncertainty. You don’t need to become something you’re not. You only need to be fully what you are.

12) Always be wiggleable. We all want to be moved. By life, by people, by imagination and inspiration. It’s the secret to working half as hard while accomplishing twice as much, putting you right into the flow and energy of the whole universe, the opposite of trying to force and control every moment. So if you want to be moved, you have to be movable. Never immobilize yourself and then try to move. It’s so common in yoga because it’s so common in life. Disconnection, isolation, rigidity, there’s no possibility for movement except by force. Instead be wiggleable, always.

About Strala 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 Training

 

OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Mike Taylor speaks on stage during #BoFVOICES on November 30, 2018 in Oxfordshire, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images for The Business of Fashion)

 

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