The Foundation and Science of Strala Yoga Training

No Comments



Strala breaks through stress and tension in your body and mind, that keeps you working much harder than you need, to achieve much less than you can.

You’ll learn to move powerfully through your life and handle challenge with ease, using a proven structure that combines the rich vocabulary of yoga, with the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi.

Get ready to be radiantly healthy, free, creative, and happy.


About Strala

Strala uses yoga, tai chi, and traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, to help people live radiantly healthy and 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, by helping us learn to bring our entire self into everything we do, unblock energy where it’s stuck, and move more naturally and efficiently through challenge.

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.


Strala Foundation

Tara Stiles. Strala was created by Tara, drawing on her background in classical ballet and choreography, as well as her long-time personal practice in yoga. Tara trained with Paul Taylor Dance Company choreographer and dancer Eileen Cropley, and began her yoga study in the 1990s with her ballet teacher, Rory Foster of American Ballet Theater. Thousands of guides are now leading Strala classes around the globe in partner studios, gyms, and clubs. Strala’s worldwide training and practice HQ is in downtown New York City.

Tara partners with W Hotels on FIT with Tara Stiles — a global program bringing Strala Yoga classes and healthy recipes to W properties around the world. She is a collaborator with Reebok, working closely with the design team on their Reebok Yoga lifestyle range, and has authored several best-selling books including Slim Calm Sexy Yoga, Yoga Cures, Make Your Own Rules Diet, and Make Your Own Rules Cookbook, all translated and published in several languages. Tara also supports The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, President Clinton’s initiative to combat childhood obesity, bringing Strala classes to 30,000+ schools around the United States.


Mike Taylor. The science and movement of Strala is also guided by Strala co-founder Mike Taylor. Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and complementary medicine at Oxford. He has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qi gong, for more than 30 years.

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. His record established the strength of finding your own way in your own body, rather than copying the techniques of other people’s traditions. As he got older, he continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the U.S. and England, Mike left his healthcare roots. The internet was just getting started, so he joined a web company, and then started a couple more. Through Strala, 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 and creators.


Sam Berlind. Strala’s approach to connection and healing draws additionally from shiatsu master Sam Berlind, who led the Ohashiatsu School in New York City for 20 years. Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese bodywork method, based on the principles of acupuncture. It has evolved into an innovative healing modality that incorporates movement, meditation, and connection. Incredibly effective for the treatment of common injuries, as well as chronic pain, disability, and disease, shiatsu skills provide a great complement to yoga practice and leadership. Sam graduated from the University of Edinburgh, studied Zen Shiatsu, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Japanese Medicine, and martial arts, and began practicing yoga in the 1980s.


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

You receive a top-tier education,
that is applicable for everyone.




The Science of Strala

Our Stress and Survival Responses – which release cortisol and endorphins into our system – are designed to mask pain and even create a feeling of euphoria, so we can escape an immediate attack. They were meant to help us survive, but not to live. But we’re living now under attack. We’ve become addicted to stress on a chemical level, and we put it in everything we do – our work, our exercise, even our health and healing practices.

This isn’t a sustainable strategy for performance. It’s producing nearly every health problem that Western medicine struggles with today: obesity and digestive disorders, weakened immunity and chronic pain, depression and anxiety, even diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. And it greatly limits our potential. We’re the only animal that works harder than needed to accomplish even simple things. It depletes our energy, and makes it impossible to accomplish truly difficult things. So there must be a better way.

Because we know this, we have a choice. We can choose to move in a very different way, that creates a very different life, and a very different world. We can choose to release the stress and tension from our minds, our bodies, and our lives, that inhibits us, and weighs us down in every step we take. By choosing this, we can literally rewire our neurology, our chromosomes, and our gene expression, to perform at a higher level than we ever dreamed possible. By choosing this, we can rewire this world to perform at a higher level than we ever dreamed possible.

The science supports what we’ve suspected. As mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra puts it, “We’re not nouns, we’re verbs.” We aren’t fixed beings, stuck where we are, unchangeable. We’re more like a river, not hardwired but softwired. We know that rigidity is both cause and symptom of mental illness. When this rigidity arises even in our self-care practices like yoga – holding and moving with tension in both our minds and bodies – we limit ourselves greatly. We’ve taken the most common symptoms of human neurosis, and put them into our cure. This isn’t a problem with yoga. It’s a human problem. And we have a choice here. We can choose something different.

How we move – with tension or without, with force and aggression or grace and coordination – rewires our neurology and rebalances our microbiome every single day. It can change our gene expression, make our chromosomes healthier, slow aging, and even alter what we pass along to our children. We create our lives, our health, and our world, in this way.


Activating your Relaxation Response. Similar to East Asian movement and healing systems, Strala is designed to activate your body’s Relaxation Response – a chemical cascade responsible for overall health, healing, and wellbeing. First by breathing deep, second by matching your breath and body together, and third by learning to move your whole body in harmony with itself – it’s possible to keep your Relaxation Response going, even when things get tough. This is ground-shaking. It’s how you make the impossible possible, in everything you do.

Our mindset is important here. If we believe that our best way to get where we want to go is by pushing and struggling – and that feeling good is for vacation – this creates a cascade of behaviors and associated chemistry that supports some temporary ability, but leads to declining performance. By contrast, if we believe our best way to get where we want is by feeling good every step along the way – this creates something quite different. We’re able to release stress and tension, approach challenge in an easygoing way, and create an internal chemistry that’s optimal for sustained health and performance.

Imagine if we aimed our attention narrowly and forcefully at accomplishing goals — for example in yoga, jumping and pushing into poses. Right away, our body is bathed in stress hormones, including cortisol. We are chemically less able to see the full range of options available to us, and are disconnected from how we feel. We become less creative, and less intuitive. We’re ready to survive an attacking tiger, but that’s about it. Keep pushing this way, and we’re likely to gain more weight than we need, injure our bodies, and suffer from a variety of stress-related disorders.

By contrast, when we move with ease through all conditions, we’re able to trigger and maintain our body’s Relaxation Response. This is where we want to live most of our lives. The good news is, we can activate our own Relaxation Response response by breathing deep, moving gently, and exploring where we are, rather than forcing to be somewhere else. We get happy, creative and intuitive. Which feels amazing.


Flow State. Using whole-body movement connected directly to your breath, as you explore all kinds of challenge, Strala guides you into your Flow State. This is your body and mind finding harmony, by unblocking energy where it’s stuck, healing what needs healing, and learning to bring your whole self into graceful, coordinated movement. It’s the way you are meant to be. Creativity is heightened. You achieve an elevated state of strength, mobility, agility and endurance in your body, and calm focused awareness in your mind. You move through the familiar and unfamiliar with far less effort. This carries you much further without tiring, just feeling good.




Strala Yoga Training
Who is this for and what do you get?

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 – uncover your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.

Strala guides us to explore how we approach challenge in our lives. It reveals where we carry stress and tension, and how we can become blocked and disconnected from our bodies, our minds, and our potential. We discover the beliefs we hold about ourselves, and about the world around us, and how these beliefs can uplift or inhibit us. And most importantly, we learn how to come into harmony with ourselves, and accomplish more than we ever dreamed possible.

Strala combines the rich form vocabulary of yoga with the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi to create a structure for practice, that leads to progress across everything you do. This structure has three areas of focus: Being, Moving, and Healing.


Be : in agreement, harmony, and alignment with yourself. This is the beginning. It’s how we discover that our best way to get wherever we want to go is by feeling good every step along the way.

Move : with ease through all kinds of challenge. Learn to release stress and tension that disconnects us from our bodies, and inhibits everything we do. We can get so much further by developing grace and coordination than we can through stress and struggle.

Heal : the injuries and ailments that Western medicine struggles with the most from anxiety and depression, to immune and digestive disorders, obesity, chronic pain, and even diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. We learn to rewire our bodies on a chemical, neurological, and genetic level, to create the conditions of optimal health.


Everything about Strala is designed to help people move more easily from wherever they are each day. We have a strong focus on releasing stress, healing, and learning to bring grace, ease, and power into how you move through your life. Our trainings all have people from a wide range of backgrounds and experience, and we’re lucky to have this kind of diversity, it makes good ground for learning. So for everyone this is something wonderful, and you can always begin from where you are.

Some people carry this experience into sharing with others through leading yoga, tai chi, or another form of movement. Some bring this expansive access to creativity, energy, inspiration, and good feeling into their work, relationships, and family life. Wherever you go, you have have something amazing to give.


Strala Yoga Training Courses provide specific approaches for

Adults and children

Athletes, strength, agility and endurance

Flexibility, mobility and stability

Health, fitness and nutrition

Meditation, breathing, and stress relief

Energy and creativity

Rewiring our bodies and minds for optimal health and performance, on the level of our chemistry, neurology, chromosomes, and gene expression

Physical therapy to restore optimal balance between strength and flexibility, stability and mobility; healing for injuries, chronic pain, and stress-associated ailments

Psychological therapy to connect with intuition, freedom, and happiness;
healing for anxiety, depression, stress, and stress-associated ailments

Activating an internal experience that creates a radiant body, mind and life, across everything you do.


Strala Yoga Training Courses

We offer a variety of courses, from one-day workshops and two-day Intensive Yoga Trainings, to our longer 200+Hour Yoga Leadership Training and 300+Hour Advanced Leadership Training.

Whether you’re just getting started, or have completed a great deal of study in many approaches, we have something you’ll love here. Our program and faculty are quite different from other yoga schools, so in each of our courses, you’ll find all new information from your previous studies. This gives everyone a really nice way to keep progressing in your own life, as well as in your abilities to share with the people around you.

If you want to learn how to take really good care of yourself, move more easily and capably in your life, and form a positive connection with yourself and with everyone, you’ll love what you find here.


Intensive Yoga Training
Learn to release the stress and tension that inhibits you, from both your body and mind.

Our 2-day trainings provide a nice introduction to Strala, and give you good ground to start practicing this way of being, moving, and healing in your own life.


200+Hour Yoga Leadership Training
Take control over your own destiny on every level that counts – right down to your neurology, your gene expression, and your whole health.

This two-week course gives the breadth, depth and detail, along with a good deal of hands-on practice time, so you can keep progressing in your own life.  It also gives the structure for sharing these abilities with the people around you, whether in yoga or tai chi, at work, or across your whole life.


300+Hour Advanced Leadership Training
Diagnose and release the stress that inhibits our daily lives, move with grace and coordination through all kinds of challenge, and heal injuries and ailments on a professional level.

This three week course guides you through a detailed set of approaches, techniques, and hands-on practice, that give a useful structure for continued progress in your work and life.  Some of the people in the advanced course will have completed either our Intensive Yoga Training, our 200+Hour Yoga Leadership Training, or both. This gives good ground to keep progressing.  And many people begin with this 300+Hour training, which also works well for everyone.  All our trainings are designed for you to go in whatever order you like, so you can simply pick what sounds best to you and get started from right where you are.


Online Leaders Training, The 7 Secrets of Leadership
Learn to lead Strala Intensive Trainings on a professional level, everywhere in the world.

It’s incredibly rewarding to work with teachers, healers, aspiring stråla Guides, and people just coming to have more ease in their lives. If you’re interested in sharing this experience with people wherever you are, wherever you want to go, we’ll train you to give something that’s really wonderful for people, everywhere.

Once you’ve completed both the 200+Hour Yoga Leadership and 300+Hour Advanced Leadership Trainings, you’ll be ready to keep going with this course.  If you’re interested in being on this path, just let us know.  We’re happy to help with lining everything up in the best possible way for you.


Online 200+Hour Yoga Leadership Training
Make the yoga you want and the life you want, from wherever you are right now.

Our online training provides many hours of detailed guidance and practice time, and is a wonderful way to get ready for our in-person courses, as well as review once our time together is complete.  It also provides a great option if you can’t yet join us in person, and provides a complete 200+Hour Yoga Leadership Certification and Diploma. There’s no need to wait, you can get started right now, right where you are.


Learn more about all of our Yoga Trainings here


Online Classes and Trainings

We have an online library of classes, workshops and trainings that gives a good resource for whatever you need – from relaxation and better sleep, to energy and mood boosts, training guides for athletes, pre and postnatal instruction, and an all-around complete base for progress in both yoga and tai chi. We add new classes and trainings regularly, and if there’s something you don’t see, just ask. See our complete online library here.


Strala Faculty

Our training courses are grounded in Tara Stiles’ experience with reaching millions of people around the world, helping everyone move easily through challenge, and connect with their intuition, creativity and happiness. The science and approach to health and healing is grounded in Mike Taylor’s mind-body medicine studies at Harvard and his practice in tai chi and qi gong, along with Sam Berlind’s practice in shiatsu, Traditional Japanese Medicine, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Every member of the Strala Faculty has more than 20 years of hands-on practical experience and success in their field, and we’re backed by some of the world’s top leaders in mind-body medicine, genetics, and neurology. We’re here to share what works, and guide you to find your own amazing, in your own life. You learn to help people across an extremely wide range of situations and needs. You also learn to lead effectively in a group and inspire people everywhere, in everything you do.

Tara and Mike lead every Strala Intensive Training together, and are joined by Sam Berlind for the Strala 300+Hour Advanced Leadership Training.  You can always find our latest schedule here.


Strala in Schools

The implementation of Strala in schools, through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and now a newer program called BOKS, has been really wonderful and interesting. Our program resources are now made freely available in more than 30,000 schools, in exchange for the schools – and teachers – adopting new standards, and new ways of being themselves.

This all works so much better when it’s not just teachers telling kids what to do – and instead involves teachers influencing kids through their own way of being, how they are in their own lives.

I think this aspect of what we’re all doing – centering on how we are, and how easily and peacefully we’re able to move in our lives – is a very powerful starting point. How you are is what will influence kids the most. Much more than specific sequences or techniques. Those are useful too, but they follow the How. Without first giving attention to how we are, techniques are just things we do to each other. There can be some impact, but it’s very far from our potential with each other.

If you’d like to learn more, you can keep reading here.


Strala for Athletes

Strala is the only form of yoga that focuses on movement rather than poses. We created this by drawing on the movement wisdom of Eastern arts like tai chi and qi gong, combined with the rich form vocabulary of yoga. In 2011 a bureau chief at the New York Times identified our approach as a major shift in yoga. And it’s a shift that makes Strala uniquely powerful for athletes.

The most important thing you can do as an athlete – what moves you from good to great – is getting to know All of you, and learning to work easily with everything you’ve got. From here, you’re unstoppable. And to get here, it’s not so important what poses you can do. Instead you’re looking to bring two big elements together: movement and balance.


1) Movement. You want to move easily, without using force to overcome resistance in your own body. When you’re already at war with yourself, you don’t have much energy remaining for the obstacles you meet on the outside.

2) Balance. You want a good balance between stability and mobility, strength and flexibility. Too much of strength and stability is like a rock, hard to move and not so great on endurance. Too much of mobility and flexibility is like water without a glass, not so usable, and leaving you prone to joint injury.


For the most part, we all carry around so much more stress and tension than we need, which makes it harder to accomplish even simple things, and impossible to accomplish much higher levels of challenge. So our focus is on turning this around.

You’ll learn to use less effort to go faster and longer without tiring. You’ll also be less likely to get injured, and heal faster when injuries do happen. As an athlete, it’s how we make the impossible possible.

Want more for athletes? Keep moving here.


Strala for Health and Healing

Stress is producing nearly every health problem that Western medicine struggles with today: obesity and digestive disorders, weakened immunity and chronic pain, anxiety and depression, faster aging, inflammation, and even diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Luckily the science of stress gives us a solution. How we move – with tension or without, with force and aggression or grace and coordination – rewires our neurology and rebalances our microbiome every single day. It can change our gene expression, make our chromosomes healthier, and even alter what we pass along to our children. We create our lives, our health, and our world, in this way.

Strala brings together the movement and healing principles of traditional East Asian systems – all of which treat movement as central to healing – and the form vocabulary of yoga, which is more holistic and complete than the vocabulary of taiji. You’ll learn to move with grace and whole-body coordination, as a path to releasing stress and bringing every part of your body into harmony with every other part. The result is a way of being and moving that enables you to feel good, accomplish more in your life, and to heal.

Want more about strengthening health and the science of stress? Keep going here.


Strong Body, Calm Mind, Ridiculously Happy

Strala is a way of being, moving and healing, that helps people connect with how they feel, move how it feels good, and handle challenge with ease. You’ll move far beyond poses, blow past your goals and get into your dreams. Your life gets fun, fearless, fabulous & radiant. You get inspiringly healthy, connected, creative and free. This is going to feel good.


Let’s get started!
Click here for course info


Want to see a Strala Training in action?
Check out this video