To anyone who’s tried traditional yoga, Tara Stiles’ dogma-free approach might be surprising. The 33-year-old Illinois native is behind a new, free-flowing, accepting type of yoga that’s utterly divorced from the ancient practice’s religious roots. Stiles started her career in modeling, but after teaching free yoga classes in her New York City apartment and posting videos to YouTube, she gained a following and opened her own studio, Strala Yoga, in 2008. Strala emphasized Stiles’ own unique approach to yoga and soon, she began to train other instructors. Strala now has a global training program with studios and teachers and is available in 15 countries. Last month, W Hotels launched a partnership with Stiles, where she, and other Strala instructors, will stay at exotic W destinations and teach yoga to hotel guests.
Racked recently caught up with the self-professed “anti-yoga” expert to talk about the early days of sneaking class attendees into her apartment building, her opinion on the yoga Instagram movement and how yoga studios can stand out from the crowd. Continue reading >>