Can this yoga book be the catalyst for miraculous weight lose, life-changing stress reduction and a complete mojo overhaul?
Author and leading yoga instructor Stiles has taught folks like you and me as well as celebs such as Deepak Chopra, Brooklyn Decker and Jane Fonda. Founder of Strala Yoga in NYC, Stiles knows her stuff. But before cracking this paperback, know that this is no easy and quick-fix solution to losing weight, achieving calmness or becoming more sexy — (unlike the hype you’ll find on the official website). Like any body transformation regimen, if you were devout and practiced daily for many months it may be possible, but it will require much discipline.
Stiles presents her instruction as 15-minute daily practices (which take me a little longer). Do I feel it’s time well spent? Absolutely. The instructions are well written, easy to understand and the accompanying photos of her in each pose are picture perfect. Will I ever attain her level of physical achievement? ‘fraid not. But that’s not the point. The photos alone are an inspiration to see that it’s actually humanly possible to attain such conditioning and control over one’s body.
For me, one of the best parts of the guide is an early chapter devoted to alignment, breathing and meditation. She calls it “the yoga buzz.” This section lays out in very simple terms the secrets to smart moving – helping us train the mind to become one with our bodies. Attention to alignment, breath and meditation are critical aspects of the pursuit of yoga for practitioners of any level. Another nice touch are the sidebars – motivational meets practical sage advice on how to accept where you are, whether on the mat or off.
The body of instructional content is book-ended with Stiles’ personal story, as well as suggestions for novices with a few tips on where to buy yoga gear, how to determine which type of yoga might suit best your personality and how to prepare for class.
I’ve begun the practice with the section devoted to Calm Yoga poses, and love the feeling of relaxation afterward. Sexy and Slim poses may follow…hey, it’s a journey…as long as I keep breathing, it should be all right.
Vitals: Pick up this book and find her new DVDs @ amazon.com
Post Script: I had the opportunity to pose a couple of questions to Tara:
altCon: As mentioned in your work, could you tell us a little more about your experiences with Paramahansa Yogananda, Krishna Das, Ram Das, Dharma Mittra….What did their teachings impart or What was it like to be in their presence?
Tara Stiles: Any great teacher has always reminded me that all the answers and the guide is within myself. When Rory Foster told me his personal story of yoga, and gave me Autobiography of a Yogi, by his guru Yogananda, I regained the empowering ability of going inside. KD has the same affect as soon as he opens his mouth to chant. You go inside instantly. Great leaders in my life now like Deepak Chopra and Tao Porchon Lynch are magnetic because people feel at ease and settled in their presence. When someone works on them self honestly through meditation and yoga, with time they become more calm and at ease. They appear to know all the answers to your questions, (and probably do) but they are really reminding you that you already know the answers. You just have to do the work of practicing.
altCon: Just as an aside – wondering why Hatha yoga isn’t included in the “Yoga Personality section” of the book.
Tara Stiles: There are many styles of yoga I didn’t include in the section. My aim was to make a brief introductory list of popular forms of yoga that wouldn’t overwhelm people. I didn’t include Hatha yoga specifically because many people understand Hatha as a general term for any form of Asana.
altCon: Thanks for your time, Tara.