Tara Stiles is one busy lady! The former model turned yoga expert just released her yoga DVD collection entitled “This is Yoga,” held a launch party for the series complete with a nighttime yoga session, and even had time to answer our questions about her passion for yoga.
“This is Yoga” is a 4 disc DVD series with hours of yoga instruction that retails for just $20. It is a beautifully shot collection of poses filmed in a vast array of locations including a warehouse, a downtown LA rooftop, the Standard Hollywood, and the beach. Along with a library of yoga poses, there are also programs for beginners and intermediate yogis. Currently, the set is holding steady on Amazon’s Top 10 Fitness DVDs list.
On October 1, Tara celebrated the launch at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood. The evening included a 45 minute candlelit yoga class led by Tara and a reception. Sounds like a great way to get in touch with your energy!
And best of all, Tara was kind enough to answer a few of our questions:
First things first, yoga of course as many benefits as far as increasing your range of motion and flexibility and lengthening your muscles. What other benefits can be gained from practicing yoga?
Tara tells us, “So many. ‘This is Yoga’ is designed to help you move with ease, so whether the pose is challenging or simple, you’ll be able to feel great and connected from the inside out. You’ll be strengthening and lengthening your entire body while simultaneously calming and focusing the mind. Each inhale creates more space in your body and mind and each exhale moves you into that new space. The deeper you breathe the more your mind opens up and the calmer and sharper you get. It’s great because it is about the breath first, and the movements and the poses happen easily from there.”
For those moms who think they don’t have time for yoga, “No need to worry. I have routines on the DVD that range from 5 minutes all the way to 60 minutes, so whatever you can fit in your schedule is great. With just a few times practicing you’ll hopefully be hooked and keep coming back for that great feeling!’
Critics keep saying that yoga isn’t something to start if you’re trying to just lose weight. But recent studies have shown that practicing yoga burns more calories than previously thought. So, what does Tara say? Can yoga help you lose weight?
“Absolutely. Yoga has a great way to guide our minds to pay attention to each movement and how we feel. This carries over in our food choices. Mindful movement and meditation actually re-wires your brain to crave healthier things to eat and to pay attention to how you feel before during and after a meal. It’s so cool because it works from the inside out.
Of course you are getting lots of physical benefits in the process with shedding excess weight through the movements and the challenge of the routines. You’re also doing wonders for your digestion and organ function which help keep everything working for you on the inside to keep you headed toward your ideal weight and feeling great all the time.”
Starting yoga is a little intimidating, especially when you see the advanced yogis practicing complex moves. Fortunately, Tara’s DVDs will take care of those who are just starting a yoga practice.
(This is Yoga – 4 disc DVD series)
“There are several routines geared for beginners, and anyone that would like a more simple routine, and you can work your way through the series however you like,” she tells us. “All the routines are for anyone essentially, the main essence is to move with ease, so if something isn’t open yet, or doesn’t feel right, just simply back off until it feels great. This way you can build strength, balance, flexibility, and calm evenly in the body and mind without forcing or pushing anything.”
The best part of practicing yoga is the lack of required equipment! “All you need is you. You can practice this on carpet if you like, or if you prefer a yoga mat, that works too.”
For someone so passionate about yoga, we wanted to know what she was like as a child. What got Tara started in yoga practice?
“I was a strange kid and would run off to the woods where I grew up in rural Illinois and meditate in trees.” She told us, “I had this understanding that I felt like I was downloading from the universe, that we all are connected, and we are here to help each other, and we can also heal ourselves and each other.”
As for how she started with formal yoga training, “I was formally introduced to yoga (the movements) while I was in a ballet school in my teens and was so excited that there were people and a practice around my child hood feelings of connecting. I was hooked from there.”
To maintain a healthy mindset and lifestyle, you have to be inspired every day. The biggest inspiration for Tara is nature. “ We often forget how easy things can be when we allow ourselves to move like waves, and bend in the breeze, all the while standing tall and firmly and rooted into the ground. When I get out of balance I look to nature and figure out what I’m missing, whether I need more fire in my step, more flow in my life, or more roots in the ground, spending a few minutes breathing deeply, quieting the mind, reconnecting with nature, I am reminded that all the answers are right there inside waiting to be discovered. That’s inspiring and energizing.”
Want more? You can order Tara Stiles’ “This is Yoga” DVD collection here.