A Strala Yoga-esque Travel Philosophy
That is the premise of Strala Yoga's revolutionary approach, created by Tara Stiles and Mike Taylor, which regards yoga as an experience that is not bound by poses or restricted by narrow cortisol-inducing goals. Instead, the practice and its creators encourage a freedom flow that taps into a more positive and productive body response. Taking that calm and healing approach, Strala promises, you will far exceed the goals you might have otherwise set.
As a fairweather practioner, but constant lover of yoga, I've followed Tara on Instagram for a couple years now, equally inspired by this idea she is spreading — that you can and should linger where it feels good and that there is no wrong way to move your body — as by her strength, grace and range of movement as a yogi and former ballet dancer.
Not much felt all that good to me in New York City as a career-distracted, stressed and overwhelmed new mom (I was an active yogi and dancer when I lived in Brooklyn solo two years previous, but that was a very different story). It is truly baffling that despite everything about Strala's concept making perfect sense to me, and Tara's NYC studio being less than a mile from me when we lived in TriBeCa at a time when I most needed it, I never made it to one of her classes. Completely and totally baffling.
The closest I came was when I attended Michelle Timek's Waterfront Yoga in Jersey City this past summer. As Michelle lead the flow that morning, despite never having attended a class with Tara, it felt reminiscent of what I imagined a Strala class to be like. Most importantly, it felt great. It turned out that Michelle is a Strala student herself.
So as we've embarked on this journey, especially after my weekend in Toronto when we no longer had any solid commitments on the horizon, I've noticed that our travel philosophy has a certain Strala-esque quality to it.
We are following a loose path with some destinations that we are keen to roll through, but nothing is certain or guaranteed. We ebb with the flow, stop where we are called to stop and stay as long as it feels good to stay in one place. We move around and explore within each stop, as long as we are inspired and it feels fun and rewarding, exciting and engaging, or restful and rejuvenating. If it doesn't feel good, we move on.
The words introducing this post, which describe Strala Yoga, could as easily describe what we aspire this trip to be. It's a wellness journey in additional to a travel adventure. One where we have removed the pressure and all expectations to be or do anything. We've equipped ourselves with tools that spark our creativity and encourage us to tap into our intuition — books, yoga mats, Crazy Sexy Love Notes, journals and sketchbooks, colored pencils, and the ever-changing backdrop of the world around us. We're moving our bodies every day in a way that invites playful exploration of both our beings and our surroundings — whether through hiking, biking or a long curious walk — and makes us stronger without obligation or guilt.
As we move south back into warmer temperatures that will allow me to tumble around on the rug mats outside our trailer, I look forward to rolling out my yoga mat with my block and straps, and practicing alongside my small person, who loves transforming into a cat or a cow, a downward dog wagging its tail, a tree, a butterfly or a frog.
Above all, I hope our calm, steady, measured and open Strala-esque approach will help me heal. As our journey unfolds, I hope to get happy and to once again radiate my light. It has burned very dimly in the past year or two, or maybe even three. But the flame never went out, and lingering where it feels good has been just the medicine I need to breath oxygen back into the fire of my soul.