This summer has been a complete whirlwind. I completed a 300 hour advanced Strala yoga and leadership training with Tara Stiles and Mike Taylor in New York. It was 21 days of un-learning, re-learning, and reorienting my approach to yoga (and life) as a practitioner and Yoga Guide. This new page will be dedicated to my perspectives and experiences with this transformative practice. This post is part 1 of Why I’m Hooked on Strala Yoga.
It’s all about the ease…
Before my Strala training I would force myself to practice yoga at least an hour per day. I hardly ever missed; and if I did , the rest never really made up for the guilt trip that I found myself on. This was because my emphasis was on getting better — reaching those goal poses (i.e. handstand) and becoming insanely flexible. I was in constant competition with myself. I always had some type of minor injury or nagging pain. But still, I kept on powering through. Why? I had goals. Yoga goals, y’all. These had to be met on God know’s who timeline. I really bought into this idea that the more you practice yoga, the better you will be. No pain no gain. Etc, etc. I followed Tara Stiles on social media and I thought hmmm…. But that’s kind of where it ended for me for about a year.
I must admit during our first few practices in New York, I powered through some Chaturangas and was like – oops! But I learned, its not about shaming the way a person practices or a particular style of yoga. The only wrong way to practice yoga is from a place that is stiff, flexed or forced. Fortunately with Strala there aren’t a bunch of things to remember. The main goal of the practice is to feel good. When you feel good about yourself — you are more likely to make better choices about your life. You eat better, sleep better, and play better. The ease you practice on the yoga mat spills into other areas of life. All those around you get a little taste of your ease.
The joy of natural movement
Strala is the new black. It helps you to re-learn natural movement – because children already know how to move how it feels good. As teens/young adults, most of use unlearn natural movement. Then, hopefully one day, we are fortunate enough to step into a Strala class and are liberated from our bad habits…because: Every. Moment. Counts.
Strala is the new black. It’s based on the sound sciences of physics and mind-body medicine. For example, the single hardest point of natural movement from an energy perspective is when you must overcome inertia to go from zero movement to movement. Yet most yoga requires practitioners to do that. You practice one pose – hold still – move to another pose-hold still – then move to yet another yoga pose. The goal is the pose. In Strala you and your process is the center of the practice. The emphasis is on tuning into every inch of your movement, what is going on inside. Your movement may/may not be a yoga pose. But who cares? The goal is to create those feel-good hormones and stop producing stress hormones at least for the time you’re on the mat.
With that said. I have participated and led some very stressful yoga practices. (But hey, when you know better, you do better)! Recently, I attended a master class where the teacher told a bunch of yoga teachers to do a repetitive sequence of splits to handstands drills. We were instructed to just smile if we felt uncomfortable. My old yoga self would’ve obliged (and prayed that I didn’t injure myself). But the new Strala-infused me was like, oh no sister, I’m about to make myself comfortable. In Strala, from the time you step onto your yoga mat you are getting into feeling mode and paying attention to how you feel, responding accordingly.
There are so many explicit and implied metaphors of how your movement can be indicative of your emotional state, how you move through life in general — or how you approach challenges. If you focus on your breath, letting it move you through both easy and difficult times you will have more ease and less dis-ease in your life. If you tune into what’s going on inside of you, and let that inform your movement (rather than focusing on external cues) your movement will be joyful, less stressful, more efficient.
Herein lies the problem with success on and off the mat — we continue to do more of the same (if it works) – ignoring or justifying the impact. If we focus on self expression that is true and unique we can support empowering behavior including investing in self care.
This new page will be dedicated to my perspectives and experiences with this transformative practice. This post is part 1 of Why I Strala. Follow me here at sheyogic.com and on Instagram.