The 5 benefits and misconceptions of yoga by Tara Stiles

Gabrielle Koster

Last year and this year I had the honor to attend a Strala Yoga class by American Strala-founder Tara Stiles. I got to ask her some questions about the benefits and misconceptions of yoga according to her.

Let’s start with the misconceptions of yoga

Yoga is a religion

‘It’s not. You don’t need a guru. On the contrary, even the oldest books talk about finding your own guru within.’

Every yogi is also vegan or vegetarian

‘Bullocks! You can definitely eat meat and practice yoga. What is a fact, is that when you start practicing yoga, you start feeling better. And you probably start making healthier choices.’

You have to be flexible

‘There are so many people who are afraid they aren’t made for yoga since they aren’t flexible or can’t reach their toes. That’s not what yoga is about. There’s no competition. And of course, there will always be people who like to show off, but that’s not what yoga is about.’

Yoga is very serious and dogmatic

‘Yoga to me is kind of like dating. It’s better to go on a few dates with different types of yoga to see which type of yoga matches you and which teacher you like. Yoga is fun!’

Yoga is only for women

‘That’s such a nonsense. My husband, Michael Taylor, also practices yoga and in the yoga studio you will probably find as much men as women that practice yoga.’

Yoga at Studio 191, wearing a Röhnisch top

On to the benefits of yoga

You feel so much better

‘Yoga makes you physically tighter and leaner. Yoga let’s your heart rhythm decrease, it enhances your endurance and improves the oxygen uptake.’

You feel more energetic

‘Are you still tired after 9 hours of sleep? Time to start practicing yoga. It really boosts your energy levels.’

You achieve your own goals quicker

‘Whatever your physical or mental goals are, yoga makes sure you achieve them a lot quicker.’

You will become more creative

‘Yoga really influences your creativity and intuition.’

You will suffer less from stress and feel more relaxed

‘That’s because of the relaxing function of yoga. The production of the stress hormone cortisol decreases during yoga.’

Tara, Nathalie and me a year ago.