Saturday, 19 November 2016

What is Strala Yoga?

Although my yoga journey began in 1991 when I was pregnant with my first child, my teaching journey did not begin until June 2014 when I enrolled on a teacher training course with Yoga Professionals. It was the start of an exciting new journey. After qualifying I threw myself into teaching and learning. I just wanted to soak up as much as I could. Seeing people leave my classes feeling relaxed and de-stressed gave me a sense of purpose.
I didn’t know it at the start but that course with Yoga Professional was just the start. In March 2015 I was lucky enough to spend three days being trained by Jo Manuel of Special Yoga so that I could teach yoga to children. In April 2015 I studied more anatomy with Dr Ray Long. In July 2015 I completed the Pawsb Mindfulness course at Bangor University so that I could teacher Mindfulness to children. In September 2015 I spent three days learning more about Ashtanga Yoga with Kino McGregor. In October and November 2015 I spent 5 days completing my Teen Yoga teacher training. In December 2015 I spent another day at Special Yoga on the Enchanted Wonders course and in June 2016 I got the opportunity to spend 3 days with David Swenson. I learned to much from these teachers but nothing prepared me for road to Damascus style awakening I encountered after my trip to London in October this year to qualify as a Strala guide.

Learning how to teach Strala Yoga by the founders of Strala, Tara Stiles and her husband, Mike Taylor, has been nothing short of a revelation to me. Everything I learned so far on my journey just fell into place. So what is Strala Yoga?

Strala was created by Tara Stiles, drawing on her background in classical ballet and choreography, as well as her long-time personal practice in yoga. The science and movement of Strala is also guided by Mike Taylor. Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and complementary medicine at Oxford.  He has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qi gong, for 30 years.

Movement begins with your breath. Every inhale opens and creates space, every exhale relaxes and lets you move easily into the space you create. You move through the familiar and unfamiliar with far less effort, taking you much further without tiring, just feeling good.

Strala is designed to activate your body’s Relaxation Response – a chemical cascade responsible for overall health, healing, and wellbeing. This doesn’t happen in common yoga or exercise systems, which stimulate cortisol production. When attention is aimed narrowly and forcefully at accomplishing goals — for example in yoga, jumping and pushing into poses — our body is bathed in stress hormones, including cortisol. We become chemically less able to see the full range of options available to us. By contrast, when we move with ease through all conditions, we trigger our body’s Relaxation Response. This is where we want to live most of our lives. The good news is, we can activate our own Relaxation Response by moving gently and exploring where we are, rather than forcing to be somewhere else. We get happy, creative and intuitive.
 It feels FANTASTIC!
All of my classes are now fuelled by the Strala style and if you would like to give it a try please come along to any of my classes.

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