This weekend. It finally happened.
I trained with Tara Stiles and Mike Taylor & I am officially a Strala Guide!
No matter what words I use to describe this weekend, its going to sound “cheesy.” So get ready for lots of cheese…
Strala. Tara. Mike. I can’t believe it…I am still trying to soak up the experience. I remember a few times this weekend reminding myself “be present. soak this up! you’re only here for now!”
I arrived in Chicago a day early & I stayed a day late…I was able to reconnect with a good friend of mine I hadn’t seen in over 5 years…we toured the city & ate good food… & I strala’d my brains out.
I have been following Tara/Mike/Strala for about 5 years. I enrolled in my first yoga teacher training in 2014 in the hope of being able to teach strala…at the time, I was in a very unhealthy situation & was advised (really I was told I couldn’t…) not to go alllllll the way to NYC to do a training. So I found something local (I absolutely loved my YTT experience/teacher/friends) but being completely honest, it wasn’t my first choice.
I wanted then what I want now : to train with Tara & Mike.
5 years later and lots of changes, lots of going to-and-fro with my yoga practice, I have come around to daily strala & finally trained with Tara & Mike.
I arrived Saturday WAY too early of course, my excitement kept me up most of the night so I thought I might as well go down town and drink some coffee and watch the city of Chicago begin to buzz…
as I am sitting outside of the Starbucks nearest W Hotel City Center, I look over and see Tara, Mike, & baby Daisy walking the block. I froze. my heart stopped. I couldn’t believe it. There they were, walking past other people, chatting…so….normal in their ways. Just another morning before another strala training.
here I am freaking out like an obsessed fan girl, and these normal people walk by me doing their normal people thing. To me, this was TARA AND MIKE ! ha!
but to them, the rest of the city …just normal people. I think that is one of the hardest things to swallow for me, getting over the star-struck sensation of spending time with the two of them…
anyway I couldn’t bring myself to move let alone wave or smile or say hi or anything so I just sat back and watched them walk by.
I finished my coffee and headed to the training room in the hotel.
I met a few of my fellow trainees in the lobby, we chatted and heard Mike tell us it was ok to come on up to the space.
First I was greeted by Mike :: for those of you who don’t know Mike Taylor…you should get to get to know him. He is quite an incredible person; from med school to the military, high-altitude mountaineering to martial arts & tai chi …he’s done it all. He was kind, calm, cool & collected and he remained so throughout the weekend. Not to mention, he may be one of the funniest people I’ve met!
I ran downstairs to grab a mat after an intro with Mike, and there she was. Tara! coming up the stairs to join us. She and I hugged as though we were old friends reuniting, It felt like a mutual sense of “hey, I know you!” probably because I blow her social media feed up on a daily basis ha! but really, over the years I have knitted her a hat, emailed, instagram’d & more & she has kept up with me in her own way.
We started and ended each training day with a class. strala ENERGIZE/RELAX day one.
strala STRONG/GENTLE day two.
I can remember sitting down for the first morning class, hearing her say “let’s just start sitting tall, however you can settle in comfortably…”
I have heard her say this so many times before from the strala downloads I do daily…her youtube channel…but to hear her begin the class in person was surreal. the entire weekend was surreal.
She smiles the entire time she guides a class…every class. She smiles a lot really…
Her energy was supportive. grounding. compassionate. gentle. strong, all at once.
She greeted me like a friend & everyone else who came too! we were all friends. all there gathered to learn more, to get the full strala experience, to connect & move and breathe.
She made time between classes & “lessons” (for lack of a better word) to have genuine conversation with everyone in the room. She answered any and all questions we asked her.
Tara’s passion & happiness radiate through everything she does. Mike & Tara both take yoga beyond the mat and it shows in the simplest ways, like the way they talk, the way they move & carry themselves…I feel like for the first time I was around “real yogis.” which sounds kind of silly? to even say…but truly, their purpose is to do exactly what they are doing…which is yoga. They are so authentically true to who they are…they live strala on and off the mat. Every youtube video, every interview, blog post, strala online class…thats them. There are not one person here, one person there…one person online & a different one in person. They are so profoundly themselves. It was wonderful to spend time around genuine people.
I learned lessons I cannot begin to explain, valuable tools on natural movement, finding ease, creating space & the true power of the breath-body-mind connection.
I feel now, more than ever, the call to be a part of this movement. I believe so fully in everything strala stands for…
I plan to attend the 200 & 300 hour trainings in NYC. I plan to open a Strala Studio in Denver. After this weekend, my purpose couldn’t be more clear.
There is a question in the book Guiding Strala that is “simple yet profound”
Why do you want to be a strala guide?
- I want to bottle up the way I feel when I am done with a strala class & share that bottle with everyone. Strala has changed my life. I feel good & I want to help other people feel good too
Its not the most poetic answer. But its the real answer for me. I just want to help people feel as good as strala has helped me to feel.
If I can do what Tara/Mike/Strala has done for me, for even just one person…
my job is done