Yoga no longer has to be an all-or-nothing practice if you can't make it to your favorite class at the prescribed hour. Tara Stiles, who inspired us to do yoga anywhere over the summer, has made daily yoga feasible thanks to her new DVD series “This is Yoga” ($20, amazon.com), which officially launches today.
It makes sense that this series come from Stiles, author of Slim Calm Sexy as well as Yoga Cures, and founder of Strala Yoga in New York City. Her approach to yoga made The New York Times refer to her practice as "Rebel Yoga." She believes that you don't have to convert religions or stick to one series and a certain number of postures each time you want to find your center.
And her new DVD series holds to this philosophy, offering a little something for everyone: Routines stretch from five to 60 minutes in length and focus on goals like strength, balance, relaxation, or flexibility, just to name a few. "I wanted to create something that people will practice with over the years as their goals change and evolve from anywhere from beginners, strength building, weight loss, relaxation, and more," she says.
What struck me most about the videos were the backdrops. From the balcony of the Standard Hotel in Hollywood, surrounded by palm trees swaying in the breeze, to a city rooftop in the sky set against the a brightly lit skyline, I found myself imagining I was there as I watched from the yoga mat situated on my living room floor. "I wanted people to feel like they were entering their own personal escape while they practice, and the backdrops are ideal for this," Stiles says. And when she told me she wants to be a filmmaker in her next life, it didn't surprise me.
And just when I thought she'd included everything in "Yoga, the Movie," as she referred to it, I stumbled across the fourth DVD: a library of poses. From sun salutations to inversions and backbends, Stiles gives detailed instructions on how to get into each posture, making it the ultimate guide for beginners.
Daily yoga is possible. True to form, Stiles doesn’t miss a day. Perhaps the best way to start is with my favorite videos from the set, the five-minute sessions you can do right from your bed for after you wake or before you drift off to sleep. As she puts it, "Simply spending five minutes, doing a few moves you know, and breathing deeply can powerfully change your entire perspective for the day and will of course, change your body for the better too…The more you practice regularly, the better you'll feel, and the more you'll get hooked!”