Having recently changed my working schedule, I knew straight away that my yoga practice was probably going to have to change with it. I would either only make a class once in a blue moon or worse, not do it at all. To be honest, I’d never really thought about online classes- I saw them as grainy videos where you really don’t get the full benefit of the teacher’s expertise and there’s no room for breathing or savasana because they’re moving through the sequence so quickly.
How wrong I was.
I thought long and hard about investing in MindBodyGreen’s new Complete Guide To Yoga With Tara Stiles. What about safety? Wouldn’t I need adjustments? What if I’m not super bendy and pretzel-like? What if I can’t really see what’s going on and it’s a waste of money?
Luckily, all of these fears melted away instantly after I accessed the course, full of crystal clear visuals, pin-drop sound quality and close-ups. If there’s anyone I’d want to be giving me one-on-one virtual lessons, it would have to be the fabulous, ever elegant Miss Tara Stiles, world-renowned teacher and owner of Strala Yoga. Having watched many of Tara’s YouTube videos and seen her posts on MindBodyGreen, I’d gotten used to her amazingly calm and creative style of yoga, so I was pretty sure I’d be in safe hands. Her fantastic husband, Michael Taylor, is also on hand to give advice and talk you through some of the things that you’re maybe feeling a bit shaky about when you’re establishing a regular practice of your own, whether at home or on the move.
How does it work?
This course is more than just yoga. There are 10 course modules in all and the first module includes all those thing you which you could ask your yoga teacher, but you either can’t because you’re in awe of them (I have to remind myself that they’re people too!) or you want to beat rush hour, so you dash off. Topics such as a home practice, meditation, breathing and safety are all covered and this is what I think makes the MBG course stand out from many of the others.
The modules are then split into individual poses- the whats, the whys and how to get into and out of them safely- sitting, standing, backbends, inversions, you name it. By the way, if you thought that you were getting out of Handstands, Half Moon Pose and Side Crow just because you’re not in your regular class and you think no-one watching, let me dash your fears right now! In this way, this video series is great for both complete newbies and the practicing, experienced yogi.
The later modules are worth their weight in gold though- mini sequences to squeeze into those restless 10 minutes of your day (I’m a particular fan of the ‘Inspiration’ sequence), and finally two full-length Strala sequences, Relax and Strong. This for me was a huge draw to the course, as I’m sure it would be for anyone who can’t make it to Strala in New York, but who would quite happily give their left arm just to experience the feel and buzz of one of their classes. Well, now we can- whenever we like, in the comfort of our own home, between appointments, assignments and life commitments.
It doesn’t stop there though- there are even discussion boards (I know!). You can connect with Tara and Mike and they’ll answer any questions or queries you might have. I love dropping into the discussion boards and connecting with everyone- they reassure me that everyone’s practice is different, variable and we all have the same worries and anxieties about what we’re doing (or not doing, as the case may be).
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this course, it’s that yoga is not a strict regime or something to slave over and be perfected. Like life, it is a constant flow and creative journey. Tara encourages us to listen to our bodies, explore variations within each pose and go with what we feel like doing on the day, not what we think we have to do or what our teacher necessarily tells us to do. There is so much space and creativity within these sequences to enable you to trust your body and let yoga move through you with joy and ease.
I’m so grateful for this amazing collaboration between MBG, Tara and Mike. I have a sneaky feeling that my yoga practice is going to become even stronger as a result- with such amazing instruction and the convenience factor, there’s no reason (or excuse) for it not to be.
The course is currently reduced to $99 and you can access it as many times as you’d like to. If you’re curious and would like more details, have a look at the introductory video below and click here for more information. It might just be the best (and easiest) investment you’ll make for your health and wellbeing.
Love and a bit of pigeon pose (my favourite!),
(By the way, I’d just like to make it clear that I’m not on commission from MindBodyGreen- I just love this course!)