7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Tara Stiles

There’s a reason why she’s named ‘Coolest Yoga Instructor Ever’ by Vanity Fair.

Tara Stiles strike a pose on the bridge

Photo: YTL Hotels

Last month, I (finally) had the chance to put my brand new workout outfits to good use during Reebok’s Sucimurni Retreat with Tara Stiles. The three day event that was held at Tanjong Jara Resort in Terengganu not only left me feeling more refreshed than ever, it also made me realize that I really need to start working out more.

In between sunrise Strala Yoga sessions conducted by Tara, functional training exercises designed by MovePlay, releasing baby turtles into the sea and a culinary workshop demonstrated by the resorts own Chef Ann; I got a chance to steal the 35-year-old American Yoga extraordinaire away for a private chat.

THIS ISN’T HER FIRST TIME IN MALAYSIA
Who knew that starting out with just one studio in Manhattan would lead Tara to so many more opportunities that include travelling the world? This marks her fifth year collaborating with Reebok on their yoga range and her third year in Malaysia conducting a retreat.

SHE LIKES HER FOOD SPICY
When asked what her guilty pleasure food was, the first thing that came to mind was the ‘Chee Cheong Fun’ she once had in Petaling Street. And if she were ever to be in the mood to indulge, Tara explains that anything spicy (i.e. curry) is the way to her heart.

SHE DOESN’T HAVE A LEAST FAVOURITE YOGA POSE
But she does have a favourite! “I think the dancer pose is probably my favourite, ‘cause it just feels good and open. You can kind of get a good opening in your body and feel strong at the same time.”

WHICH MAKES SENSE BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT GOT HER INTO YOGA IN THE FIRST PLACE
As Tara was growing up, she was active in dance class and from there, she was exposed to yoga and ballet. “I thought it was awesome being able to calm down, to relief stress and to just feel better. Yoga has really helped me kind of slowdown and go easy.”

SHE PREFERS THE TERM ‘GUIDE’ TO ‘TEACHER’
It all started when everyone started calling her teacher when she first started the studio. “The people in the classes were like doctors, lawyers, and scientist; so for me to be their ‘teacher’ just felt inauthentic in a way so the word ‘guide’ felt a lot more relatable onto what I was actually doing.”

SHE HAS HAD COLLABORATIONS WITH CELEBRITIES LIKE JANE FONDA AND BROOKLYN DECKER ON HER DVDS…
… And if she were given the privilege to work with anyone else, her top two picks would be Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie. “There are so many famous people who are using their status to raise awareness for different things. So I’m definitely happy to work with anybody that’s like that and has a big profile.”

SHE IS THE COOLEST YOGA INSTRUCTOR EVER
Not every day do you get named ‘Coolest Instructor’ by Vanity Fair. So when we found out about it, we just had to ask Tara what her thoughts were on her newly crowned title. “I guess they call me that because I was making fun YouTube videos, like here’s a video on what you can do if your boyfriend broke up with you, here’s something you can do if your stomach hurts, here’s something for when you’re really tired or too stressed out over your studies. So it’s more of getting people involved for different reason, and finding movements that helps through different times of their life.”

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