tara stiles

Guru of healthy goodness, Strala Yoga founder, Tara Stiles joins us for the month - this time from the kitchen!

To tell the truth, there’s not a Chalkboard Guest Editor we wouldn’t host twice! From Sophia Bush to David “Avocado” Wolfe, every single one of our guests has taught us invaluable lessons and provided us with kick-ass content to share with our beloved community (see them ALL here.)  

Tara Stiles is in that tribe, and we were thrilled to learn of her new project, a cookbook, Make Your Own Rules, launching just in time for all those deep, cozy fall vibes! Tara’s laid-back and inspired take on yoga oozes out into the rest of her life so seamlessly, we wanted to see how she was bringing all that Strala love into the kitchen. 

This month, we’ll be be again celebrating all the good vibes we’re getting from one of the planet’s favorite yogis – and spending a little time in the kitchen together, getting healthy before the big holidays hit!

Dear Chalkboard readers,

I’m so excited to be here with you for the month of October. Fall and the crisp coming of winter have a special place in my heart. There is a pending feeling of anticipation for family gatherings. Bundling up in Grandma’s quilts, catching up with the whole family, lush spreads of holiday cookies, cakes and pies, all the happy memories that this season brings for me. No matter how busy my life gets,the idea of coming together again with family and friends grounds and restores me in a way that a magical beach vacation can’t compare to.

The women in my family – aunts, grandmas and cousins – are a little obsessed with baking. Thankfully most of my extended family lives on one, very long country road. We’ll have a piece of pie at Grandma’s house, walk it off for a while to go visit Aunt Mary. Have some cookies and spend some time catching up with the gang there, and then heading on down the road to the next and the next and the next. It’s been a tradition since before I was born. As everyone’s family expands, there is simply more people (and little people) to visit, and, of course, more of a feast!

I’ll confess, when I was little, and even a teenager, I wasn’t that into cooking. I would take drink orders, set the table, or mash some potatoes for our family dinners – if someone handed me a beater, but I wasn’t super involved. When I moved out on my own, and into the wild of NYC, I had no other choice but to feed myself, and figure out how to do that well.

After many failures and dinners of pretzels, deli sandwiches and soda, I longed to enjoy a nice, nurturing, home-cooked meal, made with love. And then it hit me. I had to put on my big girl pants, get over to the market, buy things that didn’t come in a box and get creative!

Flash-forward 15 years later, I’m still alive and eating well. Thankfully I got really hooked on the creative aspect of cooking, and fell in love with the process of discovery. The big light-bulb moment for me was being able to see how moving away from tension and toward ease, in my physical practice of what developed over time into my company, Strala Yoga, was getting me interested in approaching everything in my life with ease. Cooking included! Life started to get really fun!

I have the honor of meeting loads of new people every day, whether at our home base Strala in NYC, or around the world. I take such comfort and awe in how similar we are. No matter our age or life story, we all desire to feel great, connect and nurture ourselves, and those we care about. These huge similarities pour out in the smiles, hugs, movement and recipe swapping I have the pleasure of doing with friends and family around the world.

I am constantly reminded, self care and interest in nourishment are the keys to feeling great – and being effective in our lives. It’s pretty cool to know that our main job on this planet is literally self-care. And don’t worry, that’s not selfish! The more we take care of ourselves, the more we become ambassadors of light. Shine on friends! We’re all counting on you!