x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Yoga instructor Tara Stiles launches Reebok apparel line

American yoga rebel Tara Stiles has paired up with Reebok for a sporting wear line.

Tara Stiles's 23-piece line of yoga apparel for Reebok features the slogan 'Who made the rules?'. Courtesy Reebok
Tara Stiles's 23-piece line of yoga apparel for Reebok features the slogan 'Who made the rules?'. Courtesy Reebok

Tara Stiles, known for her offbeat take on yoga, has launched a line of active wear for Reebok that’s funky and versatile, writes Melanie Swan.

At Tara Stiles’s yoga classes, there are no chants, no Hindu texts, no masters or gurus. Instead, the 31-year-old model-turned-instructor focuses on the practice’s physical benefits. In a recent Facebook post, she described her style as “easy-going yoga”.

Naturally, she’s ruffled more than a few feathers in the yoga world; The New York Times even dubbed her a “yoga rebel”.

But Stiles has also attracted a large following. Her YouTube channel is followed by millions of viewers from around the world. Among her students are Jane Fonda, Brooklyn Decker and Deepak Chopra, who’s known for bringing ancient philosophical thinking to the modern day in a more accessible format.

Stiles’s celebrity status extends outside her New York studio – Strala Yoga. She just launched her own line of yoga apparel for Reebok, featuring the slogan “Who made the rules?” – which sums up her take on yoga, she says.

“I believe that in yoga, the only rules you need to think about are the ones you choose to make for yourself,” says Stiles.

“Who made these yoga rules? I focus on the physical and health aspects of yoga, not the spiritual or the philosophical.”

Stiles says launching the 23-piece line with Reebok is a dream come true. “The concept definitely reflects my relaxed approach to yoga, especially with the unexpected bold graphics, which are really versatile and super fun,” she says.

Whereas traditionally people associate yoga with calmness and relaxation, Stiles likes teaching her classes to the tune of upbeat music.

“My yoga workouts are therefore really energetic. It’s accessible to others who want something different from yoga – other than meditation and chanting. This has empowered a big community around the world,” she says.

The Huffington Post described Stiles’s classes as an “unpretentious, inclusive and straightforward approach to yoga”, while Vanity Fair declared her the “coolest yoga instructor ever”.

When recruiting instructors for her studio, she doesn’t require any teacher training certificates; she simply observes how they teach.

Stiles says: “I love to encourage people to think differently about yoga. By introducing little unexpected twists to spice things up, like inviting some of my DJ friends down to my classes, I try to bring fun into everything I teach.”

Stiles, however, is aware that yoga is more than just a physical practice. Proof of this is her 2012 book, Yoga Cures: Simple Routines to Conquer More Than 50 Common Ailments and Live Pain-Free.

“I believe yoga has seven big benefits: physical benefits – which carve out a long, lean, strong and confident body, mental and psychological benefits – which focus our mind back to its natural state as well as constantly expanding and improving your life, neurological, intuitive and creative benefits – which help relieve tension in the body and mind, as well as getting your creative juices flowing when your body and mind begin to release mental blocks. Finally, you become more connected,” she says.

“I have shown people that yoga is much more than spiritual and philosophical. I focus on simple routines that can help with general well-being plus tips for everyday ailments – everything from sugar cravings to wrinkles and PMS. Yoga becomes truly useful when you can translate this attention and observation into all areas of your life.”


Tried and tested

Tara Stiles’s clothing line could be worn not just to yoga – it also works as gym wear and funky casual wear. The clothes have no zippers or toggles, so nothing gets in the way while you execute yoga poses – whether you’re standing, on your back or upside down. Fitted but not clingy, the range is feminine and flattering, as well as modest and modern – qualities consistently found in Reebok’s women’s apparel. With a nice range of colours, styles and cuts – and at an affordable price compared to other brands – it’s a definite thumbs up. Available in Reebok stores across the UAE.

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