I’m starting a new series of posts where I’d like to appreciate women. Women who inspire me, women who make me life, women who are my fashion icons, women who are my business inspiration; generally women who I may not personally know but all of whom I love in some way for what they do or who they are. There are many of them. So I’d like to introduce Women Wednesdays, exclusively for ‘love letters’ to these fabulous people.
I am starting with my favourite yoga teacher, or guru I suppose you can say, but I’m not into all the jargon around yoga. And that leads me to my favourite thing about Tara Stiles; she isn’t fussy about all the names for yogi related things, she doesn’t need you to know how to chant in Sanskrit in order to meditate and she doesn’t even care whether you know the ‘proper’ name for the poses, she just wants you to love yoga. I think it’s mostly down to Tara that I started practising yoga properly. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of yoga, one of my aunties is actually a yoga teacher, but I never really got into it until I stumbled upon Tara Stiles on youtube (I love youtube!).
Once you start to watch her videos you realise she is a completely infectious personality, she’s funny, she’s quirky, she’s different and her laugh is addictive. I think it really helps when you start practising yoga too, if you like your teacher’s voice because – trust me – you have to listen to it an awful lot. If you don’t like it you probably won’t get on with yoga because it will drive you mad, but if you do then suddenly things start to fall into place. The fact that I found Tara’s voice pleasant, relaxing, interesting and even almost soporific at times has really helped me get into my yoga practise, although I’m a long way from calling myself flexible or even zen yet!
And it’s not just her fabulous tall, flexible body, her vibrant sense of style and her awesome yoga that make me adore this woman. It’s her advice too. Her very attitude to life is open and chill, yet still excitable and curious; she seems to laugh her way through her newsletter and videos. She has started to be a model for how I’d like to look at the world too and I’m certainly making progress. Her notions of expansiveness and growth and her simple, yet bang on, pieces of advice like “you have to strap in your safety belt before you can help others” have really made logical, simple and easy sense to me. I find that very calming.
Something else I am grateful for is that she got me into knitting. I love knitting now and although my knitting is a bit skew-whiff and not very coordinated, I find it very relaxing and unwinding to do. Something you are creating is growing – it’s relaxing to watch and at the same time, fairly mindless. I don’t mean that good knitting doesn’t take skill, I just mean that you can switch off and get in touch with a different part of you while you knit; it’s essentially just very peaceful to me. And for introducing me to knitting as an idea of something that’s fun and enjoyable and beautiful, I have Tara to thank.
So her yoga is wonderful, her body and mind are beautiful, her outlook on life may be a little out there and her clothes are eclectic but I think she is a beautiful, radiant person and she has been my inspiration for well over a year now.
Find Tara at: http://tarastiles.com/
All Images from tarastiles.com.