Tara is the founder and owner of Strala Yoga, widely known for its unpretentious, inclusive, and straightforward approach to yoga and meditation.
Named “Yoga Rebel” by the New York Times, Tara Stiles has inspired a wide audience around the world with her healthy and relatable approaches to yoga, meditation, exercise, awareness, nutrition and every day well being. Tara has been featured in publications including Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Lucky, InStyle, Esquire, Shape, and Self, and has been profiled by the Times of India, The Times (UK), and Sweden’s Dagnes Nyheter. She is the personal yoga instructor to Deepak Chopra, whom she’s collaborated with to create the best selling Authentic Yoga iPhone app, Yoga Transformation DVD series among other projects. Jane Fonda named Tara, “The new face of fitness”. They partnered to re-launch Jane’s famous WORKOUT brand of fitness DVDs and equipment.
Tara is the author of the best selling books Yoga Cures and Slim Calm Sexy Yoga. Her approach leads people to their own intuition and awareness. The results are radiant health and lasting happiness. As Vanity Fair noted, “Tara Stiles has got to be the coolest yoga instructor ever.”
Mike is a co-founder, guide, and resident healer at Strala. He’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than two decades, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu. Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the U.S. and England, Mike left his healthcare roots. He worked at a steel mill for a while, joined a web company, and then founded a few more. He now serves on the board of Odyl, which helps people discover books on Facebook. As Strala has grown, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, become their own best caregivers, and live happy capable lives. Mike climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is the husband of yoga master Tara Stiles.
Heidi is Strala’s General Manager and part of the creative team. She’s also Strala’s resident upside-down girl: in classes, leading them, and as part of the 200+Hour Ready to Lead Program and the Strala Intensive for Teachers. Nothing makes Heidi happier than being able to share her love of yoga and being upside down in the most fun, safe way possible.
A true believer that “Yoga Cures”: lengthening and strengthening through yoga led to a healed herniated disc in Heidi’s cervical spine and prevented surgery of two broken vertebrae in her lumbar spine. Heidi maintains an intense focus on core integration and alignment stemming from her desire to use yoga as a tool to heal and strengthen the body, and believes that playfulness is vital: always balancing strength with levity. In her classes, expect to breathe, laugh and sweat!
Heidi is the resident yoga and nutrition expert for SHAPE magazine. Featured in numerous publications, Heidi is a Brand Ambassador for SOLOW Sport and contributes to MindBodyGreen, where she details her quest to find the most delicious and nutritious ways to fuel and re-fuel pre and post-yoga.
Priya discovered yoga in her freshman year of college. After practicing at many different studios throughout the years, she ultimately fell in love with Strala. She was extremely drawn to the emphasis on moving with ease instead of always going to the extreme within your practice. She also found the general feel of the studio to be down to earth and genuinely inviting. Priya graduated from the 200 + Hour Ready-to-Lead Strala Guide Training where she truly learned what it means to let your breath guide your movements. When Priya isn’t yoga-ing she is reading, eating delicious food, listening to music, and enjoying life. She believes that everyone can benefit from even a little bit of yoga because it feels really good, and everyone likes to feel good.
Suzy is a passionate and dedicated yoga guide, who loves to work with people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Her first yoga class was one of the most humbling and transformative experiences of her life (so far). Less than halfway through the class, hamstrings screaming, she happily realized that yoga was something much more than just “stretching.” Suzy is a graduate of Strala’s 200+ hour Ready-to-Lead Guide Training Program, where she learned the importance of using your breath to create space in your body and guide you through movement (as well as various other things in life). She always remembers to bring her mat, some water, and a healthy sense of humor to every class.
Vera is a Brooklyn girl by way of the Russian Far East. Always fascinated by human nature and the human body, she studied them both through yoga, dance, music, meditation, languages, politics, and culture.
Vera loves Strala for its inclusive, unpretentious, and welcoming approach, and shares this approach when leading class. A believer in getting through hard things easily, she enjoys helping people discover balance and ease, through gentle and playful guidance. In her classes, be ready to breathe and move in a flow, and to explore.
Vera was born and raised in a small Siberian town between the mountains and the sea. She has a professional background in linguistics, journalism, and harm reduction, which have taught her that every person’s experience, story, and body is unique. She sees yoga as a beautiful tool to help us stay grounded on the mat and in everyday life—and to find inspiration. Vera is a graduate of Strala’s 200-Hour Ready-to-Lead training, as well as the Strala Intensive for Teachers program.
Kayleigh Pleas, an elite gymnast in her youth, discovered the healing power of movement at an early age and feels privileged to share her passion through teaching. She is a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition & wellness coach, who believes that optimal health is possible when we balance the many sources of nourishment in our lives: nutrition, physical activity, relationships, habits of thought, and spirituality. In the studio, Kayleigh challenges her students to move with awareness and curiosity in order to discover unrealized calm and potential. In her coaching practice, she specializes in making proper nutrition, stress reduction, and self care fit the schedule of even the busiest New Yorker. Currently, Kayleigh continues to advance her understanding of the mind-body connection and optimal wellness through her studies in Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. For more information about Kayleigh and her coaching practice, check out Kayleighpleas.com
Jennifer discovered yoga 7 years ago during her conservatory training for musical theatre. After experimenting with several forms of yoga, she found Strala, and decided it was the perfect blend she had been looking for. A difficult knee injury lead Jennifer to be a true believer in the healing properties of yoga; through daily practice she has found strength and health, and hopes to help others do the same. A graduate of the Strala Yoga Guide training program, Jennifer’sdance background has paralleled her love of yoga, and she encourages a fun, open, and hands on approach in her classes. Jennifer aims to help individuals find the flow of breath through movement, and an awareness of the connection of mind and body.
Erin has studied various yoga disciplines since 1998, and loves to bring a combination of sensibilities to her classes. Full of wanderlust and wonder, she has always loved to travel. Erin received her initial teaching certification in Florence, Italy, and is a graduate of the Strala Intensive for Teachers program. Besides connecting with a studio family and sharing her love of yoga here in NYC, Erin also teaches abroad throughout the year. She is the founder of EAT.PRAY.MOVE Yoga Retreats, which began out of her love of yoga, the Mediterranean, and travel.
Erin feels lucky to be surrounded by beautiful instructors who grow with their students, adjust lovingly, and practice what they teach. She strives to help others to this kind of growth through yoga. “Breathe, move, smile, have fun, explore – and don’t be scared to dance!” Erin is a graduate of Strala’s Intensive for Teachers.
Cynthia views freedom of movement as the gateway to happiness. Growing up singing and performing in Indiana, she achieved her Bachelor’s degree in Music Business from Anderson University. Her love for movement compelled her to follow the bright lights to New York City, where she has pursued a variety of interests in music, business, and travel. This same enthusiasm inspired her to further her education in the fields of fitness and wellness. Cynthia is a graduate of the Strala Intensive for Teachers program, and holds certifications in a variety of yoga and pilates formats. Her classes are lively and thoughtful, emphasizing the alliance of breath with motion, and exploring the connection of mind, body, and spirit. Every person has a unique practice; Cynthia works to help people meet their own personal goals.