A little yoga before bed, or even in bed, can be the perfect way to wind down and prep for a good night's sleep. Here are three poses yogi Tara Stiles recommends for a relaxing bedtime sequence. Next time you find yourself counting sheep, try these soothing poses instead.
Start your day off right and do a little yoga. Founder and owner of NYC-based Strala Yoga, Tara Stiles knows just which poses will help ease you into a wakeful state and energize your day. Watch this video to learn the poses she recommends and why. No one ever regrets starting his or her day with a little stretching.
For any yoga student who is beyond a beginner practice, a standard DVD can leave a lot to be desired. Typically, there's tons of instruction, very basic postures, and long breaks in the sequence. While all four of the DVDs in the Tara Stiles This Is Yoga DVD Set ($20) offer wonderful instruction for students of all levels, I was particularly taken with the first DVD of the set, Daily Yoga For Everyone. Both of the flowing practices on this DVD challenged my body, provided easy-to-follow instruction, and exceeded my expectations.
The first flow on this DVD was an hour-long, thoughtful sequence that brought heat to my body and worked my core. Plenty of options were available for beginners throughout this Strong Flow sequence, but I also appreciated all the variations that allowed my body to move deeper into each posture. I was particularly taken with a Three-Legged Dog variation where I was instructed to lower my forearm to my mat and shift my hips over my shoulder. With this creative variation offered so early on in the sequence, I knew that this DVD was the real deal. Keep reading to hear my thoughts on the second sequence on the DVD: Relax Flow.
Yoga is a great workout, but it also has incredible healing powers. Not only can yoga help with depression, a simple pose has the ability to melt away stress.
To find out which poses provide the most stress relief, we turned to experts in the yoga world. Read on to see the poses celebrity yoga instructors like Mandy Ingber and Tara Stiles turn to when life seems to be going every way but theirs.
Photos: Jenny Sugar
After a coast-to-coast flight, relief came in the form of Strala Yoga's class, Relax. The class is a staple at the New York-based studio, owned by well-known yogini Tara Stiles and her husband, Michael Taylor. Still feeling wound up after class from traveling and lack of sleep, I asked Tara what her go-to yoga pose is for releasing stress and finding calm. Tara didn't hesitate to say that Pigeon pose and all of its variations make the best stress relievers. Whether you run, bike, or sit at a desk all day, Tara says that Pigeon poses help calm the body and mind by releasing built-up tension in the often-tight hips and hamstrings.
Tara likes that you can stay in Pigeon for as little or as long as you like and that it only takes a small movement to increase intensity. For those times when stress is high, Tara suggests massaging the forehead while in Pigeon or lying hands gently on the floor and resting your torso on your knee. Go even deeper into the pose by progressing into Pigeon Crescent (seen here), which will open up the chest and spine. Tara adds that Pigeon can help with sleep issues like insomnia, making it a good pose to wind down with in the evening. Most importantly, to truly reduce tension, connect with your breath: "Every inhale makes more room in your body, self, and mind," Tara says. "Your pose should feel easy with deep breaths helping to guide you from the inside out — no struggling; no clenching; slow, slow, slow."
Which yoga poses help you ease stress?
Lots of celebrity trainers use Twitter to broadcast healthy eating tips, motivational words, and exercise advice. I love it because I'm getting the same advice that their star clients do, except that I'm not paying $300/hour for it. Since they often talk about the stars they train, I get to hear about Kristin Cavallari and Fergie's workouts, or what healthy food Lady Gaga is snacking on. Here are what some of the top celeb trainers are tweeting this month.
Start following these trainers to feel red-carpet-ready every day — minus the hefty price tag. And don't forget to follow FitSugar on Twitter, too!
- @JohnDamon: "Woo! 15 min warm up on the Expresso bike and then a back, bicep, ab, shoulder, & agility circuit! Like James Brown said, 'I FEEL GOOD!!'"
- @TaraStiles: "The job of a yoga teacher is to connect people back to themselves . . . and then get the heck out of the way."
- @DBDonamatrix: "I just did 50 push-ups on the 50 yard-line [sic] now it's time for the 40 yard dash"
- @JeanetteJenkins: "You don't need expensive equipment or a gym membership to lose weight & get healthy. Start by moving more & eating less!"
- @joelharperfit: "FIT TIP: Great time of year to eat cranberries — full of specific phytochemicals, prevents UTIs & a dose of Vit C. Try them in your salad."
By some accounts she started the fitness craze in the '80s, and now Jane Fonda is relaunching her Workout brand. Meet the new trainers she's teamed up with for her project: Jeanette Jenkins, the Tone It Up girls Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn, and yogi Tara Stiles. And all these fitness gurus, including Jane, have tips for how to survive the holidays with your waistline and sanity in tact. Watch and learn!
Jane Fonda is back, and she's rounded some trainers to revamp her Workout brand! Yoga expert Tara Stiles, celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins, and Tone It Up founders Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn make up the lovely ladies of Team Fonda. FitSugar was lucky enough to workout with them and ask a few questions about surviving the holidays, easy workout moves to do anytime, anywhere, and power foods you should have on hand to keep your energy up. If you want to learn the secrets behind the toned bodies of Serena Williams, Gabrielle Reece, and Brooklyn Decker, keep watching!
Celebrity trainers are tweetin' up a storm lately, which we love because it's an easy — and free — way to get fitness advice from the same folks who train Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, and Heidi Klum. Keep on clicking to see what these experts have to say about yoga not being about poses, learn some new one-armed exercises, and get a behind-the-scenes look at a photo shoot with Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer, Tracy Anderson.
While we were hoping that Jane Fonda's comeback would be a throwback to the days of leotards and legwarmers, she has something else in mind. Today the actress announced via her blog that she'll be launching a series of "exciting new fitness programs of various styles" featuring "the new faces of fitness." And as far as we can tell, there won't be any spandex, headbands, or step aerobics involved.
Jane's new team includes celeb yogini Tara Stiles, Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up, and the president of the Hollywood Trainer, Jeanette Jenkins. Given the talent and expertise of Team Jane, we're wholly expecting to work our butts off under any of the projects these women produce together.