There are celebrity yogis and then there’s Tara Stiles. Full of infectious energy and great big belly laughs, the former model and dancer is the founder of the Strala Yoga studio in New York. When she’s not teaching there, she’s either giving asana tips on her Instagram to her 93,000 strong following or doing private sessions as personal instructor to Deepak Chopra.
Gourmet Skin Bar got some one-on-one time with her when she was visiting Hong Kong to debut Fit Bites, a healthy in-room dining menu she designed specially for the W Hotel. After showing us her healthy twist on her aunt’s snickerdoodles, she explains how great tasting food doesn’t have to be at odds with keeping things healthy and why she believes beauty comes from the inside out.
I don’t normally put on makeup. Mainly I just have moisturizer. I’ll have makeup on if I’m going out to dinner or going out with friends. It’s getting plenty of sleep and doing yoga. I think for me it comes more from the inside out rather than ‘Oh, I need to have all these products and these treatments’ and things like that but I do love going to the spa and massages are amazing. I was just in Mexico City the other day and I had the best massage. My neck was really stiff from sitting on the plane. I was like ‘Wow, I should do this once a week.’
As soon as I get into a hotel room, it’s five minutes of yoga. Things like pigeon pose because they’re hip openers and you’re sitting on the plane--it gets tight, your back gets tight. Then bringing your legs up the wall for a few minutes to get the blood flowing.
The recipes are things that I made over time and are things that are really simple. They’re things that make you feel excited or good in your body. I’m thinking of my friends and people that come into the studio. Everyone wants to eat healthy but it has to be simple and it has to taste good as well. All the recipes are really easy ingredients. It’s all vegetables and plants and really easy to digest but still really creamy and luxurious. Even the smoothies--the berry smoothie it’s not just having berries and ice but coconut milk, orange juice and lime so it feels complex enough to be fabulous and fun.
Vegetarian sushi rolls which are really easy to make, easy to eat. All the salads have very zesty spices. I’ve always been very into Asian spices. There’s a lot of ways you can make a creamy salad dressing with dijon mustard and balsamic and hot sauce that taste like basically a Thousand Island thing with red pepper. The papaya salad has garlic and soy sauce and cinnamon that are really indulgent but healthy for you as well.
Eating like a celebrity yogi at the W Hotel
Veggie sushi rolls at the W Hotel yoga event
We're even drinking healthy!
I mean I still enjoy yoga even though it’s something I do for work. I’ll go into the studio or a friend’s studio. I love being physical and doing something with my body. I love long walks. In New York, I’ll go to the West Side highway and walk up and down or Central Park, things like that. But I do still feel a nice release from yoga.
As told to Tiffany Ap
Head over to Tara's website for more healthy recipes, fitspiration and good vibes :)