5 Fitness Tips from Star Yoga Instructor Tara Stiles
With New Year resolutions in full swing, gym memberships are being handed out left and right (not for free, unfortunately). But let’s be real here guys, before you go signing a year-long contract, how likely are you to actually go to the gym for the rest of year? Some people just aren’t gym people and that’s okay. But what if you could make your apartment a gym (in a totally non-Richard Simmons kind of way)? Here’s where revolutionary, at-home workout app FitStar comes in. FitStar is a program you can use on your phone, tablet or computer that has loads of workout personalized just for you. While Fit Star has been around for a while, they have recently launched a new branch of the program: Fit Star yoga.
Whatever expectations you have of an at-home fitness class, throw it out the window. This yoga workout, taught by industry legend and model-turned-yoga instructor, Tara Stiles, has all the benefits of a traditional yoga practice, with a whole lot more flexibility. Unlike standard workout DVDs that repeat the exact same routine every time you pop it in, this can be personalized from more than 300 yoga poses based on skill level, desired duration and intensity. You can also access eight handcrafted “Freestyle Sessions” such as “Before Bedtime”, a 20-minute session that helps the body relax and “The Flexible 15,” a 15-minute workout created to promote flexibility. As an added bonus you can even connect your FitBit, Jawbone UP or MyFitnessPal to automatically sync your weight and fitness activity.
We had a chance to chance to chat with Tara about not only FitStar, but also about how you can add a little more zen to your office, what to chow down on before practicing and much more. Read on to absorb all of her yogi wisdom.
1. One of the things people tend to really enjoy about going to a yoga studio is the environment. What are some tips you’d recommend to recreate that same ambience in your home?
Create a space that helps you feel great from the inside out. This is super personal and doesn’t have to cost anything. Keeping a clear space for practice is a great start. If there is simple lighting you can dim to set the mood that can be useful and fun. We have Christmas lights up at Strala (Stiles’ yoga company) all year round in NYC and our partner studios. They make people happy and relaxed.
2. What moves would you suggest to help combat that pesky, holiday-induced belly bulge?
Regular practice each day will take care of all your physical concerns. If you need a quick go-to move to feel strong and target the core, holding a plank for a minute then side plank for 1 minute is a great thing to do in a short period of time. And of course, breathe and relax.
3. What are a few poses you’d recommend for those office-dwellers looking for a quick stretch break?
Pigeon is great to release tension in the hip and back and emotional stress as well. Standing forward bend shoulder release is a great one for the upper back, head, neck and shoulders.
4. What are some foods you’d recommend chowing down on before or after practicing?
Take it easy on eating a big meal before practicing. If you’re super hungry and need something satisfying, my favorite smoothie, which I call the Green Dream, is easy to make: 1 handful of spinach, 1 banana and 1 cup of almond milk. Blend and enjoy. Drink plenty of water also. You’ll feel energized and ready for a healthy meal and in the mood to take care of yourself even more after you practice.
5. How have the core principles behind yoga affected how you go about your daily life?
Knowing and enjoying the connection we all have to each other and our choices that affect that connection is everything.
If you’d like to check out Tara’s teaching in FitStar Yoga, you can download it from the App Store and try it for free (yes, free!) with a FitStar Basic account, which includes one personalized yoga session per week and one freestyle session. If that leaves you wanting more, snag a premium membership for $8 a month (or $30 a year), which will get you unlimited access to all the FitStar Premium programs and all Freestyle Sessions. 24-Hour Fitness, we bid you adieu.
Have you ever tried FitStar? How do you like it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.