Birchbox Crush: Celebrity Yoga Instructor Tara Stiles

When Tara Stiles burst onto the yoga scene via YouTube in 2006, the former model brought a different kind of practice. She soon earned the nickname “yoga rebel” for her refreshingly unpretentious approach: no chanting, no labels, just yoga. Her 2010 book Slim Calm Sexy Yoga shot up the best-seller lists, her latest DVD series is burning up Amazon, and her New York yoga studio, Strala, is booming. Next up: a lifestyle clothing line with Reebok. Did we mention she’s also a total (lovable) goofball? Find out Stiles’ skincare secret, top fitness advice and what’s on her iPod.

The secret to glowing skin

During times when I’ve been more stressed and eating junky foods, my skin has felt dull. Now my life is all about living well from the inside out and hoping to inspire others to live well, too. Since I made this conscious shift in my mind, I’ve seen fantastic results in all areas of my life, including my skin.

Tried-and-true products

I try to go as natural as possible. It really makes a difference for my skin and how I feel. I use Alba moisturizer. It’s pretty inexpensive and works just as well as all the fancy natural and organic ones I’ve tried. Tata Harper moisturizer is a nice special treat every once in a while—I’ll buy it for a gift and pick up one for myself as well.

How to get back on the fitness wagon in 2013

Grab a BFF or a co-worker, get over to a yoga class and sign up for a package that will make you come regularly. Enlist friends and family into cooking at home with you. Explore healthy cooking at home, and you’ll get hooked and feel fantastic right away.

Studio soundtrack

Music is so important to us with Strala, and to me personally. I love to find interesting music on my travels and inject some world flavor into our playlists. Right now I have a group from Ibiza called Red Fulka, some Bruno Mars, some old-school Tribe Called Quest and Beastie Boys. I like to mix up some throw-back jamz with fun, silly pop songs and world music, all winding down with deep relaxing Tibetan heart chakra bowls to center and uplift everyone. A little exotic, contemporary, nostalgic and spiritual, and you’ve got a great blend!

Kitchen confidential

I have an insanely healthy soup I call “All Veggies in My Soup.” You can make it with any veggies you have in your house. Put a little onion and garlic in a saucepan with olive oil. Toss in the chopped veggies, add veggie stock and simmer down for 20-30 minutes. I like to add a lot of crushed red pepper flakes for spice. Then comes my secret ingredient: a couple of cups of coconut milk. Simmer down for 10 minutes, and either eat chunky or blend it for more of a puree. It’s amazing, crazy healthy and tastes indulgent!

Being “easy” in body and mind

When you practice forcing and pushing, you end up running into a bunch of walls, or expending tons of energy trying to break them down. Practicing being easy is the mindset of looking for the doorknob to open the door. It’s there. I’m influenced a lot by classical dance and Eastern movements and ideas. Since we get good at what we practice, we start accomplishing hard things easily, whether it’s an arm balance or any task in life.

On the horizon

I’m super excited about my partnership with Reebok. I’ve been working with them since the beginning of 2012, designing a range of yoga lifestyle clothing. The clothes are fantastic, fun, cozy, and you’ll want to live in them! We launch the first season in spring 2013. Stay tuned!

Bonus: Check the Birchbox blog for Tara Stiles’ homemade Wendy’s Frosty recipe!

—Interview by Bene Cipolla

Photo: courtesy of Tara Stiles

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