For those of you who’ve been asking why my past couple of days have been in Seminyak, Bali, instead of London’s Spring/Summer 2015 runway action, this shoot with this babe is it.
Tara is one of those magnetic personalities. Not in a self-assertive, ostentatious, wild-hand-gesture-deep-in-debate kind of way. Not even in a mysterious, unsettlingly spiritual manner. With Tara, it is what it is. What you see is what you get – plus a few extra good vibes. I will admit that, given her evident love of tie-dye and pineapple pants on Instagram (partially, I’m sure, fueled by a very successful ongoing collection with Reebok), I had initially planned my styling references for this shoot around a much more print-clashed, extensively layered,
tropicana concept. Upon meeting Tara, however, it became quite evident that streamlined monochrome by the sea would be infinitely more compatible than red-lipped frolicking in the W‘s bright and poolside canopy beds.
The pineapple pants could stay. But don’t think you’ve gotten out of Carmen Miranda just yet, Stiles.
Likewise, this is essentially the approach she has taken to her Strala Yoga empire based out of New York City. Throughout all the classes I took with Tara over the weekend, it was never about pushing yourself too hard and fast, or being judged by fellow yogis, or complicated phrases you don’t understand. With every pose, Tara stressed the importance of what felt good for your body. No pressure – see what you’re capable of; build on that each time the position comes around.
As to that grand and burning life question of what goes on in the health and well-being space online, the same applies, said Tara between headstands. You know more than anybody what works and what doesn’t work for your body. True, it will take some trial and error, but you shouldn’t be afraid of that process. Consistency is paramount, but more than anything, don’t take on every diet, exercise craze, or supplement that promises to be your quick fix to walking Victoria’s Secret. Gluten-free, or Cross Fit, or raw vegan, might work perfectly for your roommate’s abs, but as much as you hate to hear it, no one body is the same, and nobody can tell you what you should be doing better than you.
Again, do what feels right, said Tara.
Even if it takes a while to find that.
I guess that’s what the retreat series Tara has partnered with a range of exotic W hotels on is promoting. You have the freedom to fit her classes into your lifestyle as you see fit (partying or detoxing alike). There’s no forced food-elimination, or liquids-only, or alcohol-abstinence – just a few early starts and a bit of physical dedication.
All I know is that Tara was so easy to shoot, given her background as a dancer (movement makes such a difference when a telephoto lens is in play), so easy to talk to, and an excellent businesswoman if I ever did see one. These shots and pineapple pants are a testament to that.
LOOK 2: Michael Lo Sordo Dress