Today I raced through Hollywood to get to a very special yoga party. Typically I don’t do yoga. Nor do I do anything on Sunday morning except go to my Buddhist temple. But this was not an ordinary Sunday… it was a Tara Stiles Sunday Strala Class and book party! Hovering over a sunny Hollywood, dancing around on a yoga mat, nothing could be better!
Feeling open, free, full of green juice, orange juice and loads of spaciousness and love, today I wanted to talk a bit about doing life your own way.
Early mornings in the W Hollywood are colorful lights and lots of shining space. A perfect place for a morning like this!
Tara is the proponent of making your own rules for everything. While she’s known for yoga, her spirit of staying connected to everything she loves… her own Tao… filled the space. The room was filled with the most gorgeous pants I’ve ever seen in a yoga class- cloud pants, rainbow stripes, all part of her line wth Reebok) , and jewel toned mats to match the crowd. Super fun music was spinning beside me in a DJ booth. The breakfast afterward at the pool was an array of favorite recipies from her book all about… yes… staying connected to the things that make you happy. In the case of Make Your Own Rules Diet, it’s about staying connected to the food you eat and becoming intuitive, choosing foods that make you happy and finding your best way to eat.
Fun stuff, right?!
Diets and Me are a tricky situation. When my dad was in jail when I was only 11 he sent me a package of two books. It was the Pritikin Program book and another book called Fit For Life. He sent his super-skinny young daughter a letter and two diet books from his white collar prison. For some reason I still admired him since he was my father and I was compelled to read them intently.
Within a year of that gift I had thoroughly indoctrinated myself in the rules of both books combined. I am not going to say that this kick started my deacade of near-death anorexia, but I will say that these two books stand out as a shimmering guidepost on my journey into a young hell. The rules of when and how to eat, the rules of what and how many calories could be configured like a game. I was taking power-walks in the freezing cold in New Jersey and turning yellow from the lack of protien. My family doctor thought my liver might be failing. My hair was pouring out. I took naps in school in the nurses office until they threatned to expell me if I didn’t go to a hospital. I knew that death was on the horizon when I skid down into the 80lb range at 5’9″.
My own turning point was a time I still can’t articulate and definately don’t want to oversimplify, but it happened and it can happen for you if you are struggling. It was borne of loving so much more of my life than my self-imposed death. It was a giant act of rebellion against all the rules I learned in these books to learn to feed myself and to get well.
That’s why I don’t work with rules. I work with people and spaces. That why my friends don’t color in the lines… they create the lines. I’ve gravitated toward a life that is the opposite of dogma. There’s still lots of structure and responsibility in life and tons that has to get done. There are best practices, wise ways to approach situations, good advice… But no rules.
Tara Stiles lives the no-rules philosophy. The Tao Of You is what Strala yoga is all about. There’s no wrong thing to do in a Strala class. There’s no bad. There’s a lot of lauching, cheering and a ton of breakthroughs. In the middle of the class my friend looked at me and said, “Wow! I’ve never been able to do a Crow pose before!” And that’s what happens.
Did you know that in some cultures women aren’t told that they can’t have kids after a certain age so they have babies into their 50’s? Did you know that rules you adopted that you don’t really even believe in, or perhaps fear, could be making your life really difficult for no good reason?
Here’s what I’ve learned from years of knowing and adoring Tara about making your own rules…
And you only have to be able to stand in the truth of who you are and allow yourself to have the happiness and lightness and space all around you. We all have our bad habits, environments that make us feel less-than-awesome and the times when everything is heavy.
You can find lightness anywhere. She’s showed me that, too.
And its so deceptively simple to move in ways that make you feel good, to wear clothes that make you feel good, to choose friends that make you feel good… to even design a whole life that makes you feel good.
But it works.
She lives it. It works. People around the world are living it. It works. The ways she’s inspired me have been game-changing. Yep, it works,
Check out Make Your Own Rules Diet for the inspiration, the awesome food and the very straight talk about being who you are, where you are, as you are. I’m so excited to read this on the plane to Japan tomorrow!!! Let me know what you think! Do you make your own rules with food? With life? Would you dare to do it??? xoxo Dana
And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101. Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks. It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do. Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow. Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE… And, as always, please let me know what happens!
Oh man, Fit for Life sent me down a bad path of rule-keeping with food! I don’t keep rules anymore but it’s been a long road to shake the influence that book had.