New Kids

LA STRALA! Upstart Yoga Studio Takes Over Old Crunch Flagship

Tara Stiles (Via Strala Yoga.)

I've seen the future of yoga, and it's Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga studio, which moved into the former Crunch location on Broadway (at Houston) in late January. (Oh the creative destruction!) Check it: The website is super slick, classes are $10, and Strala says it's "a studio where authentic yoga is available to everyone without the pretension or intimidation factor that has surrounded modern yoga culture." More rock! Less harmonium! More short shorts! Welcome to the modern yoga startup narrative — dancers and CrossFitters please don't tune out just yet, because this is your story too.... 

Yoga, as you know, is a hit machine. Group fitness, in general, I'd argue. Behind every new studio — yoga, spinning, martial arts, aerobics —  is an aspiring guru. (Not to mention your church, mosque, or synogogue, but that's another post.) Once upon a time, launching a yoga studio involved teaching hippie friends in cramped, patchoulis-infused living rooms, and papering the local coffee shop with grandiose promotional postcards. How quaint! The new model involves being a former model, launching a popular YouTube channel, and blogging for the Huffington Post. Say hello to the media savvy Ms. Stiles, who also happens to be yoga expert for Women's Health and "personal yoga teacher" to Deepak Chopra. Am I crazy to see Stiles as the young, wired cousin of yoga-lebrities like Shiva Rea, Steve Ross, or Elena Brower? (Grandchild of Jivamukti!) If you're looking for a close comparison, think of Sadie Nardini, formerly of Nolita's Fierce Club, also a HuffPo blogger and YouTube sensation. But creating a sustainable studio is harder than creating a personal brand, particularly with the arrival of nationally franchised "globo gyms" on the scene, like Pure Yoga and Yogaworks. (Fierce has lost some of its lustre of late, and Nardini no longer appears on the teaching schedule.)

The Strala story (call it La Strala, and assign the rights to Fellini's grandson, now vacationing in Mysore!) may turn out differently though. Their new space on Broadway was once very good for a small company called Crunch, and Stiles would appear to have charisma and deep connections. In sum: Hot new studio, from hot young teacher. Curious? Check her out explaining how to do yoga in bed, or on the couch, or simply watch her in the following video explaining her style of yoga in silken shift....


Aw, that location of Crunch was my gym for two years, back in the day. *Nostalgic tears!*

But if something else is taking over that building, I'm glad it's yoga!

shaynet's picture

I didn't even realize that it had closed. Isn't that where they had a huge yoga studio anyway? It's huge, curious to see how this turns out.

erikka's picture

but...i like harmoniums...and i don't wear short shorts!!

however i've heard good things about stiles indeed. hope it's great! what a big wonderful space to have for yoga!!

urbansherpa's picture

I'm either going to love this place or hate it! Who wants to make a date w/ me to check it out??? I'm very curious...and we must take one of the classes with Tara herself for maximum experience and to see if she really wears undies in class....     Nothing can replace my Yoga Vida NYC obsession....let's see what happens.... who is downward dogging it with me soon??? 

sassletics82's picture

I'll come, Sass, but Friday is no good for me. Maybe Saturday?

erikka's picture

Can't do Sat- I'm performing a matinee and eve show of a really short week?!

sassletics82's picture

hey social workout.  thanks for the shout out.  it's going good over at la strala.  come for a visit soon.  i have kept the shorts for my book cover and video shoots for now but we'll see what happens in the summer time!  i'm usually in baggy t shirts and sweats and old school wrist and headbands but maybe shorts full time is the way to go!  xo  Tara

tara stiles's picture