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As you probably noticed when planning your summer vacation, hotel yoga is definitely a thing right now, and Tara Stiles is ahead of the trend (of course). Yoga Journal’s August cover model and the founder of NYC’s Strala Yoga just hosted the first FIT with Tara Stiles Retreat package at W Verbier in the Swiss Alps, where she shot these five poses exclusively for Yoga Journal readers. “These poses will get you refreshed like an exotic getaway in just a few deep breaths,” she promises. Read on for a virtual “retreat” with Stiles and try not to salivate over the gorgeous scenery.
“Why be a lone tree when you can sway in the forest? This pose celebrates the diversity in trees,” Stiles says. “All the trees are different, keeping the forest interesting. Use your friends for support. Stay easy and enjoy.”
How to do it: Come into Tree Pose (Vrksasana) by shifting your weight onto one leg and press your opposite foot into your thigh. Grab hands with friends and enjoy the breeze.
Respect Mother Nature
“We get so busy in our day-to-day life that we forget we are part of nature, and nature is gorgeous,” Stiles says. “This pose helps us open up and appreciate the outdoors, and respect our natural state.”
How to do it: Come into Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) with your back knee down. Extend your arms up and back. Open the front of your body. Take a big deep breath and enjoy all you see and all you are.
“If you climb a mountain—or let’s be honest, get driven up one—to do yoga, your inner warrior comes out. This pose reminds us of our inner strength that is reflected by the strong, constant mountains,” Stiles says.
How to do it: To come into Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) step your feet wide apart. Turn your front toes out and your back toes slightly in. Sink your hips low. Extend your arms out to the sides as you gaze over your front hand. Enjoy your power.
Proud Queen Bee
Yoga in a beekeeping mask? Only in Verbier! “It was really cool,” Stiles says of touring a bee colony. “We learned all about how the queen bees and the bee ‘police’ protect the colonies. This pose represents the Queen Bee and her power of protection. Whip it out when you need to remind yourself that you’ve got this.”
How to do it: Come into Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana) by shifting your weight onto one leg. Grab the heel of your opposite foot and extend your leg out to the side. Open your opposite arm out to the side for balance.
Rappelling Side Stretch
“If you dream of an active vacation, rappelling off a mountain might just be for you. This pose gets your body warmed up and comfortable playing with the push-pull of opposites, so you can be in tip-top physical and mental form for all of your adventures,” Stiles says.
How to do it: Come into Mountain Warrior. Tip back and extend your front leg. Hang here for a few breaths and try the other side.
Planning your next active vacation? Book yourself a yoga adventure with Tara Stiles at W Vieques Island, W Bali-Seminyak or W Maldives at whotels.com/fitwithtarastiles. Follow @WHotels and @tarastiles on Twitter and Instagram using #PoseWhenever.
–Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman