Yoga Life

 

REEBOK YOGA AMBASSADOR SARG TALKS FITNESS, ACTING AND YOGA. Iris Sarg fell in love with yoga after taking part in a Strala Yoga training session in France with Tara Stiles, the renowned American model turned yoga instructor.
Since then, the Frenchwoman has made yoga an integral part of her daily routine, a move she says has positively affected her professional and personal life in more ways than one.
Sarg, who is a qualified sports coach and also works as a personal trainer, and actress became an esteemed Reebok ambassador last year after she gave a Strala Yoga class during a Reebok seminar in the French city of Strasbourg. Reebok were deeply impressed with her work and in the end it was Stiles, one of Sarg’s idols, who recommended her as a yoga ambassador.
SFME spoke with Iris about the evolution of yoga, the effect the practice has had on her career as an actress and fitness coach, and why she thinks you need to include it in your everday life.

“Reebok has, in my view, a beautiful yoga line and certain yoga outfits were created by Tara Stiles herself. We feel particularly good in them and that’s what makes good yoga clothing.”

SFME: Why did you decide to become a fitness coach?
Iris Sarg: Doing sport helped my body, mind and spirit, and I quickly noticed the effects of that in my personal and professional life as an actress. Having recognised the numerous benefits of sport, it was important for me to pass on my knowledge and experience to other people. The well-being of people is important for me and that’s why I quickly decided to become a certified sports coach.

SFME: What would you say are the main benefits of
doing yoga?
IS: There are many benefits of doing yoga. Practicing yoga regularly positively effects not only your body, but also your mind and spirit. Your body becomes stronger, more balanced, more flexible, more oxygenated and generally healthier. While doing yoga exercises, you concentrate on your breathing and as a result you become more relaxed and conscious. Through yoga, you can get rid of everyday stress and feel great about yourself.
While doing yoga, you work on your entire body which means you raise your vibration and as a result, you activate your chakras which in turn raises your consciousness and uplifts your spirit.

SFME: In the past people thought yoga was only for ‘hippy’ types do you think that perception is changing?
IS: It is true that not a very long time ago, doing yoga was associated with being hippy and with the “New Age” movement. But now it’s safe to say that the practice of yoga is becoming more and more popular.
The perception of yoga has changed now thanks largely to people like Tara Stiles. Today, yoga is practiced in more and more places around the world by more and more people, regardless of their age or spiritual belief.
SFME: We’ve interviewed Tara Stiles in the magazine before and she talked about wanting to modernise yoga, and move away from people chanting, reading Sanskrit etc into a more movement-based philosophy – is that something you agree with?
IS: There are several types of yoga, many of which are more or less associated with certain religious beliefs, ideologies or even sects.
Tara Stiles created another type of yoga. Her aim was to develop a yoga practice which was beyond any religion, belief or ideology. This would make it more accessible and would adapt itself to the needs of people today.
I chose Strala Yoga because it corresponds to my personality and lifestyle. Looking at the growing success of Strala Yoga, I am sure there are many more people who love it as much as I do.

SFME: Talk us through what is involved in a Strala Yoga class and how it makes you feel?
IS: I feel great both when I give Strala Yoga classes and when I practice it for myself. I feel creative, inspired and connected to my inner self as well as the environment and people around me.
What’s great about Strala Yoga is that I can move as easily and freely as I do when I dance.
I create my Strala Yoga class by working on the choreography. I choose the music and I never stay in the same spot.  I use all the space available in the room to move around and direct participants around the place. I keep close contact with the participants and I help them stretch and relax by pressing certain reflex points used in Shiatsu and taught by Tara Stiles.
The principles of Strala Yoga are well summarised by the word “Strala” which means strength, awareness, balance, moving with ease, and accomplishing hard things easily.
As Tara Stiles indicates herself, Strala means “a moving meditation that creates a radiantly strong, clear, connected body and mind, and a healthy, happy and capable life.” At the same time, Strala in Swedish means “to radiate light”. According to Tara Stiles, Strala Yoga “ignites freedom”. Strala Yoga is different from other types of yoga as it does not follow any spiritual dimension, making it more accessible to people of all backgrounds.

SFME: Do you have to be flexible to be able to do yoga?  
IS: The goal of a Strala Yoga class is to increase your flexibility. This kind of yoga is suitable for all types of practitioners of yoga, no matter their level, age or morphology. Everybody is free to make each movement in accordance with their strength and that is what I like about Strala Yoga – this liberty for everyone with respect to their physical security.

SFME: How can people fit yoga into their regular workout schedule and how can it compliment the workouts they do in the gym?
IS: Nowadays it’s easy to practice yoga. de. Thanks to big markets like Reebok, yoga is making an appearance in more and more sportiing events like La Parisienne and Salon du Body Fitness. Nowadays you can easily find classes which correspond to your schedule and what you’re looking to achieve physically through doing yoga.
Yoga is a good basis and it can easily complement your workout. Yoga will help you work on your deep muscles, making you more flexible. You’ll also lose the stiffness which strenuous fitness exercises can sometimes cause.

SFME: Why should people introduce yoga to their lives?
IS: People should embrace yoga in their lives to improve their health and to feel good about their bodies. Yoga calms the spirit and eases tensions in the body.
Yoga brings about a state of well-being and accomplishment which we want to experience in our everyday life. You will feel more connected with yourself and the outside world if you include yoga in your life.

SFME: Is it a sign of yoga’s increasing popularity that big name sports brands like Reebok are now bringing out ranges of yoga specific clothing?
IS: Absolutely!

SFME: What makes good yoga clothing?
IS: It really depends on the needs of each individual. It can consist of loose-fitting, comfortable trousers or simply leggings hugging the body as if they were your second skin. Both the upper and lower part of the clothing should be light, comfortable, and pleasant to wear. Good yoga clothing should make the wearer feel free and not constrained when carrying out various postures and stretches.
Reebok has, in my view, a beautiful yoga line and certain yoga outfits were created by Tara Stiles herself. We feel particularly good in them and that’s what makes good yoga clothing. The colourful and cool-feeling aspect brings out the light in our yoga sessions.

SFME: We know you’re a Reebok ambassador but tell us about your other interests and the other elements of your career – acting etc?
IS: I started my professional career as an actress and have more than 10 years of professional training. When I start to do something, I always try to get better and better at it. I mainly did my acting work with renowned coach Jack Waltzer who teaches in London and New York. Jack has trained big names like Sigourney Weaver and Marlon Brando. In my acting career I would focus more on the cinema and TV and till today, I continue to act concurrently with my career as a sports coach, even if I devote more of my time to sport.

SFME: Would you say that your work as a fitness trainer and your passion for yoga helped with your acting?
IS: Definitely, it’s always helped me a lot. The fitness allows me to maintain my physical condition and my breathing which is a very important tool in acting. Sport is an asset because it reveals your strength of character, your willpower and it reinforces them even more which in turn allows you to be better equipped to meet the challenges of the acting profession.
Moreover, yoga and sport make me feel good confident in my own skin which is very important in acting. Yoga brings me a great sense of serenity and I would say that it is a philosophy of life which allows me to better cope with stressful situations such as casting, and to prepare myself for filming
Being physically fit is also a good asset in order to play certain roles and to correspond to certain profiles of characters.

SFME: What are your goals for the future?
IS: My goal is to get better and better in my profession – I’m a perfectionist and I’m very demanding towards myself. The worlds of fitness and yoga are very rich in diversity and I would like to develop workshops with other yoga instructors.
I would also like to honour my role as Reebok Ambassador by doing my best. I’m very happy and proud to work with them and I hope to continue this work for as long as possible. It’s a beautiful brand with beautiful energy.
I’m also now supporting a playful and efficient  v  app for smartphones called “515 Training” which is created by Kevin Soler – a Reebok Ambassador and street workout champion.
I believe in the utility and success of this application which I think can really enrich the field of sport. I’m dedicated only to things and people in whom I have faith and who share the same values and energy as me.
In the future I also wish to develop my own personal project in the field of sport. I would love to travel to New York to experience Strala Yoga classes given by Tara Stiles.
I also wish to travel more for my work and participate in more sporting events while at the same time work more with the media so that I can appeal to people even more and convey important messages about sport.

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga In addition to improving strength, flexibility and posture did you know that yoga...

Improves brain function
By synching movement with steady, controlled breathing you feel less stress and can focus better.
Boosts Immune System
Studies have shown that yoga stimulates changes in gene expression which boost immunity at cellular level.
Improves digestion
Many yoga postures are designed to massage the internal organs and keep the food moving along.

Makes you happier
Research has shown that consistent yoga practice increases level of serotonin (the happy chemical in your brain).
Improves heart health
Yoga slows down your heart rate and can lower blood pressure leading to a healthier heart.
Helps you sleep better
Studies have shown that regular yoga practice helps relieve stress and promotes deeper sleep.