Insights + interviews

In Conversation With Suraya Sam, Director Of Strala Yoga Singapore

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We interview the Director of Strala Yoga Singapore, Suraya Sam, and got her to share more about the techniques used and how they can benefit active agers.

Founded by celebrity yoga guide and author, Tara Stiles, Strala Yoga was first established in New York back in 2008, and has since expanded across the globe – including Singapore.

Having offered free yoga classes for seniors at the new GuavaLabs last month, The Active Age was invited to try out Strala Yoga’s ‘Gentle’ class – allowing us to truly experience the combination of movements focused on flexibility, stability and mobility.

To better understand the techniques used during the class, we speak with Suraya Sam (SS), Director of Strala Yoga Singapore, and got her to share how more active agers can be encouraged to participate in the classes as well.

Also an instructor at Strala Yoga Singapore, Suraya started her yoga journey as a way to restore her body after suffering injuries from cable wake boarding. Her classes focus on a variety of movements that highlight the mind-body connection, which she believes can be a tool to heal and strengthen the body.

AA: Hi Suraya, could you tell us more about Strala Yoga – what sets it apart from usual yoga classes found elsewhere?

SS: Strala is a powerful form of feeling-based movement that helps people drop the stress from their bodies and minds, while unlocking each person’s limitless potential to be radiantly healthy, fit and happy.

We practice EASE. With ease, we create the space to choose the direction that is best for us, and the energy to support us in our efforts.

“The practice of ease is your golden secret for living a radiant life filled with wonder, strength, surprises, and grace. The practice of ease will put you directly in the moment, where you have room to breathe, create and enjoy.” – Tara Stiles, Founder of Strala Yoga

AA: What are some of the different types of yoga classes offered at Strala Yoga?

SS: We guide through several yoga sequences that are based on the same classes that you can find around the Strala studios worldwide: Relax, Gentle, Basics, Energize, Strong and Core. Whether you want an invigorating burst to wake you up, or a flow that relieves tension and helps you unwind, there’s something for everyone.

AA: With a rise in senior adults looking for alternative ways to stay active, what is a good beginner class you would recommend for those who are slightly terrified of overly intense or high-level movements?

SS: Relax/Gentle classes are my recommendations!

AA: What are some of the main movements or techniques performed during these classes and what is the main takeaway/feeling one can expect to experience after a session?

SS: These classes are designed to be very gentle and restorative. The movements will softly open the body, release tension, and calm the mind into deep relaxation. Each movement is paced slowly with easy breaths to gain a nice and relaxing feeling.

Here’s an example of Easy breaths, Seated side stretch, Cat and Cow with instructions:

Start sitting down comfortably. Peel the flesh away from your sitting bones, draw the shoulders back and sit up tall. Rest your palms on your thighs or knee caps. Now start to bring your attention to your breath. Let your inhales and exhales deepen and come from your belly. Take a big inhale through your nose and easy exhale through your mouth. Twice more just like that. Big inhale fills you up and easy exhale soften through. One last time, big inhale and easy exhale. Come back to easy breaths through the nose this time.

Scan through the body from the roots all the way to the top of your head and from the top of your head right down. Whatever that doesn’t serves you right here in your practice allow it to pass by using the breath. You are welcome to draw circles with your neck or body clockwise or counter clockwise as you take your time to explore how you are feeling.

Take a big inhale and float your arms up over head and lace up your fingers, palms facing up and start to sway from side to side. Maybe linger to one side for the next few deep breaths if that feels good for you. Then do the same to the other to balance yourself out. Now come back to centre and rest your palms to the side. Roll over to one side to bring yourself on all fours. Let’s roll around right here side to side forward and back to lubricate the joints as you move easy with the breath. Draw small to big circles if that feels good for you.

Now rounds of cat and cow, big inhale drop the belly down gaze up to the sky, easy exhale round the spine chin to the chest. Twice more just like that. Big inhale, easy exhale. One more time, big inhale and easy exhale. Childs pose, big toes to touch, knees to the side and surrender.

Roll to seating on your heels and close your eyes and draw the attention to the space in your body. Flutter your eyes open and have a good day!

Hope you feel calm, relaxed and rejuvenated!

AA: Some senior adults might not be that comfortable attending a group class and that might hinder them from attending any classes to stay active at all. How would Strala Yoga encourage this particular group to get out and be less intimidated?

SS: We encourage their loved ones, kids or grandkidsto join them so they would feel comfortable. Our studio is spacious and cosy at the same time. Heaps of natural light, view of the Singapore River and we have friendly, genuine Strala guides to welcome you to our urban sanctuary. We do also offer Private classes be it at the studio, home or office for convenience.

“My goal is to help you feel connected and gain strength, calm, clarity, and ease from the inside out. Get ready to feel amazing, and enjoy the ride!” – Tara Stiles, Founder of Strala Yoga

Strala Yoga Singapore’s flagship outlet is currently located at 82 Boat Quay #03-01. For more information about Strala Yoga Singapore, visit



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