Teacher Focus Feature~ Julia Starobin

If someone knows about a gut busting, head turning, infectious laugh it’s me. I have been accused of being too loud or too boisterous but have ignored it all and kept on cackling. My laugh soulmate is Pilates instructor Julia Starobin. Her joy, smile, and yes, laugh is catchy and instantly joy inducing. Having Julia in the studio is a pleasure because besides joining you in a laugh she’s one hell of a teacher. Here’s Julia’s story:


Like so many of us Pilates people, Julia was a dancer. Fascinated by movement, she dove headfirst into any exercise class or training method. The dance world was buzzing about Pilates and what a great workout it was so when she stumbled across a studio in her home state of New Jersey, she gave it a whirl. After that, there was no turning back.

For Julia, the most exciting thing about the Pilates method is that it is accessible to everyone. Whomever you are- whether you haven’t worked out a day in your life or you are a professional athlete- Pilates will challenge you. Keeping Julia’s interest is not an easy feat, but Pilates seems to do the trick. She’s crazy about how it consistently challenges her clients, continuing to teach alignment and introduce them to muscles they never knew existed.

Something that I find most exciting about Julia and her teaching style is her myriad of experience. She is a certified yoga and GYROTONICS teacher in addition to Pilates. While she deeply respects the Pilates method, sessions with her are infused with these other modalities. She finds that melding techniques into her client’s lessons makes the work that much more amazing.

When she’s not teaching you can find Julia practicing what she preaches. She’s an avid yogi and continues to take lessons for her self in the GYROTONIC method. She spends lots of time with her family, just across the Hudson, and close friends. In the summer, you can find her basking in the sun at Masten Lake, one of her favorite places to be!

Here’s 5 things people might not know about Julia:

  • She loves Mexican food and Sushi (just not together:)
  • Her mom is also a Pilates instructor
  • She’s yet to meet anyone who can make her laugh like her sister does
  • She REALLY loves what she does
  • You can bribe her to do just about anything for a good cocktail

Find Julia teaching Pilates at FORM, in NYC and for mat classes and yoga classes check her out at various Equinox Fitness Clubs here in the city.

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Braving Boroughs- Strala Yoga

It had been sometime since I’d practiced yoga (I got side tracked by opening my own studio), but one of the first stops I had to make was Strala Yoga owned by Tara Stiles.

While Tara is the personal yoga teacher to Jane Fonda and Deepak Chopra, she is just like you and me, and it shows at her gorgeous loft-like NoHo studio- Strala Yoga. You won’t find om-ing or a woo-woo vibe here. The classes at Strala are straight forward and unpretentious. Tara pads around in her baggy sweat pants, no make-up, leading the class in her carefree manner, making jokes, and reminding you that it’s just yoga- so breathe. The classes are simply identified by Strong, Relax, and Stralax (a combo of the two). I’ve practiced there several times now, mostly because it’s affordable (only $10 a class), but also because Tara and Heidi (who is uber-cheery and much more giggly than Tara- but will seriously kick your butt with a smile) are quickly becoming my favorite teachers. I don’t do yoga because it’ll make my butt smaller, or because I want to be closer to god, but because I always leave feeling better than when I walked in, and Strala always leaves me with a smile.

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