Look Book: The Yoga Instructor Who Goes Hiking in Dresses

By
Photo: Lucas Michael/New York Magazine

Tara Tonini, Yoga Instructor

How long have you been wearing a bindi?
Practically every day for two years. My current style is kind of the love child of Brigitte Bardot and Jimi Hendrix. For a long time I had bright-pink hair and was deeply inspired by 1960s stewardesses, but then Katy Perry came on the scene with her colored wigs and it felt so mainstream; I wanted nothing to do with it. I traveled a lot and through my journey on the yogic path realized I didn’t want to be the typical American consumer. So I went back to a natural color. My friends all gave me a hard time and said that I had “mom hair.”

That skirt is very cool.
Pants do not exist in my wardrobe. I even go hiking in skirts and dresses! I picked this skirt up in India. I was there finishing my yoga training, and I did a little bit of a spiritual journey as well.

How was that?
Well, I thought I was going to find a guru, so I went around to meet with people at different ashrams. But then I had this aha moment where I realized, Wait, I don’t need a guru, I am a guru.

Lightning Round:
From: Northern California.
Years in New York: A little over a year. “I arrived here on April Fools’ Day.”
Neighborhood: East Harlem.
Rent or own? “My partner owns our place. We met seven months ago at a yoga studio—for our first date, we went out to tea and it lasted eight hours.”
Last book read: What Are You Hungry For, by Deepak Chopra.  
Age: “I think I’m 28 … yeah, that seems right.”
Least favorite part of living here: “The plastic, to be honest. So many people just litter their plastic.”

*This article appears in the June 30, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.