Category Archives: books

The Power of One

Never underestimate the power of your thoughts, and without question, never ever underestimate The Power of One.

For the third time in 20 years I’m reading Bryce Courtenay’s , The Power of One. An amazing tale of a young boy’s travels and heartfelt metamorphosis – not to mention his spiritual influence on everyone he meets – that’s “part Charles Dickens, part Horatio Alger”, as described by the Raleigh News & Observer. More specifically, this magical journey filled with heartache and pure elation inspires anyone really listening to its deep-rooted message…to always listen to yourself and believe in the power of one:  one idea, one heart, one mind, one plan, one determination.

Before I leave you with a paragraph from the novel that rings true no matter what your occupation or calling, take time to reflect on 2016 and set your thoughts on an even better 2017! Mine was quite amazing, with several milestones that set the course for my one idea:

  1. Created my unique style of Tola Yoga after 10 years of teaching 2k classes & 25k students,
  2. Produced the original Reality TV series pilot, YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous,
  3. Celebrated 50 years of fitness – 40 years of weightlifting plus over 10 years of Yoga,
  4. Celebrated 10 years as an Entertainer/Producer and Yoga Teacher (and Yogatainer),
  5. Lived in three amazing cities: Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle (love it here!)

And whatever your goals are for the New Year, remember to respect yourself with a daily fitness program. And just like young Peekay says, dare your courage to follow your thoughts:

“The power of one is above all things the power to believe in yourself, often well beyond any latent ability you may have previously demonstrated. The mind is the athlete; the body is simply the means it uses to run faster or longer, jump higher, shoot straighter, kick better, swim harder, hit further, or box better. Hoppie’s dictum to me, “First with the head and then with the heart,” was more than simply mixing brains with guts. It meant thinking well beyond the powers of normal concentration and then daring your courage to follow your thoughts.”

Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone! Peace – R

Tola Talks with Fashionista Valeria Goncharova Barrett

 

Tola Talks with fashionista Valeria Goncharova Barrett. On Throwback Thursdays, Rich takes us back to the highlights of 2001 – Including a tribute to the Heroes of 9/11.

Weekdays on youtube.com/tolatalks

Tola Talks' Rich Tola with Fashionista Valeria Goncharova Barrett

Tola Talks’ Rich Tola with Fashionista Valeria Goncharova Barrett

Beach Yoga & Book Talk with Rich Tola (and Leah Murray)

Energize – Burn Fat – Learn Yoga on the Beach!

Watch me and Leah teach a 10-part Yoga sequence Anyone can do AnytimeAnywhere

And come join us August 1st from 7-8:30p for some energizing Book Talk & Yoga at the enchanted Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice, CA, located at 1624 Abbot Kinney Blvd. I’ll be signing copies of my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, followed by a short Yoga class – no mats or Yoga clothes required – just bring your friends!

Hope to see you there – R

Do it Your Way

As part of my book event on August 1st, Mystic Journey Bookstore invited me to contribute to their blog and specifically called it “a personal message from you to our readers”.

Simply put, my message is this: Do it Your Way.

Rich TolaNo matter what conventional wisdom holds, and no matter what others believe you can and can not do. It doesn’t matter – you’re the only one that matters when it comes to what you believe is possible. Not to mention what you put in your mouth and what you do to preserve your body every day, i.e., diet and exercise. Which happens to be the exact same message you’ll get from my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood.

It’s 69 short and witty chapters about following the herd and living a wild and colorful life – with Wall Street excesses, exotic locales and scores of bad-boy romances with NYC strippers and wealthy married women. Then finding the peace and courage through Yoga to finally change my evil ways, evolve my soul, and follow my dreams to Hollywood.

Because anyone can change…if you believe you can and want it bad enough to confidently set your sights and try. Just like the women and children living in domestic violence shelters where we teach the benefits of Yoga. Upon completion of my film, Boulevard Zen, I founded The Boulevard Zen Foundation to bring the powers of Yoga to families overcoming adversity, specifically survivors of DV. So in 2005, after 20 years of wanting to change my lifestyle and really go for it on that daunting ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, I became enamored with this 6,000 year-old mind-body-spirit practice that truly changed my life. Two years later I bought a one-way ticket to LA and never looked back.Rich Tola (Age 8)

I also went bust along the way. But did I fail? On the contrary, I succeeded in following my dreams and I’m still standing. Happily I might add, with a film, a self-published book in paperback, digital and audio (narrated by me), and more than 15 hours of instructional Yoga videos on the market. Not too bad for a poor Sicilian kid from Trenton, NJ who overcame the odds and went on to graduate from the Wharton and Kellogg business schools with no particular background in the Arts.

So anything is possible, wouldn’t you say? Just Do it Your Way.

Hope to see you there! – R
RichTolaBookTalk

‘Man of Steel’ Delivers

So you’d like to take your family to see a really good movie with a bunch of really good actors about saving Mankind that’s New Age cataclysmic yet also heartfelt and Zen.

That’s easy.

MAN OF STEEL…it’s all that and more!

Not only does director Zach Snyder (300 and Sucker Punch) capture you visually and vividly like he always does, the amazing cast keeps you riveted and wanting more. Starting with the chiseled and Zen-ful Henry Cavill complemented by the beauty and charm of Amy Adams, the talent just keeps coming. There’s Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon (loved him in The Iceman), Laurence Fishburne, Ayelet Zurer and Christopher Meloni.

So give credit where credit is due, and go see Man of Steel. Because it Delivers – just like my Emmy award-winning sound engineer, Alex Wilkinson, did on my Audiobook. Kudos to Alex!

Here’s a clip that shines some light on my childhood and bartering ways in “The Barbershop”.

Enjoy – R

When in Doubt, Walk the Mall

Flashback to 10 years ago and visit your local Mall. Do you remember that rather unorthodox, grassroots fitness movement that swept the nation – Mall Walking. It was a sure fire way to lose weight and it was weather-proof. Plus it was a great way to hang out with your friends without spending any money…unless you hit the food court or stopped by Foot Locker for a new pair of kicks!

Today I experienced this exact flashback while watching a man cruise around the Burbank Town Center Mall (that’s right, the same Burbank, California that Johnny Carson would poke fun at), and wondered what a simple way to get in your 15 minutes of daily exercise – without being outside or paying for it at your local gym or yoga studio. Of course that goes without saying, but there really are no excuses for not respecting yourself with a daily fitness program that equals a mere 1% of your life.

So if you don’t have time for a few of my free 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts on YouTube (CLICK HERE), then why not gather your friends a few frigid nights a week and head straight for the Mall!

And when you’re done sharpening your body, then sharpen your mind by reading a good book.

Here’s a great suggestion: Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. It’s my witty and entertaining memoir filled with 69 fast-paced, bite-sized chapters from growing up Sicilian, to the cute-boy syndrome, to the boardroom deals (and babes) on the inside of Wall Street and Hollywood.

Check out the reviews on Amazon (CLICK HERE) and what’s in the Press (CLICK HERE). Enjoy – R
Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood

Kick Him to the Curb

These five simple yet powerful words are meant to help ANY woman who’s being abused by a significant other and doesn’t believe she has the wherewith-all or courage to do something about it.

Case in point: A few months ago I had just returned to Hollywood when I met this really sweet thirty-something year-old gal who had been living with her lazy, no-good boyfriend for the past 5 years. And I say lazy, no-good because not only does this scumbag mentally and emotionally abuse my friend, but this disrespectful low-life doesn’t pay rent, doesn’t hold a steady job, doesn’t look for work, doesn’t cook or clean or help with chores around the apartment, doesn’t help pay for groceries, and doesn’t own a car but always uses hers. Now I would call that a blood-sucking disrespectful low-life, wouldn’t you? The good news is she doesn’t own anything with him nor do they have children together.

Yesterday I had coffee with her and specifically asked why she still supports this abusive scumbag considering she has ALL the power in the relationship, which by the way, has her looking like she’s suffering from Anorexia nervosa. She meekly said, “He’s not so bad, you know, and even if I wanted, I wouldn’t know how to get him out.” My advice was these five simple words – KICK HIM TO THE CURB. She just looked at me like I was crazy until I said, “It’s really simple if you have the courage to end it – and here are three ways you can do it: 1) tell your landlord you’re being abused by your live-in boyfriend and you need to move out, then pack up all your things when he’s not there and hire a few very large men to help you move everything into a storage unit and go live with your parents or your best friend; 2) on your way out the door tomorrow morning tell your boyfriend he’s got until 5pm to vacate the premises and never return again, at which point you’ll be returning with the police (or other suitable protection) and a restraining order against him; or 3) pack-up all his belongings when he’s not there and leave them on the porch with a note saying if he comes within 100 yards of you or your apartment ever again, you’ll have him arrested (and go directly to the authorities for that restraining order).

Anyone who’s familiar with my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation, knows that I’m passionate about changing the lives of women and children living in domestic violence shelters. And not just with a daily fitness program that’s based on Yoga, but with a self-respecting and open-hearted approach to life that starts with loving yourself and never letting anyone abuse you in any way, shape or form.

Know that ALL abusers are the weak ones, and know that ANYONE can find the courage to seek help from domestic violence organizations and shelters that are there for you.

Be strong and KICK HIM TO THE CURB – you can do it!

As for that scumbag boyfriend of yours – or anyone else abusing any man, woman or child – really look at yourself in the mirror and commit to changing your evil ways – you can do it! And you can start by reading my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, where a portion of all sales goes to support my charity and our Yoga teachers.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING Everyone! – R

PS – Don’t forget to get your workout in!