Category Archives: Fitness

Demystifying the Art with TOLA YOGA

What is Yoga? 

You know how many times I’ve been asked this question in the past 12 years, from men, women and children (and mostly men). Because knowing the definition of Yoga is much different than understanding this physical and mental art form, including the similarities and differences between the many styles of Yoga, e.g., Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini, Asthanga. Not to mention how each style uniquely impacts your body and your mind. Which is all good, no doubt, regardless of style. And don’t forget your spirit, although that aspect is much less tangible in all Yoga.

So what can a Yoga master with a passion for fitness spanning more than five decades, beginning with Jack LaLanne in the 1960’s, do to demystify that age-old question?

That’s simple: create another style that specifically caters to the fitness-minded individual.

One year ago I introduced Tola Yoga to the world with live classes on Periscope and YouTube: http://youtube.com/RichTolaYoga.

Although my Tola Yoga brand was born in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, it’s conception occurred 11 years earlier on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. That’s right, I taught my first “Stars of the Future” class on August 4, 2006 at New York Yoga. And what a rush it was! Kudos and thank you so much to all the amazing Yoga teachers who influenced and inspired me throughout my 200 hours of training…Jenny, Nixa, Michael, Karl, Rita, Lori, Molly, Sam, Kristen and Emily.

Because success is best served with a strong foundation. As well as passion and perseverance. And if you’re lucky, your life’s colorful journey will be long, prosperous and rather trying at times. But if you live what you love, happiness will follow you everywhere.

No doubt. And how’s this for serendipity: the other day I was in the drug store and came across this writing pad with that exact phrase, LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE. In colors just like that. So I had to buy it. And repeat it…to you today and to myself everyday, along with a few other mantras.

Keep rockin-it everyone, in whatever you do, and don’t forget your daily workout! Peace – R

Fit, Fabulous and 50th in Seattle!

Today marks the first day of Donald Trump‘s Presidency of the United States. Love him or hate him, let’s give our new leader a chance. After all, radiating love is far better than harboring hate.

Today also marks my 50th day living in Seattle. WIth as many workouts and Yoga classes under my belt, plus more than 250 miles of walking its plethora of diverse neighborhoods like Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, Belltown, Queen Anne, Fremont, South Lake Union and Georgetown, let’s just say I’m super fit. And fabulous, of course, because feeling good and looking good definitely does that to you. Not to mention I’ve been very fortunate in spreading the Tola Yoga love around town. That’s right, you can find me teaching weekly classes at the following clubs:

TRIBE Fitness – Sundays @ Noon and Monday’s @ 6am

Gold’s Gym (Capitol Hill) – Friday’s @ 9:15am

FLOW Fitness – Saturday’s @ 11:15am

Soul Fitness – Sunday’s @ 10am

So come join me for a very challenging and effective class, and I’ll see you on the mat! Peace – R

 

 

No Judgment…Just More Resoluteness

Never judge yourself when it comes to fitness. Just forgettaboutit, and keep moving forward. Because what you did or didn’t do yesterday – or last week – or last year – makes no difference when it comes to exercising today. Because each dawn brings a new day, and with each day brings another opportunity to reward your body with fitness. With an emphasis on reward.

Case in point: Yesterday my friend says to me, “OK, this week I’m going to start working out every Tuesday and Friday for the rest of the year, because it’s two weeks into 2017 and my resolution to workout twice a week is, well, failing.” This coming from a woman who worked out 4 times a week for the past 20 years until last year, when an injury put her on the sidelines for nearly a year. Now she’s completely healed but just can’t seem to get started.

Is this you? Or perhaps you’re someone who’s never been into fitness and wants to start? No worries.

Really. Because each dawn brings a new day, and with each day brings another opportunity to reward your body with fitness. You get the picture.

And if you don’t already know it, then repeat after me: if I workout on a regular basis, I will look and feel younger. Just like I said to my friend lamenting over her inability to re-start her engines, look at it this way: if you workout twice a week for 30 minutes each for the rest of the year, by New Year’s 2018 that’ll be 50 hours of fitness. Better yet, if you can make it one hour and then turn that second hour into a Yoga class, that’ll be 100 hours…a helluva lot better than Zero.”

No judgment over failed resolutions people…just more resoluteness. You can do it.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day everyone! Peace – R

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

Now Teaching TOLA YOGA Classes in Las Vegas, NV

I’m excited to announce I’m now teaching my Tola Yoga classes in Las Vegas, Nevada. The perfect workout for beginners to advanced, my fitness style of Yoga is strong, energetic, safe and effective. Developed after 10 years of teaching more than 25,000 students in over 2,000 classes, Tola Yoga incorporates 5 key elements: Yoga stretches, abdominals, core strengthening, balancing and foundation poses. Public & Private classes – 7 days a week.

Rates and availability upon request:  info@richtola.com

Have an awesome day everyone…and don’t forget your daily workout!

Peace – R

Another day, another Tola Yoga Workout (15 mins)

Start your mid-week off with our 15 minute Tola Yoga Class #10 with me and the lovely Amy Johnson – a featured yogini in YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous. Short & sweet with NO downward facing dogs, chaturangas or abdominal crunches.  Have an awesome workout!