Tag Archives: Mark

Tola Talks with Celebrity Beauty Guru John Francis

 

Tola Talks with Celebrity Hair Stylist & Beauty expert John-Francis Maseda. On Movie Mondays, today Rich reviews the irresistible music movie of the summer with Keira Knightley & Mark Ruffalo, Begin Again.  Watch the show weekdays on youtube.com/tolatalks

Tola Talks' Rich Tola with Hollywood Beauty Guru John Francis

Tola Talks’ Rich Tola with Celebrity Beauty Guru John Francis

The Perfect Climb – KoKo Head

KoKo Head Crater

You remember the 2000 dramatic diaster film, The Perfect Storm, about the crew of the Andrea Gail starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. Well, this may have nothing to do with the most challenging of seas, but for sure the 1,208 foot climb up KoKo Head Crater on the southeastern shore of Oahu is ‘The Perfect Climb’.

KoKo Head Looking Up

And for someone who once ran up and down Runyon Canyon in Hollywood (counter clockwise) in less than 15 minutes, the trek up KoKo Head trumps all. This was my first time and I must say, it’s quite a bear! On the way up I was following this twenty-something gal who said she does it four times a week. The wonder why she made it to the top without stopping.

KoKo Head Looking Down

Something I can honestly say I did not – I rested once about 100 yards from the peak. Of course I was pushing hard from the beginning, and with giant railroad ties as steps about three feet apart and three feet vertical, it’s quite the challenge just to keep moving forward. So if you come to Oahu and want to experience The Perfect Climb, check out KoKo Head and don’t forget to wear climbing shoes and bring your water bottle.

KoKo Head at the Peak

And if the climb up isn’t enough of a challenge, coming down is even harder. The good news is once you reach the crater’s peak, the view is incredible! Much like the view from the top of Diamond Head, there’s 360 degrees of beauty. So get inspired with a bird’s eye view from the top, and don’t forget to get your workout in! Enjoy – R

GQ – Letter to the Editor

If you’re a GQ reader like me, you probably read the August issue with Mila Kunis on the cover. On page 32, there’s a brief article by Mark Byrne called “Rewriting the Book on Yoga”, with a 15 minute yoga workout as prescribed by a studio owner in NYC. Unfortunately, I cringed when I reviewed the workout that includes three twisting and forward bending poses, the last of which is an advanced pose.

But before I add my two cents, let me state my fitness and yoga qualifications: I’m 48 years old, 5’7″ and weigh 150 pounds. My body fat is less than 9% and most people think I’m 33. I’ve worked out in fitness centers every day for the past 32 years totaling more than 12,000 hours. I’ve practiced yoga every day for the past six years totaling more than 2,000 hours. An accomplished student/athlete through college, I’m also a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Cycling Instructor, and 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I’ve taught more than 15,000 yoga students of all levels in the past five years, from the ages 3 to 93. I’ve created more than 15 hours of instructional yoga videos in the past two years, including a Yoga Survival Guide detailing more than 100 poses.

I currently teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters, who had zero experience with fitness and yoga before I got there. I have neck, low back, shoulder and wrist issues, and have been injured three times since I started practicing yoga – all from bad teachers. Thus, my very precise teaching style is designed to minimize injury to any body part, especially the neck and low back. Finally, I’ve practiced yoga mostly in New York City and Los Angeles, the yoga meccas of the United States, and have taken classes with the “so-called” best teachers in the world. 90% of which are women.

That said, here’s why I disagree with the Byrne’s claim that GQ “found the best back-saving, workout-improving moves…” When it comes to anything twisting and forward bending while standing, you better move slowly and be super careful. Your stance is critical, which the caption doesn’t clearly emphasize. The caption also says “twist your head to look up”, which you should NEVER attempt without properly warming up the spine and preparing your body for such deep twists. Revolved triangle is a perfect example of this. A good teacher wouldn’t sequence this pose until at least halfway through the yoga class, because coming into this pose is AS IMPORTANT as the pose itself. So is coming back up to stand once you’ve been in the pose for any length of time. Here’s why: once your torso weight and your 10 pound head is down and over your forward leg, you’re balancing this weight over a tight triangular stance, making it quite difficult to manage. And since most men carry their weight in their torso and have tight hamstrings, coming into – or out of – this pose without bending your legs (like the picture shows), and without moving ridiculously slow, could lead to serious injury.

Thus, it’s not back-saving at all. It’s actually quite strenuous on your neck, low back and hamstrings. And requires ample core strength to control your torso as you’re folding forward at a 90 degree angle (if you keep your back straight like the picture – which is also very difficult). And although the directions state “you won’t be able to touch the floor right away – settle for your ankle”, very few men can even get to their ankle. Frankly, this is a very challenging pose for an advanced yogi, let alone anyone who’s never done it before. So take note and be VERY CAREFUL, especially when twisting and forward bending at the same time. And if you really want to experiment with this pose on your own, warm up and strengthen your core and abs first with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs. Enjoy & hope to see you on the FAT BURN TOUR! – Rich Tola

Dodgers anyone?

I’m still a NY Yankees fan, but my favorite team is the LA Dodgers – the city in which I live.  So when the Dodgers were taken over by Major League Baseball, it opened the door for new owners to usher in a new era of Dodger baseball, with Don Mattingly at the helm and stars Andre Ethier & Matt Kemp leading the charge.  Although I’m not listed among the Top 10 potential suitors, at least not today, I believe any one of these Hollywood powerhouses will do just fine (as listed by The Hollywood Reporter):  Mark AttanasioThomas Barrack, Eli Broad, Mark Cuban, Dennis Gilbert, Alec Gores, Peter GuberMagic Johnson, Casey Wasserman, and Tom Werner.  I’ve never met any of these men, but their successes speak for themselves.  So let’s get this party started and bring some new energy to our team!  Just like you can energize your mind & body with today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #58 – Killer Abs II.   Enjoy – R