Keep Moving…Forward

Hey everyone, hope you’re staying strong, safe and sane during these crazy pandemic times. No doubt a great time to stay calm and to feel positive, as well as to keep – yourself and your dreams – moving forward.

When it comes to empowering your physical being, it’s always best to Keep Moving. All throughout your day, you gotta keep your body moving as much as humanly possible. Especially when all the gyms and health clubs and wherever else you fancy are closed to the public. I should know, I lift weights every single day and it’s been three weeks since the lockdown shut us down. Safe to say I’m really missing my daily dose of iron, not to mention I’ve had to be even more creative with my workouts during these “safer at home” times. Likewise for you, I’m sure, and hopefully you’re getting creative and getting it done.

And if you need a little help with ideas around-the-house, check out my Stay Zen – Web Series. Made them in 2014 for anyone who can’t find the time to exercise . Fun, fast and effective.

Stay Zen Web Series – Episode #4 – 10 Ways to Workout with a Stool

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve also gained 4 pounds in these past three weeks. The good news is, I wanted to gain 2 pounds to power up my immune system and stay even stronger in the face of the ‘invisible enemy,’ aka, Coronavirus. But 2 pounds became 4 pretty quick – you know how that goes.. So today I’m fasting and expect to be 2 pounds lighter by tomorrow when I get on the scale – another cool Stay Zen episode, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Scale. That’s right, all I’m having is unlimited coffee and one apple (already had it) and bam, I’ll be back on track. A concept I refer to as Self-Correct in my memoir, plus it’s also the final chapter of my new book. Coming soon!

As for the second meaning, Keep Moving Forward, especially during shutdowns and more spent time at home, you gotta stay focused and keep the ball moving up the field. Day-in-day-out. As in your studies, your profession or your dream career. Keep moving forward. And unfortunately, hanging out on the couch drinking beer or wine all day may sound nice, but it doesn’t move the ball up the field. Unless, you’re a beer and wine distributer. LOL.

Stay strong in the face of adversity everyone, and remember it’s easy as 1-2-3: 1) keep moving your body, 2) keep working out, and 3) keep moving toward your respective goals. We may be halfway through the woods, but no doubt we’ll get through them.

Peace – R

PS – more workouts, try my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts: 100 Days in a Row.

YogaStyles of Rich and the Almost Famous

Yoga…anyone, anytime, anywhere.

YogaStyles of Rich and the Almost Famous is where History meets Yoga throughout the streets of Chicago. Made in 2016 to highlight the benefits of yoga and the amazing historical sites and sounds of the Windy City, we visited more than 60 Chicago landmarks and tourist attractions and taught yoga to a bunch of courageous residents who’ve never tried yoga.

Special thanks to my amazing crew including Rhonda Carlson, Angie Lee Chastain, Aron Rosenthal, Alex Halstead and John Draughon, as well as The Namaste Five cast of yoga students Lauren Accardi, Vika Lvova, Amy Johnson, Laura Moschel and Monica Bright. And to all the ‘almost famous’ people we taught throughout the city and on the campus of Northwestern University, as well as StreetWise Magazine and Julie Youngquist, Comedian Kat Herskovic, prAna and the City of Chicago, you rock!

Thanks for watching everyone, and have an awesome day! Peace – R

Have a Micro Presence with a Macro View

It’s always best to Be Present in everything you do, that is to say, have a Micro Presence. But it’s also best to set timely goals and have a big picture take on your life, and that is to say, with a Macro View.

Especially when it comes to business and fitness. Unless you’re independently wealthy or already retired, then just focus on the fitness part. And since you’ve already set your business goals – if not then get to it – let’s focus on fitness. Which includes getting on the scale – if you haven’t already – and setting a 5 pound range for yourself to maintain throughout 2020. That’s once you get to your ideal body weight, so get there quick. And if you need some inspiration, check out STAY ZEN: Episode #5 – Who’s afraid of the big bad scale? Because anyone can maintain a healthy and desirable weight.

So every morning get on the scale – yes that’s EVERY single morning – and keep that number within a 5 pound range or you’ll need to Self Correct. Remember that concept from my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, from Chapter 67. A fan favorite and no doubt one of mine. In this case Self-Correct would be to eat more good foods (or whatever you want for that matter) to maintain or gain if you’re at the low end of your range – in my case 145 – or completely fast a full-day if you’re at the top – for me that’s 150. Easy peasy, then you’re back on track. No BS..it works. Today I was 146, so bring it on!

As for the exercising part, well just do as I do…and do it everyday. That’s correct. We’re 15 days into the new year and fortunately I’m 15 for 15. Bodybuilding at the gym, doing yoga poses, stretches and abs, plus walking 5+ miles every day and teaching two Tola Yoga classes a week. And no worries if you’re less than perfect or even 0 for 15, just start tomorrow and go 350 for the remaining 350 days. You can do it, so just believe you can and try. With all the aches and pains in my body, if I can do it, anyone can.

Have an awesome 2020 everyone, and get your workout in. Peace – R

Tola Yoga Night has been a blast!

Hope you can make tonight’s pre-holiday Tola Yoga class at The Reef (11th Fl). It’s gonna be a killer, plus it’s gonna be my last class at that day/time in 2017. It’s been a blast, with special thanks to everyone at Maker City LA for all their support and for providing such a beautiful space to practice yoga. And to all my students who braved the DTLA city streets at rush hour  ♥  See you tonight at 6:15p. Peace – R

The Reef  |  1933 S Broadway, 90007  |  Validated Parking  |  Donation Class

Tola Yoga every Wednesday @ The REEF

Thanks to Maker City LA, I’m now teaching Tola Yoga classes every Wednesday at The REEF, located at the corner of Broadway & Washington in the Fashion District of DTLA.

First class starts at 5:15pm while the second class starts at 6:15pm.

Great building, wonderful zen space, the best yoga workout in the world (come see for yourself), and above all, another opportunity to stretch, strengthen and detox every part of your body while advancing your yoga practice.

Have an awesome day everyone, and I’ll see you on the mat.

Peace -R

Thank you Seattle…until we meet again!

Top of Denny Way in Capitol Hill looking West

Thank you Seattle, for a wonderful six months of teaching yoga to well over 1,000 students in exactly 136 classes. Because as you may already know, I’ll be returning to my beloved Los Angeles (aka Home) where I first began teaching my fitness style of yoga in 2007 before it was even known as Tola Yoga.

And who says you can’t have a blast walking around and exploring Seattle in the rain? Plus, you never really get those torrential downpours like Chicago does, so who needs protection? Seattleites with an umbrella, that’s something you rarely see. I guess that’s why people would always ask, “You’re not from around here, right?” With my black leather jacket and biker boots and carrying a red umbrella, go figure. Or maybe it was just my California tan 🙂

Relaxing in Martin Luther King Jr. Park looking North

And what a great place to stay in shape and to keep moving forward, or I shall I say, upward…on the plethora of hills that traverse the Emerald City.

No doubt your butt works overtime in this town. I should know, I’ve walked more neighborhoods than Oprah has houses (well, maybe not) and loved every minute of it!

But what I’ll miss most – other than my yoga students, especially Charisma, Jodi and Sallie who never missed a class – are the amazing views of downtown Seattle you get just by walking around or lounging in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, including my three favorites you see here.

40th & Stone Way in Fremont looking South

So thanks Seattle, and until we meet again I wish you the very best. Continue growing and providing your good citizens with more great buildings, parks, restaurants, culture, grunge-free fashion and of course, a Tola Yoga studio in the near future.

Hey, ya neva know!

Peace – R

 

Working out with “Belle of the Ball”

Or shall I say, Belle of the Gym. Let me explain:

The other day I saw this elderly woman working out in the gym and I thought to myself, wow, this woman really knows what she’s doing and she’s definitely a regular. It was the third time I had seen her this week.

I was definitely curious, so I introduced myself and asked Belle a few questions. Because when a fitness dude like me who’s worked-out or practiced Yoga every single day for the past 40 years (that’s no bullshit), sees a fitness dudette who’s well into her 70’s, well, I’m impressed.

Check it out. Belle has osteoporosis and says she knows the importance of lifting weights to stay strong so she works out three times a week. Yes, three times a week, every week.

And it shows.

When I asked if she ever misses a workout, she said, “Sometimes I slip and slide around a little bit with my days, but I always go three times a week. I have to.” Belle also said her body is not what it used to be so sometimes she feels it the next day. Similar to my own Mom who goes to the gym every week and has done so for the past 30 years, her body often feels it the next day too.

But no worries, because you gotta keep going. Your strength and youth depends on it.

So take if from Belle and “have fun with it!” And even though my Tola Yoga workouts may be too intense for her (I agreed), Belle says “mix it up with different exercises like the machines, treadmill or these bikes that let you ride through the parks of San Francisco (her favorite).”

Kudos to you Belle and everyone else getting your workout groove on every week!

Happy Mother’s Day everyone 🙂  Peace – R

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

100 Days of TOLA YOGA in Seattle

This past weekend I celebrated my 100th day of living in the Emerald City while teaching Tola Yoga to more than 700 students in 63 classes.

And just like Seattleites love their coffee strong and flavorful, there’s no doubt they love my fitness style of Tola Yoga – which is also strong and flavorful. And if there’s anything more plentiful than a corner Starbucks in this town, it has to be these two elements: hills and rain.

No doubt.

Coming from a fitness and yoga dude who spent 100 days living in San Francisco (in 2012) and walking up California Street once a day, you gotta believe me, it’s true. Just try walking to the top of Queen Anne Avenue starting at Denny Way, or better yet, walk up James Street from Yesler Way to Broadway and you be the judge. And good luck if you’re carrying a 20 pound gym bag full of books, water and yoga gear – like I always do. Well, at least I can say I’m in the best shape of my life. As for the never-ending rain, well, it’s one of those things you get used to. I suppose 🙂

On that note, here are the five key highlights of my first 100 days in Seattle:

  1. Explored more than two dozen neighborhoods and cultural attractions including the iconic 605-ft-tall Space Needle, the beautiful Olympic Sculpture Park and Northlake Marina overlooking downtown Seattle (see pics),
  2. Established myself at six health clubs and yoga studios around town – currently teaching six weekly classes including one corporate client near Safeco Field (Go Mariners!),
  3. Spent three days kicking-the-bricks in the very clean and cosmopolitan, Vancouver, BC,
  4. Re-read five classic books including The Power of One, The Fountainhead, The World According to Garp, Tess of the D’Ubervilles and Great Expectations, and
  5. Worked out 100 days plus took a plethora of yoga classes with some wonderful yoginis.

Hope your previous 100 days were as plentiful and exciting as mine were.

Have an amazing St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Peace – R

PS…if you haven’t read a good book lately – and I’m talking about the good ‘ole fashioned hard copy kind – then give one of mine a try.