In my opinion, this is the most important lifestyle and yoga principle that everyone should embrace. And I truly dislike that word should because it implies that one is projecting their personal standards and opinions upon another. But in this case it applies. Because whether or not you did or didn’t do something, like shirking a responsibility, or not working out, or partying too much, or being mean to your parents or your dog, well, forget about it and don’t judge yourself for doing it. It’s in the past and every new moment gives you a new beginning. No reason to waste energy, effort and feelings on something you can’t change. Especially when it comes to other people. Because for sure we can’t change what others do or say. And why should we or even want to? That’s what makes life interesting. The uniqueness of people we meet who impact our lives and help us evolve in whatever subtle or major way. All this coming from a guy who was once the life of the party who also judged. Believe me, anyone can change at any given moment, if you really want to. Or like my father used to say to me in baseball, “you gotta wanna bunt”. So let go of any judgment you may have for anything you did today or this holiday season. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
I was speaking with a friend today about how most people are sick and tired of the same old thing. That is to say, the state of our economy, the 12.5% unemployment rate in California, the depressed real estate markets throughout the country, how it’s more difficult to make the same amount of money for the same amount of work (or more), how going to a gym or yoga studio has become so expensive that it’s prohibitive for most of his twenty-something peers – $15 for a gym workout and $25 for a drop-in yoga class in his neighborhood, and finally, how bad overindulging with food and alcohol at holiday parties – or anytime for that matter – and not working out can make you feel. But really, who isn’t sick and tired of being sick and tired? There’s a new year coming, it’s time to reflect, refuel and re-focus, and it’s time to get your mind and your body in the best possible condition via the simplest and most affordable way. So forget about being sick and tired and get with a 15 minute fat burning daily fitness program today! It’ll make that same old same old seem much much better. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
Everyone knows the feeling when the weather’s got you down and you’re ‘a little under the weather’ right? Well how about turning the tables on today’s bad weather and telling yourself exactly the opposite – that you’re a little above the weather! Because that weather malaise is just a temporary mindset you can enthusiastically change. I know for most of you Mother Nature has been rather frigid and snowy and all around nasty, but for those of us in LA it feels like we should be boarding Noah’s Arc right about now. And since we’re relatively spoiled with our clear blue sunny skies – well, who says you can’t move to LA – it’s especially easy to feel under the weather and fall off your daily routine. Don’t do it. Or if you do, just make it one day only, not two or three in a row. Because while everyone else around you feels a bit more weather-like with each passing day, you’ll be the bright a cheerful one who got your workout in. For sure you’ll feel better and for sure your positive energy will radiantly affect everyone around you. And maybe you’ll even motivate your loved ones to do the same, so they can bask in the sunshine of their own positive energy. So get your 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout in today. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
After my workout this morning I ran into a friend who just started doing my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts. I would describe this twenty-something gal as rather solid, with about 25 pounds excess weight. She told me she started with Tuesday’s Workout – which happens to be one of the more challenging ones – and that she was “sore in a good way”. For someone who doesn’t workout much – or at all – being sore was certainly a good thing. It means the workouts are affecting her muscles in a fatiguingly positive way, opening them up to receive new energy and nutrients, thus making them stronger and firmer. It’s the sore in a good way feeling that burns fat and conditions the muscles for future workouts, allowing that soreness to diminish over time. Because that soreness does go away folks. Although it may return from time to time based on where your body is on any given day – a topic for a future blog – your muscles become accustomed to the workouts and respond more amicably, i.e., no soreness. So don’t get worried or discouraged, and certainly don’t stop working out just because of a little discomfort. Always remember: pain is bad, soreness is good. Enjoy the good with the bad and get your workout in today. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
Everybody knows what comes next, right? I mean, how many times have you heard your best friend or someone you just met say, “Look, you don’t understand”, immediately followed by some reason or another why they’re in that predicament or why they can’t do something. More importantly, when was the last time you said this? Because whatever reason that follows, and I’m sure it’s a good one, is totally irrelevant. If you just change your mindset and start thinking of solutions and not reasons for the problems, you’ll be much better off. And soon you’ll be in a much better place. Case in point: Last night I met this thirty-something gal who said she lived with her boyfriend for the past 3 years and was not going to marry him because he was the wrong guy. I asked, why don’t you just be honest with yourself – and with him – and separate amicably so you can both move on? Because with relationships, I said, 3 years becomes 5, then 5 becomes 7, then 7 becomes 10. And who wants to spend TEN years with the wrong guy. Pretty stupid if you ask me. So what does she say, look, you don’t understand. We have a house and two cats together”. And I said, well, why not have him buy you out of the house, or you buy him out with an investment partner, let’s say, and you each get a cat. She just looked at me with a blank stare. Then I smiled and left thinking, it takes courage to make what anyone might consider as bold and risky moves, but they’re really not. Keep it simple and honest and stay in the present. And don’t forget to get your workout in. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
The cycle of domestic violence occurs when abuse or victimization is passed down from one generation to the next. More specifically, it’s when children learn destructive behaviors from their parents, and then carry these acceptable behaviors with them into their lives. It must be broken. Case in point: Last night a friend called me to talk about his 22 year-old neighbor who was being verbally accosted by her drunken boyfriend. He said the screaming and shouting from the jackass was so bad that he was concerned for her safety and wasn’t sure what to do. And this wasn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, he said it was a regular event. He also said that when he passes the young gal in the hallway, he feels her insecurity and lack of self-confidence as she always looks away, avoiding any type of eye contact or conversation. Why does she put up with that crap, and what can he do to help her gain the self-confidence to get rid of the bum, my friend asks? Breaking the cycle of violence begins with re-building one’s self-worth and turning acceptable behaviors into non-acceptable behaviors. Like choosing to respect oneself everyday by making healthy choices and by constantly strengthening your body and your mind. Because it’s all about the choices we make. And each good choice leads to another good choice, and so on and so on. So respect yourself and make the healthy choice. Because anything is possible…if you believe you can.
I recently read the average American gains 10-15 pounds during the holiday months. As crazy as that sounds, people who gain weight around the holidays seem to rationalize it with a New Year’s resolution to lose the weight well before those bikini months. But why not get “Zen in 10” and start now, two weeks ahead of time, by consciously choosing to eat and drink healthier and beginning a new daily fitness program today – one you can do from the comforts of your own home? Especially anyone living in the Midwest and on the East Coast – I certainly feel for you! So stop futurizing, as I often say, and keep your thoughts and intentions in the present. It’s much simpler that way, plus you won’t feel the pressure to perform in the future because of what you did to yourself today. And when I say get Zen it’s about finding your own personal enlightenment through your thoughts and actions – today. Not tomorrow because who knows what that will bring. I should know. I spent my 20s and 30s futurizing about a life that’s completely different than the one I enjoy today. So forget about getting back to your workouts and losing that weight in January. Respect yourself. And I’ll see you today (and tomorrow) – R
You’ll never hear me say that developing and maintaining a daily fitness program is easy. It just gets easier to keep it going. And more rewarding each time you workout, whatever you do. Like today vs. yesterday. Yesterday I felt like someone ran me over with a steamroller – you know the feeling. I barely made my 20 minute stretching and abs, but I made it. Today I felt like a million bucks! I hit the gym for an hour, then went for a 2-mile run at the Silver Lake Reservoir, then taught an 11a yoga class. And I’m 47 and lived a party lifestyle until I gave up alcohol three years ago. So change does happen if you really want it to. It’s never easy, but in the case of a daily fitness routine, it’s well worth it. So if you haven’t started one already, well let’s get going. Because with each passing day your body is not getting any younger, or firmer, or leaner, or stronger, or more flexible without doing something. So make that something the most important 1% of your life. See you tomorrow – R
Yesterday I went to San Diego to teach with The Boulevard Zen Foundation yoga teachers Carolyn and Jen. It was our monthly workshop class for everyone at the shelter including kids, moms and staff. Although our turnout was rather light, we spoke with one staff member who explained to us in one word why the moms were reluctant to join in the fun. Self-confidence. Most of us know a thing or two about self-confidence, or a lack thereof, when it comes to challenging the mind or the body with something new. And that’s exactly what a new fitness program does – it challenges the mind and body in ways that are unfamiliar to us. Thus making it hard and undesirable – at first. With the imperative words here being “at first”. Because it gets easier. It truly does. The hard part is just getting started. I explained to her that beginning a new yoga program with our teachers is like swimming in the ocean. At first you walk in with the water around your ankles. Then you wade a little further, up to your knees, then waist, and ultimately you’ll take the plunge and dive in. And if you’re fearful of those crashing waves, you may not take the plunge right away, but over time you will gain the confidence to go further, advancing to the next level, gaining momentum and confidence every step of the way. And that’s what it’s all about – gaining self-confidence through action and advancement that will certainly spill over and positively affect others areas of your life. So if you haven’t already done so, take the plunge and get started today with a new fat burning fitness routine. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves?
FAT BURNING WORKOUTS TO BENEFIT WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – December 9, 2010 – Little did Rich Tola know exactly one year ago today he would premiere a film, start a foundation to help women and children of domestic violence, make a video encyclopedia of yoga poses throughout the streets of Hollywood, and release Rich Tola’s 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts. And if you ask Tola, he’ll tell you that his fat burning workouts are fit for a King. Or a Queen. Or anyone else in the world, for that matter. “Anyone can do them. Whether you’re in shape or 50 pounds overweight”, states Tola. “Each 15 minute full body workout is filled with low-impact, core strengthening, fat burning exercises that are based on yoga principles and really easy to follow.”
10% of proceeds from Rich Tola’s 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts are donated to his charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation (www.BoulevardZen.com), teaching yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. “Our teachers empower the kids and moms by using yoga principles to strengthen their bodies and self-esteem,” Tola said.
His movie, Boulevard Zen, the inspiration for the foundation, premiered at Hollywood’s Silent Movie Theatre a year ago today. Tola wrote, directed and starred in the one-hour drama about one man inspiring the lives of many while overcoming his own challenges. His video encyclopedia of 100 yoga poses, Rich Tola’s Yoga Survival Guide, was released in September and entertains audiences with Tola teaching yoga in the shower, stuck in traffic, at the LA Zoo, baking cookies, waiting for a bus, and watching “The Ellen Show”.
“15 minutes a day is all you need to establish a daily fitness routine that helps preserve your body and clear your mind,” states Tola. His motto, Strong Body-Clear Mind, permeates in his work and persona. And the proof is in the pudding: Tola has worked out daily for more than 30 years, the past five years practicing yoga and teaching 15,000 students. “There’s no question that everyone in the world who’s capable should be doing some form of physical fitness activity every single day,” says Tola. “Respect yourself. Especially around the holidays.” And for only $1.99 per workout, who can’t afford not to?