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

Conscious Living: 10 Years & Counting

This morning I read an article by psychotherapist Bonnie Katz about the emotional roller coaster ride Actors are subject to throughout their careers – especially those of us auditioning for that break-out role – and what it takes to be The Conscious Actor.

RichTola2007Whether or not your life’s calling takes you on that rather lonely path of emotional ups and downs filled with countless auditions resulting in countless silent rejections (which I more colorfully address in my memoir), then take Bonnie’s advice when she says, “Be your own best friend and take care of your emotional life. Stay away from people who are negative and not supportive of you. Be around people who lift you up, not pull you down.” No doubt.

Most importantly – at least I think so and something I’ve been blogging about since I started this website 6 years ago – and as Bonnie says, “Keep yourself in top mental and physical shape.”

Interestingly enough, this week marks my 10 year anniversary of practicing the “Conscious Living” Art of Yoga. Talk about keeping you in excellent mental and physical shape…not to mention spiritual, Yoga is an amazing way to level off those emotional ups and downs no matter what path you’re on. For the past 9 years, I’ve taught more than 20,000 students and there’s no question that every single one of them has benefited from taking at least one class.

Positivity not negativity. Strong body and a clear mind. Believe you can and sit tall in the saddle. Never judge yourself, just do the best you possibly can and delete excuses from your repertoire. All things I recommend no matter what you do in life. And workout every single day while incorporating the principles of Yoga into your everyday life.

It’s worked for me and it will certainly work for you. Peace – R