Tola Yoga thanks you back!

Over the past 11 years I’ve had the pleasure of teaching some really inspiring students from NYC to LA to Chicago to Seattle – and several places in between – who make it all worth while.

Thanks for the memories everyone, and especially these kind words. Peace – R

“When I walk into Rich’s class feeling emotionally weak, without a doubt, every week, at the end of the hour, I feel stronger and more confident.” – Adriana R.

“Thank you so much for filling our little Seattle yoga class with such wonderful joy & skills. You are AMAZING and I have learned a ton!” – Sallie B.

“Rich is a master at sequencing poses. My body always feels great for hours after class.” – Lauren A.

“It’s very well-structured, plus I get a great full-body workout every time I take Rich’s class. He’s the best!” – Vika L.

“After 10 years, I took my practice to a new level when I started taking Tola Yoga classes.” – Rhonda C.

“Tola Yoga is effective in strengthening and stretching every part of your body, plus it’ll make you sweat!” – Ron W.

“Rich’s classes are transformative.”  – Jeremy S.

“Thank you for your classes and training this past year. I spent six weeks after knee surgery without putting any weight on my left leg, and because of your super long standing sequences, my right leg was strong enough to carry me throughout. For that I am grateful.” – Ananya D.

“We’ll be very sad to see you go… I get RAVE reviews about your class.” – Manager, TRIBE Fitness in Seattle

Back to the Future…in Los Angeles

Hey everyone, I’m back in LA teaching Tola Yoga classes and hosting live entertainment events like never before. Or shall I say, like before but with a renewed energy and fiery passion that’ll knock your socks off!

Why?

Because after two years of teaching hundreds of classes to nearly ten thousand yoga students in Chicago and Seattle, it’s great to be home. Plus, I’ll be surprising you with pop-up Tola Yoga classes around town, as well as hosting live events like this Saturday, June 10th from 2-4p at the Glendale Central Library. So come enjoy the exciting sounds of the fusion-jazz band, Manjé and The Tips, and you might find yourself laughing your butt off while doing some half-time yoga hosted by yours truly.

In the meantime, check-out this short mix from YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous: Chicago. And for more information about Private or Corporate Tola Yoga classes, please email info@richtola.com. Have an awesome day and don’t forget your daily workout! 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

Go With All Your Heart

Many years ago, my sister gave me this polished piece of black stone inscribed with this:

Wherever You Go, Go With All Your Heart

I’ve keep it by my bed ever since, to remind me of what should be. For everyone on the planet.

Because it’s all about shining your light – coming from your heart, that is – out into the Universe in the most positive, truthful and heartfelt way.

Hey, what do you expect coming from a Yoga dude who’s been practicing and teaching this mind-body-spirit, self-love and self-respect, “it’s a lifestyle” practice for over twelve years.

Think about it. Wouldn’t life be grand If you shared the very best of you…all the time. You know the one: upbeat, positive, smiling, confident, respectful and considerate. To name a few.

Happy Valentine’s 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

A Taste of Chicago

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Here’s a compilation of me introducing Chicago’s major tourist attractions including Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, the Mag Mile and the beaches of Lake Michigan. It’s where history meets trivia, meets fitness & Yoga and more.

We filmed YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous: Chicago during the sweltering summer of 2016, and had a blast the last day of filming at the Damen Silos & Ohio Street Beach…when temperatures reached 108 degrees.

Thanks for watching and have a wonderful holiday! Peace – R

Another Teaching Milestone…600th Class in Chicago

Rich Tola 600th Chicago ClassI Just taught my 600th Yoga class since arriving in The Windy City last September.

And what an amazing time I had teaching thousands of yogis and yoginis in 12 different neighborhoods including Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Lakeview, West Loop, Uptown, Andersonville, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Highland Park, Evanston, Streeterville and the South Loop.

Have an awesome week everyone!

Peace – R