No excuses with Lounge Chair Abs

So you’re going on vacation and you won’t have time to workout, right?  Wrong.  Because with today’s 84th consecutive 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout – Lounge Chair Abs, all you need to do to is chill out poolside on a lounge chair.  That’s right.  Because no matter where you go, there’s always time for a 5 minute workout.  And for those of you who aren’t familiar with my 5 minute yoga lessons (in my Yoga Survival Guide), there isn’t a place on earth where you can’t workout or strengthen your yoga practice.  So if you’re not a sun worshiper and rarely find yourself on a lounge chair, check out Shower Yoga, Bus Stop Yoga, Baking Yoga, Office Yoga, Weight Room Yoga, Prison Yoga (for Lindsay Lohan), Park Yoga, Traffic Yoga (yes, while sitting in traffic), Beach Yoga, Rooftop Yoga, Zoo Yoga, and of course, Watching “The Ellen Show” Yoga. Because no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can ALWAYS add some fitness into your day.  Enjoy – R

Yoga for low back pain

I woke up today with pain in my low back, specifically on my right side.  It wasn’t there yesterday so perhaps it occurred during the night, or maybe negative energy or tension came to reside there as a result of stress or something I did yesterday.  No matter the cause, I went to the gym this morning and wasn’t able to work it out with my usual stretching so I decided to focus on it with 15 minutes of yoga and meditation when I got home.  First I laid on my back and quieted my mind with the meditative breathing technique called Ujjayi Pranayama.  In yoga terms (or Sanskrit) it means upwardly victorious or skull shining breath which is a three part yogic breath moving from the low belly into the upper chest and throat.  Inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose – with your mouth closed – and the resulting sound is much like the sound of the ocean.  Next I hugged my knees into my chest while rounding then elongating my spine which is call Apanasana.  All the while I kept with my meditation and Ujjayi breath while sending thoughts of relief specifically to the point of low back pain.  Next I slowly rocked back and forth and side to side massaging my low back into the ground.  Next I reached for the sides of my feet moving into Happy Baby pose.  I also teach this pose in Zoo Yoga from my Yoga Survival Guide as well as Apanasana in Comfort Yoga and Ujjayi Pranayama in the very first lesson, Mountain Pose.   Next I straightened my legs best I could while holding onto my big toes – much like Paschimottanasana on your back (also taught in Park Yoga).  Next I spread my legs wide into a big V, all the while keeping my spine elongated best I could.  Finally I hugged my knees into my chest for another Apanasana, then slowly moved into my final resting pose, Savasana.  Viola!  No more pain.  Although everyone’s body is different with varying degrees of pain, give this sequence a try the next time your low back is bothering you.  It just might do the trick.  R


Triceps anyone?

Triceps with Rich Tola

Sometimes you just don’t have the time or just don’t feel like changing into workout clothes just to workout, right?  Well who says you have to find time or wear something workout-ish?  Do one thing for a couple of minutes and you’ll get your workout in – at least part of it.  Like when you’re waiting for that email, or that phone call, or your girlfriend to get ready, or that client to show up.  Check out me working triceps here on my favorite reading chair (dining room and office chairs are even better).  Apply “yoga principles” as you plant your feet slightly apart with knees at right angles pressing together.  Keep your chin parallel to the floor, your spine straight and dip slowly until your elbows reach right angles (no need to go further), pointing your elbows toward each other.  Do not to jerk your head or neck.  Note: always be sensitive to any tweaks or pains in your neck as well as your shoulders, elbows and wrists.  Move with slow and deliberate movements.  Nothing fancy and make sure the chair is properly weighted to support this exercise.  Strengthen your arms and build stamina with these simple dips using whatever’s available to you.   Do as many repetitions as you can per set, and as many sets as you can – with short breaks in between until you feel the burn and can’t do any more.  It’ll happen quick.  And always maintain good posture, close your mouth and breathe slowly and quietly like the sound of the ocean, and pick a point of focus to wipe your mind clear.  Enjoy – R