Tola Talks w/ Fashionista & Stylist Melissa Chataigne

 

Tola Talks underwater shipwrecks & Christopher Columbus, lightening strikes & rituals, Paris & the Eiffel Tower, GYST Awards & the NFL, plus The Best of LA from LA Weekly Magazine. On Top 10 Tuesdays, Rich also talks personal shopping with stylist and fashionista, Melissa Chataigne. Live weekdays on youtube.com/tolatalks.

RichTolaMelissaChataigne
Tola Talks’ Rich Tola with Fashionista and Personal Stylist, Melissa Chataigne

GQ – Letter to the Editor

If you’re a GQ reader like me, you probably read the August issue with Mila Kunis on the cover. On page 32, there’s a brief article by Mark Byrne called “Rewriting the Book on Yoga”, with a 15 minute yoga workout as prescribed by a studio owner in NYC. Unfortunately, I cringed when I reviewed the workout that includes three twisting and forward bending poses, the last of which is an advanced pose.

But before I add my two cents, let me state my fitness and yoga qualifications: I’m 48 years old, 5’7″ and weigh 150 pounds. My body fat is less than 9% and most people think I’m 33. I’ve worked out in fitness centers every day for the past 32 years totaling more than 12,000 hours. I’ve practiced yoga every day for the past six years totaling more than 2,000 hours. An accomplished student/athlete through college, I’m also a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Cycling Instructor, and 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I’ve taught more than 15,000 yoga students of all levels in the past five years, from the ages 3 to 93. I’ve created more than 15 hours of instructional yoga videos in the past two years, including a Yoga Survival Guide detailing more than 100 poses.

I currently teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters, who had zero experience with fitness and yoga before I got there. I have neck, low back, shoulder and wrist issues, and have been injured three times since I started practicing yoga – all from bad teachers. Thus, my very precise teaching style is designed to minimize injury to any body part, especially the neck and low back. Finally, I’ve practiced yoga mostly in New York City and Los Angeles, the yoga meccas of the United States, and have taken classes with the “so-called” best teachers in the world. 90% of which are women.

That said, here’s why I disagree with the Byrne’s claim that GQ “found the best back-saving, workout-improving moves…” When it comes to anything twisting and forward bending while standing, you better move slowly and be super careful. Your stance is critical, which the caption doesn’t clearly emphasize. The caption also says “twist your head to look up”, which you should NEVER attempt without properly warming up the spine and preparing your body for such deep twists. Revolved triangle is a perfect example of this. A good teacher wouldn’t sequence this pose until at least halfway through the yoga class, because coming into this pose is AS IMPORTANT as the pose itself. So is coming back up to stand once you’ve been in the pose for any length of time. Here’s why: once your torso weight and your 10 pound head is down and over your forward leg, you’re balancing this weight over a tight triangular stance, making it quite difficult to manage. And since most men carry their weight in their torso and have tight hamstrings, coming into – or out of – this pose without bending your legs (like the picture shows), and without moving ridiculously slow, could lead to serious injury.

Thus, it’s not back-saving at all. It’s actually quite strenuous on your neck, low back and hamstrings. And requires ample core strength to control your torso as you’re folding forward at a 90 degree angle (if you keep your back straight like the picture – which is also very difficult). And although the directions state “you won’t be able to touch the floor right away – settle for your ankle”, very few men can even get to their ankle. Frankly, this is a very challenging pose for an advanced yogi, let alone anyone who’s never done it before. So take note and be VERY CAREFUL, especially when twisting and forward bending at the same time. And if you really want to experiment with this pose on your own, warm up and strengthen your core and abs first with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs. Enjoy & hope to see you on the FAT BURN TOUR! – Rich Tola

Arsenal of Exercises

For the past 98 days, I’ve been coming up with different fat burning workouts that are uniquely challenging, simple and short.  No special equipment or anything else required. Just yourself, a device with internet access, and a space about the size of your bathroom. Clothes optional.  So check out the cool arsenal of exercises you now have at your disposal with the past 98 workouts.  And enjoy blasting your thighs from the Ground to the Penthouse with today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #98 – Elevator Squats.  – R

Don’t Make Assumptions

When was last time your friend called to say someone hasn’t called her back because she thinks “blah-blah-blah”?  And the reason for “blah-blah-blah” is because what your friend thinks doesn’t really matter.  Because if your friend is assuming, which is usually the case when our feelings get hurt, than she’s probably wrong.  We all know what ass-u-me means, right?  Have patience for the truth, it’s much easier to handle. Don’t make Assumptions.  Like, with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts.  What the heck can you get done in 5 minutes, right? Well, these bite-size workouts are little gems because if you rarely exercise, than working out a little bit each day is priceless.  If you do workout a few times a week, you’ll empower yourself with a DAILY fitness routine.  A routine that’ll soon eclipse 5 minutes, as well as make you feel better about yourself, give you more energy and awareness, and increase your body image as your subconscious registers these daily workouts as wins.  Or, as I like to call them, small victories in the war.  Not to mention the preservation aspects of strengthening your muscles and bones. Because battling Mother Nature and Father Time is a war. So don’t make assumptions and get off to an easy start with today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs.  – R