YogaStyles of Rich and the Almost Famous

Yoga…anyone, anytime, anywhere.

YogaStyles of Rich and the Almost Famous is where History meets Yoga throughout the streets of Chicago. Made in 2016 to highlight the benefits of yoga and the amazing historical sites and sounds of the Windy City, we visited more than 60 Chicago landmarks and tourist attractions and taught yoga to a bunch of courageous residents who’ve never tried yoga.

Special thanks to my amazing crew including Rhonda Carlson, Angie Lee Chastain, Aron Rosenthal, Alex Halstead and John Draughon, as well as The Namaste Five cast of yoga students Lauren Accardi, Vika Lvova, Amy Johnson, Laura Moschel and Monica Bright. And to all the ‘almost famous’ people we taught throughout the city and on the campus of Northwestern University, as well as StreetWise Magazine and Julie Youngquist, Comedian Kat Herskovic, prAna and the City of Chicago, you rock!

Thanks for watching everyone, and have an awesome day! Peace – R

A Decade to Remember

Rich Tola – Filmmaker | Author | Creator, Tola Yoga

Since my childhood summers playing baseball at Nottingham Little League, I’ve been taught that the best hitters always perform in the late innings. So finish strong everyone, and have a happy and safe holiday season!

I also hope this decade has been as good to you as it has me, as this marks my most amazing one yet beginning with my film, Boulevard Zen. Exactly 10 years ago this week we premiered at the Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood. Thanks to everyone who supported me, i.e., watched or read or listened to any of my creations since the film. And a special thanks for taking my Tola Yoga classes.

No doubt I’ve built an awesome foundation in developing and producing original content as well as successfully crossing the finish line – on time and on budget – more than 15 times. Not to mention teaching my modern-day fitness style of yoga to more than 20,000 students throughout the US.

Looking forward to the next 10. Peace – R

Rich Tola productions this decade:

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

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

Welcome to…Seattle

Iseattlen addition to my fitness mantra, another day – another workout, how’s this for my new travel mantra, another month – another city!

That’s right everyone, if you didn’t catch me in Las Vegas last month, you can now find me in Seattle.

With a plethora of historic landmarks and cultural attractions including the futuristic Space Needle from the 1962 World’s Fair, the Seattle Great Wheel – one of largest ferris wheels in the United States, the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival held every year since 1976, the Bite of Seattle – one of the largest Gay Pride festivals in the US, to the uniquely striking Seattle Public Library featuring 11 stories of glass and steel, the “Emerald City” is quite a city!seattle_central_library_seattle_washington_-_20060418 Not to mention Seattle is also home to business legends Amazon.com, Starbucks and Nordstrom – with Microsoft and Costco a stone’s throw away, five professional sports team including baseball’s Seattle Mariners, and of course, my favorite rock-and-roll band of all time, Pearl Jam. And don’t forget Seattle is considered the home of grunge music, having produced legendary artists such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney.

So why not bring my fitness style of Tola Yoga as well as my desire to create entertaining and inspiring content, whether it be a Reality TV series or a Radio show, to one of the most liberal cities in the nation – even surpassing its “weird” neighbor, Portland, Oregon, another cool city.

Have an amazing December everyone…and hope to see you in the Pacific Northwest! 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

Whatever You Do, Finish Strong…Like Usain Bolt

Nine-time Olympic Gold medalist and the world’s fastest man (for the past 10 years), Usain Bolt, confidently concedes that “there are faster starters than me but I’m a strong finisher”.YogaStylesVoiceOver

Because no matter when you begin your new venture or how quickly you come out of the starting blocks, the most important part of the race is the finish line. So finish strong!

Just like we’re doing with YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous: CHICAGO. Yesterday we recorded the voice-over and we’re now thundering towards the finish line.

Have an awesome day everyone! Peace – R

500th Yoga Class in the First 50 Weeks: Chicago

Rich Tola - One Armed PinchamayurasanaI’m heels over head for teaching my 500th Yoga class since arriving in Chicago last September.

I’m grateful to my courageous students, fellow teachers and managers, and the owners of Chicago Athletic Clubs for giving me the opportunity to spread my passion for fitness & yoga, and specifically my style of Tola Yoga.

Looking forward to inspiring the world with YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous.

Peace – R