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

Celebrating 10 Years Teaching Yoga…at the Damen Silos

I’m very fortunate and grateful for having reached my 10th anniversary teaching Yoga to more than 25,000 students in over 2,000 classes throughout the United States. To celebrate, the lovely Lauren Accardi joined me for another challenging Tola Yoga class filmed at the super cool Damen Silosalso the site Michael Bay’s Transformer’s 4 and The Namaste Five class from YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous: Chicago.

Love this one! Peace – R

Hotter Than a July BBQ at More Than 60 Locations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/04/16

YogaStyles Braves 108-Degree Heat and Wraps Chicago Pilot

Chicago, IL: Long considered a sacred number in Yoga, 108 should bring good luck to creator and Yogatainer Rich Tola’s new Reality TV series that aims to inspire audiences with his one simple motto: Yoga…Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere.

Inspired is exactly how Rich and his crew felt as they endured the heat and filmed the Pilot episode of YogaStyles of RICH and the Almost Famous in more than 60 locations throughout the streets of Chicago.

“We knew it was going to be a scorcher, but we never anticipated it would be hotter than a July BBQ,” shares Tola. “The great news is everyone we interviewed, including the homeless woman (Rebecca) living in a tent on North Broadway, was super friendly and excited to give Yoga a try.”

In addition to the dozen or so “Almost Famous” people Rich interviewed, Tola also demonstrated challenging Yoga poses at many historic landmark and tourist attractions including Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, Water Tower, the University of Chicago, Navy Pier, Soldier Field and the Chess Pavilion by Oak Street Beach.

“Our last day of filming was the hottest, with heat index temperatures reaching 108 degrees,” Tola said. “And what’s cool about it was that we filmed a 2-hour class at the abandoned Damen Silos with our band of beautiful Yoga babes (The Namaste Five) and not once did anyone complain or even request a break. Talk about hot Yoga, it really felt like we were practicing in an oven.”

Yoga guru and lifelong fitness virtuoso, Rich Tola aims to teach everyone on the planet the fundamentals of the 6,000 year-old practice with his unique, workout style of Tola Yoga. “It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, anybody can benefit from five minutes of Yoga. After watching our show you’ll definitely be inspired to try Yoga, or at the very least, be excited to visit Chicago and enjoy all the amazing attributes this great city has to offer,” proclaims Tola.

Today also marks Rich’s 10-year anniversary teaching Yoga to more than 25,000 students in over 2,000 classes throughout the United States. Since 2006, Tola has produced 30 hours of instructional DVDs including his film, Boulevard Zen, and his video encyclopedia of 100 Yoga poses, Rich Tola’s Yoga Survival Guide, including Bus Stop Yoga, Traffic Yoga, Office Yoga, Shower Yoga and Watching the Ellen Show Yoga.