Build a Strong Foundation with Tola Yoga

Everybody knows the answer to that infamous question, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall”, right? Of course, it’s “practice, practice, practice”. And if you believe best-selling author and pop psych writer, Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers), you’ll say it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become world-class in any field.

But what happens when the foundation you’ve set for all your practicing is not that sturdy, or better yet, it’s built on quicksand? 

That’s why anyone looking to build a strong yoga practice should learn the proper fundamentals before spending hours upon hours in the yoga studio. Just like I say in Chapter 68 of my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, it’s always best to Learn from the Best. Or at the very least, learn from someone who has learned from the best.

That’s also why if you’re in Los Angeles you should treat yourself to a Tola Yoga class or private lesson to help you build that strong foundation. There’s something for everyone…from beginner-to-advanced as well as pregnant women…with my five distinct classes:

  1. Tola Yoga Fundamentals  – for beginners or anyone looking to re-learn the basics
  2. Tola Yoga Prime – for intermediate students and strong beginners
  3. Tola Yoga Power – for advanced students and strong intermediates
  4. Tola Yoga Prenatal – for women in all stages of pregnancy
  5. Tola Yoga Stretch & Restore – for all students from beginner-to-advanced

Feel free to email me your questions and to schedule your Tola Yoga private lesson today: info@richtola.com

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

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

Courage Works at the Yoga Workshop (video)

No doubt having Courage brings you to a whole new level in life. As it does with your Yoga practice, not to mention one simple fact that everybody knows…Yoga gives you Courage.

Alright, let’s not state the obvious here, but doing one-armed feathered peacock pose (or Pincha Mayurasana for you Yoga purists) for the first time, well that takes Courage. So Kudos to my students who courageously tried & learned 10 of the most advanced Yoga poses on earth!

Here’s a few pics and a video of me teaching Eka Pada Koundinyasana I & II from our Arm Balancing & Inversion Workshop at Evanston Athletic Club. Have an awesome day! Peace – R

RichTolaYogaWrkshpEACRichTolaYogaWrkshpEAC1

RichTolaYogaWorkshopEACInstagram

 

 

 

 

Oceanside Yoga with Rich Tola

South Beach Part at Barnard Way & Speedway in Santa Monica
South Beach Park located at Barnard Way & Speedway

So you say you ‘used to’ workout
And now your body’s gone astray,
Whatever happened to that waistline
Like the wrinkles that won’t go away,
No worries and no regrets my friend
Because help is there today,
Just get your butt to Santa Monica
And let Tola’s Yoga show you the way!

In honor of National Yoga Month, join me everyday in September for a free 45-min Oceanside class in beautiful Santa Monica.

Classes are from 10:15-11am in South Beach Park at the corner of Barnard Way & Speedway in Santa Monica, CA 90405 – take Marine Street all the way to the ocean, it’s just north of the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

Anyone can do it…no mats or Yoga clothes required.

Have a great Labor Day everyone!

Enjoy – R

You Can Do It

This was the last thing I said to the twenty-something year old subway rider I met on the Red Line in North Hollywood last night. I was returning home from a day at the beach with my friend Sara (a rather impromptu visit, thus my jeans and Calvin’s) when this really large dude started speaking to me.

As soon as this guy sat down he looked over at me and said, “So what’a ya bench 350 pounds or something?” I smiled and said no, and then I asked if he ever tried yoga. I already knew the answer, but it was a way of breaking the ice about his size. He was at least 50 pounds overweight, and after a few facts about yoga I asked if he was trying to lose weight. “Yeah”, at least 50 pounds”, he said, “and I think I know what to eat and all that, like fruits and vegetables and no cakes and fried foods.” Cool, I thought, he’s on the right track. Then I asked if he had 20 minutes every morning to go for a brisk walk. “Walk right out your front door and keep going for exactly 10 minutes, then stop, turn around and walk back”, I said, “and there’s your mile of cardio to start every day.”

“But that’s not the problem”, he said. “I think I can’t lose weight because I drink a lot of beer every day.” Then I asked, “Like what…two six-packs a day?” He answered, “Yeah, that sounds about right”.

Now if you’ve read my sexy new memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, you know I also liked my beverages until I quit 5 years ago. Because 12 drinks a day is a lot of alcohol for any one of any size. And I told this guy so, then I gave him a suggestion. I recommended the following: Take ½ of everything you are going to eat or drink – every single time you eat or drink – for the next 30 days and give it to a homeless person. That’s right – wrap up half your food and half your booze, every day for the next 30 days, and give it to a homeless person. “You’ll be helping them and helping yourself”, I said, “and I bet soon into the 30 days you’ll be eating and drinking a lot less; and I guarantee you’ll lose weight.” Somewhere between 5-10 pounds I surmised, and for the New Year that’s only 3 months away, I told my large friend he should set his sights on 3 beers a day for all of 2013. He just looked at me in disbelief and said, “Wow, wouldn’t that be cool.” Yes it would, which I sincerely reinforced with my final four words of encouragement, “You Can Do It”.

Anyone can, if you STOP feeling sorry for yourself and BELIEVE you can! Get started today with a new attitude and a new look on whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Especially the impossible.

And my special thanks go out to NY and NJ’s “Entertainment Bible since 1988” Steppin’ Out Magazine for featuring my poem on page 32 of their September 26th edition. A little something I wrote to help the ladies differentiate the good guys from the players called, “10 Ways to Avoid a Gigolo”.

Enjoy – Rich