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Yoga Expert Richard Cosola Offers A Holistic Path To Better Health

wellington | health

Story by Craig Campbell • Photos by Jack Lowenstein

Richard Cosola has been a resident of Wellington for 20 years, and in that time, he has made a name for himself in the world of yoga, both here in the western communities and across South Florida. Cosola first become involved in yoga for emotional, rather than physical, wellness. It has been 11 years since his son, Michael, passed away suddenly at the age of 22. His wife and daughter were both devastated, and Cosola struggled to deal with his own grief. “My system was shocked, and I experienced major anxiety, which we now call PTSD,” Cosola said. Facing a regimen of prescription drugs, he sought out an alternative. Cosola feels he was emotionally healed by his practice of yoga. “I started the bereavement group at St. Rita Catholic Church, and I learned how many people out there are very sad,” he explained. “They’re carrying around a lot of burdens and excess baggage.” Cosola wanted to share his experiences and practices with people, and see if what helped him could help them. So, he started Yogachi USA. “I tell my clients, ‘I want you to be flexible until you’re 95.’ I want people to get out of their chair, go do something and be flexible,” he said. What Cosola offers is more than just yoga instruction. He also focuses his attention on nutrition. The vegetables and herbs from his home-grown garden are a significant portion of the Mediterranean diet he practices himself, and en-

courages others to emulate. “It’s the best for lifelong wellness,” he said. Cosola feels that yoga and a healthy diet are the major reasons why his wife of nearly 40 years is thriving, even though Randi suffers from multiple sclerosis. They enjoy spending time with their daughter Debra, son-in-law Jason and granddaughter Evie. The Cosolas have lived in Wellington’s Coventry Green neighborhood for 20 years in a newly remodeled and redecorated 2,300-square-foot townhome. “My wife is a fantastic decorator,” Cosola said. Upon reflection, Cosola said he is busy with teaching yoga six days a week. “Sundays are for cooking, eating and spending time with your family and friends,” he explained. He is an instructor at LA Fitness three days a week, he is at the Wellington’s Edge clubhouse two days a week and typically sees private clients one day a week. “My favorite place to teach is Wellington’s Edge,” he said. The LA Fitness classes have about 40 students, but he prefers smaller groups or one-on-one sessions. “In those large classes, it’s impossible for teachers to focus on the individual,” he said. Cosola likes to get to know his clients and understand what their life is all about, so he can offer them the best instruction possible. He helps people with all kinds of disabilities and illnesses, including neurological diseases, people with chronic pain, patients suffering from fibromyalgia, and those with back injuries and sciatica. Cosola can also work with someone who is wheelchair bound, and he has done some teaching in a pool. Aqua yoga

will be an aspect of the practice that he expects will soon become popular. He also does work with athletes, and in Wellington that means equestrians looking to become more flexible. Cosola was once a professional baseball player and did some boxing in his younger days, so he understands what athletes are looking for. “Athletes want three things: power, speed and flexibility. When they have all three, they become a very effective person,” he explained, noting that flexibility is the most important thing to have and that he is in better shape now than he was in his 20s. He also has clients from the corporate world who are looking for a place to de-stress. Apart from the physical benefits, Cosola helps clients improve their mental ability to focus, which benefits them in their career. “I have them get in the ‘quiet’ position at the end of a session, have them focus on all of the good things in their life and encourage them to let go of fear and anxiety,” Cosola said. What is most important for him is to have mutual communication with a client, and especially to connect with their sense of humor. For more information, call (561) 2827450, e-mail yoga@yogachiusa.com or visit www.yogachiusa.com. wellington the magazine | december 2017

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Wellington The Magazine December 2017  

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