Fitness has always been a part of Tova's life, but she's never been one for the traditional take on a fit lifestyle. The 36-year-old from the Chicago area didn't do organized sports growing up, instead preferring to work out on her own, and instead of using the fitness machines in gyms for their directed purposes, she uses them for made-up stretches, according to Cosmopolitan.
So it's only natural that when she took up yoga, she would choose to go at it in a way very different from most. After all, why use a mat when you can use a wall, or a counter, or any other surface that piques your interest?
"I like to experiment with things in my surroundings and play with them," she said. "It's something that can really advance the backbend, lets me play with transitions [between poses], and strengthen different areas of the body. Walls can make you go further if you’re super advanced already."
The great thing about Tova's wall-practice is the range it offers. You don't have to be extra-advanced to start training on a wall, but you can ramp it up as your strength and flexibility grows to hopefully someday reach levels of awe-inspiring poses like Tova.
And before you start thinking it's too late for you to get started, Tova didn't discover yoga until graduate school when her chirporactor recommended she join his yoga club. She didn't really get started with it until after the birth of her second daughter just four years ago.
For Tova, it's all about balance in her practice, and her reasoning makes the most perfect sense.
"Too much flexibility isn't stable, and too much strength leaves you more prone to injury," she explained.
Despite how crazy some of her posts on Instagram seem (where she's already garnered a following of over 83,000 at the time of this posting), she isn't all that into taking big risks.
"I've gotten into some precarious positions and fallen on my head, but I don't take crazy risks like posing on cliffs," she said. "I really don't push myself toward specific goals, because it's when you're blinded by the goal of doing a split or a handstand or a back bend that you end up getting injured. I take it slow and listen to my body, and I respect my body when it tells me to back off."
Even her daughters have picked up on the bug and are excited to start gymnastics classes.
"But they're so used to seeing me practice that they'll look up and say, 'Wow Mommy, you're so strong!' and go right back to playing," Tova said.
We love how much she inspires those around her and is instilling healthy values in her family from such a young age. We're just saying, if she wanted to teach us a few of her moves to get us started, maybe we'll be doing splits on weight machines in four years' time, too!