An ancient tradition that originated in India, yoga has now become a trend of western culture. Though it is tempting to brand yourself as a yoga aficionado after just one or two classes at your local gym; some people, like Rocky Heron, devote their entire lives to this practice.

As the founder of Yoga with Rocky, Heron’s goal is to touch many lives through his transformative program.

“My mission is to connect with other people on this journey of conscious expansion — to study, learn, practice, and share the tools that help make life the enjoyable and exhilarating experience that I know it can be when we are connected with ourselves. It feels good to play a role in that process for people. It is part of what makes my life enjoyable,” said Heron. 

Initially, Heron planned to pursue a career in acting. But life’s path took quite the turn when he took his first yoga class. From the fast-paced world of theater to the peaceful world of yoga, Heron now teaches full-time. But it’s an understandable switch: both the performing arts and fitness use the body as a powerful medium.

Heron advocates for people to incorporate yoga into their lives for myriad reasons.

“It teaches me how to practice the art of doing anything well, including how to live my life. Curiosity, discipline, study, effort, knowledge, playfulness, commitment and focus are all required and cultivated through the practice of yoga, all of which are required to carry out any task with skill,” he said. “I find yoga extremely practical in that way. It’s also really fun and makes you feel amazing.” But apart from fitness, Heron’s sparkling personality is seen through the multitude of other activities he engages in.

“I’m also a singer/songwriter, so playing and singing with my guitar really is so enjoyable for me,” he said. “When I’m not teaching, I can usually be found swimming in whatever river I can find, eating Thai food, surprising someone with an unexpected card trick, or laughing with friends. A perfect day for me would involve all of those things.”

As Heron continues this enriching journey of helping others gain peace, we can take some of his wise words into account when we rise each day. He said, “The chance to witness more of my desires coming into manifest, many of which are about my life, the planet, and the people who I care about is why I rise. I’m motivated when I consider the incredible people that I’m fortunate to teach and practice with, many of whom would be quite disappointed if I slept through my alarm.”

by Rini Sampath

Ehrgott’s photography evokes feelings of calm and peace. No wonder she chose to
title her Tumblr, where she displays the majority of her work,”Stillness.” The vintage
finish of her images — complete with light leaks and faded textures — make it hard
to look away. She captures the joy of surfing and the great outdoors through
breathtaking shots of gentle waves and the open water.

But Ehrgott isn’t only behind the camera. She’s in front of it, too. Her versatility as a
surfer, photographer and a model makes her the next Rise Bar High Riser.

Ehrgott’s passion for surfing began before she even finished elementary school. She
credits her background growing up in the scenic area of Topanga Canyon for her
growth as a person. She also had the chance to escape California and experience
other countries, thanks to her Welsh background.

“My mom is Welsh so we spent most summers in Wales and England with her family.
I’m lucky I got to travel a lot as a kid, something that’s become a huge part of my life
now,” she said.

Ehrgott looks up to Nat Young and Joel Tudor, two surfing icons, for their style in the
water.

“I can watch endless clips of Nat Young surfing in the late 60s. Joel Tudor paved a
path for surfing I wouldn’t be on had he not influenced logging the way he did.”
Ehrgott loves to fuel up with an Apricot Goji Rise Bar before and after her sessions in
the water.

“I always keep a bar in my car because I tend to make decisions last minute and end
up camping somewhere several hours away more often then I stay at home. Rise
Bars definitely saved the day in that respect. I also love having a few around for
friends to try.”

When Natalie Duran began college, she was warned of the awful “Freshman 15.” With the temptation of junk food and endless dining hall buffets at every corner, she knew she needed a way to stay fit. Otherwise, the Freshman 15 would get the best of her. But Duran didn’t devote her energy to the traditional weight-lifting or treadmill-running regimen of most college students. She decided to rock climb.

“One day I was given a free day pass to a local rock climbing gym. I brought five of my closest friends, and spent a whopping two hours attempting to scale a wall that seemed like a skyscraper,” said Duran.

Duran quickly learned that rock climbing was no easy feat.

She said, “I exited their doors with peeled skin, sore forearms and a sore butt. Later that night I couldn’t eat hot food or brush my teeth. This was due to my lack of pinch strength to open up the microwave, or squeeze toothpaste on my toothbrush. I was so sore, but I liked it.”

Soon enough, Duran’s day trip with friends developed into a passion that allowed her to meet new people and create new memories. Duran has been rock climbing for over four years now, and shares her experiences in both an online blog and successful YouTube channel . Most recently, Duran competed on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.

“When we climb on a boulder, or summit a mountain we have a temporary escape from the modern pressures of our world. For a brief moment, we are allowed to break free of any tunneled path we are designated to take,” Duran said. “I love this sport because it allows me to be a part of the natural landscape. I get to experience the wilderness in ways I never knew possible”.

“I love you climbing, you’re the best non-human boyfriend ever,” says Duran.

Some of Duran’s climbing projects include topping out on a climb called John Bachar Face Memorial Project located in Joshua Tree  National Park. Duran recalled the difficulty of this particular climb, describing how the sharpness of the holds sliced her finger tips until they bled.

“I tried to finish this boulder on 7 separate occasions each involving 10 or so attempts. Even though this boulder caused my physical pain, I still went back for more. Finally one Wednesday afternoon I drove straight to Joshua Tree after my Neurocognitive class,” she said. “I drove alone and carried three crashpads with me. I was so proud that I was able to accomplish this boulder project all on my own without any help or support.”

Duran finds inspiration from climbing legends such as Royal Robbins and John Long. Robbins developed environmentally-friendly climbing methods. Robbins discouraged the use of pitons,

which are hammered into cracks in the side of the mountain in order to prevent climbers from falling. He created the nut, an easily-removable medal wedge that served the same function as a piton, but did not harm did not harm the integrity of the landscape.

“I always think we are a guest when we step into nature. It is important to preserve it in every way possible,” she said. 

As Duran climbs her way to the top, Rise Bar is incredibly excited to play a role in her journey. Her favorite bar? The Crunchy Cashew Almond, because of its moist texture and crunchiness.

“I will eat this bar during the morning, afternoon, or night. Any time is a crunchy cashew almond bar time,” she said.

These days, Duran is back in college as a research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles. She aspires to attend medical school one day. But at least this time around, Duran doesn’t have to worry about the Freshman 15, because it looks like she’s got her health in check.

She said, “My daily routine is work, study, then climb time! No matter how stress introduces its ugly face, climbing is always there to help me get back into a balanced happy life. Active mind and active body is my goal to euphoria!”

Hana Yoga Studio is the brainchild of California native, Eliza Darling. The spacious facility,
just a few minutes from the stunning waves of Hamoa beach and the Waioka pool, attracts plenty
of yoga enthusiasts.

"Yoga is a daily reminder to live mindfully and with purpose. It teaches me to believe
that anything really is possible," Darling said. "It requires me to slow down and listen, it
asks me to put my best foot forward and to make the most of life."

It’s evident that Darling possesses a passion for her craft that is unmatched; this is the
reason Darling is Rise Bar’s latest High Riser.

She said, "I practice yoga to center myself,
to create balance, and to commit to a connection between by body, mind and breath.
My students give me a greater purpose to further my yoga practice so that I can pass it
on to them. Their seemingly rapid progression keeps me on my toes and requires me
to always evolve, to live and let live."

Besides yoga, Darling makes the most of her Hawaiian surroundings: She loves to
explore the jungles, swim in the freshwater ponds and bask in the sun at the beach.
And while engaging in these activities, she loves capturing the moments and posting
them to Instagram. Her incredible photos have garnered an impressive online following
of over 11K followers; her picturesque shots of yoga poses receive nearly 1000 likes
per image.

But the story behind her Instagram endeavor is quite the funny one.
"This must sound ridiculous, but when I started posting to Instagram, I thought it was
just an app to change the filter on my photos," Darling said. "Soon strangers began to
"like" and comment on my pictures, and I realized there was an incredibly large and
inspiring yoga community connected to each other though social media."

Darling has an array of challenging yoga positions that she encourages her clients to
try. Though they are difficult to master, Darling believes the persistence will pay off in
the end.

"Inversions are some of my favorite yoga asanas because you will fall if you are
anywhere but in the present moment," she said. "You must focus on every muscle in
your body, from your fingers to your toes, and activate your body entirely and trust your
mind completely. Confidence is essential to getting and staying upside down."
For just $90 a month, visitors can drop by for an unlimited number of sessions at
Darling’s yoga studio. Or if they’re in the mood for a one-time pick-me-up, she offers
sessions for just $10 each.

Unsure if her studio is for you? Think about it this way — with a name like Eliza Darling,
you know she’s bound to give you a great yoga experience.

Find Darling at her studio www.hanayogastudio.com.

Ehrgott’s photography evokes feelings of calm and peace. No wonder she chose to title her Tumblr, where she displays the majority of her work,”Stillness.” The vintage finish of her images — complete with light leaks and faded textures — make it hard to look away. She captures the joy of surfing and the great outdoors through breathtaking shots of gentle waves and the open water.

But Ehrgott isn’t only behind the camera. She’s in front of it, too. Her versatility as a surfer, photographer and a model makes her the next Rise Bar High Riser.

Ehrgott’s passion for surfing began before she even finished elementary school. She credits her background growing up in the scenic area of Topanga Canyon for her growth as a person. She also had the chance to escape California and experience other countries, thanks to her Welsh background.

“My mom is Welsh so we spent most summers in Wales and England with her family. I’m lucky I got to travel a lot as a kid, something that’s become a huge part of my life now,” she said.

Ehrgott looks up to Nat Young and Joel Tudor, two surfing icons, for their style in the water.

“I can watch endless clips of Nat Young surfing in the late 60s. Joel Tudor paved a path for surfing I wouldn’t be on had he not influenced logging the way he did.”Ehrgott loves to fuel up with an Apricot Goji Rise Bar before and after her sessions in the water.

“I always keep a bar in my car because I tend to make decisions last minute and end up camping somewhere several hours away more often then I stay at home. Rise Bars definitely saved the day in that respect. I also love having a few around for friends to try.”

by Rini Sampath

Hana Yoga Studio is the brainchild of California native, Eliza Darling. The spacious
facility, just a few minutes from the stunning waves of Hamoa beach and the Waioka
pool, attracts plenty of yoga enthusiasts.

"Yoga is a daily reminder to live mindfully and with purpose. It teaches me to believe
that anything really is possible," Darling said. "It requires me to slow down and listen, it
asks me to put my best foot forward and to make the most of life."

It’s evident that Darling possesses a passion for her craft that is unmatched; this is the
reason Darling is Rise Bar’s latest High Riser.

She said, "I practice yoga to center myself,
to create balance, and to commit to a connection between by body, mind and breath.
My students give me a greater purpose to further my yoga practice so that I can pass it
on to them. Their seemingly rapid progression keeps me on my toes and requires me
to always evolve, to live and let live."

Besides yoga, Darling makes the most of her Hawaiian surroundings: She loves to
explore the jungles, swim in the freshwater ponds and bask in the sun at the beach.
And while engaging in these activities, she loves capturing the moments and posting
them to Instagram. Her incredible photos have garnered an impressive online following
of over 11K followers; her picturesque shots of yoga poses receive nearly 1000 likes
per image.

But the story behind her Instagram endeavor is quite the funny one.
"This must sound ridiculous, but when I started posting to Instagram, I thought it was
just an app to change the filter on my photos," Darling said. "Soon strangers began to
"like" and comment on my pictures, and I realized there was an incredibly large and
inspiring yoga community connected to each other though social media."

Darling has an array of challenging yoga positions that she encourages her clients to
try. Though they are difficult to master, Darling believes the persistence will pay off in
the end.

"Inversions are some of my favorite yoga asanas because you will fall if you are
anywhere but in the present moment," she said. "You must focus on every muscle in
your body, from your fingers to your toes, and activate your body entirely and trust your
mind completely. Confidence is essential to getting and staying upside down."
For just $90 a month, visitors can drop by for an unlimited number of sessions at
Darling’s yoga studio. Or if they’re in the mood for a one-time pick-me-up, she offers
sessions for just $10 each.

Unsure if her studio is for you? Think about it this way — with a name like Eliza Darling,
you know she’s bound to give you a great yoga experience.

Find Darling on Instagram @yogalovingypsy or at her studio www.hanayogastudio.com.

Click on a picture to see full-size.








Summer Ping Pong Showdown @ Whole Foods Market Tustin

On August 23rd the Rise Bar Team put on their game faces and rallied over to the local Whole Foods Market in Tustin, CA for a good old-fashioned Ping Pong Showdown. At Rise Bar we like to keep things interesting and exciting, so along with our bars we brought over our custom-made ping pong table, Rise Bar t-shirts, and ping pong gear to turn our product demonstration up a notch. Team Members at Whole Foods graciously helped us get the games started by organizing into “official” game time slots. There was also plenty of open rally time in between for customers of all ages. Overall, we had an excellent turnout—Whole Foods Team Members even came back to play on their breaks.

So ping pong might not be your thing, at Rise Bar we understand that too, which is why you didn’t have to play to participate. Bystanders had the option of watching the games or entering into a raffle for mystery prizes, including Rise Bar tote bags, water bottles, and of course there was no shortage of Rise Bars. We even leaked some of the new Rise Bar flavor prototypes.

Be on the lookout for future Ping Pong Showdown demonstrations at your local Whole Foods Market, where you can cheer on your favorite Whole Foods Team members and enter to win great prizes. Get your game face on, and we’ll see you at the next Showdown!

Click on a picture to see full-size.

Rise Bar’s new Sunflower Cinnamon bar contains sunflowers and plant based pea protein for a great flavor and 15g of protein, and is completely vegan.

Free of: Gluten, Preservatives, GMOs, Dairy, Soy, Peanuts + Kosher

Rise Bar’s new Lemon Cashew bar provides a tasty vegan option to our core Protein+ line, while still delivering 15g of protein in only four ingredients!

Free of: Gluten, Preservatives, GMOs, Soy, Peanuts + Kosher

A Conversation with High Riser Brad Haag

by Rini Sampath

Running a marathon is a feat in and of itself. Weeks of training. Careful dieting
and grueling exercise. Pain, sweat and numerous hours spent preparing. But
anyone who has completed a triathlon can agree triathlons are in a league of
their own. Brad Haag is not only a seasoned triathlete, but also a triathlon
coach and personal trainer offering his triathlon expertise to others.
“Triathlons are an incredible experience because it’s essentially three sporting
events in one. When you’re toeing the line of an open water swim, emotions
are high. Even the professionals feel nervous before a race,” said Haag.
It comes as no surprise that Haag, an avid sportsman from his youth, has
decided to devote his life to others.

“What I enjoy most about coaching is putting together what I call the puzzle
pieces to help athletes meet their goals,” said Haag. “Many pieces might not fit
at first but over time, the pieces start to fall into place. Once I start to see what
really works for a certain athlete, major leaps can be made.”

A lesser known fact about Haag, however, is his remarkable background
serving our nation: After high school, Haag joined the United States Navy.
Perhaps it is this military background that has brought a sense of maturity to
Haag well beyond his years.

“I’ve always had the motto that the best leaders lead from the front. Meaning
instead of being that coach that says, ‘Go do this and don’t ask questions’, I like
to [participate] in the training with my athletes,” said Haag. “When I was
leading fitness groups in the Navy I would always be leading the group run
from the front. Now I lead from the pool deck, side of the track, or with my
athletes on a bike ride.”

As this year comes to an end and 2014 begins, Haag has set some great
personal goals. Apart from coaching his athletes, He plans to complete his first
Ironman in under 10 hours, is hoping to qualify for the 70.3 world
championships in Mont-Tremblant, Canada and is looking to take first place at
a few local Olympic distance triathlons.

In order to meet fulfill these objectives, Haag surrounds himself with his
supportive family and friends. For others with similar aspirations looking for
some daily inspiration, Haag suggests listening to sports and entrepreneurship
podcasts. He also notes the importance of getting out and soaking in the sun.
“Seeing the sun in the morning gives me the motivation to get outside and
train. Even if it’s a recovery day I try and spend as much time in the sun as
possible. Only when it’s overcast or raining outside to have to dig me for some
motivation, in which case just remember that I love training. Typically if my
motivation is really low that’s my body telling me its needs rest.”

Keep on rising, Brad Haag! We thank you and other American heroes for doing
so much for our nation.