Anyone who is in Fort Lauderdale for even the shortest period of time should go out of their way to take advantage of Yogi Mark Roberts' classes at Holiday Park Activity Center. He has been credited with bringing the yoga movement to Fort Lauderdale many years ago and he has a depth of knowledge of the art and science of yoga unheard of in most (if not all) yoga teachers in the U.S. today. The classes are done in a non-competitive, low-keyed atmosphere that emphasizes self-awareness over performance, without strain or forcing yourself to rise to a fixed standard. Classes are comfortable enough for beginners yet will challenge you no matter what level you're on. As the other reviewer stated, he teaches a combination of raja, hatha, and also swara yoga. Participants in the class range from college students, dancers, artists, athletes, and other yoga teachers to professionals of all ages, retirees, and folks who have cured a myriad of conditions, ailments and diseases. If you have even the slightest interest in yoga, self-development, health, well-being, athletic performance, or spirituality, you will benefit, and just one class with YogiMark will rid you of any notions that yoga is all about doing poses and stretching - it's the antidote to the way yoga has become a sport in this country rather than a spiritual practice. You will not only begin training your body physically but you will learn the intention and purpose behind each pose. He also emphasizes how to train yourself mentally to control your body's functions, your immune responses, and your ability to heal and regenerate your organs. Mark provides fascinating information and very focused, gentle instruction, along with an uncompromising refusal to fall into any of the yoga "fads" out there today, some of which are doing more harm than good. Even if you come to town once and attend only one class, it will be worth it for the knowledge and perspective you will gain, not to mention the euphoria and relaxation that are more common than not by the end of class. There are two classes per day, morning and evening, to accommodate different schedules. Fees are kept relatively low to make classes available to more people, with discounts for students & seniors, and the fees are remarkably low for this quality of instruction. YogiMark says that he's not training you to do yoga but to be a yogi. He also says that you can come to his class with an injury and follow all the movements solely in your mind while lying still on the floor, and still get all the benefits as if you'd done everything. I've been attending Mark's classes for about two and a half years. During that time I tried out other teachers and classes in the area and there is no comparison. This is the real thing, and unfortunately it's all too rare, so take advantage whenever you're in town. You will gain a perspective that will enhance any type of yoga practice you are doing back home.
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