Mark Blanchard

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Qualifications: 30-year veteran of yoga practice. Studied under India's Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, father of the modern Ashtanga Movement.

Personal History: I first discovered yoga at the request of my orthopedic surgeon to attend a class in New York after suffering from several knee and shoulder injuries. Yoga, my doctor said, would help my body rehabilitate from the damages caused by sports injuries. I was literally hooked after the first downward dog at Norman Allens studio in Manhattan. I watched this lean little yogi bend into powerful poses while maintaining the most serene expression. I have practiced yoga every day of my life since and opened up my first studio in 1993. Today, my DVDs are practiced in over 70 countries around the world.

Workout Philosophy: I believe in the truest form of yoga - one that is practiced without levels, props, or music. I encourage my students to practice at their own ability and come to the mat everyday with an open mind.

Success Story: A 52-year old male was an old fitness buff from the 80's and 90's. He had let himself go at the turn of the millennium, but, in 2004, was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. To make a long story short, the doctors got rid of the cancer, but it was been a slow road to rebuilding health and stamina. He worked out with a Progressive Power Yoga DVD for six months. Bottom line: it worked for him. In two months, his body was transformed from an exhausted, stooped-over, chemo-ridden 'old man' to the 'man' I haven't seen in 15 years. He credits my emphasis on never striving to achieve the next level and only doing what he can with his success. He says he does it 'softly' and then just waits. His body unfolds like a flower. Cancer is a brutal beast, but he feels my program has helped him pull a few of its teeth.


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