Today’s guest Mark Hunter took a long road to teaching yoga, including almost 3 decades of working in (and instructing) massage and remedial therapy. He has been passionate about fascia since long before it was mainstream. He shares this passion with his students, many of whom are over 60 years old, in group classes, one-on-ones, and senior’s balance sessions.
Whether you’ve thought about it or not, we are all aging. So in this episode, Mark and host Rachel explore what we can learn about aging from working with older adults. Mark shares his key areas for focus, including soft-tissue mobility, balance and coordination, and better breathing. He also reminds us of the (perhaps underestimated) power of using community and camaraderie to give students the courage to explore new challenges and new movement patterns.
Listen in as Mark shares what he has learned about himself while working with older adults and how that shapes the wellness practices he prioritizes today.
“You can’t go wrong if you’re paying attention to the people in front of you and responding accordingly.” – Mark Hunter
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“The microcosm of the yoga room can reflect the macrocosm of our outside world.” – Mark Hunter
- Mark Hunter’s back story [3:22]
- Learning from “the godfather of fascia” Dr. Robert Schleip [7:09]
- Shifting from massage therapist and yoga student to teacher [8:25]
- Grappling with the philosophical side of yoga [11:24]
- Bringing a therapeutic approach to teaching [13:18]
- Breaking down stereotypes of older yoga students [17:45]
- Key areas of focus when teaching older students [20:56]
- How our fascia changes as we age [23:32]
- Fun ways to challenge coordination in yoga classes for older students [28:26]
- Relating balance work to real-life obstacles to prevent falls [30:40]
- Cognitive ability is associated with one-legged balance in mid and later life [33:17]
- The importance of community connection as we age [36:09]
- Breath mechanics, the relationship with posture, and application during life stressors [38:27]
- Breathing with ease: the three pillars of breath and noticing the pause [46:24]
- Lessons learned from working with older adults: the power of “little and often” [50:16]
- Bringing yoga into daily life by emphasizing functionality over form [53:25]
- Watch this episode on YouTube
- Yoga Medicine Online Guest Teacher
- Joanna M Blodgett, PhD, Rachel Cooper, PhD, Daniel H J Davis, PhD, MRCP, Diana Kuh, PhD, Rebecca Hardy, PhD: Associations of Word Memory, Verbal Fluency, Processing Speed, and Crystallized Cognitive Ability With One-Legged Balance Performance in Mid- and Later Life, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 77, Issue 4, April 2022
- Connect with Mark Hunter:
“Yoga is probably the best thing you can do for fascia.” – Mark Hunter