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“Before UP, I had accepted pain as a normal part of my daily life. But in working with the program, I noticed a decrease in neck tension as my abs, along with my upper, middle and lower back were strengthened. This program has enhanced my understanding of movement on a deeper level and making the correct adjustments and changes quickly helps to alleviate any pain. To date, my lower back pain has greatly decreased as I awaken each morning. Now, my mornings are wonderful. The improvement is amazing.”

—Maria Love, (PHD, Licensed Family Therapist)

“To me UP is more than just a class. It is actually UP for me because I wasn’t able to relax and I didn’t know I would be able to do any of the dance stuff, but it’s not that for me. It’s somewhere where I can come and relax and I can also, at the same time, improve my body to make me feel whole.”

—Jessica (Doctorate Student from MUSC)

“From a dancer’s point of view, Ultimate Physicality has helped me to be a stronger dancer overall. I started dancing late and my body was already pretty much to the point where it was going to be so it was harder for me to get that flexibility that I really needed. Working with Ultimate Physicality has allowed me to reach just a little bit further and to take that stretch to where it needs to be. It has helped me to find my center and has made me a stronger dancer overall.”

—Jerri (Dancer)

“Fine Tuning was my quest when I crossed paths with Ultimate Physicality and my experience since has been very exciting. It’s like exploring dark caverns of our bodies. I have enjoyed shedding a new light of awareness into joints, muscles, ligaments and bones. The result is a greater sense of integration within me and my surroundings. This well-being assists me in helping others establish their own. I am grateful to Marka for her depth and understanding of the body and sharing this knowledge with us.”

—Amanda (Teacher of NIA)

“UP for me is therapy, that’s all there is to it. It keeps me sane, it keeps me fit. You don’t come home feeling sore and you’re not tired and you have energy and you just feel good. Nothing can be better than that.”

—Sara (Doctorate student from MUSC)

"As a student of Marka, the concepts of Ultimate Physicality have provided many benefits for being a dancer. The most important being a more correct and efficient way of using the body, not only as a performer but also as an active human being. Ultimate Physicality increases energy levels, provides all around better posture, more confidence, and in the long run will change the shape of your body. This is done through Marka’s unique exercises that teach you how to incorporate all muscle groups and how to properly align your body while you work. She allows you to work at your own speed and according to your needs and body type as she thoroughly explains each exercise. Her positive attitude will motivate you to become a better dancer. Once you gain the knowledge that Marka has to offer, you will be motivated to share it with others in the hopes of them becoming healthier dancers. In our dance history we have encountered many instructors that do not understand what it means to be a technically proficient dancer and that is what Marka affords us with. Her recovery is evidence enough that Ultimate Physicality can help you “rebuild” yourself and in doing so become a cleaner, healthier, stronger and more knowledgeable dancer.”

—2 Students(names withheld by request)

“The first time I heard about Marka was through a customer of mine. She was all praises about Marka’s classes and their benefits and was proudly flexing her muscles to prove it.

Since I was in another one of my phases where guilt about my sedentary life was starting to bother me again, I decided to give it a try. After an hour with her, I was terribly sore, but I was hooked.

Marka is a role model for me because she could have given up after her unfortunate accident and felt sorry for herself. Instead, when I look at her and her accomplishments, I can’t help but feel sorry for myself for not having more willpower to even simply stay fit.

Since taking her classes, I have acquired a new awareness of my body, in the anatomical sense and not in the cosmetic. Of course, vanity is always a great incentive to work out, but, with the years starting to show, I am now more aware of the different muscles and parts of my body, I am now more aware of the different muscles and part of my body that I need to work and stretch in order to stay in shape, if not just function.

You always hear people say, “If you put your mind to it, you can do anything you want.”

Marka is proof of it.”

—Solange (Gemologist)

“After 35 years of tennis and high impact aerobics, my body said “slow down”. Having no intention of giving up exercising, I knew I had to find something that was not so taxing on my body but just as challenging. I did Pilates, Yoga and walking as well as using the machines at the gym.

I still was not satisfied. I needed something to satisfy my competitiveness and improve my self-esteem as well as help my aching back and perifornis muscles. I realized that being able to run and participate in races was important to my self-image. Finally I found Ultimate Physicality and Marka. This was the physical challenge I was looking for. What a challenge!!

I started working with Marka in April of 2003. I attended classes three times a week and worked with her individually once a week. The concentration on posture and core strengthening has improved my total body alignment, overall strength and balance. This program is something that I will do forever as I want to continue to improve and maintain what I have accomplished. My competitiveness is satisfied as I am in an ongoing race with my own body in the effort to achieve more flexibility, better posture and more strength!”

—Jackie (Educator)

Why UP Works for Me!

"It has taught me courage, it has taught me discipline, it’s changed my life. I was afraid to move before I met Marka. I think one of the most important aspects of Ultimate Physicality is its’ non-competitive setting. I believe that in the world we live in, we’re so competitive, and there is such an emphasis on how we physically look and present ourselves, to be in this one setting where you don’t have to think about what somebody else is doing and you can just concentrate on what you’re doing frees you to be able to learn and be able to work to the best of your abilities and capacities.

Do you remember Phys-ed? I do. It was the bane of my existence. Exercise and I were like oil and water. I was told in many languages quite bluntly that I was not appreciated as a teammate. So, at the ripe old age of 47, I gathered together my wounded ego and pristine never-been-touched muscles and dragged them to the gym.

First, there were the machines and the weights and the instructions. And then, I found T’ai Chi which I loved, but then came the Instructions. It was beautiful but I was lost, again. Phrases such as center your weight, move your arms slowly in one direction or another, and transfer your weight to your left leg as your right leg becomes “weightless” did not result in the beauty of this lovely art. But, this recurrent thought kept repeating, But how, But how, But how? I hadn’t a clue how to recreate the movement I saw. I was frustrated, disillusioned and those echoes from long ago gym classes resonated around me. Plodding along, I happened upon Yoga. This was soothing, I felt movement but something still was missing. I remember the last words my instructor said to us on the last day she taught, “change can be good.” And, did things ever change. In came Marka.

It is probably time to tell you a little about myself. I was a bit one sided. My parameters of movement were small. Brought along in this world as a fragile piece of china all precautions were put in place to avoid cracks, fractures and the unthinkable, the “Humpty-Dumpty” outcome. Consequently, I was self- protective, stiff and could not move. I was the yin without the yang. But, I was determined to change this even if it killed me. And I believed it would. The ultimate challenge was in place to change not only body but also spirit. Thankfully, for me, I stumbled in to a program that was ready to take me on.

The flood of information from Marka’s introduction was unnerving. Marka demonstrated the exercises and movements of the method she would teach. The foundations were clear. Core strength was the goal; abs, butt and inner thighs. I looked down at my soft and bulging abs. I thought about my butt. And never having being formally introduced to my inner thigh muscles I believed this was hopeless. At that moment all who were in the class looked at each other in disbelief.

But, the core was multi-tasked. It encompassed a non- competitive environment. Finally, for me, a little bit of “wiggle room.” In truth, it gave me the freedom to try. And last, but really first, it’s all in the Instructions. Marka filled in the missing links. She taught us how to make all of this work. Slowly, learning to work each muscle group to create a series of movements; underscoring every exercise we did was the admonition to do it safely. We learned to judge the differences of pain. Marka may have more eyes than any science fiction writer, to date, has created. She sees through columns. She sees through your clothing. The stress is to constantly work to your own ability. And slowly, you begin to watch yourself and not the person next to you.

This method is not a quick fix to tone up, lose weight and be disease free in 6 weeks or less. You build strength slowly. It is arduous. At times, you wonder if you can walk out of the room. And Marka will tell you that the fight for a healthy body does not end with her. There is cardio-vascular work and diet.

What Marka has to give us does not rest solely in the art of ballet or fitness. But, if your mind and spirit are not open you may just miss the most important lessons she can give you. Marka approaches the world with sympathy and empathy and she is tough. She creates a place for her students to learn without ridicule but with a rigorous work ethic. And she will work harder than you will at times. And you will begin to work harder just to see that smile on her face when she knows you’ve got it."

— Halette (Student)