Crown City Magazine - May 2020

Page 24


With a total of 90 years of yoga experience between the two of them, Linda and Jean Pierre Marques know a thing or two about longevity. Both were at the forefront of their relative teaching practices and now sparkle with the wisdom that can only come from a rich tapestry of experience working with thousands of students and clients from all over the world. Their secret? The constant pursuit of balance between mind, body and spirit. Jean Pierre was born in North Africa, raised in France, and moved to Los Angeles in 1972, where he opened the Institute of Mind and Body Development in Beverly Hills three years later. The studio, one of only two teaching yoga in the area at the time, was groundbreaking in the Western world as it cultivated a balance of the physical and spiritual for achieving overall wellness. “People would say, ‘are you crazy?! Why??’,” remembered Jean Pierre. “It was so foreign to people back then,” he said. At that point, he explained, spirituality hadn’t quite made it to the mainstream in the United States, especially in the realm of fitness studios. But he stuck to what he was good at, and soon built an exceptionally dedicated and fulfilled following. A few years later, also in Los Angeles, Linda Marques had graduated from USC with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in physiology and was pioneering her own way in a different arena of the health and fitness world. She was a leading instructor at a 1980s fitness studio called Sweat Shop, where leotard and leg-warmer-clad aerobics fanatics flocked. She was also one of the first master instructors for Spinning when the indoor cycling craze took flight. In 1986, Linda was looking for space to rent so she could start her own studio when she met “this adorable French guy” and signed a lease to teach out of his wellness center. The two became great friends and he introduced her to yoga and martial arts. A departure from aerobics and spinning, Linda explained, “It was this practice that wasn’t just physical. It was about the total mind, body and spirit and I loved it.” Jean Pierre specifically practiced Kitaido yoga, which balances posture, breathing and meditation. She was also taken by the inclusivity of the practice. “Everyone who came to the yoga studio had their own unique reason for being there, but no one felt left out. Anyone who came left feeling good.” She’s now a master level Kitaido yoga Instructor with a Yoga Alliance certification, a tai chi instructor, and a second degree black belt in Karate. In 1989 the couple moved to Tucson, Arizona to work at the renowned Canyon Ranch Resort. 22



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