METRO FITNESS: When did you start running what were your reasons?
MARK BERGER: I started running about 8 years ago. College got the best of me with eating bad, smoking, and drinking. Shortly out of college, I decided to change my life and running was the vehicle that got me there.
METRO FITNESS: Were you athletic at all before you took up running?
MARK BERGER: I was an anaerobic athlete as a kid. I played everything from soccer, baseball, football, basketball, and sprinted.
VIEW THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE
There is a buzz in Mid-City as yogis and cyclists anticipate the opening of a new fitness concept just around the corner from City Park. It’s called higherpower and it’s a combination indoor cycling and yoga studio.
Co-owners Mark Berger and Brian Baum brought their expertise in fitness, yoga,and cycling together to offer New Orleanians the perfect pairing of intense cardio sessions on indoor bikes with the mental and physical benefits of yoga postures. Their studio will allow students to merge Eastern and Western approaches to physical health.
I met with Mark Berger to discuss this new concept and find out what we can expect from higherpower.
BROOKE BAILEY: Many Yoga Lagniappe readers may know you from the Yoga Speakeasy events that you co-lead with Janae Holmes. You’ve been getting more and more involved in the local yoga community over the past couple of years. What sparked the idea to fuse yoga with cycling in a studio setting?
MARK BERGER: In the past 5 years indoor cycling studios, like Soul Cycle and Flywheel Sports, have been popping up around the country. They’ve had great success getting clients, from the general fitness enthusiast to competitive athletes, involved with challenging routines that combine fun music with light shows. There was nothing like this in New Orleans. And so having been in both the cycling and the triathlon world, it is a unique concept that we’re familiar with and can bring to NOLA.
I’ve been doing yoga for about 6 years. Over the past 2 years my practice has really evolved and I have made yoga one of my main priorities. Yoga keeps me strong, fit, and healthy for endurance running and helps me develop a practice to deal with the stresses of a busy life. I saw how much yoga benefited me and really wanted to bring it to other yogis, athletes, and the rest of NOLA to show how beneficial yoga is for everyone.
My love for cardio endurance and yoga made it easy to disciplines represented separately, as well as fused together in studio classes.