Toni Mar

School: UC Berkeley
Department: Physical Ed
Location: Berkeley, CA
Overall Rating
rated by 227 students
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Two weeks into the class, I sprained my ankle playing volleyball. This, of course meant that I couldn't participate physically with the majority of the poses that were taught in class. But this didn't mean I stopped learning yoga. I've been doing what I can to keep learning: visualizing the poses in my mind (extremely hard sometimes but very fun and interesting at the same time), only doing parts of the poses in the sequence, and discovering more about the mental aspect of yoga. And I've grown so much! My ankle is healed now but through the whole process Professor Mar has been super supportive, encouraging and applauding me to engage with the class and to continue developing my yoga practice despite my physical inability to participate in the poses. I really have enjoyed these first couple of weeks so far! I've learned so much about myself and would highly encourage anyone reading this to also take yoga!
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Professor Mar first reviewed the alignment at the beginning of class. I found this useful because it’s helping me make it muscle memory (especially since I can’t exercise right now). Then Professor Mar went over the double curl routine. The different varieties of extension are what can make this exercise less or more challenging. Since COVID-19 has really sucked a lot of energy out of me, I am going to start with the fully folded legs, because I don’t want to injure myself while I am regaining my strength. Hopefully, by the end of the semester, I can almost fully extend my legs! During the single-leg crunches, it’s important to make sure to not be nodding our heads. You should also use your body to check your form. For example, in the single right leg crunch, every time the leg comes in it should align with the right shoulder. Then we did the tuck-to-a-pike exercise. This drill incorporates a very important hamstring stretch. Near the end of class, Professor Mar introduced a combination of the double crunch, layout, tuck, and pike. This is super beneficial for the lower abs. The child’s pose is a great stretch to do at the end of class. You can move your arms to either side to also get side stretches. The roll over stretch is done properly when you tighten the quads.
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I was a lot better at clearing my mind with the meditation session. I was able to clear my mind more and many times it felt like I wasn’t even there. I’m not sure how quite to describe it but it felt very peaceful and almost like an out of body experience while still feeling connected to my whole being. At some points it also felt like I was sleeping from how relaxing it felt. The night before I wasn’t able to sleep because I was stressing over school and personal things and just being able to close my eyes and meditate made me feel much, much better. I feel much more positive about the things I had stressed over and feel very accomplished with my morning. However, I did start to feel some pain in my upper back and tried to breathe into it like you suggested to do with the areas we felt pain or discomfort. The pain didn’t go away completely but it was much more tolerable and I could better enjoy the meditation by doing so. I can definitely see much improvement in the way my body is able to relax and loosen in a way through meditation. I also wanted to mention that since I watched the recording, I wasn’t able to find the video you had posted in the chat for the class to watch in the beginning of the session.
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I took the yoga course and the core course during the summer semester. The remote courses allowed for asynchronous attendance. This was nice when I did not have time to attend the live lectures. I preferred watching the lectures live because the professor would give feedback and it was very motivating. When I chose to do a class asynchronously, I did it at my convenience. At some point during the recorded lecture I would record a short video of myself performing the exercises. Professor Mar would watch the recording and send feedback and encouragement. Her comments let me know she watches the whole videos. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated, but her constant feedback and encouragement really kept me going. Doing both of these classes four days a week really boosted my weekly activity. I lost 15 lb in the 6 weeks. She instructs exercises step by step and focuses on the fundamentals. With good fundamentals as a foundation, I felt strong and confident to achieve difficult poses and exercise. I am an injury prone person, but her attention to proper body alignment and body motion left me injury free and feeling like a well oiled machine. I am so happy with my physical fitness improvement, I am taking two of her yoga classes and two of her core classes in the fall. I want to keep this momentum of good physical activity. I signed up for these two course over summer with two goals in mind: Posture and flexibly. I improved both to levels never achieved before. Outside of these goals I had an improvements in my attitude, sleep, focus and a sense of well being. Her courses focused on both mind and body. Starting my day with yoga and core really is what I now crave. Many other professors teach random stuff that is important like math and physics, but they are worthless if the mind and body are not well. I think her courses are foundational to any education. For this reasons, I think she is the most important professor at UC Berkeley. Her courses should be a graduation requirement. She is my favorite teacher. If you are worried about grading, do not. If you attend and put forth effort, I believe you will get a good grade. I received and A for both classes. Personally I attended synchronously or asynchronously for all the lectures. During each lecture, I put forth effort to do the poses and exercise. I am out of shape, so in the beginning I reached muscle failure and could not maintain the exercises or poses. I could see classmates out performing me. As far a physical fitness level, I would not put my self above average. These courses were most likely not graded on our fitness level, but on the ability to learn and improve. From what I saw, everyone improved. I believe anyone could take these courses and with effort succeed.
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I took Toni's Core Conditioning class during session D. I was taking another class and also interning at the same time. Her 1hr workouts were the highlight of the day. I started to do them during my lunch break and it gave me so much energy to go through the rest of the day. It's amazing how in just six weeks I could see changes both in strength and fitness. I loved the focus on stretching, and the idea of mental toughness. I'm so happy I took her class and got to meet her. I would take the class again 100%.
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I had a six-week class with Professor Mar. It was a great workout and easy to understand. Instructions were clear and concise, and feedback was helpful and to the point. I had done the class both synchronously and asynchronously. Both forms were smooth and easy to do. I would do this class again if I ever get the chance.
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I took a 6 week Core Conditioning summer session with Professor Mar and it was such a fantastic experience! I had to attend the class asynchronously - which I was nervous about -but the way Professor Mar structured the class ensured that I made great progress! She always gave such thoughtful and helpful feedback on my workouts. Although I marked the class as easy, I mean in the sense that Professor Mar is crystal clear when guiding us in workouts, so the material is right there. I actually looked forward to working out! I would definitely recommend taking her class - and I will be taking her in the future!
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I took Toni's Mindfulness & Stress Management course spring 2021. It was an amazing and transformative class. I was able to use the asynchronous recordings during very stressful times throughout the semester. The breathing, meditation, and light stretching truly helped to manage my stress levels. I felt an overall sense of peace that I haven't felt before. I have suffered from anxiety that usually flares up acid reflux and I noticed a huge difference in acid reflux flare-ups during the semester.
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I really enjoyed taking her yoga class! I appreciate how she emphasizes that the journey of yoga is different for everyone and doing your best is all that matters. She was very accommodating for my injuries and told me how I could modify the poses. I learned a lot about myself and improved my ability to handle tough situations through her yoga class. I would definitely recommend taking her classes!
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I took 2 classes with Toni this semester and both were extremely engaging. Even though I came into the classes with a physical fitness background, Toni still was able to teach me so much about how I can better myself. I am very glad I took these classes with Toni and looking forward to take more classes with her in the future!
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I took general conditioning with Toni. Her demonstrations of the exercises were very helpful. Despite the online format, she still was able to notice and inform us of ways to correct our form. She pushed us a lot and I felt really good after finishing a workout. I would recommend her class to anyone considering getting into fitness!
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I just completed Yoga 1 with Toni. While it was definitely not easy, it was not impossible. To see & feel my body beginning to "wake up" was truly an accomplishment given my body size and inactivity. This class inevitably directed me to focus on disciplining multiple sectors of my personal body and mind. I am not the same person, but for for the better! Toni trully instructs Yoga stellarly!
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Toni is a great teacher, she never pushes you further than your body can handle, but doesn't let you off easy either. I wanted to take yoga for the health and mindfulness benefits and I definitely received that throughout the semester. Definitely will be taking another class with her in the future.
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Toni is absolutely amazing!! I took Toni's yoga class, and it was the highlight of my semester. She is a fantastic teacher, and she truly changed the way I view not only my yoga practice but the way I view challenges in everyday life. She encourages us to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable, but is also extremely accommodating and understanding when it comes to injuries and the like. This class definitely helped ease my stress from other classes. I highly recommend taking a class with her before you graduate! You won't regret it!
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She definitely challenged me (which is exactly what I want in a workout class), so if are prepared to work hard and improve your fitness and flexibility then this is a great class for you. There were times when her explanations or demonstrations weren't totally clear but I think a lot of time it was due to the difficulty to communicate over zoom so hopefully this issue will be eliminated in an in person semester. I would definitely recommend taking one of her classes.
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Toni is my favorite physical education instructor ever. I love the way she describes exercises step-by-step in order to help you get into the pose or stretch and how she repeats the instructions every class so you don't feel lost. She is very responsive by email and willing to answer questions for students. Although her classes are physically challenging, there is definite progression and lots of enjoyment in starting my day in her class.
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I’ve grown up to understand yoga through a western lens which only focuses on the physical practice. The way Toni teaches yoga - physical and philosophical - has changed my life. Not because I can do a downward dog or confidently stand in mountain pose, but because she helped me learn self reliance and life skills. If you have never tried yoga before, or you are worried you won’t be flexible enough, do not hesitate to sigh up for vinyasa 1. Toni is an uplifting instructor, even through zoom she creates a space for all bodies to benefit from this beautiful practice. If I was not graduating this semester I would sign up for as many yoga classes, and other classes as I could taught by Toni.
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I love Toni and would recommend her to anyone. She made me feel as though I was getting personal training this semester, and I'm walking out of this class feeling 100% stronger and with more definition in my abs than ever before! She teaches you the fundamentals to make sure you succeed in this class, and to really understand every movement and exercise you're doing. I found this extremely valuable because I can apply these fundamentals to any workout I am doing. Toni is awesome and I would recommend this to anyone looking to become more fitness aware and stronger!
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Toni is an incredible teacher. She is so knowledgable and takes the time to instruct you every detail carefully. I love that she also teaches you how to make sure you are doing things right, and how to correct yourself if not. While she can sometimes sets very high expectations, you know it is for your own good and it is the only actual way to progress. Show up in class, do your best, and you will get the experience out of it!
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Toni is an amazing instructor and does a great job explaining the basics of core strength and yoga. She really makes sure you get a solid foundation and understanding of muscle building that helps you as you continue on your fitness journey. She gives great feedback and is accommodating to special circumstances.

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