Core Training for Boomers

In Core Training for Boomers, Marko Kowalski coaches Pat Gardner (l) and Marilyn Axtell (r). Photo by Anne E. O’Malley

by Anne E. O’Malley

Spending an hour in Core Fitness for Boomers class with Marko Kowalski is like zizzing around the globe, as pithy remarks and quotes from leading scientific and medical sources, balanced with ancient Chinese and Japanese proverbs tumble from his lips. And always, always, there is his admonishment to “listen to what your body tells you; if it’s painful, stop.”

From a Harvard study, students learn that the body recreates two to three billion cells regularly, that we shed them regularly and can “throw away” the dead stuff; that we cannot pick a flower without affecting the constellations, and more. He’s got 42 years of physical training and a seemingly unlimited database of applicable information that he weaves into his classes.

Marko Kowalski

Marko Kowalski teaches TRI-Hara Holistic Fitness. Photo by Anne E. O’Malley

In all of his TRI-Hara Holistic Fitness classes — Core Training for Boomers is but one — Kowalski brings influence from each discipline he has learned over the years — yoga, tai chi, meditation, karate, aikido, shintaido, and laughing yoga.

Kowalski explains TRI-Hara this way. “It stands for Trust, Release and Integrate, while ‘hara’ is the stomach, the place where energy originates from.”

Kowalski’s path to founding TRI-Hara began as a pre-adolescent growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“It was a tough neighborhood,” says Kowalski, retaining the slightest hint of a New Jersey accent. “I initially started karate and judo to learn to defend myself, because I would get beat up. I used to fight a lot when I was a kid.

Paving the path toward TRI-Hara, was gradual, through the practice of yoga, tai chi and meditation. Teaching came naturally, from leading 30 kids in sessions when he was only a kid himself, with a brown belt in karate — now it’s black.

“I think I was born to be a teacher,” says Kowalski.

“I was learning at a very young age to teach