October Yogi of the Month: Valerie Martelli

Valerie originally came to All That Matters looking for a sense of community after working in an office for 35 years. What she found was so much more- the life-changing practice of yoga!

What attracted you to yoga?  Why did you start?

I was looking for a beneficial activity to replace some of the hours that I had formerly spent at my office.  I had worked the 9 - 5 for 35 years and after selling my business, found that I missed a community atmosphere and the camaraderie of working with people.  The All That Matters environment fit perfectly.

What is your favorite type or style of yoga?

My favorite type of yoga varies between Vinyasa and Basic, depending on the way my body/mind feels that day.

What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

My favorite pose is downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) because it engages the entire body.  It feels wonderful to stretch the spine, legs, arms, and neck.  It also is very strengthening.

What keeps you doing yoga?

I love the practice of yoga.  I keep coming to it because it is my time to not have stress or distractions or feel judged.  I feel the wisdom of the teachers and I want to continually deepen my practice through and with them.

What other activities do you enjoy?

Other activities I engage in include gardening, reading, going to the beach and being with my family, especially my husband and three grandchildren.

Favorite food?

I enjoy all kinds of food.  If I had to pick one it would be avocados.  They are delicious sliced in a salad with balsamic dressing, a great substitute for mayonnaise or simply on their own.  Also, they are a great source of potassium, fiber, and the good kind of fat.

An inspiring book or movie you recommend?

A most inspiring book is “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.  This is a true story of a World War II soldier who showed unbelievable resilience during his captivity and eventual freedom.

Favorite place to be?

My favorite place to be is anywhere that is sunny and warm.  Going to any beach is wonderful - the air is refreshing and walks can be very meditative and healthy.

What do you like most about All That Matters?

What I like most is the feeling of community, spirit, and the fabulous teachers.

Advice to beginners?

Start slow, build a good foundation, listen to your teachers’ instructions and just embrace the feeling of Yoga.  Know that it is a continuous learning practice.

Any other words of wisdom?

What is that phrase?  “Come to Yoga three times a week and change your body, come five times and change your life”.