Melissa Martin is a yoga teacher and the owner of Downdogflow Yoga in Bedford, New Hampshire. I first met Melissa after seeing that she was hosting a workshop that David Vendetti (of South Boston Yoga) was teaching. David is amazing teacher, and Melissa teaches from that same playful and wise spirit. We instantly hit it off. She is kind and genuine, just like you would expect from a yoga teacher. Her cozy space is my go-to place when I want a challenging physical practice that truly demands presence. I always leave grounded and invigorated at the same time. Not only does she teach yoga, but she is also a school teacher for 7th graders. Although we are all teachers in some respect or another, I think school teachers are amazing humans. As you will see from the interview below, Melissa embodies (seriously check out her poses below) what I call Fierce and Feminine.
I am fortunate to say that I have many inspirations in my life. First, my parents Ron and Marcia Manseau who have taught me that hard work and commitment are the key to success. My husband Doug Martin inspires me to keep moving forward to pursue my dreams. My students inspire me on and off my mat to be a better teacher and person. My yoga teacher and mentor David Vendetti who inspires me to use my power to build a community of health and healing. All of these inspirations in my life give me the drive and determination to be a strong community leader so that I can inspire others.
What is your favorite quote?
“Responsibility can never be given it can only be taken” –Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
I believe that if everyone took responsibility for themselves to lead a healthier life to the best of their ability then the world would be a different place.
What is your feminine superpower?
Genuine/honest- what you see is what you get with me. I have always known who I am (still means I have room to grow and discover) I believe that I am honest and genuine with the people who are a part of my life and anyone new that I meet. I always try to let my true colors show through as a teacher and I believe that my students appreciate it.
What does deep nourishment mean to you?
Deep nourishment is the key to health and happiness. I believe that the body, mind, and soul should be nourished and balanced daily. Deep nourishment to me means enough sleep, healthy food, plenty of water, cardio vascular exercise, strength training, flexibility training, some sort of deep tissue restoration, and a few minutes a day of meditation.
What is non-negotiable part of your day?
My run and my yoga practice (these can look different each day but I need them to feel my best) sometimes these are short, lengthy, intense, or restorative.
What books are at your bedside?
Yoga Journal, The places that scare you- Pema Chondron
How do you stay healthy?
Eating Clean, getting enough sleep, cardio exercise (running/walking with dogs) , yoga, Pilates, deep tissue massage or myofascial body rolling massage work, deep breathing/meditation, and spending time with the people I love. My husband, my family and our two Airedales!
What is a simple and nourishing meal that you make often?
Fresh Haddock with lemon slices on top with sea salt and pepper (baked in oven) along with a baked sweet potato, and either sautéed kale in olive oil and garlic or steamed broccoli.
How do you deal with overwhelm or stress?
This is something that I have to continue working on everyday. I would say the most effective way for me is a long walk in the woods (with dogs) and then a good sweaty yoga practice. I always feel much more grounded after each of these things. Sometimes I need to talk to a loved one or friend to figure out the best solution or realize that I need to let go of the situation and that an answer will come when its supposed to.
3 Tips or words of wisdom for other women.
1. Take in what you need so you can give to others.
2. Love yourself and forgive yourself. You are not perfect nobody is…just keep working on you and stay committed to yourself.
3. Be strong, speak your truth, but be willing to compromise and work with others.