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Life and Work with Claire Petretti Marti

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claire Petretti Marti.

Claire, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I like to say I was a yoga teacher who loved to write and now I’m a writer who loves to teach yoga. I’ve been teaching yoga since 2006 and the experience changed my life. In 2010, I went through Stage 2 breast cancer and began teaching yoga for cancer survivors, created a DVD, Yoga for Cancer Recovery, and published a memoir documenting my journey called Come Ride with Me Along the Big C. Today, I work with private clients, teach public classes in North County San Diego, and teach online yoga for an international website called YogaDownload.com.

After navigating cancer and kicking its butt, I grew serious about pursuing my dreams to write fiction and create stories with happy endings. In 2017, the first two novels in my Finding Forever in Laguna series were published and the third book in the series will be released August 29, 2018. Romance is the genre of hope and to me, hope is vital in staying happy and healthy. Every relationship is a learning experience and we grow through the positive and negative journeys. Love sharing stories of strong, smart, passionate people who need to overcome challenges and take risks to find their happily ever after.

I recently finished the first book in a new series set in Rancho Santa Fe and a few literary agents are reading it now. Fingers crossed. Writing and yoga are my two main passions and I am grateful to be living this life.

Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth is not the word I would choose. I’d say my life has been characterized by two words: bitter and sweet. Let’s just say it’s been a wild rollercoaster ride, but I’ve found a balance now and feel I’m exactly where I am supposed to be. My career began as a litigation attorney, but I ran away for three years because I wanted to use my skills to create and make the world a better place. After the law, I worked in outside sales and business development, ran a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress, and eventually found yoga.

I quit corporate America in 2009 and was on my way building a yoga and Pilates business, writing wellness and yoga articles, was going to film online yoga classes for an international company, and I’d planned my first yoga and surf retreat to Nicaragua. Then I found a lump. 2010 was consumed with cancer treatment, but I came out on the other side with a shift in perspective. Working with other cancer survivors is incredibly rewarding.

I also helped found Yoga for Hope with the City of Hope, a huge yoga fundraiser to raise money and awareness for cancer, Aids/Hiv, and Diabetes. For 7 years we held the event downtown, the last 4 at Petco Park.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your business – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
In terms of my writing career, I’m proud I found a traditional publisher for my first romance novel series, Finding Forever in Laguna. They are fun beach reads, but also deal with real issues we all face. Sunset in Laguna, the third novel in the series releases August 29, 2018. The first book in my new Rancho Santa Fe series set on the fictional Pacific Vista Ranch is currently being reviewed by a few literary agents and I hope to move to a larger publisher. I’ve also got a mainstream novel planned that’s set in 1920s Paris.

In terms of yoga, many people in the community got to know me when I went through cancer and began Yoga for Cancer Recovery classes in North County at YogaSix. I primarily teach Vinyasa Flow now and work with cancer patients and survivors on a private client basis. I’ve taught all over town and am happy to be part of the vibrant yoga community in North County.

I’m one of several teachers on www.yogadownload.com, an international online yoga company. I have 50+ classes online ranging from Vinyasa flow, Pilates and Core, Yoga for Cancer Recovery, and several Yoga for Athletes classes. They fly me out to Denver a few times a year to film more classes. I’m thrilled to be able to reach people all over the world and have them practice with me in the comfort of their own home or when they travel. I’m teaching for their first yoga retreat in the Rockies August 14th and will be able to meet some of my online students and share the beauty of Lake Granby with them.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
I believe it is all perspective. Women have always faced challenges and I think it’s great that issues have been brought to the surface. When I practiced law in the 90’s, some of the older male attorneys initially underestimated me because I was young and blonde. I looked at it as an opportunity to show them what a mistake it is to judge a book by its cover. I won every single case against them and suddenly they realized I was intelligent. I figured I’d take the easy wins! More than half of attorneys entering the field are now women.

I believe women can do whatever they want. From a yogic perspective, it’s all about tuning in to what you really desire to do with your life. What is your calling? Not simply what you are good at, but what engages your mind and your heart? If you are passionate about something and are willing to work hard, I believe you can achieve whatever you want. That goes for women and men. Find your authentic self, your true calling and go for it.

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