Know Your Neighbor: Anita Graves Martinez

By Kathy Córdova
For The Taos News
Posted 10/10/18

In a little over a month, Taos Ski Valley and other ski areas open, and ski season begins. It's time to start conditioning for …

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Know Your Neighbor: Anita Graves Martinez


In a little over a month, Taos Ski Valley and other ski areas open, and ski season begins. It's time to start conditioning for winter sports, something Anita Graves Martinez helps prepare clients for at her Barre-ista Studio.

During a recent interview, Graves Martinez discussed the evolution of her studio. "Opening my studio was a dream come true, but it took time and training to make it happen," she said.

At first, Graves Martinez enjoyed fitness and nutrition as hobbies. Her interests eventually included three professional activities: personal trainer for almost five years, gymnastics coach for children and barre instructor at Southside Spa for two years. During the time she conducted the work, Graves Martinez also studied and earned certifications in various areas of the health and nutrition industry.

"I went into health and nutrition for my own self-improvement. I sought a regimen for a workout that wouldn't hurt or tire. It took years to figure out. Right now, I want to help others find the best version of themselves and that includes inner strength in a shorter amount of time and effort than I spent on this search," the fitness instructor stated.

Graves Martinez earned certification from the National Council on Strength and Fitness as a personal trainer, another certificate for sports nutrition and double certification in barre forte and barre concept. The latter includes international recognition.

Even though Graves Martinez earned several certifications, she doesn't rest on her laurels. She participates in continuing education and constantly learns new information.

In February 2018, Anita's opened her Barre-ista Studio at 204 Cañon East Bypass, #4. The address appears misleading, however.

To reach the studio, take the roundabout in front of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Then, make a right turn on Gusdorf Road and then the first left turn. The premises include barres for concentration on strength, stretch, cardio, endurance and flexibility. Anita feels that working on the barres helps both physical and mental transformation.

The website includes fees (25 percent off for those 55 and over). Likewise, the site reads, "Meet me@The Barre for Happy Hour. Classes are as follows: Monday- 5 p.m.; Tuesday- 8 a.m.; Wednesday-5:15 p.m.; Thursday- 8 a.m.; and Saturday- 7:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. She eliminated two classes listed in the website due to her commitments as a personal trainer. The website also includes information on nutrition, customer testimonials and photos by Graves Martinez's daughter Lia. Anita's brother-in-law Dave Cordova created her website.

The site's segment on cardio includes information that Graves Martinez deems important. The web page states, "Feel the burn, see the change." Graves Martinez listed the benefits of cardio: a raised heart rate, stronger heart and lungs, calorie burn, increased bone density, restful sleep, more energy and an increase of "feel good" endorphins. Those seeking classes for cosmetic reasons soon experience the benefits of barre workouts for sculpting a lean and feminine physique. Skiers benefit with all of the above plus an increased level of endurance.

Best of all, no one becomes bored with the routine of the class. Martinez Graves recently purchased trampolines and plans to create a trampoline class. The Barre-ista Studio on Paseo del Cañon serves as the only full barre studio in northern New Mexico.

The barre instructor enjoys a rich personal history in the community. Her parents, Tony and Louise Graves, raised four children, including Anita. Siblings include Lisa (Dave) Cordova, Elaine Graves and Marc Graves. Anita Graves married Ryan Martinez, and they have two children: Lia, 21 and Jack, 13.

Graves Martinez enjoys meeting new people and learning about their backgrounds, something her studio allows her to do.

When it comes to food, she cooks and eats vegan. She avoids sweets except when her mother bakes. "My mom's baking is nutritious, especially for gluten intolerant. She uses very little sugar and no butter. It's amazing, but she creates gluten-free scones and pies. I don't feel guilty to eat her desserts."

"I love to watch the British Baking Show. My favorite food is fresh bread in the oven," said Graves Martinez. "I've been a vegan for 13 years and dairy-free for 20 years. My family is dairy-free. Watching my diet keeps me healthy and I don't experience the flu or congestion."

She also enjoys home decorating and interior design; she's constantly rearranging her furniture in her mind. Netflix's Stay Here is her favorite program.

Graves Martinez and her family enjoy an active outdoor life, especially hiking. She usually visits Wheeler Peak with her husband three to four times a year, but during this busy year, they made the trek only twice. Her entire family seeks new trails for adventure, and so far, the Rift Valley trail at the Río Grande Gorge is a favorite. The Martinez family hikes there four or five times a week whenever possible.

At these times, daughter Lia photographs sunsets. During or after a good hike, everyone enjoys taking chairs to the river. "Being out with nature is very relaxing. Taos has so many beautiful places," said Graves Martinez.

The family also likes to travel. They've taken road trips to Sedona, Arizona, the Grand Canyon and Scottsdale, Arizona. Other family travel includes Disneyland, Sea World, La Jolla, California and Coney Island, New York.

At the close of the interview, the Barreista Studio owner stated, "I really appreciate my clients. They are inspiring to me.

"I like to get up early and prepare for class, which begins at 8 a.m," she said. "Strength is beauty. As my website says, 'It's not about perfect. It's about effort. When you bring that effort every single day, that's when transformation happens. That's how change occurs. I hope the people become involved, not only for ski season, but all the time."


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