UNM Law Professor Practices Yoga and Meditation in Times of Stress: UNM Newsroom


A professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law has become a very accomplished yogi – someone who studies and masters yoga. Nathalie Martin, who has been with UNM Law School since 1998, was featured in a magazine set up by the Property Brothers and HGTV regarding her status as a yogi.

“It was fun to get this recognition, especially from the Property Brothers. I love HGTV. But doing this story means more to me, ”said Martin.

Martin started practicing yoga after noticing that she was feeling a little stressed out about her job supervising students in the Clinical Law Program at UNM Law School.

“It’s one of the most stressful jobs in a lawyer, as you have to find a balance between providing great legal services while allowing students to learn, grow and get the job done. You have to let them spread their wings a little, let them make a few mistakes, ”said Martin.

Martin believes that many could benefit from practicing yoga and meditation, which can help people be less responsive, more in tune with interpersonal relationships. The practices can also conquer stress, help people focus and get more work done in less time, develop healthier and happier routines, sleep better, and find their purpose in life.

“Yoga and meditation have kept me sane for all these years and have helped me create a safe and sacred space for all of my emotions – good, bad and ugly. These practices also help me not to be reactive but rather to put a space between my reaction to things and my actions in response, ”said Martin.

But the key is that one must be prepared to practice, to be calm, to sit still and to do nothing. It is difficult for most people, but especially for lawyers.

“It reminds me of my favorite New York cartoons. Two monks are seated in meditation and the old man says to the young one: “Nothing happens then. That’s it.’ Right now, especially during Covid, I’m using these skills to stay present, to just ‘be’. Of course, if I can share them with yoga and law students, so much the better. But at the end of the day, it’s always about taking care of yourself before helping others, ”said Martin.

Part of the reason Martin puts so much faith in the practices of yoga and meditation is that they are ancient and, as long as you practice them, effective.

Martin, along with his students, did important work during his time at UNM. This semester, she and her students at the clinic helped someone get title deed in her name, after paying for it for 22 years. They have helped several nonprofits get started. They helped the residents of the senior mobile home park engage in meaningful conversations with management on various health and safety issues. They also regularly help evicted people and recover their security deposits.

Martin conducts research focused on consumer law and bankruptcy, as well as elder law. Some of his recent research includes high cost loans such as payday loans, title deeds, and installment loans, as well as Mindfulness in law movement.

She had many empirical studies funded by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, including one who funded interviews with payday loan clients on the sidelines and another who studied the credit habits of undocumented New Mexicans. His works have been cited by the Supreme Court of New Mexico, the California Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States.

“This job at UNM Law School has been my dream job at the place of my dreams. For many years, I wanted to become a law professor. We were ready to move anywhere. It was my husband’s first choice and he gave up a job at a big city law firm so I could make my dream come true. I was glad I was able to replace him by getting this offer. We came from the east and immediately knew that New Mexico was our forever home. The unique combination of culture and the outdoors would make it very difficult for us to leave. The University shares the same values ​​as I do, a deep love of learning and a deep appreciation for diversity, inclusion and constructive dialogue. I feel extremely fortunate to work at UNM, ”said Martin.

The author of several other books and dozens of law journal articles, she holds what is believed to be the only endowed chair in the country devoted to consumer law issues.

She is the author of “Yoga for lawyers: Mind-body connections to feel better all the time ”- as well as“Advocate from the inside out: Learn Professional Development Through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence ”. The book Yoga for Lawyers is sold on Amazon, but also in the gift shop of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Martin teaches commercial and consumer law, as well as Economic development clinic (business and taxation). In addition to her other courses, she runs a promotion program financial literacy in high schools in New Mexico and teaches a two-day course financial literacy class for law students and undergraduates.

She is also a fellow of the American Law Institute and the American College of Bankruptcy, and a former resident scholar at the American Bankruptcy Institute. In this capacity, she has appeared on CNN, ABC, CNBC and other television stations. She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other newspapers.

His passions encompass several long-term life goals, including helping consumers avoid the many pitfalls and pitfalls created by today’s world of consumer credit, and helping lawyers maintain balance in their lives.

Martin recommends these tips for students who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed: “Try to do less. Take the time to sit down and relax. Breathe deeply, a lot. Give yourself a break and when you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, yell STOP! Develop healthy habits, especially by moving your body, but have lots of fun too! “

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