I have always been a very active and athletic person. In its’ more serious forms it included Highland Dancing to instructor level, Windsurfing to top 20 in the world, skiing to instructor, Dressaging to Intermediare 1.
In 1997 I graduated from the University of Guelph and moved west to pursue my dream of being a mixed animal Veterinarian in the Interior of BC. An accident on the ski hill in 1998 altered the trajectory a bit and I had to let go of doing large animal medicine. I then moved to Vancouver and have spent the last 20+ years dedicated to the health and wellbeing of small animals throughout the lower mainland. Currently I run Village Vet House Calls in Tsawwassen, a concierge Veterinary practice.
Recently, I have been investing a bit more time in my creative side. I work with fused glass in my Crabshack Glassworks on Tsawwassen Beach. I love to make functional art in the glass form. I don’t know what it is about bowls … but they seem to be my thing and of course dinner at my house involves eating off one of my fused glass plates!
My animals include Sidney, my 4th Airedale terrier (who is barking as I write this) and Bently my homebred 24-year-old horse/child.
Madrona Yoga: When did you first start a regular yoga practice and how often do you practice yoga?
Val Maks: I used to do yoga regularly and then stopped when I became frustrated at not being able to do a sun salutation. I couldn’t bend my knee and hip enough to execute the step through. After a 6-year hiatus, I now do gentle yoga twice a week and have incorporated it into my gym workouts, which now look more like gentle yoga than a gym workout.
Madrona Yoga: How would you say your practice has changed from when you started to where you are now?
Val Maks: I started 3 months ago and the transformation has been nothing short of incredible.My hips are pain free (I feel like that should be double underlined as I have been 8/10 pain for the last year) and I am getting more flexion in my knees. The surprise benefit for me has been the sense of emotional balance that kicked in right from the first class. I feel like I have come home.
Madrona Yoga: How does your yoga practice effect other aspects of your life?
Val Maks: It allows me to have other aspects of life!!!! Seriously. It allows me to walk the dog and climb the stairs, get down on the floor with my four legged patients, climb into the boat, go for a hike with my husband and ride my bike. Now if I could just get back on a horse.
Madrona Yoga: Do you have a favorite yoga pose?
Val Maks: I am just completely thrilled that I can once again sit cross-legged.I really thought that I would never be doing that again. Every time I get down on the mat and cross my legs a smile comes to my face!
Madrona Yoga: Do you enjoy cooking and if so, what is your favorite meal?
Val Maks: Love to! Roasted veggies, anything mushroom.
Madrona Yoga: What book or books are on your bedside table right now?
Val Maks: A Man Called Ove (lovely book!) Just finished The Huntress by Kate Quinn (excellent!) and that was a follow-up to her book called The Alice Network (also excellent!)
Madrona Yoga: What is some of your favorite music on your playlist?
Val Maks: The Tragically Hip.
Madrona Yoga: How do you spend your free time?
Val Maks: Playing with Glass (Crabshack Glassworks), biking, boating, dog walking and Vetting.