Body + Balance: Ways to stay grounded

By Fiona Ralph

Family, regular exercise and the occasional retreat keep lawyer Claire Kirman grounded. She talks to Fiona Ralph.

Lawyer Claire Kirman. Photo / Babiche Martens.
Lawyer Claire Kirman. Photo / Babiche Martens.

A partner at Ellis Gould law firm, Dr Claire Kirman specialises in resource management and environmental law. "My job is hugely varied, which is what makes it so enjoyable," she enthuses. "I can be in court one day, in the office meeting with clients another, or traipsing through a muddy field on a site visit the next."

To offset this, she keeps a simple routine at home, living in East Auckland with her husband and two sons.

"In the evenings, after cooking dinner, I will either go for a walk with my husband or catch up with a girlfriend, before settling in with a good book and a peppermint tea."

She is an advocate for exercise, meditation and healthy eating, ensuring she fits these essentials in each day.

"I have learnt the hard way that you have to make time for exercise and take time out for yourself. Now I make a concerted effort to incorporate some exercise into my day, even if it seems crazy busy."

"After several failed attempts, I now spend a few minutes every day meditating, even if it is at the end of a yoga session or a few minutes before I go to bed. A break, even if it is short, from your everyday life I find is a great way to de-stress."

As well as the all-important family trips, she enjoys heading away on retreats, recently returning from a weekend of restorative yoga at Coromandel's Mana Retreat, which she recommends highly.

"The food is itself a reason to go (yummy, locally-sourced vegetarian fare), but the idyllic coastal setting means you really get a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, while the restorative yoga with Karla Brodie and Neal Ghoshal means you float around for at least a week afterwards in a glorious carefree state."


Claire's Essentials

• I normally try to fit in a yoga class at the Yoga Academy during the day. I find it is a great way of de-stressing and recharging for the rest of the day at work.

• I am completely addicted to We-ar and Chalkydigits casual wear at the moment. I love that their clothing is made with natural materials and is designed here in New Zealand, and of course looks amazing on.

• As a family we try to have several mini-breaks during the year, which can either be a weekend away at Raglan or a day trip walking up Rangitoto.

• I am a fan of the oxygen facial at Forme Spa, which uses a pressurised stream of oxygen to apply products to the skin. It gets rid of any dryness in a flash, and leaves your skin glowing.

• My latest favourite exercise class is chandra yoga, or the moon sequence, with Martina Gotz from Stillness in Movement - it is a great way to unwind and re-energise after a long day in the office.

• For the past year I have been following Dr Weil's anti-inflammatory diet, which is focused on wholesome and unprocessed foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect.

• For many years I have used the Bioelements skincare range which for me gives great results and so far has kept the wrinkles largely at bay.

• My essentials to living life well are simple: giving thanks every day for the good things in my life, as life has a habit of sending you unexpected curve balls to deal with.

• Ever since a friend introduced me to Mekong Baby in Ponsonby I have used any excuse to eat there. I am quickly working my way through the menu, but their yellow curry and baby roti are my definite favourites.

• I am currently re-reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford which is one of those lovely novels you need to read slowly to savour the beautiful text and inspiring tale.


- VIVA

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