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How She Does It - Gauri Maini

Catherine Langman

Posted on June 06 2018

In our 'How She Does It' series we interview women about how they incorporate active and healthy habits into their lives. We believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness, so we aim to capture the variety of ways women choose to be active to give you ideas and inspiration on how to live your best active life.

Tell us about yourself

I am Gauri. I turn 54 this year. I have been working in the corporate world, leading people and culture for close to 30 years. It has been an amazing experience working with fabulous leaders, helping create the climate for people to do their best work and thrive.

I am married to my best friend – I met him when I was 14! We lived and studied in different parts of India. He did his engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras whilst I was doing my Masters from XLRI in Jamshedpur – practically the other end of India! We have two beautiful children and lived in Vadodara, where I got to work with some of largest engineering conglomerates doing really cool work.

In 2000, we moved to Australia. My boy was 10 and my little girl was 6. I quickly moved into a big role in HR. The kids loved Australia – my son enjoyed playing cricket, tennis and enjoyed the easier pace in academics. My daughter is gregarious and outgoing, so made many many friends.

I have had a great career and in 2013, decided to quit my corporate gig. I fell into study, pursuing learning about what makes people tick. It has been a lifelong passion and last year, I completed my Master of Science in Coaching Psychology. These five years have been a great reflective period for me, where I have enjoyed spending quality time with family and travelling.

What does active living mean to you? 

For me, active living is about feeling fit, vibrant and healthy. It means being able to eat well and spend loads of time enjoying nature and its abundant beauty in all possible ways.

What do you like to do to stay active?

I enjoy walks. This is my favourite way to stay active. Nature is also immensely restorative and I find this a great way to reflect on what is important, tune in and feel energised. I do pilates once a week. I have been in Takapuna for a couple of months and have rediscovered yoga. It is the most incredible, restorative practice that I am really enjoying.

What is your definition of healthy?

For me, healthy is feeling fit and having the energy to experience life fully.

Have you always been active and healthy?

Yes! I was an athlete whilst in school. I loved playing Badminton though academics took priority because I always wanted to have an impact and so creating choices was important for me.

What is your daily or weekly routine?

These days, I don’t really have a routine. I feel blessed to be able to take some time out to craft the life I want to live in the next 20 or 30 years. I use the Fitbit to make sure I do close to 10,000 steps a day. Yoga or Pilates is part of typical week and we also make time to go out to the beach or do a bush walk. There is always some time for reading (mostly books relating to my field), work on pitches for my consulting practice and designing programs.

What daily habits keep you fit and healthy?

I think that being intentional about walking, eating healthy, enjoying wine, good conversations, spending quality time with family, doing meaningful work are what keeps me fit and healthy. These are all important for building physical capacity, being emotionally agile and mentally fit.

What is your best active living hack?

Tune in to what you really want, listen to your body and follow its advice!

Favourite healthy meal?

Rocket and Parmesan Salad, made fresh, by someone else!!!!!

What health craze are you guilty of loving?

Almond & Coconut Milk with a hit of coffee, Blueberries, Chia soaked in Juice 

What challenges do you need to overcome in order to achieve healthy and active living?

Sometimes, I feel just lazy and cannot be bothered. I have learnt, that those days, I just let go and do nothing. The energy comes back. It always does. In that little quiet moment that you choose to give yourself.

What is the best ‘side-effect’ of staying healthy and active?

The energy. The intent to smile, at strangers too. The kindness, generosity and compassion you feel that you only feel when you feel rested and healthy.

What (or who) inspires and motivates you?

My parents.

How do you overcome negative thoughts?

I think negative thoughts are really really important. They tell you that something is very important and that the mind is showing up to protect you from getting disappointed. They also come and go! I love the idea of holding all thoughts lightly, without judging. Like they are a friend. Just sitting with the thoughts will give you the wisdom to then do what is important.

How do you practice self care?

I am learning to listen more. To slow down. And to be compassionate.

How do you manage days or periods where you are not as motivated?

I let it be. Knowing that it passes. And knowing that being compassionate will bring the motivation back!

What do you do to treat yourself?

A good wine. A great ice cream.

Love Gauri as much as we do? You can connect with her via