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Getting to know meditation teacher and founder of The School of Modern Meditation Claire Robbie

Claire Robbie

Meditation teacher and yogi, ex-journo and newsreader, and Founder of New Zealand’s first multidisciplinary meditation centre The School of Modern Meditation; Claire Robbie has combined everything she is passionate about into a varied and interesting career that she has evolved around being a present mother to her sons 9-year-old Jack and 1-year-old Rafael.

In a previous life Claire was a journalist for 3 News, 7 Sharp and sometimes news presenter; her love of language, people and human connection has now segwayed into helping people incorporate the powerful practices of breathwork and meditation into their lives through SOMM (The School of Modern Meditation). Sobriety is also a pillar of Claire’s life and practices, and she also facilitates a powerful program called The Alcohol Reset and has worked with hundreds of people helping them drink differently.

Over the past 15 years Claire trained and continues to study with some of the world’s leading teachers in different styles/philosophies/types of meditation and yoga. She was drawn to the practices at an intensely challenging time in her life when she was struggling with depression and self-medicating with various substances. Her practices have transformed her life and her personal experiences form the foundation of her teaching. She is the meditation coach for some of New Zealand’s leading businesspeople and entrepreneurs and is passionate about making meditation an integral and ‘normal’ part of our community.

She is currently navigating being both a stay-at-home Mum and a business owner – a combination of roles that is her most challenging yet. She also travels around the world teaching meditation and speaking on consciousness, shifting habits, alcohol education, meditation and the mind.

You can find out more about SOMM here: The School of Modern Meditation, an online & in-person centre for meditation, breathwork and the inner arts for new and experienced meditators alike.

Available for:

  • Guest speaker
  • Corporate events
  • Emceeing
  • Social media partnerships
  • Media commentary
  • Brand ambassador

Here’s your chance to learn more about one of New Zealand’s leading meditation teachers:

What is The School of Modern Meditation? 

1 week before NZ’s last and longest lockdown I opened what had been a dream of mine for many years – The School of Modern Meditation. Having been a meditation teacher for several years, I have committed myself to making these practices as accessible and “normal” as possible to as many people as I can. The lockdown meant we transitioned into an online school as well which has actually been amazing as now our digital classroom has students from all over the world joining us live.

We offer classes, courses and workshops in our studio in Central Auckland and online of breathwork, meditation, soundwork, EFT and more. We have programmes for the experienced practitioner and the complete beginner. Most of all we are a community. We have had thousands of people experience our classes and experience the profound mental, emotional and physical transformation these practices can activate and support.


What is No Beers Who Cares? 

I started NBWC in January 2017 as a way of holding myself accountable as I gave up drinking for 2017. So many people wanted to join me that I decided to turn it into a ‘thing’. A website was created, regular monthly events started taking place and the movement grew and grew. Creating a community was important to me as the first time I gave up drinking (a stint that lasted 2 years) was quite lonely, and I found myself struggling to socialize and get out. I lived in LA at the time and had been working in events – an industry that was notoriously ‘boozy’ and I found I had to really dig deep to get out and have fun. NBWC is all about normalizing socializing sober and providing events and support in this. Ou SOMM studio is now where we host all these events.


When and how did you discover meditation? How did it change your life? 

When I started training as a yoga teacher, I also started learning about meditation. It was almost an aside, we’d do a guided meditation here and there, a 5 minute savasana at the end of class. Over time I learned that yoga postures where fundamentally created so that yogis could spend more time in meditation, rather than the actual focus of yoga like it is here in the western world.

I then started doing some deep meditation trainings, and then just before I had my son began a twice daily practice that has become the foundation of my life. A consistent daily meditation practice is the most nourishing thing anyone can do for themselves. As we develop compassion, patience and understanding of themselves, we become more able to do this with those around us. The stress release, calm and clarity that comes with this practice is profound.

What’s one thing you’d change in New Zealand society right now, if you had the power? 

I’d make a comprehensive meditation course mandatory at schools and create a meditation culture within companies so that it became normalised.

What are the top three things most people struggle with when they first ‘get on the wagon’?

Doing the things they used to do ‘drinking’ sober. Learning how to socialise sober, date sober, go to weddings and still have a good time. But once they do, it creates a massive paradigm shift and we realize that the best version of ourselves is the present version of ourselves.

What’s one tip people can do for better mental clarity and wellbeing? 

Learn to meditate! But as a start – take at least 5 minutes a day to themselves, just to relax and be present. A few deep breaths can work wonders. And move – the human body is designed to be pushed and stretched and to move. Cut back on alcohol and caffeine consumption and find an activity that is relaxing that you enjoy to do regularly.

What was the biggest career (or life) lesson you have learnt so far? 

Good things take time, patience and often turn out very differently than you first imagined. I’ve also learned that adaptability and not attaching to an outcome are necessary to be an entrepreneur.

What are your aspirations for the next five years? 

To have our comprehensive SOMM Meditation School licensed to thousands of businesses and to open a retreat centre on Great Barrier Island and/or in South America somewhere.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 

I went to uni not knowing what to study so I failed my first year of Law and my BA is in Ancient Egyptian History and Russian Politics… hasn’t been overly helpful…