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Women in Wellness With Dr. Padmini Murthy of New York Medical College

As a speaker and executive member of the yoga day committee formed by a group of US members of NGOs affiliated with the United Nations, I speak to women about the importance of Yoga. I have authored articles on yoga and wellbeing and described the tremendous beneficial role played by yoga in improving one’s health […]

As a speaker and executive member of the yoga day committee formed by a group of US members of NGOs affiliated with the United Nations, I speak to women about the importance of Yoga. I have authored articles on yoga and wellbeing and described the tremendous beneficial role played by yoga in improving one’s health and well being. I think in my own small way I am trying to educate people about the importance of wellness for women. This is a ripple effect as it will be passed on by those who hear about it from me or other colleagues.


Asa part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Padmini ( Mini) Murthy MD, MPH. Dr. Murthy is a physician, professor, public health expert, author, radio show host poet and a mom. Currently she is Professor and Global Health director at New York Medical College. She has been the recipient of numerous awards nationally and internationally and was the 1st Indian born American to receive the Elizabeth Blackwell medal which is conferred annually to a woman physician who has made outstanding contributions to the cause of women in the field of medicine. Murthy has made over 150 presentations globally and is sought after motivational speaker. She has worked with diplomats, global leaders in promoting women health which she is passionate about.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I was born In India and lived in many countries before migrating to the US 25 years ago with my family. I was also passionate about wellness and when I was a young and growing up in India. I used to plan exercise classes with the kids in my neighborhood, especially the girls and also the domestic help in my parents house. I was considered what one refers to as a tomboy because I was climbing trees jumping over walls and not into the so called girly things of being prim and not being always on the move.

Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?

  1. Regular exercise 25 to 30 minutes a day come rain , snow or sun ( chose the physical activity you enjoy most)
  2. If you don’t treat and look after your physical and mental health, there is no one else who will .
  3. Healthy eating and meditation it helps !!!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

The most interesting story or incident I would like to share is when a decade ago I started working on my 1st book women’s global health and human rights which had international experts as authors. I had reached out to nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s to request permission to reprint his essay 100 million women are missing . The publishing company where it had been published wanted a fee for reprint, but he asked his secretary to write a letter to the publisher to waive their fee. Long story short the publisher waived the fee as my co editor and myself decided to donate the proceeds to charities which we support. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person a couple of years later and I thanked him and he remembered his contribution to my book. I had met many celebrities over the years, but I think Dr Sen is one of the most down to earth and kindest persons I have met.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I was a teenager as I mentioned before I was always participating in various physical activities and once I was running down a hillock very fast and I fell and broke my wrist. It was a lesson I can never forget as I was practically hone bound for 6 weeks and could not participate in physical activities, including playing on the girls’ hockey team in my neighborhood, it was a hard lesson I learnt.

When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

As a speaker and executive member of the yoga day committee formed by a group of US members of NGOs affiliated with the United Nations, I speak to women about the importance of Yoga. I have authored articles on yoga and wellbeing and described the tremendous beneficial role played by yoga in improving one’s health and well being. I think in my own small way I am trying to educate people about the importance of wellness for women. This is a ripple effect as it will be passed on by those who hear about it from me or other colleagues.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My beloved mom who passed away last year was a French professor and was my rock when I was facing challenges professionally, personally and health wise. She was the one who stood by me and gave me confidence to believe in myself and go forward. There are many incidents and it is hard for me to share one, but I would like to add that if I am passionate about women’s health and human rights and am trying to make a difference in my own way to empower women is because of my role model, my angel and my rockstar who is my mom.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Yoga for women and girls, and have them spread the message and share the information about how yoga can transform lives.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Heartache
  2. Disappointment.
  3. Discrimination
  4. Challenging
  5. Ridicule.

I have faced gender and racial discrimination periodically. The first time I experienced this I was upset and shocked as I was not expecting to be subjected to this. But this has made me more resilient and fight harder to achieve my goals.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Environmental changes — Climate change is real and is impacting the well being of life on earth. Some of the recent pandemics can be attributed to environmental changes, and we need to act now as the effects of this may challenge the very existence of life on earth.

I also see it as a human rights issue as in many parts of the world women and girls are affected by climate change more than men and boys and bear a double burden. To illustrate this, girls cannot go to school in so many places as they need to walk miles to fetch water for their families and the environmental changes have been a major contributory factor to this

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

@minimurthy1234 — twitter handle

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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