Michael Murphy, now in his 60s, is a health and fitness coach from Rhinebeck, NY. He is currently teaching a weekend class at the Mirbeau Hotel and Spa in Rhinebeck, where he guides his students in a class with Yoga, breath work, and meditation. In addition, he also has a busy corporate career in Analytics and loves combining his “avocation” of Health and Fitness coaching with his business career.
Body, Mind & Spirit, with Health & Wellness Coach, Michael Murphy – Interview and Photography by Maxwell Alexander, EIC, Hudson Valley Style Magazine
We sat down with him to learn more about his practice and offering in the Hudson Valley and NYC.
Maxwell: How did you get started teaching in the Health & Fitness Field?
Michael: Well, after many years of playing basketball, in my 30s I stumbled upon a Yoga class and found it nicely complemented my sport activities and also greatly improved my ease of movement in daily life. I was hooked to add this great practice to my life. In addition, I had already been engaging regular contemplative practices since my early 20’s (Zen and Vipassana primarily) and the body practices of Yoga nicely complemented these.
In my 40s, in an effort to deepen my practice, I completed training with two wonderful Yoga teachers, Ganga White and Tracy Rich, with the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, and from there gradually acted as a guide for Yoga classes in the Corporate setting, which I’ve now been doing for over 20 years. I’ve been on the fitness teaching staff for both American Express and Bank of America, with the last 10 years at BOA.
I’ve also worked in the corporate sector for over 40 years now, with the last 26 years working in Analytics for American Express. The old line that if you want to really learn something, try teaching it….. is one I’ve tried to live by. I enjoy the challenge and the richness of combining my business career with the avocation of also guiding others in Health and Fitness.
Maxwell: What is your Approach in working with clients and with your classes?
Michael: Having a passion and a multitude of interests in Wellness practices, my passion is combining Yoga with Breathwork and Meditation, in tandem with Bodyweight stability/mobility practices – and building programs customized to clients goals. In addition to my many years of sharing Yoga, I’m also an ACE (American Council of Exercise) certified Personal Trainer & Health Coach, as well as a BBM (Breath Body Mind) teacher. So I love combining different aspects of Mind-Body practices. And whether its one on one or in small Group Classes, my goal is to gracefully nurture students health and healing, integrating body and mind; blending the depth of Eastern traditions with Western forms.
Maxwell: Your approach sounds like it’s geared toward a balance of different modalities?
Michael: Exactly… I think by utilizing various practices we can approach a sense of Balance. In other words, taking a truly Integral approach to one’s overall health…. And seeing how various practices nurture both our mental health, as well as our physical health. And this includes what we eat as well, as we incorporate a way of life that incorporates good nutrition (with occasional treats!) and exercise along with relaxation. I myself have a 100% plant based diet for many years and I offer guidance for any clients that might want to move in this direction.
Maxwell: Any closing thoughts?
Michael: Well, it is indeed a privilege to be a guide and service to others, in the domain of Health & Fitness. I know living a healthy lifestyle is not always the easiest thing to do. Life gets busy and we feel like we are being pulled in a thousand different directions.
But taking small steps at times and building habits – and seeing the improved quality of Life they bring, can help you to lead a more healthy lifestyle, one where you are in greater control of your health and wellbeing. As the saying goes… “adding years to our Life, but more importantly, adding Life to our years!”