Supermodel Carolyn Murphy Talks Health and Wellness

Supermodel Carolyn Murphy Talks Health and Wellness

Supermodel Carolyn Murphy Talks Health and Wellness

The nineties icon dishes on her secrets to living a balanced life

The nineties icon dishes on her secrets to living a balanced life

Text: Ashley Simpson

Nineties supermodel Carolyn Murphy is probably best known for her classic, all-American looks and enduring Grace Kelly appeal. But if you talk to her, you’ll learn quickly that today the beauty icon might be less guided by the fads of the industry, and more grounded in a lifelong commitment to wellness. The model, who relocated from the West Coast to New York four years ago, drove out to the Hamptons over the weekend for a retreat with Buick. We sat down with her in a minimalist, Amagansett glass house to talk about wellness secrets, her hippie childhood, and how surfing out East measures up to local spots.

Tell us about your relationship with wellness.

I’ve been into wellness for pretty much my entire life. I have a mother who followed Muktananda and we were going to iridologists when we were like seven, so for me, this environment of wellness and wellbeing and nurturing from the inside out is pretty authentic.

How do you relax, especially when you’re traveling so much?

It takes effort. By nature, I’m a pretty calm person, but I have moments when I get really frazzled and it’s my own fault. I think if we check in with ourselves—some people call it body scanning. Some people call it just taking a moment to breathe, but I think you do have to take those moments—otherwise you just run haywire and blow fuses. Sometimes I’ll use music. I’ll meditate. I’ll take five minutes just to take deep breaths. I have so many different techniques I’ve learned over the years.

When did you become really interested in wellness as a part of your lifestyle?

My brother and I were raised that way. My mom was following Muktananda and I was fiddling around with yoga poses when I was younger. I wouldn’t say that I integrated it or believed it until I was in my early 20s when I moved to New York and I just thought, I’m not going to be able to handle this place.

It’s so intense, all the time.

It’s so intense! I’m a nature baby and a friend of mine turned me on to a healer who does Shakra balancing and through her I found all my holistic practitioners and yoga instructors and classes and places. You know all these little nooks and crannies throughout the city that are there, you just have to seek them out. Something as simple as going to Integral Yoga is a treat, because you know you’re getting beautiful food and there’s a shop next door. There’s a whole movement in Brooklyn in particular.

And do you have any other places or people that you recommend?

I have a lot of people. One of them being Dr. Lipman who I’ve known—who took my mom—she’s six years cancer free and one of the first things we did after chemo and radiation is I brought her to New York and introduced her to Dr. Lipman. So, through him, I have the Center for Health and Healing. There is a whole group starting with those guys. And Anita Saint James who is a Shakra healer—I’ve worked with her for twenty plus years. Gosh. Sally Kravich who has been a nutritionist for many years.

Has living in New York changed your approach to wellness?

I’ve been back in New York for four years, and that is the one thing that has changed. My lifestyle is not conducive to being outdoors and in nature. Occasionally, I’ll try to get out on the Westside highway for a run. I joined New York Health and Racket. They have a salt water pool, and I was a swimmer competitively for 11 years. When I found out they had a salt water, I got excited. So I signed up for that before summer started and I didn’t get in the pool.

Wellness really is a lifestyle.

I try not to be too rigid, though. I have a daughter who is a teenager. We eat a great plant based diet, but we don’t deprive ourselves. We have Friday night pizza night. I have friends who are in my industry, and they really try to promote themselves as, ‘Oh, I’m drinking green juice and I’m doing this and that.’ And I just don’t think that that’s realistic and I don’t think it’s relatable.

It’s not sustainable also.

No. It’s not. It’s just not relatable. I think the rest of the world and women in particular—they want to hear the truth, and the truth is that it isn’t always like that. If I’m in a really horrible mood, sometimes I want fried chicken, you know? I want macaroni and cheese, the comfort food. You know, one of my greatest mentors is Christy Turlington and she’s not depriving herself of anything. She’s a great lady. She’s realistic.

What’s next for you?

I’m going surfing! Yesterday the water was brutally rough and murky so I’m hoping it will be better today. It is a little silly. It’s crowded. But when those swells come in, it’s fun. I miss California. I miss my spots there. Here, it’s almost worst than First Point. It’s like a fight.


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