Hi There, I’m Ritu.
An entrepreneur, writer, researcher, philanthropist & change agent passionate about creating a culture of workplace wellbeing where every human is acknowledged, and appreciated. How? It’s starts with self awareness.
For as long as I could remember I had an insatiable curiosity for human psychology. I wanted to know why (and how) people make choices and move forward on the continuum of change. I wanted to know how that .1% that makes us genetically different influences are choices. And I wanted to know what makes people feel genuinely happy, and motivates them to be better versions of themselves.
Born and raised a first generation Indian American woman, my parents worked hard to provide me with the opportunity to go to college and become a professional. I was on a path to becoming a doctor until an internship at a youth advocacy firm in Washington D.C. opened my eyes to the power of research, education, and advocacy. I abandoned the “perfect path” of becoming a doctor and followed my insatiable curiosity to understand human potential and change management through the lens of public health.
I was also passionate about a number of other practices: writing, fitness, spirituality, creativity, philanthropy, and teaching.
I spent researched health inequities in underserved populations ranging from third world countries to incarcerated youth and eventually moved to Mumbai, India to work with an underutilized health clinic operating in one of Mumbai’s slum populations. It was there I learned the true meaning of change management.
What you are not aware of does not exist.
In another words, out of sight out of mind. By listening to the people we serve, we hear solutions to the problem. After 6 months working in India – utilization rates improved, social support networks expanded, and general population happiness increased.
The changes we made were small yet important. But the real impact came from “listening’.
People want to be acknowledged.
Moving back to the states I took on a research role to identify populations of chronic disease throughout the country. Research showed disparities related to ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Minorities and low income populations had higher rates of chronic disease, but less access to education and care.
Customized change management: If we want to help people change, we need to meet them where they are at
My path lead me to working with an organization interested in developing a new wellbeing framework to improve employee health outcomes. Within 2 years program engagement improved from 20% to 80%. Why? What motivated people beyond incentives was the social connections. Team based challenges and digital platforms leveraging social connections broke down silos and created a more inclusive culture.
Everyone has unconscious implicit bias. Whether we choose to be aware of it or not is the first step in creating change.
Nearly two decades later my work is coming full circle to support organizations in creating cultures where people are acknowledged, implicit bias are addressed, and diversity silos are broken down so everyone has equal access to opportunities to support their health, professional development, and happiness.
As a trained epidemiologist (science of patterns) – observing patterns and experimenting with the ultimate laboratory (my body) is my guilty pleasure. As a trained Yoga and Meditation teacher I’m a firm believer that our bodies are intelligent beings and when left undisturbed they know exactly how to heal themselves.
Diversity. Inclusion. Belonging.
By 2040 the U.S. minority population will outnumber the majority white population. We will see the demographic impact of this but along with it will be a cultural shift. In order to support the health and wellbeing of the growing minority population it is imperative that organizations and industries begin to create more safe and inclusive environments. How? There is no one size fits all. Recruit a more diverse population. Address implicit bias. Both of which must stand on the foundation of self awareness.
The Stress Detox
Even though I had years of training in health education and yoga, I was running my body to the ground without even knowing it. At the time I had the energy to go from a morning work out to hours of working to working on a side project to teaching you to a raging night out with friends and doing it all over again. I skimped on sleep and was gulping down water to flush out the martinis I had. My schedule was busting at the seams and something had to give. Eventually it did.
I found myself on the ground of my apt with my heart racing and my body sweating. I had a million things on my to do list and didn’t have time for this. But it was happening, I was having a panic attack. It wasn’t the first time, it had been happening for a few months now along with insomnia and fatigue. In denial, I resorted to coffee to get me through the days. Once cup went to two and then three and that was when enough was enough. I decided to take back control of my life and the first step was to slow down and listen. Find out more about The Stress Detox.
MY PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY
My professional journey has taken many routes leading me to this point with an eclectic skill set. I have a masters in public health epidemiology from University of Southern California and a bachelors in genetics from University of California, Davis.
My true growth has come from life’s experience. In addition to my academic work I am a yoga and meditation teacher and have taught and learned from hundreds of students since 2005.I have studied meditation with a number of teachers in the U.S. and India and have studied the science of mindfulness at Stanford University.
Applied Yoga and Mindfulness
My teaching style includes breath focused meditation, laughter yoga, yoga for athletes, and yoga mobility. I lead workshops and seminars on the Stress, Yoga, Mindfulness, Nutrition and Wellness with top notch bay are companies. Clients have included Franklin Templeton, Mobclix, Cash Edge, TSMC and more.
Being an avid athlete I have a passion bringing yoga, meditation, and nutrition to other athletes. Workshops have been held at Lululemon, Crossfit Milpitas, Crossfit One World, Max Fitness, Lalanne Fitness, and AIDS LifeCycle.
How humans change their health behaviors and what triggers change is my area of interest and focus. My approach is heavily influenced by the study of psychology and mindfulness meditation.
In my free time i’m experimenting with all that life has to offer by doing something new and different and challenging my fears physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I can be found cycling, running, doing yoga or crossfit, meditating, traveling, or all of the above.
Cultivating a culture of wellbeing through food, movement, and meditation remains at the core of my personal passion. My health and wellbeing journey is defined by these three pillars: what we EAT, how we MOVE, and MEDITATE. You can read more about my wellbeing journey at www,eatmovemeditate.com
Want to know the more about the abc’s behind my name?
Click here to get the scoop on my background and credentials.
Everyone, everywhere has a story and if you are willing to listen they are willing to share. Our stories are deeply intertwined and every person that crosses my path adds to my story another clue to the puzzle we call life. Thank you for being a part of my story… care to share yours?