With a calling card of Hollywood leading ladies including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale and Brooke Shields, Mandy Ingber is more than a yogi to the stars. She’s a force of nature, on a mission to not just change our bodies, but our inner selves too. — Aurea Dempsey
In her latest book, Yogalosophy For Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy, she gives us a complete tool guide (yoga, recipes, meditations and more) to overcome any hardship—be it job loss or a heartbreak. (Remember Jen Aniston’s much-talked-about divorce, and now amazing come-back? You get the idea.)
In-advance of her up-coming workshop and book signing on June 26th at Semperiva Yoga in Vancouver (reserve your spot here), we jumped at the chance to ask Mandy a few curious questions.
In your book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength, you give us a new approach to overcoming difficult set-back, such as a heartbreak or job loss. Instead of dwelling on the mixed bag of emotions that come-with, you say get moving! IE: Get out your yoga mat, and channel this emotional energy to not only change your thoughts—but your body too. What inspired you to take this approach?
You know the saying, you can’t think your way into correct action, but you can act your way in to correct thinking … Or that idea of ‘move a muscle, change a thought?’ I’ve had first-hand experience with this approach. From the time I was young, I had adult concerns. I started working at age 14, had my first loss of a peer at age 21, was the victim of a violent crime at age 22. Lost and started a new career by the time I was 28. Time and time again, putting myself into action helped to literally move through grief. I am a very emotional person by nature, and realized very early on that this emotional energy could take me down, if turned inward, or propel me forward and motivate me. This became the foundation of my teaching. That I could actually use any circumstance to fuel myself and others.
From Jennifer Aniston to Helen Hunt to Kate Beckinsale, you’ve won the loyalty and love of some of Hollywood’s best leading ladies. What have you learned from them, or vice-versa, what do you think you’ve given them—besides stellar physiques?
I’m a teacher by example. I allow my students to see all of me. Of course, it’s the best version of myself but I don’t pretend to be lofty or have it all together. I’m human. I think that people in Hollywood are hungry for truth and authenticity. I can’t say what I’ve taught them. I do know that I’ve held space for a variety of changes. But that is what I do with anyone, as their teacher. I see these women for who they are as humans, and all of these women surround themselves with people who see them for who they are truly are. Not just the image. So I’ve given them a safe place. Regarding what I have gotten for them? When someone gives you their trust, it’s the ultimate honour. It teaches me empathy. Tenderness. Vulnerability.
Having done a class with you, we can confidently say your style of yoga is beyond amazing! Not only do you get us doing traditional yoga flows and postures, you incorporate toning exercises such as plies and squats too. If only we had more of you! Which begs the question, are there Mandy Ingber studios coming down the road?
Ooh. That’s an interesting thought. I would love to do that, and actually, have almost opened studios prior to becoming well known. Each attempt never materialized. I have business plans though. Ultimately, I think I’m a great front man and would need the right partner. But that’s like saying, I need to find my husband! That stuff kind of happens or it doesn’t. Is there a Tinder for business partners?
Back to your book, for those feeling stuck, lost or downright depressed, what can they expect after 12 weeks?
They can expect to gain insight into themselves. To have some new tools in working with transition. The plan incorporates daily workouts—mostly yoga-based. Heart healthy recipes, journal activities, meditations, heart opening poses, a beginner’s guide to yoga, guest experts and a variety of exercises and activities guaranteed to guide you to a new connection to self love. I think the reader can expect more self love. More self intimacy, and to feel less alone. Like they’re in the right place.
Okay, now a few fun questions….
Favourite place to practice yoga?
Anywhere with Laura and Woody Harrelson.
Your last meal would be….
IF only Jennifer Aniston was our BFF! Is there a certain-something about her we’d be surprised to know?
She’s hilariously funny. She’s an original thinker. I would trust her to give me a facial.
Best healthy diet tip you can give us?
Hydrate. Eat whole foods.
Sweet or savoury? Name your vice.
Things that are creamy and sweet!
Get to know more of Mandy, on and off the mat.