I have been practising yoga on and off for the last ten years, first having tried it thanks to my very fit friend Yana, who dragged me to a yoga class, even though this type of fitness was alien to me at the time. The next day I couldn’t get off the bed-my legs and thighs hurt, so did my arms and all of my muscle groups, including the ones I didn’t know existed. I groaned and got off the bed eventually, doing it in slow and weird motion. I called Yana and voiced my concerns but she just laughed, saying it’s normal and I will grow to love it-and boy, did I want to believe her, because that woman had a naturally sculpted body of a goddess.
Years passed, I went to different classes and tried different types, loving Ashtanga-the one Yana introduced me to, Hatha and Iyengar, but not Kundalini for example, maybe because every time I ended up with instructors whom I found too mellow-after all, we all are different and different things inspire us. Mind you, I am still learning and evolving, having never triedAnusara or Jivamukti, for example .
Not so long ago I caught a piece of an interview with Jennifer Aniston, another woman with a body of a goddess, who was talking about her instructor Mandy Ingber and the yoga and toning exercises that she combined to create Yogalosophy. I was really intrigued and scored the Internet in order to find the DVD, as yet not available in the UK and somehow Amazon, my normally perfect provider, wasn’t too keen to ship it for me from the States-so I ordered it from Mandy’s site direct (see details below).
Now, before I tell you about my experiment with Mandy’s ‘Yogalosophy’ DVD (believe feel become), let me just say that I have come across many instructors, some were ok, some were uninspiring, on a few occasions I even walked quietly out of the class-and I wasn’t trying to be rude, the classes were just beyond me, one particular, a private one I had in the blissful Maldivian resort comes to mind-to say that the instructor was boring, would be a complete understatement-let me just say that he sounded like he was reciting a content of a book to a complete idiot-you get the idea….. Some experiences, rarer ones, were amazing, like a retreat that I did with Katy Appleton in Ireland (Katy’s teacher was Shiva Rea, who has one of the most beautifully filmed yoga DVDs and I swear by her pre & post natal yoga DVDs during my pregnancy with my son and later helping me get my body back into shape)-she was fun and encouraging and her classes left you inspired and uplifted-I still use her ‘Yogaworks’ DVDs at home. There were regular classes with a wonderfully self-depreciating Beatrice Palazzo, who did classes at my regular gym and I think most of the people attending her class were huge fans-every class was unlike the previous one, even though we often did the same poses. We laughed but be under no illusion-Beatrice made us practise properly, paying attention to our bodies, alignments and poses. Anyway, having had my share of experiences, I still keep on looking for new directions in my yoga practises-hint-Christy Turlington‘s book ‘Living yoga: creating a life’s practise’-wonderful and so is Maya Fiennes’s ‘Yoga for real life-a kundalini method’, but that will be a different story, I promise you.
Now, back to Mandy Ingber, who I haven’t met, as she is LA based, but would like too, if our paths ever cross. Anyway, her Yogalosophy DVD contains two 30 minute practises-(if you are a beginner, be warned-your muscles will hurt but in a good way), 6 yoga extras and a full 55 minute practise. You can do this DVD silently, i.e. just following the poses/exercises or you can do it with Mandy’s commentaries, mantras, funny banter and inspirational thoughts-hint: check out her cool yoga vision mat .). Personally, I enjoy listening to her and feeling like we are doing a private session-ah, the life’s little luxuries! Mandy is small and lithe and her manner is very welcoming-she makes you feel like she is an old friend, who will teach you something interesting and will let you in on her secrets and experiences, which your body and mind will welcome. Your mind is very important when you are doing yoga, as it takes you to a completely different place during the practise and Mandy talks a bit about our desires that drives us forward and helps us achieve things.
I find Mandy’s DVD challenging in places, simply because an element of cardio is added to it as a bonus for your muscles but the practise invigorates you and does give you leaner, more defined silhouette over time-if you practise regularly, that is .) Give it a go and see what you think, because now I am a big fan and so are my muscles.