A lot of yoga teachers tend to be quietly serious during their classes and that’s why I soooo enjoyed Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy workout DVD when I got my hands on it last year (ordering from the US was the only option at the time). Not only is Mandy’s combination of yoga and strengthening exercises is quite effective if you stick to it, but her genuine enthusiasm inspires you along and her humour, often directed at herself, makes tricky poses somewhat easier to master.
Often in life good things come to those who wait and Mandy’s labour of love is finally landing on the UK soil on May 9th, so after you read my Q & A with Mandy below (yes, I do feel very lucky if you have to ask!), get your body and sense of adventure tuned in with Yogalosophy, it will revitalise you and lighten your spirit. It might even gradually change your inner being for the better too….
Questions and Answers with Mandy Ingber, yoga & fitness instructor and creator of Yogalosophy (and yes, Jennifer Aniston’s is her big fan too !)
GAP: How did you get into practising yoga and why does it continue to inspire you?
Mandy Ingber:I started yoga when I was a child, of 7 or so. My father got into Iyengar yoga and what inspired me was being able to relate with my father and having something that we could both do. I continued throughout my life, but my father was my original inspiration.
GAP: What makes a good yoga instructor?
Mandy Ingber: Knowing the balance between giving direction, and allowing the student to find their way. It’s holding a space and witnessing someone else’s exploration. I think being human and having the experience of moving through difficulties is very helpful. Being authentic, and generally self aware. I like to have a lightness. Try not to take anything too seriously.
GAP: How did you come to develop your method and how long it took to refine?
Mandy Ingber: I love to workout, along with practicing yoga, I have always been a bit of a gym rat. I teach spinning (indoor cycling as well), so I like to have that feeling of a ‘workout’ at the same time, there is mindfulness, and a meaning that yoga has brought to me, as well as a patience with the process, so i really wanted to combine yoga with the toners to give that workout feel, with the power of yoga. I have been instructing for 16 yrs, but I have 35 yrs experience as a student. Which is where I learn the most. A teacher is simply the ultimate student!
GAP: What makes you different to other well-known yoga instructors? And what’s your secret for being so vibrant and optimistic-it is pulpable in your DVD!
Mandy Ingber: Oh thanks! Well, I am very willing to share myself. I am a bit of a joker, and I like to have a laugh and be funny….so that’s probably a little off the beaten path. I am also a spinning instructor, so that may give me a little more energy? I don’t know… it’s hard to compare myself. There are so many great teachers out there…but i do have a fun, girlfriendy…almost childlike approach. And my intention in general is to play and give (I also used to be an actress…so maybe the performer in me starts to emerge).
GAP: In your experience, what can a woman do, in addition to practising Yogalosophy, to be healthy and fit?
Mandy Ingber: Hydrate, drink water!. Eliminate processed foods from your diet. Eat at least two sit down meals a day. Avoid sugars. Meditate, Smile and think about someone you have a crush on.
GAP: How often would you recommend to do your routines in order to see results?
Mandy Ingber: 3-4 times per week, in addition to 30 min cardio 4 times per week. Along with a sensible diet.
GAP: Who or what inspires your yoga practises?
Mandy Ingber: I am inspired by people feeling connected to themselves. In fact, i am inspired by connecting within myself, and with how amazing the body is as far as being a tool. We have this incredible gift, and most of us dont even realize what a gold mine yoga and exercise are…If you are nervous, it calms you. Sluggish…it energizes you. Lifts your mood from depression. Clears the mind and makes you more productive and at peace.
GAP: What has been the biggest lesson learnt from teaching so many people yoga?
Mandy Ingber: Everyone has areas of strength and weakness, there is no such thing as an ideal body or a typical body. We are all works in progress. Everyone has a body that needs taking care of, so we truly are an equal ground when it comes to this. No one can do it for you…no matter how rich and famous or in love…So we all have struggles, and in a way, we are all vulnerable in our bodies and that is beautiful. I feel very honored to be a part of people’s process of working through difficulties and victories.
GAP: What book/books made a difference to your life, or inspired your method?
Mandy Ingber: Wow. that’s a great question. I love Mastery Of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz, Astrology for the Soul by Jan Spiller…Way of the Peaceful Warrior- Dan Millman. all the Carlos Castaneda books. Of course, Light on Yoga, and Richard Hittleman’s Yoga book from the 70s. I love books. I could go on and on…in a way, Henry Miller… I am actually working on my own book right now!
GAP: Tell me a little abut your Vision mat? How important is it to your individual practise?
Mandy Ingber: Vision Mat is basically a mat idea I created, and a company called Yogamatic actually produces it. I make a collage of all the area of my life: work, how i look, health, money, love, play, creativity, communication, relationships, friends, service, community, travel, spirituality… etc and I make a collage as well as my goals that I have for myself for the year. Glue it to a 1X3 poster board and send it to Yogamatic to get it made into a yoga mat. It’s truly amazing to have all of your goals and dreams right there, inspiring you while you are practicing. The things you think and see really go into your cellular memory when you a re being physical…and it seems that all of these things manifest almost magically…by themselves.
GAP: What kind of music do you like?
Mandy Ingber: I have very eclectic taste in music, everything from Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley to Jay Z and Spiritualized, the Verve…Rhianna, Elton John. Music evokes emotions and we are all motivated by our emotions….
GAP: What has been the most amazing place or location where you taught yoga and why?
Mandy Ingber: One time I taught in Abu Dhabi…and that was amazing because I had really never seen Sand Dunes in the desert like that before, and it’s just so vast….Also in Mexico, I have been in several locations with an outrageous view. But the greatest thing for me right now is that I can SKYPE with my clients (I just started this), and I can practice in my own living room…which is really the best part about yoga. All you really need is you.
GAP: What has yoga brought into your life?
Mandy Ingber: Oh WOW. I mean, lets go stream of consciousness- connection to my father, carrying out his legacy, intimacy with myself, intimacy with virtual strangers, how to love, how to respect my own limitations, boundaries, pushing when I dont think I can, a sense of strength, the ability to be in a process, a flexible and strong body, connection to my breath, the ability to observe my actions, the desire to learn more, humility, connection to a vast sea of people, being able to talk to you…and a great ass.
Yogalosophy with Mandy Ingber DVD is released by Acacia on May 9, 2011 and is available from www.amazon.co.uk