★FitStars: Celeb Yoga Instructor Mandy Ingber
You know you’ve made it as a celeb trainer when Jennifer Aniston is crediting you for her body. And that’s exactly what Mandy Ingber has done. A spin and yoga instructor, Mandy has been helping people—famous and not—to find their inner awesome. We recently caught up with this well-known yoga guru who has trained Ricki Lake, Brooke Shields, Woody Harrelson and Helen Hunt for the inside scoop on training celebs, details on her unique style of yoga (tomorrow we’re reviewing her new workout DVD Yogalosophy!) and her thoughts on the best ways to stay fit, healthy and balanced!
Interview with Yogalosophy Creator Mandy Ingber
- FBG: How did you get into fitness originally?
- MI: My father was very physical. He was into yoga, cycling, swimming, etc. As a child growing up around him, being active rubbed off. He would set up “the kid Olympics,” and I was constantly trying to compete with his contortionist yoga poses. This was when I was 7. As I grew up and became an actress (in my former life), I would exercise for hours on end: step aerobics, high-impact cardio dance, cardio funk classes…and yoga, of course, has always been there. When I was 28, I became a spinning instructor, and it just snowballed from there.
- FBG: When and how did you develop Yogalosophy?
- MI: I self-produced my first DVD in 2009, after Jennifer Aniston exposed me as her yoga instructor in Vogue magazine back in ’06. She and I did a yoga spread together, which incorporated my signature moves (yoga poses paired with toners), and from there the demand for the routine became so great that I had to define it. I call it Yogalosophy because we can bring yoga to all that we do, any modality. I have learned as much about yoga from indoor cycling as I have from a Bikram class. It’s user-friendly: “Start where you are.”
- FBG: How would you characterize your style of yoga?
- MI: It’s a hybrid. Since I started as a spinning instructor, I believe that all exercise is vital. So the yoga serves us. We do not have to restrict ourselves to just yoga postures. I generally teach Vinyasa Flow style, however, I have been practicing for more than 35 years and am influenced by all styles of yoga.
- FBG: And why do you think it’s become so popular?
- MI: It feels like a workout. It can be done in 30 to 60 minutes. It keeps moving, and the results are obvious.
- FBG: You’ve worked with some big names in Hollywood. Heck, Jennifer Aniston has even thanked you when receiving awards. Do you ever have an “OMG, I’m working with Rachel from Friends” moment when training her?
- MI: To be honest, no. All of my students are people who are taking time to care for their bodies, and it’s my job to create the space for that. I do this with high-powered execs, moms, cancer patients, teenagers and funny, adorable actresses.
- FBG: Do you have a favorite celebrity that you’ve worked with? Who is it and why?
- MI: How can I possibly answer this question? No. I don’t have a favorite. One time Coco Arquette did yoga with me. The fact that I kept a 7-year-old’s attention for more than 5 minutes was a supreme compliment.
- FBG: Do you train celebrities differently than you train everyday folks? Why or why not?
- MI: The routines, techniques, attitudes, are all the same. When it comes to the physical body, we are all on equal playing ground. Everyone has a body that needs taking care of, and no one else can do it for you. That’s part of what I love about my job. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, how much money you make, whether or not you are in love…we are all equal. None of that stuff matters when it comes to simple self-care. I love that because it means we don’t have to wait for anything. Fitness, yoga, wellness are things you are able to get started with right now, no matter what. So what are you waiting for?!
- FBG: What’s the best piece of fitness advice that you can give our readers?
- MI: Be consistent. An hour a day moving your body really is enough to be in stellar shape. And three to four times a week will do you good. Even one to two times per week is great if you are consistent. Bad habit: Working out for three hours, two days in a row and letting a month go by after that.
- FBG: What’s the best piece of fitness advice you’ve ever received yourself?
- MI: Breathe.
- FBG: What does your usual workout routine and eating schedule look like?
- MI: I move my body anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours a day, five days a week. I practice yoga four to five days a week, and alternate spinning, Precor elliptical and walking. I tend to eat five smaller meals a day. I clean up my diet two times a year, but generally stick to fresh, whole, unpackaged foods. Moderate fish and dairy intake. Fruits and veggies (more veggies), nuts, and I keep a watch on the grains. I do, however, love chocolate, and coffee is my on-again, off-again relationship. Mostly I opt for jasmine green tea and honey.
- FBG: Any other thoughts? Advice? Tips?
- MI: Hmmm…Love yourself! Love your body in whatever state it’s in. I have been in amazing shape and not appreciated my body. I have also learned that I didn’t get into shape faster when I was slave-driving or beating myself up. Love your body with your workouts, and when you are eating delicious, fresh, whole foods, you will see your body fall into place naturally.
Thanks to Mandy for chatting with us about all things yoga and wellness! We love her sane and relatable advice about loving yourself and your workouts! Stay tuned for our review tomorrow of her latest DVD Yogalosophy! —Jenn