Mandy Ingber makes her living promoting wellness and self-esteem. Here, she shares advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and insight into her work with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
By Diann Daniel
Mandy Ingber, the self-esteem and wellness expert who is commonly known as Jennifer Aniston’s yoga teacher, will be leading this year’s fundraiser FenwaYoga for the Red Sox Foundation. As part of the conversation around that event, she shared insight into her weekly fitness routine, ideas on how to be kind to oneself, and tips for being healthy—inside and out.
How do you balance yoga and other exercise?
I was actually a certified spinning instructor prior to being a yoga instructor. I love cardio, and have always loved all forms of moving my body. I try to incorporate yoga and stretching daily, but three to four days a week I include another modality.
How do you counsel clients on balancing different types of movement?
I encourage the client to incorporate cardio as well. Jen [Aniston] and I spin together, and she will run on the treadmill or do the elliptical machine prior to our yoga workouts. With Kate [Beckinsale], I sometimes hike with her in addition to yoga. Other clients hire me to be their spin buddy or yoga buddy, and I just think it’s great for people to move their bodies daily—in whatever way they like. I have multiple modalities in my book Yogalosophy, and my DVD Yogalosophy is a hybrid of yoga poses with toners as a complement to traditional yoga poses.
Women in particular can be so harsh with themselves, and that’s exponentially true when the media puts that harsh spotlight on a person’s looks. What have you found most useful, besides yoga and exercise, in helping to develop kindness toward yourself? How about in terms of helping clients?
The best I can do is to be an example, and to speak positively about my own body. Developing a loving attitude towards the self is key, as is restricting our critical self-talk. What works best is speaking about the miracles of the body. “The body is falling right into place naturally,” “this is what it feels like to get into shape,” and “appreciate your curves”…these are all ways to be kind to the self. So my goal is always kindness to the self, and others really learn by example.
I know the week after you’re at Fenway in Boston, you’ll be doing a workshop in New York. [Ingber will be holding a workshop at the Omega Institute in New York from June 13–June 15.] With such a frenetic schedule, what techniques besides yoga do you use to stay relaxed?
I carve time out for myself for meditation, walks, gratitude lists, and journaling. It’s important for me to slow down, and take that time. I consider that my home base. I have always been pretty good at time management, but I make sure to schedule in my down time, otherwise it won’t happen! Primarily, enjoying the moment is the best way to stay relaxed. Presence is the key. But like everyone, I am working on it, one breath at a time, and it isn’t always easy.
Tips from Mandy on Being Healthy Inside and Out
- Visualize your best self, and as you imagine that, hold on to the feeling.
- Commit to yourself. Make healthy choices about diet, meditation, and physical activity.
- Do one thing daily that stretches you.
- Be of service to another. A kind act toward someone else will make you feel amazing.
- Take time to feel into your heart. Literally place your mind into the center of your chest, and you will feel a buzz or vibration there. Energy flows where the mind goes. If you don’t feel it, then imagine you feel it—that’s just as good.
- To expand your happiness, write a gratitude list.
- Set your sights on a short-term goal, such as a workshop, to give you an immediate sense of accomplishment.