A few weeks ago I was travelling in LA and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with fellow yogi and personal inspiration, Mandy Ingber. We spent the afternoon chatting about life and yoga and California and inspiration. I thought I would share some highlights of our conversation with you, enjoy!
When people ask you, "what do you do?”What is your answer?
I say that I am a "creative". I have never had a 9-5 job. I used to be an actress and in my present work, I am a yoga teacher, I am a motivator, I am an author, and I even coined the phrase "Yogalosophy”! I am constantly creating my day and my life.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I started practicing at age 6. So 40 years.
When and why did you take your first ever yoga class?
I think the first actual class was in '78 or '79. There was a show on TV when I was little, it was Richard Hitlleman on PBS. Very '70's and very cool. I would watch and practice. My father started practicing Iyengar Yoga around the same time, and he was an advanced daily practitioner. So, essentially, I started yoga in an effort to get my father's attention and approval. My brother was the acrobat and I was the contortionist.
What “hooked” you to yoga?
See above. I also think that being naturally flexible was a plus. When you are "good" at something, you want to do more. That's why it's always best to focus on the aspects that you do well. I also like that yoga is individual. I was never attracted to team sports. I am pretty independent, so it works for me to be among like minded beings, taking care of myself. Of course, teaching is a whole other level. That’s where I access the giver in me.
What is one of your favorite teaching moments?
My peak moment in yoga was during my book tour. Being on the tour really fused many aspects of myself- my intuition, my connection with people on a very personal level, the performer in me (for the humor), my style and brand. It was a great learning experience and simply being able to enter a room of 'strangers' who already knew me (through the media) and trusted me was invigorating. It felt like I had broadened my scope, and that my heart had connected to so many via the book and DVD. It was really special to meet these thousands that I had touched, and get to connect one on one. Connection is so important for me. I connect with each student one on one. I make sure of it.
Overall, I love all my teaching moments because teaching is one of those places when I get to see what a giver I am because I am getting so much back. It takes me by surprise. I wish this translated to other areas of my life. I am very lucky to be able to have a place where I have learned that I love these people for what I can GIVE.
What advice would you give to students who are new to yoga?
Be patient with yourself. It takes time to really enjoy it. Just show up and try several different teachers and styles until you find the one that's right for you.
What do you love to do in LA when you're not teaching?
I love the beach, taking walks, painting, writing, getting a tea with a friend, driving up the coast, visiting a book store. There are so many things to do in LA. I grew up here and went to a mobile school for experiential learning. We traveled the entire city, so I know that there is a lot to see and do here. And, I have seen and done a lot of it!
Do you have a life mantra? If so, would you share it with us?
Keep an open mind and an open heart. That's my current mantra. But it changes.
Mandy Ingber is a celebrity fitness and self-love expert and New York Times best-selling author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover (Seal Press), which is available online at www.mandyingber.com/yogalosophybook. Her 18 years of experience have attracted clients like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale, Brooke Shields, and Helen Hunt. She is an author, keynote speaker, spokesperson and wellness blogger. Visit Mandy on her websiteMandyIngber.com or follow her on Twitter @msmandyingber or Facebook Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy.
Facebook: Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.