Q&A: Yogi to the Stars, Mandy Ingber
The second (hopefully annual) Yoga at Fenway event is Sunday, June 8. Lucky yogis will get the chance to practice on one of Boston’s most famous and historic grounds. Leading the event is Mandy Ingber, Jennifer Aniston’s yoga instructor and friend for more than 25 years.
Aniston told me that the two do a combination of exercises, mostly yoga and spin, and that Ingber’s style is a mix of all practices. “She does a combination of all different kinds of yoga and the calisthenics, so she mixes it up,” Aniston says. “Some days we heat up the room depending on what we feel like, but we just mix it up. We’ll do 40 minutes of spin, then 30 minutes of yoga.” Ingber practices what she calls “Yogalosophy,” which is also the title of her new book. It talks about her light-hearted approach to yoga and dives into her unique way of teaching.
When she isn’t busy teaching yoga at Fenway Park or training celebrities such as Aniston and Kate Beckinsale (two of Hollywood’s hottest bodies… pretty much ever), you can also catch Mandy at a workshop she’s hosting June 13 to 15 in New York.
We caught up with Ingber to talk about yoga, teaching at Fenway, training A-list actresses, and why many Baystaters may recognize her in a way that has nothing to do with yoga.
You’re not new to Boston at all. In fact, if you walk by the replica Cheers in Faneuil Hall or where the exterior shots were filmed at the Bull & Finch Pub in Beacon Hill, people might start gawking, right?
That’s right! I was an actress, and I was on Cheers. I played Carla’s daughter-in-law almost 20-years-ago. It was a recurring part. I also used to spend a lot of time in Boston because many of my close friends and my boyfriend back then all went to Emerson, so I always say, “I fake went to Emerson.”
You were also in Teen Witch. Top That!
You’ve been practicing yoga for almost 40 years. How did that come about?
I started practicing when I was six. My father was really into yoga, and back then, it seemed like we were really the only ones who knew about yoga. It amazes me now… just what a movement yoga has become, and what an industry it’s become.
Do you have a favorite variation of the practice?
Iyengar yoga, hatha yoga, vinyasa flow; I love them all! My go-to is vinyasa, but I really love a mix of the purist forms and the fun stuff. In fact, I like to teach to music. It allows people to relax a little. If they let me at Fenway, I’m going to play music hip-hop and Bob Marley. I haven’t figured out the playlist yet, but I’m going to try to hit all the levels. I want everyone to feel like they can do it, like an athlete.
Jennifer Aniston told me that you also do a lot of spin together. Is that correct?
Yes, I’m a certified spinning instructor as well. I started teaching spinning early when it was first happening in the 90s. I love the mind-body connection of spinning. I love the feeling of stillness and meditation when on the bike. I think the combo of spin and yoga is a yin and yang thing. It’s very important to have balance. I like to bring energy to yoga, and spinning gets you very connected to your core.
How do you train all of these celebrities with their busy schedules. I mean, are you Skyping with Kate Beckinsale?
Pretty much. That, or I travel to them, or we practice when they are here in L.A.
Are you excited to teach at Fenway Park near where you fake went to college?
I am! I teamed up with Kind Bars when I did my book tour last year. They told me about Fenway Yoga and how they wanted to bring in an instructor, so it just worked out. I’m so excited!
“FenwaYoga” is Sunday, June 8 at 9 a.m. For more information and to register, visit: fenwayoga.com.