Read on to hear about Ingber’s inspiring philosophy, her trip to Chi-town, and her tips for self-acceptance. Then, book your spot at her workshop stat, because spaces will fill up faster than you can say Namaste
You’ve worked with everyone from Kate Beckinsale to Brooke Shields and — obviously — Jennifer Aniston. Tell us: Do celebs have the same body insecurities as us mortals?
"Of course! Each of us is very similar. It may look different on the outside, but the bottom line with health, fitness, and wellness is we are all on an equal playing field. There are no shortcuts, and we are all faced with self-care lessons and learning to accept and love ourselves while growing. So, the best policy is to keep the focus on the best you that you can be."
Tell us about your workshop at Exhale!
"I am so excited to come to Chicago! My first trip there was when Jen was shooting The Break Up, and I can remember my first steps onto Wrigley Field. This upcoming class will be focused on happiness and self-love, with a little flow at the beginning, then a 30-minute section that will highlight my signature Yogalosophy hybrid routine. It'll be like a yoga workout! Then we will stretch it out at the end. I will then be signing books that will be available for sale, and connecting with everyone immediately following."
So, er, what is Yogalosophy?
"It's my wellness philosophy that begins with starting exactly where you are. It's a program of intention-setting and making short-term achievable goals, like doing my yoga hybrid routine, which pairs a traditional yoga pose with a toning exercise. The Yogalosophy is about accepting and loving yourself as you are and developing healthy habits based on that paradigm. My 28-day program, [which is outlined] in my book, includes the hybrid routine, three optional eating plans, extra credit activities, and daily playlists, recipes, and gratitude lists. It’s a companion to help encourage a wellness lifestyle through yoga and a variety of activities."
Sounds like a pretty groovy lifestyle! What’s the first step we should take to start living it today?
"Start moving! We don't always feel motivated before we take action, so the best possible thing you can do is to act your way into correct thinking. Once you begin, that will start a ripple effect. My main tips are: Write a daily gratitude list. Make a list of five things you are grateful for. Make room for healthy choices. Literally make a date in your date book for self care. Replace one bad habit, like sugar, with a good one, like a daily green veggie juice. See the bigger picture, the you that is already in optimal health. How does that person feel? Begin to align with that vision and feeling. Decide to love your body now. As is. That way, even if nothing changes, you will begin to feel happier."
So, part of Yogalosophy is loving the body you have now. That’s a tall order!
"Yes. I can really relate, because I had struggled with my weight and my body image a lot, from my teens through my twenties. At a certain point, I started focusing on the positive. Like even though I felt heavy, I recognized that I had nice skin on my legs…Reframing our thinking goes a long way. You know that quote: 'When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.' That is really true!"
Mandy Ingber will host “Yogalosophy” at Exhale Spa on June 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $50.
Exhale Spa, 945 North State Street (at East Oak Street); 312-753-6500.
Photo: Courtesy of Mandy Ingber