Meet yet another new instructor for Honest! Mandi Hood is absolutely amazing. Her teaching style (and who she is as a person) really sums up what Honest represents. Professional, smart, non-judgmental, emotionally intelligent, and just straight up fun to be around. This badass woman, spin instructor and yogi has a lot to offer. Read more about Mandi…
I fell in love with indoor cycling almost ten years ago, when I got bored and decided to go with a friend to a spin class. I wound up sitting in the front row and discovered that I couldn’t even stand up on the bike! This experience was so annoying I came back the next day to prove to myself could do it — and discovered that I was capable of doing far more with my body than I ever thought possible. Spin quickly taught me how empowering it can be to develop physical strength, agility and endurance. Since then, fitness and health have become two of my biggest passions. Adding yoga to my movement practice has been a life-changer; I am daily amazed at how yoga lengthens and strengthens me and while calming my mind. Both spin and yoga are moving mindfulness practices, which is why they work so beautifully together.
I also have an M.A. in Clinical Psychology and ten year’s experience working as a mental health provider. My background in mental health informs everything I do as an instructor, from how I design classes, to how I teach, to what I hope people can gain from working out. I believe two of fitness’s greatest benefits are its ability to empower and heal, both physically and mentally. (It’s also one of the best anti-depressant and anti-anxiety treatments out there!) My classes are designed for everyone, whether you’re new to fitness or a seasoned athlete. I love teaching because I get to create a welcoming and supportive space where people from different backgrounds and fitness experiences challenge themselves, have fun, and find community.
How long have you lived in PDX? What is your favorite part of living in Portland, OR?
I moved from Eugene to Portland in the late 90s and left in 2004 to attend graduate school in San Francisco. (I’ve got an M.A. in Clinical Psychology.)
What is your favorite way to workout/train/move?
I’m happiest when I’ve got a diverse line-up of movement in my exercise practice, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the combination of spin followed by yoga. I’ve been doing spin for about nine years and fell in love with it because it’s such a physical and mental challenge/release. Adding yoga to my movement practice has been a life-changer; I am daily amazed at how it lengthens and strengthens me and while calming my mind. Both spin and yoga are moving mindfulness practices, which is why they work so beautifully together.
What was it that first got you into fitness? And what made you want to be an instructor?
Although I’ve been active for most of my life, I didn’t really “get into fitness” until my 30s. I was feeling sluggish and a friend took me to my first spin class. She put me in the front row where everyone got to watch me discover I couldn’t stand up on the bike! I refused to accept defeat and came back for more… and then wound up having way too much fun to ever want to stop! I was lucky to work with trainers and instructors who made me feel comfortable, stressed the importance of good form and understanding body mechanics, and who helped me see that we are all capable of so much more than we realize. I’ve also done a lot of emotional healing through exercise. I am so much happier and at peace with myself when I exercise regularly. Exercise is part of holistic health and I became an instructor because I want to help other folks find that sense of empowerment and healing through fitness.
Why is working out so important to you?
Whenever people ask me what my fitness goals are, I tell them my goal is to have fun and be a healthy, spry and active 98-year-old! Regular exercise and movement changed my life. I live in my head a lot and exercise grounds me in my body. Exercise, movement, and continuing to develop kinesthetic intelligence are what has helped me to practice and better understand mindfulness. Exercise helps me feel whole and integrated. I’m a big group fitness fan so for me, working out is also where I find community. Finally, I’m a fitness nerd who genuinely thinks this stuff fun — which is good because if it’s not fun, I pretty much don’t wanna do it!
What 1 food and 1 beverage could you not live without?
Ice cream and grapefruit juice. (Which sound unappealing to me at the moment because I’m now thinking of what it would be like to eat them together.)
What is your current self-care routine, and why is it important to you?
Right now getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water, and practicing yoga regularly is my trifecta of self-care.
What is your biggest outlet for your creative expression?
My spiritual practice.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m a huge introvert, am socially painfully shy around people (until I get to know them). But I cover it up pretty well! Teaching has also been a great way to break through my shyness.
THANKS MANDI! Looking forward to taking some of your classes! Purchase a package of indoor cycling classes AND schedule your class here! See Mandi on the schedule starting the end of Aug.
Get your FREE WEEK at Honest here! (new client only please)