Patrick Beach wants the world to know how much the holistic experience of yoga can empower a person’s body and mind.
The American-born yogi shares his passion for the practice on a global scale, by engaging his 339k (and counting) Instagram followers daily with images of his strength and flexibility.
Beach travels the world to lead workshops, yoga retreats and put on training programmes for those keen to delve into the discipline of yoga.
Most recently, he devised new classes for Virgin Active in the UK, with the aim of debunking myths and making the skill accessible to all.
We caught up with Beach to chat about what a week is like in his world, as well as to learn how he has created his yoga empire.
Talk us through your week in fitness.
“Every day I wake up and I do a simple but ritualistic yoga practice. I do it so frequently that it’s now very much engrained in my system.
“Later on in the day I’ll do a full yoga practice. If I have time, I’ll do a boxing class, run sprints with my friends or play a sport (such as basketball) – but that only happens around two to three times a week. So yes, I do yoga every single day but then I always try and do other forms of fitness as well.”
What’s your favourite type of workout and why?
“Yoga would have to be my favourite thing obviously. I just enjoy the process of learning different moves and how to make my body more aware of different yoga types. I also love learning how to balance and challenge myself in terms of how to defy the laws of gravity with handstands and arm balances, or how to break barriers that I thought were impossible for myself.”
What do you do on rest days?
“I really like to use solace to rest so I love to sauna. I’ll sauna as much as I possibly can, anytime that I have the opportunity to sauna I will. It’s one of the best things for your body, just the ability to sweat that much, but not be stressed is fantastic. The key to a good sauna session is to get your body really cold then you can be in the heat for longer.”
What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule?
“I eat a lot of vegetables. Trying to keep my diet really balanced is my main focus, so I really try to avoid processed foods and sugar. I think these are the two biggest keys to my diet. My favourite food is Chana Masala – it’s a Garbeta bean Indian dish, I really like that. I also really love chocolate and I like Mexican food.”
What are your pre and post-workout snacks?
“I don’t like to eat much before I practice and post-workout, I will make smoothies that are based on nuts. I crack open a coconut and use the water and cut out the coconut meat and throw the walnuts in there and use MCT oil [a form of saturated fatty acid found in coconut oil] and a little bit of maple syrup.
“Sometimes I have protein powder – but not usually. That would be my favourite thing post workout.”
What’s the one lesson you’ve learned about food?
“Eating food in a happy mindset is really good for you. If you’re stressed out about eating – that also applies to when you begin to consume the food ‘can I eat this, should I eat this, I don’t like this’ – then all of those negative thought patterns can come in to your system when you’re eating.
“Another of the biggest lessons is just being aware of sugar, it’s in almost everything, especially processed foods.”
Do you have a motivational mantra that keeps you going?
“Not really a mantra but just the fact that I am always wanting to explore and continue to improve myself. The more I can find and grow and share with other people, the more they can realise the benefits of yoga. We can break down some of these myths and stigmas that people believe, and that’s really important.”
Do you always have fitness goals you are aiming for?
“I just want to feel good. If I feel good and I’m happy with the way I’m moving and my space, then I think that’s the one life goal that anybody can ever ask for. If my body was really cut up and was completely shattered and was so tired that I couldn’t move, that wouldn’t be any sort of goal for me. I always want to be able to perform and able to accomplish the moves and things that I direct. When I can do that, I’m happy with my body.”
What’s your ultimate workout track and why?
“If I’m really trying to get pumped up, then music by A$AP Rocky but if I’m in more of a normal vibe then I like Bon Iver.”
Patrick Beach is the Global Yoga Ambassador at Virgin Active and co-creator of their brand new yoga series (including Calm by Candlelight class).