Former basketball player Patrick Beach now travels around the globe to share his knowledge and yoga skills. He practiced handstand before it became a popular yoga pose and started to share his images on Social Media. That’s how he became famous in the digital yoga landscape. He now has well over 280k followers on Instagram, following his strong asana practice filled with handstands and arm balances. With Deddou he talked about his everyday life, practices that keep him grounded while travelling and about physical postures – and why they actually don’t matter so much.
Deddou: Do you still get nervous before teaching a class?
Patrick: Mainly, I get excited. Teaching is the only thing that is raw in this job. The digital world, especially Social Media channels give us a sense of connection, that actually isn’t real. When I’m teaching, I feel a real connection and that’s what I love about it so much.
Deddou: Talking about being connected - what role does meditation play for you?
Patrick: I basically meditate every day. In my life there is no consistency. I am literally in a different city every week. There’s a beauty, but also a challenge in it. When I’m travelling to the next yoga festival or workshop and I am on a flight, I long for some peace and might end up doing a calming meditation. Sometimes I need to get really active in my body. Then my meditation is less of a focus and I concentrate on physical postures. But honestly meditation is always there in my life. The moving part of the practice is very meditative for me, too.
In our everyday lives, we are always in a sensation. We are in a conversation, doing something physical or you are doing something for your job – you are always in a sensation. And then what happens when you are alone? Suddenly there is no distraction and you are not dwelling in any sensation. So, you quickly get bored. And what do you do when you get a split second of boredom? You take out your phone and start checking things online… Right? So with meditation I can be in no sensation – and just be. That really helps me to reset and stay mentally grounded.
Deddou: Since you travel around the globe, constantly on the move and living out of a suite case- what else do you do to stay grounded?
Patrick: Anytime I go to a new place, I eat locally sourced food. I adjust to the new culture and in the new time zone, when I start to search for healthy, local food. That’s what helps me stay grounded in any part of the world. At the same time, I am an extraverted person and I get good vibes and energy by connecting to and hanging out with local people.
Deddou: What does physical yoga practice mean to you?
Patrick: To me it really is all about the experience. I try to learn and understand myself every day and be part of this journey and this process. I don’t chase anything physically. I don’t care if my practice gets deeper or if I can do more complicated things. I practice every single day. Even though my hip is swollen like a melon after the scooter accident I had yesterday, I still practice every day. But I don’t put any pressure on myself. I just wanna move and grow with every experience. The physical poses are amazing, but they don’t matter. They are just the sum of your efforts. I want to live what I teach and share it. People get comfortable in really weird places: In jobs, environments or relationships they don’t like. I think yoga is a great tool to identify, access and shift that stuff.
Deddou: Do you have a favourite book that inspired you?
Patrick: I would say it is: On the Road by Jack Kerouac, because it inspired me to change my life, when I was younger. It encouraged me to pursue adventures, travel and live outside of the box. Along the way that journey lead me to the person I am today. So often people find an excuse not to live and find adventure. For me living life fully means to travel. But it’s not the only way. Life is about exploring yourself and the people around you, different jobs and opportunities with more depth. Through travelling I don’t get stuck in the same circle. You don’t have to keep improving, but keep growing.
Interview by Deddou Burkhard
Transcript by Sara Bagladi