Andre Patton is living proof that you can’t always judge a book by its cover — and that making time for yoga at home makes him a better athlete and boyfriend. Despite his towering 6’3,” 210-pound frame, you’re just as likely to find the Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver stepping on the yoga mat as you are inside a football stadium. In fact, Patton credits a regular asana practice with improving his mental focus both on and off the field
Ompractice recently caught up with the 23-year-old to talk about how Crow Pose helps him bond with his girlfriend, the real reason why every football player should incorporate Namaskar A into their regular routine and how he found inner peace through live, interactive online yoga classes.
How did you first discover yoga?
I started practicing when I was in college [at Rutgers University]. It was part of our weekly practice schedule. Until now, I never went out of my way to practice on my own. That’s one of the perks of Ompractice. I don’t have to go out of my way. They bring the yoga class to me.
When did you first become hooked on interactive online yoga classes?
My PR agents introduced me to Ompractice. They told me it would fit well for me and, once I tried it, I agreed.
Why do you think these classes are a great alternative to a brick-and-mortar yoga studio?
Interactive live classes are great because I get to bring the teacher and class to me. I don’t have a lot of spare time to go to a yoga studio and trying to make it fit in my schedule is really difficult. With online yoga and a live teacher that sees me, I literally turn on my computer and that’s it. No wait time, no traveling and no hassle.
How has your practice evolved since you began using Ompractice?
I definitely practice more than I used to now since it’s so easily available to me. It’s hard to say how often since my schedule consistently changes, but that’s why it’s so great! I can practice whenever it works for me even if it’s not on a consistent basis.
Where do you usually step on the mat after you turn on your computer?
I usually have my girlfriend [NBA Brooklynettes dancer Cassy Yeung] practice with me. She has a built-in studio in her basement. It’s great because there’s a mirror for us to check our form, but we could very well practice anywhere around the house. If we didn’t have the dance studio, we’d probably just practice in the living room.
Do you prefer to practice alone or with other people?
Like I said, I usually practice with my girlfriend, but I don’t mind doing it by myself since yoga is all about finding your inner peace.
Do you and Cassy ever schedule yoga date nights?
I wouldn’t say we do yoga date nights, but it’s definitely a way that we unwind together. We’re both always on the run and very active. So it’s nice being able to use Ompractice as an outlet to relax together.
What are the biggest physical and spiritual benefits you’ve seen from yoga?
Yoga is an extremely helpful tool for athletes like myself. It’s important to work on balance, stretch and even focus on your breathing. With yoga, I feel like I can really get in touch with my bod
How does yoga complement your career as a professional athlete?
Yoga helps focus on the basics, which is ideal for football. Yoga is really complementary to the sport because it aids in all the areas we don’t always focus on.
Would you recommend other professional athletes add it to their training program?
All athletes can really benefit from yoga because it’s one of the very few times that you can unwind and escape from everything else going on in your life. Not only does yoga help physically, but it really helps to clear your head every now and then.
What’s the number one way yoga has improved your life on and off the mat?
It’s helped with my flexibility and mobility. My usual aches and pains have been reduced and I think it’s from focusing on stretching.
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