At 5’2”, Danica Patrick is a pressure to be reckoned with. The solely lady to have led laps in each the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, Patrick is not any stranger to dealing with down her fears. The 37-year-old writer and longtime yoga practitioner retired from race automotive driving final yr, and at this time she’s channeling her take-no-prisoners angle into an inspirational podcast, aptly titled Pretty Intense, through which she interviews famed friends similar to Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alex Rodriguez about robust subjects like what it takes to win, spirituality, and what makes us human. We caught up together with her to speak about her new profession objectives, her yoga follow, and what she goals about at night time.
Yoga Journal: Why a podcast?
Danica Patrick: I simply spend a lot of my time listening to inspirational podcasts and watching some of these movies, and I assumed that it will be actually enjoyable to go deep with individuals and discover out extra concerning the elements of their lives that have been troublesome or transitioned into one thing good and learn how they did it. When I watch one thing or take heed to somebody converse, I would like some motion factors. What did it take to get the place they’re? What methods did they use? How are you going develop—not simply as an concept however how are you going to do it. So now I speak to individuals to learn how they did it.
YJ: What friends are you most enthusiastic about thus far?
DP: I liked the dialog with Neil deGrasse Tyson. We talked about faith a lot as a result of he’s an astrophysicist. What a cool and sensible man. I really feel prefer it’s going to be cool for individuals to listen to concerning the universe and the material of our actuality—what makes us people and what makes us distinctive. Oh, and Gloria Steinem. She was refreshingly easy and actually enjoyable to speak to.
YJ: Who’s your dream visitor?
YJ: What retains bringing you again to your yoga mat?
DP: I’ve realized how necessary the psychological facet of the follow is—with the ability to join with the breath, flip your ideas off, and return to one thing repetitive and easy. It’s so highly effective for general emotion and psychological wellness to be targeted in that method. It’s been actually good for me to concentrate on the small stuff, as a result of I’ve a very pushed, type-A, goal-oriented aspect of me that desires to perform troublesome poses and contact my ft to my head—which I lastly did a couple months in the past in Scorpion!—I’ve had goals about my ft touching my head. I don’t know if that makes me bizarre, however I’ve undoubtedly had these goals.
YJ: Home apply or yoga studio?
DP: Mine’s a residence follow. I feel it’s simpler to progress at residence as a result of you’ll be able to take time to focus and work on no matter you need. In a class, you must drift. I’m making an attempt to get extra according to meditation as nicely. It took till a couple years in the past for me to breath by means of every motion—in by way of Up Dog and exhale via Down Dog—the simplicity of respiration via was not straightforward for me. Doing pranayama work and getting deeper into mediation has been tremendous highly effective and finally crucial a part of my house follow. Without meditation and pranayama, you could as nicely do another fitness routine. There are methods to burn energy, however yoga actually focuses on the thoughts, physique, and respiration.
YJ: How did yoga affect your racing profession?
DP: Breathing for positive was a huge deal for me in racing. I’ve all the time understood the facility of a deep breath for slowing issues down. I’d take sluggish breaths in by means of my mouth and out by way of my nostril to reset the adrenaline, focus, and decelerate. I’ve all the time believed that in case you can bend, you do not break. That mantra was all the time useful for me when accidents would occur. My physique was going to locations in methods it should not, however I used to be capable of get out of the game with none main accidents. I all the time felt due to my flexibility, I bent and did not break.