Dwyane Wade Likes Hot Yoga, Walks On the Beach, and Vision Boarding

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Dwyane Wade, the husband of Gabrielle Union, retired from professional basketball in 2019, and although he hasn’t slowed down, his life certainly looks very different than it did when he was playing for the Miami Heat. In a candid conversation with POPSUGAR about his new partnership with Thorne, a supplement and health-test company, the father of five reveals how he got hooked on hot yoga, how he finds time to prioritize his own well-being with spending time with his family and loved ones, and what goes into his (20-page) vision board.

POPSUGAR: Recently, you’ve talked about feeling even healthier post-retirement because you’re able to focus on more than just your physical fitness and can pay attention to your holistic wellness. What are you doing these days to prioritize your mental health?

Dwyane Wade: I believe that mental and physical health goes hand in hand. Now you can separate them and do them at different times, but it’s so amazing when you can do them both together. For me, when I played sports, basketball was kind of my mental outlet and it was a physical challenge. But now, I don’t have that.

And so it’s finding ways to be able to be mentally strong. The things that I pick up [are] ever evolving.

Thorne has been a big part of that. When I got done [playing basketball professionally], I was like, OK, I don’t have all the trainers and staff I had in the NBA; I have to find the things that work for me. I wish I’d been a little bit more educated on what goes on inside my body. And this relationship with Thorne has helped me understand what needs to go in my body, and what do I lack?

Also over the last year, I’ve been strictly on yoga. I haven’t picked up a weight in a year or so. I’ve been really strictly focusing on strengthening my body and strengthening my mind through yoga. And I think it’s one of the greatest things I’ve done — because I don’t want to be in a 115-degree [room] for 60 or 75 or 90 minutes doing poses that are uncomfortable for me. But it’s not just about the [physical poses]. It’s the mental challenge of it all. I have to prepare myself for the mental challenge of that, and make sure that I have the endurance and the clear mind and I have all the things I need.

So I have my things that I do every day from the standpoint of what goes in my body, how I train, how I start my days. And I think it’s so important to stay on a routine with all these different things.

PS: What inspired your decision to put down strength training and start yoga? Had you been into yoga before?

DW: No — I was the opposite of yoga, I was like, I want somebody to stretch me. I don’t want to stretch myself.

A friend of mine called me to do it one day. I actually trained him in the weight room, and then my [part of the bargain] was to try yoga with him. And when I tell you I was ready to quit about 30 to 45 minutes into the class — and it was 75-minute class! I was ready to walk out of that room.

My mind was escaping while I was in that room. And it was a familiar feeling for me because I know how the mind escapes. I’ve been in games where the mind is trying to go away from where we are because “this is too hard.”

And so I was like, “Oh, I like this. I like this because I need this mental challenge.”

For me to be able to give the energy I need, I got to charge [myself] up as much as I can. And so it’s important [to be] a little selfish.

But it’s 6:30 in the morning. It’s early. So you got to prepare your body the day before, the night before, the morning before — it’s a lot I have to do to prepare myself to be in there and not lose focus. In 115 degrees, you ain’t going to be able to breathe in. Some of these positions that I’m getting in are uncomfortable for me because of injuries or because of [my] height or because of my body just [being] built a certain way. And so I’m really trying to focus on doing the work, breathing, and actually doing the exercises, knowing that I’m strengthening my mind and my body.

PS: One thing I wanted to ask about was you just seem like such a fantastic father. You’ve been praised so much for putting your family’s well-being first, even moving because you mentioned your family not being able to be comfortable living in Florida. But how do you balance making sure you’re getting what you need while making sure you’re able to be there to support your kids and to support your wife and your family?

DW: It’s challenging, especially if you have a job that’s demanding or if you have a career that’s demanding. So I think the best way that I’ve learned how to do that — and it is the hardest way — is to be a little bit more selfish. It’s like being selfish, and in the midst of being selfish, I’m able to give more.

When you think of “selfish,” that word has a negative [connotation], but it’s not. These things that we’re talking about, these are selfish acts of me. This is me getting up at 5-something in the morning and selfishly taking care of my mental health. Whether I’m waking up and meditating, whether I’m waking up and doing yoga at 6:30 in the morning, whether I’m waking up and going to the kitchen and throwing in my Daily Greens, whether I’m journaling — I’m a big journal guy, whether it’s in the morning or night — I do all those things before I give my energy to someone else or my family. So that stuff was done by the time I met my daughter at school at 8:30 this morning.

I got to charge my phone at night so I can talk on it all day. For me to be able to give the energy I need, I got to charge [myself] up as much as I can. And so it’s important [to be] a little selfish. You can be more to others.

PS: Besides some of the traditional stuff that people think about when it comes to health and fitness — the yoga, drinking water — is there anything you do that you really feel like makes a difference in helping you feel just feel good?

DW: My walks on the beach. I love going to the water. I always say I’m a water baby. But really, I love to touch the water and the sand at the same time; I love walking that fine line and just headphones on or not and just [listening to] my thoughts and really just putting out the things I want out into the universe, out into the world. That’s where I feel probably my most connected to the world, when I’m close to the water. It’s a place of calm for me, but it’s also a place where I get energized.

PS: It seems like you’re so intentional in how you bring yourself into the world. Can you tell us more about how you think about wellness and bringing it into your entire life?

DW: I mean, you just said the word, and I’m glad you said that because that was my word for myself on my 2024 vision board: intentional. Be intentional in everything that I do.

To be intentional is to be present as well. And to be present, you’ve got to be able to compartmentalize and be able to focus on the things that need to be focused on, when they need to be focused on.

And so that’s a journey for me, how do I stay intentional throughout all the things that I have on my plate?

PS: What else was on your 2024 vision board?

DW: A lot. My vision board this year is 20 pages, and I want to fill it up throughout the entire year. I think I have five pages filled up so far.

[There are] a lot of photos. Some of it is words, like I said: be intentional. I [also] put the things I want. I have a photo of Magic Johnson, because he’s someone I aspire to, from a business [perspective].

But [there are also] a lot of challenges to myself. Throughout this year, I can go back to and say, have you done that? Have you put this onus on yourself to do these things? How do you show up?

And so my vision board is a vision, and hopefully at the end of 2024, I can go back and I can look at my vision board and say, these are the things that I worked my ass off to accomplish. And look what I accomplished by doing these things, small or big.

PS: Is there anything else you want to add?

DW: Yes, just that — these are all standards that I hold myself to. No one is holding me to it, when it’s getting up at 5 a.m. and meditating and taking sound-bath classes and having a life coach. These are all things I do because I try to hold myself to a certain standard.

I want to associate myself with people and brands like Thorne who are holding themselves to that [same high] standard. So I have to lead with that. And so that’s what I feel is very important for all of us to understand: the standard you hold yourself to is the standard that will be provided back to you. And so I have high standards. I’m a little bougie with my standards, and I want it to keep coming back the same way.

PS: I love that. I hear sometimes “water seeks its own level” and I feel like it’s the same vibe.

DW: I like that. I’m going to have to use that, yeah.

Image Source: Courtesy of Thorne

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