As a legendary athlete, Diamond Dallas Page has influenced countless boys and girls over the years as a wrestler for both well known organizations World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). A man of many accolades, Page found himself dabbling in yoga after sustaining a back injury that dramatically changed his professional career. Now, he has transformed yoga practice into a more mainstream, and man friendly, regimen for all those looking to experience the benefits of yoga without the spiritual context. For over 15 years now Page has been practicing yoga and has used his unique perspective to change the yoga game. DDP Yoga definitely “ain’t your mama’s yoga”.
But how exactly does Page reinvent the proverbial yoga wheel? DDP Yoga is a hybrid workout which incorporates many of the exercises that Page has used for years: rehabilitation techniques, calisthenics, dynamic resistance exercises and breathing techniques. Simply put, DDP Yoga takes the basics of both traditional exercises and yoga and amps them both up, which is fitting for a man like DDP who is known for his over the top persona.
To dig deeper into the philosophy of DDP Yoga, I had the opportunity to ask the unconventional guru himself, Diamond Dallas Page, a few questions about the program.
Mane Man: First off thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to answer a few questions. While yoga has recently become increasingly popular among men, a lot of guys are still hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. What was it about yoga that held you back from doing it years ago and what allowed you to finally dive in?
Diamond Dallas Page: For years, I was one of those guys who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga. I always thought it was for girls. But in 1998, at the age of 42, I ruptured my L4/L5 disc so badly that I lost just about all flexibility in my lower back. I could barely bend over, never mind wrestle.
But one day, while I was laid up with my back injury, I saw my wife, Kimberly, coming upstairs from one of her workouts. She was absolutely soaked in sweat. When she told me she was practicing yoga, I thought for sure that she was pulling my leg. But she insisted that yoga offered her a great physical workout and made her feel rejuvenated. She was absolutely certain that yoga could help me rehabilitate my back and asked me to give it a shot…..and the rest is history!
MM: And you’ve recently created your own brand of yoga that seems to have a broader mass appeal. Can you share with us how the program works and how it’s different than traditional yoga?
DDP: Like traditional yoga, we constantly call attention to each inhalation but in DDP Yoga, after we inhale deeply we count out loud in boot camp fashion on each exhalation. This helps get your heart rate up and keeps it fun. Each DDP Yoga move is done with my secret ingredient, “Dynamic Resistance” (engaging your muscles while moving through ranges of motion) along with the use of a heart rate monitor to let you know when you are in your fat burning zone, your cardio zone or if you have gone anaerobic. It’s this combination that makes DDP Yoga different.
MM: And what has the response been like to TeamDDPyoga.com?
DDP: The response to TeamDDPYoga.com is beyond my wildest dreams! Team DDP Yoga is the official community for all those who have purchased the DDP Yoga workouts. It’s much more than an information sharing and support group. Each team member has their own profile page which they personalize with their declared goals and any other information they want to share. They have a specific area to post their 30, 60, 90 and 120 day pictures in 6 different DDP Yoga positions to show improvement. They are also strongly encouraged to blog about their experiences while doing the DDP Yoga program.
I have been overwhelmed with how much love, support & encouragement that our team members provide to each other. It’s the glue that keeps people participating beyond their own perceived limitations and allows for incredible transformations.
MM: That’s great! DDP Yoga seems to incorporate a lot of different types of exercise to increase conditioning and flexibility like you mentioned with your injury. Can you share some of the main components of the program with us?
DDP: The DDP Yoga workouts are the ongoing result of what I have done over the years to help my body healthy from a number of injuries. The mixing of traditional yoga moves, my back & knee rehab exercises and some old school calisthenics like slow motion pushups, squats, punches & core strengthening moves will help increase flexibility, strength & conditioning with virtually zero impact on your joints!
MM: It seems that DDP Yoga works particularly well for athletes and people with injuries. What makes the program particularly effective for those groups of people?
DDP: The DDP Yoga workouts were originally created to help me get back in the ring, break up scar tissue and prevent future injuries.
I believe that adding the slow motion isokinetic element (what I call Dynamic Resistance) to each DDP Yoga position and getting people to clean up their diet are the main factors in my program that are helping so many athletes stay on top of their game and also heal old or new injuries.
MM: Like you just mentioned, I understand that there is also a nutritional component to the program that limits some foods. Can you speak a little about that?
DDP:The DDP Yoga Eating Guide is a three tiered program that educates people about eating real food and identifies the most common foods that rob people of their health and vitality.
Phases 1 & 2 educate and strongly urges people to limit alcohol intake and to eliminate all processed foods, artificial sweeteners, gluten & dairy products.
Phase 3 has you replace all genetically modified foods with GMO free and locally grown and/or organic foods. This phase also introduces people to organic juicing and the healthiest ways to time and combine your foods for maximum digestive efficiency.
MM: And were you always as conscious about eating that cleanly or was that a relatively new development for you?
DDP: I have always done my best to eat as healthy as I could, given the limitations of being on the road, without sacrificing taste. If it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it.
But because I started wrestling at 35 years of age, I have always been looking for different ways to hold back the hands of time and I found that clean, healthy eating tops the list. And over the last few years, I have learned a lot more about how our food supply is manufactured, genetically manipulated and tainted. This has caused me to eat cleaner than ever before and I share that information on our DDP Radio podcasts and on TeamDDPYoga.com.
MM: In terms of costs for subscriptions, what can people looking to join the DDP Yoga community expect?
DDP:: There’s no cost for subscribe to TeamDDPyoga.com, all you need to do is invest in any one of the three DVD packages we offer but, sometime this year, DDP Yoga will release a fitness app that will change the way the world works out! So stay tuned……
With this latest chapter fully developed, it will be amazing to see how the diamond-cutter himself, Diamond Dallas Page writes the next passage. To keep up with DDP, you can follow him on Twitter at @RealDDP and @DDPYoga. You can also learn more about DDP Yoga on Facebook at Facebook.com/DDPYoga.
Contributing Editor, Jor-El Caraballo is the editor of ManeManblog.com, a New York City based lifestyle blog that aims to help men embrace their own personal sense of style and confidence. Started out of his own personal journey to find information and support for his hair, Jor-El created MANE MAN to help guys learn from his personal challenges and trials with grooming products. Affectionately known to his readers as “MANE MAN”, Jor-El covers everything from the best in grooming and shaving to culture, lifestyle, fashion and health.