Diamond Dallas Page: A True Yoga Badass
“You better do your Yoga, or I’m going to kick your ass.”
You know, there are not many people in the Yoga community that I would say personify a badass. Perhaps just bad. Or even more so, just ass. But not both. That’s rare. Most guys who teach Yoga are pretty puny, subsisting on veggie burgers, soy patties and wheat grass shots. But not this teacher. This is Diamond Dallas Page you wimpy reader. Time to clench up and grab your dumbbells…because this article is about to remind you why real men do Yoga.
Many people remember DDP (his short name) for his very successful career in the WWF. Starting at the age of 35 and spanning until his retirement at 49 (14 years!), DDP became a 3 time world champion and a household name. Basically what this means is that this guy has been spanking youngsters like myself for quite some time, and he is damn good at it. To be 49 and retire from an industry that is so physically demanding means you have some tenacity and dedication not easily found in others, and you have some big..er…well…ballz. These guys are throwing each other around like rag dolls and doing complex moves that require exact movements so as not to break their bodies. Some people say it’s fake, but believe me- when you are doing some of these moves you are risking your life. And that takes cajones my friend.
With that being said, it’s easy to understand how this can wreck your body. And so many wrestlers have. Hulk Hogan is a prime example, as he has a broken back. But DDP is different. After suffering from many bodily traumas and injuries from his career in the ring, DDP went on a quest to find a way to naturally heal his body and it led him to an unlikely source: Yoga.
Studying many forms of naturalistic philosophy and getting Bryan Kest as a mentor, DDP slowly began to develop his own style of rehabilitation that he molded for his body type; and it totally worked. Convinced this method could work for others, DDP began teaching Yoga to his friends and old colleagues, spreading the gospel of right living to anyone he met.
Fast forward a few years and he is still spreading that message, although now in a huge way. He has DVD’s , books, and even helps people that ask him for advice on his website. This guy is on it. And he is super inspiring. One of the most inspirational transformations to see is Arthur Boorman, a veteran who was told he could never walk again without assistance. (You have probably seen the video below. It went viral a little while back.)
After working with DDP and doing his DVD’s, Arthur started making a huge shift with both his health and his ability walk. At the end of 9 months the guy lost 100 lbs and could run! (watch the video)
Some people have criticized DDP for changing the Yoga into something different and adding old calisthenics into the mix. That’s actually a total misunderstanding of the whole history of Yoga. Yoga was not even originally a sequence or “flow”, rather individual postures prescribed based on people’s needs or injuries. Sort of like a patient goes to a doctor. Then krishnamacharya came along and made it popular by establishing a sequence. So I hate to be the bearer of bad news here people….even he wasn’t a purist and the guy is responsible for creating the Yoga revolutoin across the globe. So the point is if it works for people and has helped spread Yoga everywhere, why not endorse it? Not like the guy is sacrificing virgins or something.
I think that what I love most about Yoga is how incredibly universal and practical it is. It is not only a system that helps transform lives, but also encourages us to see deeper into who we are and how we define ourselves. It’s hard for me to imagine that anything other than Yoga could have had this kind of affect on DDP and the people he has helped. And what is great is that he has become a doorway for the average guy to get involved in stretching and doing deep breathing. What could be more simple? Just relaxing into the moment and connecting to the body in a safe and low impact way allows gives the opportunity to grow into what we know is clearly present all the times: ourselves. Yoga is simply honoring our own innate connection to our bodies, minds and hearts. And sometimes it takes a badass like DDP to prove it.