The Probability of You Becoming You
Reflections on Bakasana/Crane Pose

Diamond Dallas Page: A True Yoga Badass

by Matt CaronJune 2, 2012

“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…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.

Matt Caron
Matt Caron
Matt is an enthusiastic Yoga teacher and life voyager. He enjoys reading, writing, practicing and meditating. He is the founder and editor of Matt strives to inspire conscious living and conscious dialogue; not only for others, but for himself.
  • Rodrigo Contreras Ruvinskis

    DDP has inspired so many peeps with his Yoga. Super cool guy. 

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    Thanks for this post! Recently found this video of Arthur’s story, which makes you realize the “reach” of a guy like DDP. Appreciate you pointing out to the purists that yoga can and ought to be flexible to meet the needs of the practitioner. It can help so many more when we take this approach!

    • yogamatt

      Yea. DDP has this system down. I recently heard he has gone back to WWE.

  • james


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  • Karen Anderson

    Thank you for championing common sense yoga that works for real people. I’m a student of Susan Powter’s “Trailer Park” yoga and completely identified with Arthur Boorman’s video. I’d love the opportunity to take a class with DDP.

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  • David Freiman

    According to the biographies of Krishnamacharya by his son and grandson, even if he did create sequences, his teaching was tailored individually to the student. This is why his most famous students who started their own yoga schools (Iyengar, J. Pattabhi Jois, etc.) produced such different practices. They each met him at different times in his life and he prescribed different practices for each. Desikachar and his students follow the ways of the patriarch. Gary Kraftsow’s viniyoga, particularly follows this philosophy. I should note that a friend of mine who wanted to study Iyengar yoga in Russia, was told that before he could attend a beginner class, he had to take private sessions with a master teacher with an assistant. They taught him all the asana with hands-on assists to teach him the proper alignment. I don’t know if this is common Iyengar practice elsewhere. I have had short workshops with Iyengar or, more precisely, “lapsed” Iyengar teachers.

    On a related topic, Bikram says that his guru sent him to be the medical doctor in a village. Every day he had a long queue of patients and he would prescribe the appropriate practices and postures for each condition. After a while he realized that he was prescribing many of the same asana and that everyone’s general health would be improved if they did the 26 postures of his “beginner’s practice.” This was admittedly a selfish decision, because with preventive self-care, it would cut down the number of patients he would have to treat. (This is recounted in the latest edition of his book.)

    As far as DDP, some of his methods seem unsafe. The results are excellent, but the video does not explain if there was consideration of risks, precautions and contraindications. This was a big part of my yoga certification training.

  • Dan Stone

    stop selling the poison!!!!!!!!!!! even the sharks on shark tank could smell the BS!!! (only speaking of DDP and Arthur’s story) YOGA is cool, just leave it to the hippies.

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