By Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
“I’m a guy who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga!”
Wrestling fans know Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) as the iconic World Championship Wrestling (WCW) three-time champion, with his signature move, ‘the diamond cutter.’ Many people would have a hard time imagining a world further removed from yoga practice and philosophy than that of pro-wrestling.
Though after an injury that threatened his entire wrestling career, DDP was convinced to give yoga a try. Within three weeks the effects of rehabilitation were palpable. The personal experiment led to not only a change of heart, but also a new fitness regime, and then a business idea. DDP Yoga launched nearly three years ago, and is already proving popular, claiming dramatic weight loss stories as well as some extraordinary life-turnarounds.
The reaction from the wrestling community has included some disparagement, but also significant enthusiasm: over fifty pro-wrestlers follow DDP Yoga, in addition to other athletes. A great deal of its appeal lies in its emphasis on pure physicality and pragmatism: DDP describes the regime as combining basic yoga poses, calisthenics, and ‘dynamic resistance,’ whereby you burn fat “literally standing still.”
The program rejects yoga’s ‘spiritual mumbo-jumbo.’ Given that traditionally yoga is a physical means to the spiritual end of enlightenment, this attitude might seem confusing to those within the yoga community. Furthermore, even the most cautious and thoughtful yoga routine can lead to long-term injury: Glenn Black, a highly respected yoga teacher with four decades of experience and high-profile clientele, spoke out on this issue, radically discouraging people from attending general classes (he had spinal surgery soon after).
DDP readily admits that he is not a yoga teacher, just someone giving others tangible hope to improve their lives—even those who have been told by doctors that they would never walk again (see Arthur Boorman’s remarkable story here). The accounts of success thus far are certainly inspiring.
This week BTN was joined by DDP and BTR’s resident wrestling expert, DJ Drew, to talk wrestling and yoga, as well as touching on the recent passing of Ultimate Warrior. We also had a surprise guest—look out for the impromptu appearance of Razor Ramon.
Host, Writer – Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
Video Editor – Andy Morell
Script Supervisor – Matthew DeMello
Research – Tanya Silverman
Editing – Dane Feldman