This is the first in a series of overviews on home Yoga practices. In this series you'll get an overview and a little background on different home Yoga practices. This segment is an overview of DDPYoga
DDPYoga has garnered mainstream attention for himself, his project, and Yoga in general. This occurred simultaneously with the release of the now famous Arthur Boorman YouTube video sensation. This video has generated over nine million views in a relatively short amount of time.
In the Arthur Boorman video we see an injured Army paratrooper who literally transforms his life and body through his consistent practice of DDPYoga. We also get a glimpse at the man behind DDPYoga.
Diamond Dallas Page: actor, professional wrestler, motivational speaker...Yoga teacher? Yes and no. In Diamond Dallas Page's (DDP) words "It ain't your mama's Yoga!". So, technically, it is yoga but it's not in the sense that while there is a flowing sequence of asana's you are moving energetically and with a singular purpose: burn fat, and lose weight.
DDP, in regards to yoga, is not easily definable in the sense that he's not what most would consider 'typical'. In fact, the word 'atypical' comes to mind; anomaly, even.
Perhaps, a suitable description could be done in a few sentences. Picture in your mind the typical yogi: meditative, calm...serene. Now erase all that and picture a six-foot tall ball of energy, passion, and excitement. Instead of wearing the latest Prana yoga clothing: sweats and a T-shirt. Instead of sitting in sukhanasana reciting a sanskrit prayer: he sits in a simple cross-legged position - fist into palm.
Instead of 'namaste', you get the "BANG!" followed by a thunderous clap of hands-to-mat and an ominous reminder of "Don't forget to do your DDPYoga!"
Describing DDPYoga is difficult. He incorporates the Yoga asanas and adds what he refers to as “dynamic resistance” to the postures; or as he likes to refer to them, “moves”.
To say that DDPYoga is just traditional yoga with a few bells and whistles attached does not do the system DDP developed justice. Yoga can be practiced deliberately as in Hatha Yoga: no doubt the slower the pace; the more strength involved. However when you add dynamic resistance (muscle engagement) it becomes something different. Asanas on steroids easily comes to mind as an apt description.
Formerly, YRG (Yoga For Regular Guys); an attempt to gain the attention of males to get them to practice Yoga; it's now the self-titled DDPYoga.
In his video series he constantly reminds the participants to "make it your own" which can be taken quite literally. It falls in line with traditional Yoga thinking of doing what you can while exercising compassion towards your body and it’s limitations. This appears to be the case with the self-titling: anyone who witnessed his rise in professional wrestling can attest that DDPYoga is all DDP.
Yoga ‘purists’ will likely throw their yoga-blocks and prepare a noose out of yoga straps at the suggestion that DDPYoga is quite likely, at heart, true Yoga. DDP himself may even balk at the suggestion.
Likely complaints could be issues with not using Sanskrit to describe the poses. For instance, the Sanskrit term for ‘childs pose’ is balasana; in DDPYoga it’s ‘safety zone’. Another example would be calling malasana (garland pose)‘catcher’.
It’s arguable that while Sanskrit is an ancient language (beautiful at that) it is merely a language used to define things in the language of its time (over 2000 years ago). In that sense, DDP renaming poses/moves is merely an attempt to better describe what a pose looks like to make it more accessible.
Another potential complaint is that of not following the eight-limbed path to Yoga. That would perhaps be the one truly valid argument against calling DDPYoga, Yoga. However, that is also debatable.
It is debatable in the sense that DDP encourages participants to practice satya (truth) and svadyaha (self-study) in that one is encouraged to know themselves and their practice, their nutritional habits (ahimsa), and to adapt and take breaks when necessary.
Lastly, DDPYoga sets the intent for the practice. The intention is to get into shape, and lose weight. While this, again, may be a source of contention amongst Yoga purists it is honest: the proof lies within the many participants in the program and some very dramatic results as evidenced in the Arthur Boorman video.
So, if you’re looking for what may be considered ‘pure’ Yoga, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for a yoga-like regimen that delivers on its promise, this one may be the one for you.
As for the writer: the writer began his Yoga journey by practicing DDPYoga. This non-yoga Yoga has lead him into interesting places and beautiful spaces. The writer rid himself of 37 pounds of unwanted weight and tons of negativity as a direct result of DDPYoga.
For the effort behind the practice and for delivering on its promise; DDPYoga get’s four stars and only because it’s not Yoga. Then again: what exactly is Yoga?
Stay tuned: coming soon, a one-on-one interview with the man behind DDPYoga: Diamond Dallas Page.