As the summer comes to an end and we all start to rue the holiday calorie binge, wrestling fans in particular might be considering DDP Yoga. Established and led by former WCW/WWE legend and now Yoga Master Diamond Dallas Page, the programme has become de rigueur amongst the wrestling community. Danny describes his DDP yoga experience:
I have always struggled with working out at the gym. The preparation for a session, tedium on the machinery and self-aggrandising grunters were a fatal turn-off and some months ago I cancelled my membership. Feeling down and unhealthy, I started to ponder how I might find another opportunity to exercise. A dalliance with bike riding ended when the winter came and an attempt at running proved to me that I was not built for marathons. As a wrestling enthusiast, I had seen repeated references to Diamond Dallas Page's new yoga programme. A number of wrestlers including Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam and Edge all trumpeted their experiences and for a time, the wrestling 'dirt sheets' had news of little else as Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and Scott 'Razor Ramon' Hall were undertaking the programme as part of their sobriety plans whilst living at DDP's 'accountability crib'.
I suppose my wrestling obsession worked to DDP's favour and I became interested in learning what the fuss was about. It didn't hurt that there are very few, if any, negative reviews of the programme online. The more I read, the more intrigued I became.
DDP's story is rather inspirational. A late starter, he began his professional career at 35 years of age and had hit the top by age 40. Two years later he suffered an injury and was told his career was finished. Following his wife's advice, he started doing yoga but integrated it with other exercise techniques in order to get the intensity of workout he desired. The result is a yoga programme blended with strength conditioning, Pilates and MMA. By 43, DDP had worked his way back into the ring and was later crowned World Heavyweight Champion.
Having researched DDP's story and read around, I decided to bite the (organic, sugar and gluten-free) biscuit and try the programme. There are a range of purchase options and occasional deals but it is not an insignificant expense. I opted for the maximum combo with the full range of DVDs, accompanying programme guide, posters, workout MP3s, Heart Monitor and inspirational video!
My verdict is, as wrestling fans might say, this is awesome!
I started by watching DDP's inspirational video. He omits the worst and offers the best of the cheesy American life coach presentation. Talking through his career and motivation for designing the programme, he offers a helpful introduction to the scheme. It helped put me in the right frame of mind for starting the workouts.
I took the guidebook on the train and started to uncover the brilliant simplicity of the programme. Everyone knows that the key components for losing weight and keeping fit are exercise and sensible eating. DDP helps provide a framework for exactly that. The truth is though, that to get the most from the scheme one has to commit to his sensible eating plan and if taking on 'Level 3' of the diet, cut out gluten and dairy. I have tried with varying success, to reach 'Level 1'.
Then to the workouts. I am a slow starter and so was rather pleased to see a handy beginner's programme accompanied the DVDs. Working through DDP's 'Diamond Dozen' allowed me to familiarize myself with the yoga positions as I was a complete novice. I felt good about doing some exercise even if it was limited. That initial positivity has spurred me on and helped me to remain upbeat as the workouts have progressed. I'm now into my 13th week, having had to re-start after an injury. Where I've run into problems, the online community to which I was granted access as a paying customer, had provided impressive levels of support. I've even had a supportive tweet from DDP himself!
And what of the workouts? There are lots of them, so you can mix and match and avoid tedium. There's plenty of modification options for those that find it difficult and extreme options for the initiated. Whether you're a wrestling fan or not, DDP is very watchable. He explains the steps well and is motivational. It's inevitable that if you are a wrestling fan, you're just going to find it a bit cool, hanging out with DDP every morning.
Ultimately, DDP Yoga (formerly known as YRG) is what you make it. I'm not the best student. I haven't followed the diet plan too well and have sometimes let a day go by without doing the recommended workout. That said, I am now very much more flexible than I was. I feel fitter and healthier and best of all, I've made the progress on a mat in front of my TV in the comfort of my own home. I can work out when I want and I'm motivated to keep going.
If you're looking for a post-summer fitness regime, I would highly recommend DDP Yoga. I'm happier and healthier. As the man himself would say, "BANG!"