One of the more delightful aspects of yoga is discovering an unexpected yogi showing up in the most unlikely places. We love stories that prove anyone can practice yoga, regardless of their upbringing, background or profession. Our friends over at YOGANONYMOUS recently sat down with Diamond Dallas Page , a WWE superstar, and learned that even rough and tumble wrestlers practice yoga! Here’s the wrestling yogi on how yoga saved his career and why he started DDP Yoga:
“The only reason there is a DDP YOGA is because it was a necessity. I didn’t start wrestling until I was 35, my career did not take off until I was 40. That was 1996, the beginning of the Monday Night Wars. I came from obscurity just because I busted my ass and worked five times harder than everybody. In 1997 & 1998 I was rated the #4 wrestler in the world, and then I blew my back out. I had ruptured my L4 & L5 so badly that three different doctors said my career was over. I was almost 43 at the time.
They were telling me that by the time I went through surgery and everything else, by the time I came back I would be too old, I already was too old. I was pretty depressed. I had also signed a multi-million dollar three year deal right around that time. I was still married to Kimberly and she suggested I do yoga. At first I was like fuck that, I’m not doing yoga. I come from the Jersey Shore, and I was really just ignorant to it all.
I started to do it at night time on my own and I started to mix some rehab moves with the yoga positions. One day I got on the mat, I started doing my thing, I think I was up to some 10 second push-ups, I did two, I glanced over at my heart rate and it was at 140. I thought, “How is that possible?” It took me a while, but I started to figure out little by little that every time you engage a muscle your heart has to work faster to get the blood to the muscle.
In less than three months I was back in the ring. At 42 they said my career was over, at 43, I was the world champ. Yoga, and what became the DDP YOGA method, had a lot to do with that.”
Were you ever surprised to learn that someone who didn’t expect practices yoga? What did it tell you about yoga or about our own assumptions?
To learn more about DDP’s yogic path, check out the full article on YOGANONYMOUS’s site here.
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