Are you thinking, "what is she talking about?" Then let me share the entire story...
On March 13th, YogaDork put up this blog post about DDP's latest venture--DDP Yoga. The YogaDork story was entitled, "Diamond Dallas Page Now Prefers Putting Foot Over His Head To Up Someone's Ass." Eye-catching title, no? So, I read the quick YogaDork blurb about DDP Yoga, and having known about DDP in middle school, when all of the guys started making his diamond hand symbol on the school bus and wearing his t-shirts, I was totally shocked. DDP is now a yoga teacher? Whaaaattt? I saw his DDP Yoga logo, with a fist coming through the "O," and saw his slogan, "it ain't your mama's yoga," and thought, "what a joke?!" So, without thinking much of it, I wrote the following comment on the post:
"This is the first that I’ve heard of DDP Yoga and I’m horrified but also slightly amused (thank you for pointing out the fist in the O–that’s hysterical!)…I mean, is this what it takes to get “regular guys” to do yoga? I hope not! And not in my experience. But why does the advertising industry try to “macho” everything up in order to get guys to try it?
Thanks for sharing this ridiculousness. I’m usually of the opinion that no matter what it is, it’s great if it gets people (who wouldn’t have otherwise tried it) to try yoga, but this time I’m not so sure…"
Needless to day, DDP visited the YogaDork post, saw my comment, and was not so pleased with it. So he responded with a long response, of which I've included an excerpt below (read the full response here):
Mary I normally don’t care how people comment to what I’m doing with DDPYOGA… I know I’m the Black Sheep of yoga and I’m Kool with that… but the Clown who wrote this blog about me and what I’m doing today took some cheap shots at me and took my words totally out of context and he pissed me of… I’ve brought my form of yoga to Iraq & Afghanistan a number of times to work with our troops most all of whom would have never been caught doing any type of yoga but I can promise you many of them would feel different about that today… You can see clips of one of my trips in YYOGA the Movie… and you can goto http://www.DDPYOGA.com to see the number lives I’ve helped changed…
The FIST is simple … I’ve mixed my yoga with rehab moves mixed with Mixed Martial Arts moves (Punching and knees) mixed with slow burn calisthenics but what makes DDP YOGA it’s Own animal is Dynamic Resistance…I’ve found most REAL yogi’s Get IT… Have a Great day
DDP, I'm sorry for writing such a harsh comment without doing a little research first. My initial reaction to the short blog post on YD was based on my own preconceptions and not on what you're actually doing. I was saddened by the thought of yoga having to be paired with a fist (when ahimsa, or non-violence, is such a big part of the practice!) or made more macho for "regular" guys to try it, so I jumped to conclusions.
But, after hearing your explanations for why you've done what you done (or branded your practice in the way that you have), and after watching the clip from the "Y" Yoga Documentary, I take back what I said. Maybe it does take a strong, dominant male role model for certain types of people to try yoga, and if they are reaping the benefits of the practice, then who cares how it's delivered (still struggling with the fact that you say "lift your ass" to get people into down dog, but to each his own, right?)? And maybe yoga has become so "hyper-feminine" in the West that we need people like you to get guys to give it a try...?
In your video I could tell that you really do love yoga, and that you are trying to spread the benefits of the practice--and the breathing and relaxation that goes along with it--to those might otherwise never be exposed to it. So for that, I applaud you! Just because I don't understand it or respond to it, doesn't mean that it isn't a good thing. I'm so glad that you've found yoga and that it's helped you, and obviously, that you're helping other people by spreading the yoga love. Good for you!
For all my blog readers, check out what DDP is doing here, and let me know your thoughts. It's definitely controversial in some ways, but I've decided that anything that gets people doing yoga, and paying attention to their bodies (and to their breath), is a good thing. Plus, I can tell it comes from a really good place (hard to tell from his website, but easier to see here).
So the moral of the story? Don't jump to conclusions, and don't judge a book by it's cover. Also, don't make flippant remarks online without doing a little research first...I've learned my lesson! Crazy story, huh?
And DDP, if you're reading this--good for you for setting the record straight! Even if you did shame me a little bit with your response ;)