Nobody could have thought that former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page would come up with a fitness craze so revolutionary, that it would change peoples lives forever. Simply knowing these famous people who credit DDP Yoga ought to encourage others to follow suit and pay it forward.
It's ironic to know that Diamond Dallas Page (Page Joseph Falkenburg, Jr. in real life) was someone who "wouldn't be caught dead" doing yoga during his first 42 years of existence. However, he had a change of heart when he ruptured his L4 and L5 discs during his wrestling career. He would do anything to help ease the discomfort, so he tried it, per DDPYoga.com.
Diamond Dallas Page soon learned his new discovery could help people who have struggled with their weight lose hundreds of pounds. He himself said,"Weight loss just happens to be really awesome side effect of DDP Yoga."
For those who are unfamiliar with the practice, DDPYoga.com goes into deeper detail:
"DDP Yoga combines the very best of yoga, traditional fitness, sports therapy and dynamic resistance to create one of the most effective fitness plans in existence today.
It allows anyone to get an amazing cardio workout while improving muscular strength, dramatically increasing flexibility and strengthening the core in a single workout...all with minimal joint impact!
The main benefits are body fat loss, lean muscle growth and improved cardio levels all without placing undue stress on the joints. DDP Yoga is currently used by professional football players, over 40 professional wrestlers, MMA fighters, and regular, everyday people who want to perform at optimum levels and want to place themselves in the best position to see career- and life-changing results and improve their quality of life."
For the purposes of this article, we will simply rank the top people who were saved by DDP Yoga according to the impact it has made on their lives.
10 Shawn Michaels
Who doesn't know The Heartbreak Kid?
Shawn Michaels rose to prominence in the WWE as half of "The Rockers" alongside Marty Jannetty. He then became known as "The Heartbreak Kid" on the suggestion of the late Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig.
Michaels retired for the first time in 1998 due to a serious back injury he sustained during that year's Royal Rumble casket match against The Undertaker. He returned to the WWE in 2002 to be a part of the recently-formed New World Order.
In an April 2012 interview with WrestlingInc.com's Jay Calderon, Diamond Dallas Page reveals it was Michaels who was the first-ever wrestler to try his brand of yoga when he had his most recent back surgery:
"HBK--Shawn Michaels -- was the first guy to ever do DDP Yoga when he came back from that last back surgery. He told (Chris) Jericho about it when (Jericho) herniated his L-4, which is the lower part of your back. It's the center of the universe. He was done."
9 Sean "The Destroyer" Loeffler
Few MMA fighters have had a life as tragic as Sean Loeffler's.
Loeffler fathered a daughter when he was a teenager. He then discovered his fiancee having a relationship with another man, who he got into a fight with. Loeffler landed in jail because of that.
"They threw the book at me," he told MMAWeekly.com's Erik Fontanez in 2012.
While in the slammer, Loeffler fell behind on child support payments amounting to thousands of dollars. He hasn't seen his daughter since 2007, per Fontanez. Loeffler's been shot and stabbed, too. As if that wasn't enough, his boxing coach, Hector Gil, was murdered on April 7, 2010.
Loeffler took to MMA to get his life back on track. He injured his ankle in February of 2012 and turned to DDP Yoga to help him recover.
He told FightNetwork.com back then about DDP Yoga's immense benefits:
"I've heard great things about DDP Yoga, and from the research I've done, I believe wholeheartedly that it's going to help my rehab my ankle while building up my cardio. I can't wait to get started."
8 Mick Foley
Mick Foley is another wrestling great who has benefited from DDP Yoga.
During his years in the ring, Foley had several aliases: "Cactus Jack," "Mankind," and "Dude Love." This versatile jack of all trades (he's also an author, comedian, color commentator and actor) retired for good from wrestling in August of 2013.
On August 21st, 2013, he was already all praises for Diamond Dallas Page and his brand of yoga for helping him stay in shape during his retirement years. He posted his thanks on his official Facebook page:
"Congratulations to my bro, DDP, for being on the receiving end of a great story on HBO's 'Real Sports' - but more importantly for making a difference. I remember when Dallas was being scoffed at and looked at as a quack with that yoga stuff.
I'll admit that there are times over the years when I've felt like saying 'enough's enough, man -- just give me a break.' But DDP kept true to his vision of DDP Yoga for the same reason he won't let go of his vision of one day seeing a healthier Mick Foley; because he honestly cares. Good friends and good men can be hard to find. DDP is both."
7 Mark Schlereth
If you're an NFL football fan and you watch ESPN religiously, then you should know Mark Schlereth.
The Washington Redskins drafted Schlereth, an offensive lineman out of Idaho, in the 10th round of the 1989 NFL draft. He went on to play a combined 12 seasons in the league with the Redskins and the Denver Broncos. He won one Super Bowl with the Redskins in 1992 and two with the Broncos in 1998 and 1999.
Without a doubt, Schlereth is a feel-good story. However, he also had his share of turbulent times. All in all, he had to go through 29 surgeries during his NFL career. Twenty of those were on his knees.
Schlereth has had to endure the lingering effects of those injuries. However, with the help of DDP Yoga, he's been making progress like he never has before. He's been tweeting his progress so far, beginning with this tweet:
@DDPYoga @RealDDP day 2 of the program!! Things are moving that haven't moved in years! pic.twitter.com/SQRMGNkQmR
— mark schlereth (@markschlereth) August 7, 2014
Goldust has been wrestling since 1989. You can just imagine the wear and tear the sport has inflicted on his body.
Goldust is no spring chicken at the age of 45. However, with DDP Yoga, he feels more flexible than he ever did before.
In an interview with SportsKeeda.com's Ashish Negi, Goldust marvels at how DDP Yoga has helped his body in more ways than one. He said that"With DDP Yoga, there are a couple benefits. I stand up straighter now, and I can bend in ways I couldn't bend. I feel so much better: my joints, muscles and bones. It is awesome."
5 Chris Jericho
Aside from Mick Foley, Chris Jericho is another virtuoso who has reaped the benefits of DDP Yoga.
Jericho is not just a wrestler. He's also a musician (lead vocalist of the rock band Fozzy), media personality, actor, author, and businessman.
And don't forget, he's a dancer as well.
Four years ago, Jericho suffered an herniated disc in his back after the 12th season of "Dancing With The Stars." He turned to DDP Yoga to help relieve the pain and discomfort.
According to MensFitness.com, Jericho now "claims to be pain-free and in better shape than he was five years ago."
Jericho even stood up to CM Punk's verbal attack on DDP Yoga before WrestleMania XXVIII almost a year later:
"All I know is that DDP Yoga works for me. It's the best training I've had in my life and it's funny how I've been wrestling 10 years longer than CM Punk, but he's the one who's always walking around with more ice on him than an eskimo in February. I'm pain-free."
In an interview with The Wrestling Podcast Network (via WrestlingInc.com), Diamond Dallas Page discussed how his brand of yoga has helped the 6'3", 229-pound physical specimen known as Ryback:
"Ryback is another guy that does it and he does it consistently, too. Ryback is still hitting the weights, obviously, so he can maintain that massive size he has. For him, it's strength and conditioning, preventive maintenance for his body so he doesn't break down."
With just one look at Ryback's massive frame, one can conclude he is the perfect manifestation of DDP Yoga: lean muscle with little to no fat.
3 Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Back in his wrestling days, Roberts would enter the ring with his famous scowl and his pet snake. If you were Jake the Snake's adversary, you would never want his snake, Damian, slithering on top of you after he beat you to a pulp.
As cool as Roberts' in-ring persona was, his personal life was in shambles.
The lowest point of his life came in 2012, when he weighed more than 300 pounds and was addicted to illegal substances and alcohol. His protege, Diamond Dallas Page, came to his rescue in October of that year. He allowed Roberts to move in to his Atlanta, Georgia home. Just two months later, Roberts had lost more than 50 pounds because of DDP Yoga.
In February of 2014, Roberts announced he had muscular cancer below his knee. Five months later, he announced he was cancer-free. The following month, he was diagnosed with pneumonia after he fell ill during a flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta.
2 Scott Hall
Scott Hall is another story of a wrestler whose fortunes outside the ring took a turn for the worse.
Hall's substance issues are well-documented.. When TNA Wrestling released him in June 2010, he checked into a rehab paid for by WWE.
During this time, a defibrillator and pacemaker were implanted on his chest. He had double pneumonia that year and began to have seizures. His doctors' worst fears had come true: Hall had epilepsy.
Diamond Dallas Page then invited Hall into his home in early 2013 to get a fresh start Page also initiated a fundraising drive for Hall's hip surgery and dental work. All in all, he and his companions raised $110,000.
Hall swears by the results of DDP Yoga in a series of tweets he wrote several years ago (via DDPYoga.com):
1 Diamond Dallas Page
Had it not been for Diamond Dallas Page's DDP Yoga, the world would not have been a fitter place as we know it.
He revealed to WhatCulture.com's Andrew Soucek that DDP Yoga was born out of necessity:
"So again, for the guy that wouldn't be caught dead doing yoga, the only reason it came into my life is because it was a necessity. You know what I mean? I didn't start wrestling until I was 35. My career didn't take off until I was 40. Think about that. No one starts at 35.
Bottom line is, in '96 wrestling blew through the roof. Owned the cable networks. And in '97, '98, I was on top of the world. Then I blew my back out. That's where this workout comes from: out of necessity, and it's been a long journey."
Put it this way: Diamond Dallas Page sits atop these rankings not just because he started DDP Yoga. He takes the No. 1 spot because after he was saved by what he himself created, and he paid it forward—Chris Jericho, Ryback, "Jake The Snake" Roberts and Razor Ramon. We could go on and on.
Thank you, Diamond Dallas Page.
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