DDP and Me. A fat Yorkshireman’s experiment with yoga…

‘It ain’t your Mama’s Yoga’

That’s the line that former professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page used to sell his fitness programme on, and that’s what encouraged a number of non-stereotypical yoga types the motivation to give it a go.

As a big pro-wrestling fan in my childhood and early teens (then late teens, early twenties and…) Ok, as someone who’s never been able to rid the interest in pro-wrestling, I heard a lot about the architect of the Diamond Cutter’s fitness programme before coming across Arthur’s story (above) to convince myself that when I moved away from home, this would be the exercise programme to change my life.

I sent away for the DVDs, and before long would be hitting a down dog, broken table and ‘superstarrrrr’ every night after work. The problem was, when I first made the step out on my own, the flat I rented wasn’t big enough to fit a cat, never mind swing one, so the pre-yoga routine of standing up a sofa, rotating a television stand and removing the light shade took more effort than the workout itself. As a result, they became less frequent until the DVDs and heart rate monitor joined the rest of the clutter in the back of the drawer.

After watching the ‘Resurrection of Jake the Snake’ two years on (and in a bigger home) I came across the DDPY app, full of routines, advice, recipes and my personal favourite, the Motivational Monday videos. I gave it a go, and instantly fell back in love with yoga; Dallas’ raspy veteran voice dragged me back in along with the new performance centre that takes this from a simple workout DVD to a lifestyle.

6am runs in the dark aren’t for me, but getting out of bed having a coffee and stretching into an Energy most certainly is. There’s a large emphasis on monitoring your heart rate throughout, to ensure you’re in the right zone for burning fat, and it’s incredible to see it go through the roof whilst stood still in the comfort of your own home. Even within a 20 minute workout, you feel your legs trembling, sweat dripping from your forehead and your heart pounding.

As well as the increased flexibility, lack of join pain and improved posture, this programme has also helped my cycling. The first component you go through in the programme is breathing, and the techniques learned here were used frequently throughout training and en route to Amsterdam last year, filling your stomach up with as much air as possible before retracting to the back of your spine on the exhale, opposite from what my natural reactions had always been.

‘Never underestimate the power of you’

With the Ride London 100 coming up this year, meaning more hill climbs, DDP’s programme, specifically Below the Belt will become more and more significant over the coming months, building up not only strength throughout the glutes, quads and thighs but also the increased lung capacity that will provide the much-needed reserves when tackling the dreaded climbs.

Dallas himself is an incredibly motivational individual, and it’s the person you buy into as much as the programme itself. A late-comer to his profession, he was recently described as ‘being 61, looking like he’s 41 and acting like he’s 21’ such is the invigourated personality of the mane.

The one quote that has stuck with me throughout, and I repeated in my head as I tackled the biggest hill I’d ever taken on is one that he borrowed from Henry Ford, but has been keen to promote, and that is…

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.

BANG!


This year I will be continuing to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, and improving on the £1,300 from last year. I’ll be undertaking two rides over three days totalling over 250 miles. To help, you can donate here: www.justgiving.com/thebenshepherd

More info about the DDPY programme here: DDPYoga.com

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