New twist on yoga will raise heart rate with minimal impact

Alicia McElhaney / McClatchy-Tribune /

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran paratrooper who, when he returned from serving, was unable to walk without assistance. As a result, he became obese — too overweight to receive a knee surgery that would allow him to regain the use of his legs.

Desperate, Boorman searched for a low-impact exercise regimen that could decrease his pain and allow him to lose the necessary weight for surgery. In his search, he came across a new yoga program created by former pro wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page, called DDP Yoga. A wrestling fanatic, Boorman was sold on the program.

In the following months, Boorman regained his ability to walk and run, lost more than 140 pounds and created a video documenting his successes that eventually became a media sensation, touted as the most inspiring video of the year in 2012.

“He can now do stuff with the program that I can’t even do,” Page said.

Page, 57, created DDP Yoga to quell his own pain symptoms. After a back injury, Page was unable to compete in the ring. However, having just signed a new contract, Page still wanted to be able to compete. Desperate, he tried yoga.

As his back began to heal, Page found that yoga did not provide him with the strengthening he needed to get back in the ring. In order to fix that, Page combined old school calisthenics, rehabilitation exercises and traditional yoga poses to create a workout regimen that provided minimal impact and raised his heart rate.

Since then, Page has made his program available to others through DVD sets that include several DVDs, posters and a meal plan. Reminiscent in style of the Insanity workouts, DDP Yoga focuses far more on improving the quality of someone’s life than helping them achieve a perfect body.

“When it came to DDP Yoga, I didn’t take the path less traveled. I took a bulldozer and paved the path to this new form of yoga,” Page said.

Inspired by Boorman’s success, Page created a competition through his yoga program to find and reward others who have similarly inspiring stories.

In order to compete, participants must use the DDP Yoga program and create a blog about their results.

“With this competition, we’re not looking for 100 pounds of weight loss, but rather, we are looking for what makes the story so inspiring,” Page said.

Page plans to reward winning participants at three different times over the course of the year. The three winners will receive $5,000: the first in September, the second in December, and the third in June. There will be a grand prize of $10,000 rewarded to an overall winner in June as well.

“It’s all about inspiration,” Page said. “It can be a daily or weekly blog — there really aren’t any specific parameters,” he added.

Today, DDP Yoga boasts four levels of workouts from beginner to extreme, and includes workout mp3s and a program guide.

“DDP Yoga isn’t about, ‘hey, look at my abs.’ It’s about ‘hey, look at my life,’” Page said.

On the Web

Find DDP Yoga online at www.ddpyoga.com. DVD kits range from $69.95 to $119.99, depending on the number of workouts included. To participate in the DDP Yoga Challenge, visit www.ddpyoga challenge.com.