"TRADITIONAL yoga is here," says Diamond Dallas Page, gesturing to the ground in front of him. Then, raising his arm to point into the distance, he says, "We're way the f--- over there."
And suddenly it's clear that, as its slogan claims, DDP Yoga Ain't Your Mama's Yoga. Page, a 61-year-old WWE Hall of Famer, was a late bloomer in the wrestling industry. Shouting "Bang!" and sporting a blond mullet, he first achieved stardom at age 40 in Ted Turner's now defunct World Championship Wrestling. But two ruptured lumbar disks soon jeopardized his career. While rehabbing at home, his then wife, Kimberly, cajoled him into trying her yoga routines. Page added calisthenics—slow-burn push-ups, crunches—to the yoga, and he was back in the ring within three months.
His hybrid program grew out of that experience, as he added elements of dynamic resistance and traditional fitness regimens. Page stresses the flexing and engagement of muscles throughout each movement, helping increase the heart rate while working on range of motion and strength. The instructional style on his DVDs alternates calls for intensity with goofy humor, conjuring a lovable P.E. teacher who moonlights as a motivational speaker. "I always say most yoga is very namaste; DDP Yoga is way more T&A," says Page. "That gets them to laugh, and then I say: tone and attitude."
Business started slowly, but since 2012, Page has sold more than 225,000 DVD kits and appeared on Good Morning America and Shark Tank. The system's devotees range from current and former WWE stars to desk jockeys looking to shape up. Its latest iteration is an app that combines workouts with recipes and inspirational videos. "It took eight years," Page says, "for DDP Yoga to become an overnight sensation."
Presented by edge
The DDP program's signature move is the Diamond Cutter.
Cut to the Core
Form a diamond with fingers, raise arms slowly while resisting the motion and squeezing back and abdomen. Stretch arms and bend back as far as comfortable.
Catch a Crab
From top, extend arms to the sides, clench fists, exhale and slowly curl arms into a crab flex while resisting. Keep back and abdomen tight.
Let It Go
Hold the crab flex for a three count, inhale and relax while extending arms back, keeping shoulders back and chin up.
For more profiles and training tips, go to SI.com/edge