Former professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) has gone from the wrestling mat to the yoga mat. The former WWE, WCW star and three-time world champion created and now runs DDP Yoga, a yoga-inspired at-home fitness program that combines traditional yoga with rehabilitation techniques and old-school cardio and calisthenics. “This ain't your mama's yoga," Page says.
At the height of his wrestling career, DDP blew out his back, rupturing his L4 and L5 spinal discs. That’s when the wrestling superstar did what he thought was the unthinkable — yoga. Within three weeks, Dallas began to to see and feel a difference.
But traditional yoga wasn’t DDP’s style, so he wanted to create a kind of yoga that “regular” people would feel comfortable doing. Dallas began to mix the stretching and mindfulness of yoga with with rehabilitation techniques, resistance training and cardio. He launched DDP Yoga in 2005.
Getting the project off the ground wasn’t easy. Page invested $548,000 over 10 years before he made a profit from the program. He got his big break when the program was featured on the hit show “Shark Tank” in 2014. DDP asked the sharks for $200,000 for a 5% ownership stake. But Mr. Wonderful had a different idea: a 50% stake for his $200,000. That would not work for Page. He thanked the sharks for their generosity, but didn’t make a deal. But he did walk away with something perhaps even more valuable: exposure. After the episode, DDP Yoga made close to $1 million in sales over the next five days.
“And we've built the DDP Yoga Performance Center; I call it the house that Shark Tank built,” Page said.
With the program taking off, Page’s team developed an app so that people can workout alongside him.
Page has also used the program to help out some of his friends and fellow former pro wrestlers like Jake ‘the snake’ Roberts, ‘Raven’ and Scott Hall get healthy and break the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction. DDP Yoga has also formed a partnership with the NFL Alumni association to help former pro-football players regain their health.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade
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