NYT discovers ‘the rise of beefcake yoga’

I think we’ve done a good job not mentioning DDP Yoga here on the site. But now it has made it to the page’s (virtual ones) of the New York Times magazine, complete with explicit “stolen from Ashtanga” language:

Although Page was uncomfortable that Aaron greeted the class by playing a harmonium — “all of that namaste [expletive],” as he put it — he felt great afterward and began to create a form of yoga for broken-down macho guys like himself and others.


Together, Page and Aaron developed a hybrid of Ashtanga, a popular “power” yoga, and Iyengar, a more therapeutic form. Page added some strength-building moves for key muscles groups — the quads, the core — and also built in traditional calisthenics, including push-ups. He incorporated something he calls “dynamic resistance,” which calls for engaging all of the body’s muscles and then moving against that tension. And he tried to avoid all that namaste stuff. “That’s the first thing that makes people go, ‘That’s too froufrou,’ ” he says. “There’s certain yoga terminology that I don’t use. I want to make people laugh.”


Page was hardly the first former jock to enter the market. Bikram Choudhury, the controversial creator of Bikram yoga, developed his technique as he recovered from a weight-lifting accident. From 2001 to 2011, more than 2,000 trademark applications containing the word “yoga” were filed, including ones for Metal Yoga, Broga and Hillbilly Yoga. But Page’s yoga was unique in its W.W.E.-like blend of manliness and goofiness. At first he called it Y.R.G., or Yoga for Regular Guys, but later rechristened it D.D.P. Yoga, after himself. “Child’s pose” became “safety zone,” “mountain pose” became “ignition.” Page developed a flexing exercise called Hulking It Up, in honor of his former circuit mate. Despite the lack of humming and chanting, Page explained, he still wanted there to be “the power of ‘you can do this.’ ”

I’m sure Page would also argue with the Times’ recent conclusions about yoga.

And, just to be clear, I’m not knocking DDP Yoga. (If only so I don’t get body slammed in the near future.) It seems to have helped a bunch of people and obviously attracts a particular type of person, who may not go for the froufrou.

Today’s about the busiest yoga news day in months. We’ll get to Tim Miller’s latest blog, promise.

Posted by Steve

Published by


Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

5 thoughts on “NYT discovers ‘the rise of beefcake yoga’”

  1. Keep in mind this article coming from a writer from GQ. I like how everyone says “it’s a hybrid of Ashtanga and Iyengar” without a second thought. There was a lady at the Wanderlust Festival with a class called “Ashtanga the Iyengar way” which got renamed at the last minute for obvious reasons. I also like how people refer to Iyengar yoga as a “more therapeutic” form. Does that mean the other forms are less therapeutic? According to the NYT, they wreck your body. Thanks for the post.

  2. It always makes me smile when I read posts like this, about styles of yoga that are marketed towards certain people. Isn’t yoga suitable for all ages, sizes, abilities, races etc… Like Pattabhi Jois said “only the lazy can’t do yoga.”

    I guess whatever gets people started on the yoga journey can only be a good thing. In saying that, I’ve seen some great ‘yoga’ styles lately, including:
    – Anti-gravity yoga (hanging from a swing)
    – Mermaid yoga (yoga underwater)
    – Doga (yoga with your dog)
    – Yoga noir (yoga blindfolded)
    – Naked yoga (you can figure that one out yourself)

    The list can go on and on, probably best summarised as ‘Western Yoga’.

    I’m just an ordinary ‘boring’ student who enjoys ashtanga and the krishnamacharya lineage. Ah well 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s