Largest DDP Yoga Workshop Ever
In December 2018 I recommitted myself to doing DDP Yoga several times a week, proving that the third time is the charm. Since then, I’ve had some amazing experiences. I interviewed and befriended the founder of the program, Diamond Dallas Page, stayed at his house in Smyrna for a week with professional wrestling legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts as my housemate, attended seven DDP Yoga classes over the course of five days at the DDP Yoga Performance Center, and I’m currently pursuing my DDP Yoga Level 1 certification, so I can teach this great program in Philadelphia. My latest DDP Yoga milestone was attending Dallas’ DDP Yoga workshop at the LifeMed Institute on Sunday, July 21. With 185 people in attendance, it was the largest DDP Yoga workshop ever.
I got to the venue early and chatted with a group of people in the parking lot, while we waited for the doors to open. Some people drove more than four hours to get there, which is incredible, and other people had attended multiple DDP Yoga workshops in the past. One guy had already done two or three DDP Yoga workouts before showing up that morning. Talk about commitment! At one point, someone said, “Hey, Arthur is here!” I responded, “What? Arthur Boorman is here?!” For those of you that don’t know, Arthur is the greatest transformation in fitness history. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below and prepare to have your mind blown.
I approached Arthur and his wife and introduced myself. “Hi Arthur! My name is Michael Cavacini. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but the video of your transformation inspired me so much that I’ve watched it numerous times, and I even showed it to my students at Temple University at the beginning of the semester to inspire them to excel in class.” That piqued his interest and he said, “Oh, you’re a teacher?! What do you teach?” I said, “Communications.” Arthur then told me that he teaches special education and has been doing so for a very long time. We took a photo together, and then everyone started to head into the facility.I spent time chatting with the various DDP Yoga devotees as we waited for Brenda, Dallas’ wife, to arrive so she could tell us where to lay down our mats. I saw Dallas walk through the front door of the venue and head toward the back room where all of us were hanging out. I met him at the threshold and stuck out my hand to shake his and said, “Dallas! It’s Michael Cavacini. It’s so good to see you again! I can’t wait for today’s workshop.” He responded, “Michael! How’s it going?!” and I patted him on the back as he entered the room.I was fortunate enough to have my mat front-row center for the workshop, which was incredible. At one point, Dallas told everyone that he was going to start walking around to take photos. We took a couple photos, including the hilarious one above where he’s about to give me his pro wrestling finishing move, The Diamond Cutter. When he put me in the cravat headlock Dallas said to me, “Sell it!” so I did, acting like he was about to drive my head to the floor down below.Dallas was also kind enough to autograph my copy of his latest book, Positively Unstoppable, inscribing “I believe in you” on the title page. This means a lot to me, as his friendship and support inspires me to achieve great things and brings me comfort during difficult times.Before things got started, I had the chance to meet and speak with Dallas’ daughter, Lexy, who is wonderful. I congratulated her on becoming a certified DDP Yoga instructor and mentioned that I’m pursuing the same goal. We talked about a variety of topics, took a photo together, and I quickly headed to my mat as the festivities were about to begin.
Dallas spent 30 to 40 minutes providing everyone with an inspirational speech about his life’s journey and all of the highs and lows along the way. It was informative, humorous, and enlightening. After giving the crowd a hefty dose of inspiration, it was time for the perspiration, so Dallas walked us through an hour-long Diamond Dozen demonstration, where he showed everyone all of the foundational moves of the DDP Yoga workout. Following this, we took a break that lasted 15 minutes or so to go to the bathroom and gear up for the full-fledged workout.The workout itself was awesome. It lasted about an hour and I, along with everyone else, was sweating and burning a ton of calories. Dallas also injected humor throughout, keeping everyone fully engaged mentally and physically. Doing this amazing workout with nearly 200 people was an incredible experience, and one that I hope to do so again in the near future. Between the Diamond Dozen demonstration and the workout, I burned nearly 1,000 calories!Afterward, we took a gigantic group photo, which I was also front-and-center for, making a Diamond Cutter symbol with Dallas’ wife Brenda. Following the photo, I introduced myself to Brenda, reminding her how I stayed at the Accountability Crib in April and how incredible that experience was. During the aforementioned workout, Brenda had me introduce myself to the entire room because I’m an instructor in training, which was pretty cool. I thanked her for the amazing day and we took a photo together.I walked up to Dallas to say “thank you” and “goodbye” and shared some good personal news with him in the process. He gave me a huge smile and said, “That’s awesome!” as he pulled me in for a big hug. I rolled up my mat, went to get my belongings and saw Arthur again. During the workout, Dallas brought Arthur on stage and shared a story with us about how Arthur had a setback. One of the students at his school knocked him down and Arthur broke a leg in the process, making it so he couldn’t work out and resulting in him eventually having to use a cane to walk. Since Dallas couldn’t personally help him mend because they don’t live near each other, he made arrangements with the LifeMed Institute to help hold Arthur accountable so he could bounce back as quickly as possible. I told Arthur I hadn’t heard about that until today and how I’m happy that he’s doing much better. I also told him, “You look great!” He thanked me for my kind words and told me how another teacher quit right after the injury, because he or she was fearful of getting hurt too. If anything, it makes Arthur’s already legendary story that much more inspirational. He’s overcome countless odds and continues to inspire millions with his infectious smile and positive attitude. Arthur and I took one more photo and I bid him farewell.This DDP Yoga workshop exceeded my expectations in every way. Not only did I get quality time with Dallas, Lexy, and Brenda, but I got to meet the man who has inspired millions to own their lives: Arthur Boorman. Better yet, I was front-and-center for the whole thing, had a chance to introduce myself to the crowd as a certified-instructor-in-training, got a wonderful inscription from Dallas in his latest book, made new friends, burned a ton of calories, and shared a personal moment with Dallas that lifted my spirits. It was the epitome of what makes DPP Yoga special, and I can’t wait for the next one.