Legionnaires share the physical, mental benefits of DDPY
U.S. Army veteran Scott French of Post 34 in Cave Creek, Ariz., instructs Legion Family and members of the community in Diamond Dallas Page Yoga. (Photo by Jeric Wilhelmsen)

Legionnaires share the physical, mental benefits of DDPY

U.S. Army veteran Scott French discovered Diamond Dallas Page Yoga (DDPY) after years of suffering from bad knees, back issues and depression.

“My body was busted up” from injuries sustained in airborne school, said French, a member of American Legion Post 34 in Cave Creek, Ariz. “Then on September 17, 2018, I had my aha moment. I got sick and tired of it, and I tossed my walking cane across the room and I said, ‘I'm gonna do something about it.’”

That’s when French saw a YouTube video about a veteran who did DDPY. He too was an Airborne Ranger who blew his back out, did DDPY and “lost half his weight. He resurrected himself,” French said. “I saw that and I said, ‘well, if this guy can do it and you know, has the same injuries, I can do it.’”

For three months every single day, French did DDPY. He lost 30 pounds, “supported my lumbar from the inside out doing DDP yoga and avoided a spinal fusion surgery.”

It's been five years now of doing and instructing DDPY, and French is “going strong. I've still avoided the back surgery. I've avoided the knee replacement surgery. I've modified my behavior. I try to eat better. I move more as a result my mindset.” French talks more about DDPY, how it’s not your typical yoga, in this story and video.  

In the virtual Training Tuesday session on June 27, presented by the Internal Affairs & Membership Division, French shared his journey with Diamond Dallas Page Yoga, its benefits and how to participate in it. Listen to the recording here

Two other Legionnaires, Rob Ramsey and Jeremy Kahle, also share their experience with DDPY in the training session.

Ramsey got involved with DDPY because of a back injury sustained at his job.  

“I went to the doctor, and they gave me the bad news,” Ramsey said. “They basically wrote me a script for opiates. I was put on fentanyl and Percocet and told to just basically go home. You're no longer a productive member of society anymore and you know what? I listened to that nonsense for a long time, and I allowed it to affect me the way that I shouldn't have. I let it be negative and I took their advice, and I sat on the couch for 17 years,” until he too saw the YouTube video of DDPY.

“Surely it could, you know, might work for me. So, I gave it a shot.”

He also added cycling in with the DDPY for endurance.

“The combination of doing the DDP yoga and doing the bike riding has just made a world of difference to me. I'm currently on pace to do 10,000 miles this year. I'm doing 50 miles a day, and I attribute every ounce of this being able to do this accomplishment from what I've gained from doing DDPY. It’s giving me everything that I need to get back into the game of life.”

For Kahle, a member of Post 249 in Pemberton, N.J., DDPY helps him deal with depression.

“It’s so much easier to deal with because you have the tools on how to deal with it and fitness plays a big role because it releases all those endorphins when you get a good workout in and everything, which gives you that natural high and it just makes life a lot better.”