How to compare learning German with DDP Yoga


For months my son had been nagging me to do some yoga and each time I declined because I had tried it before and found it extremely boring. But he kept on talking about DDP Yoga. For those of you who don’t know it, DDP Yoga has been developed by Diamond Dallas Page (American semi-retired professional wrestler, fitness instructor, motivational speaker and actor. Wikipedia). In the end I tried it… and was hooked!

Why am I telling you this?

Well, as  I worked our way through the DVDs I noticed that some of the things DDP says during the exercises could have just as easy been said by me to my German learning students.

Here are 5 quotes:

  1. Make your workout your own! If you need to use a chair, use it!
  2. Do whatever works for you! Your workout – your call!
  3. If it’s not really going that far today, talk to me in a couple of weeks, because I know that it’s gonna keep going!
  4. And if you’re having any trouble with any of these moves, go back to the ‘Diamond Dozen’. That’s the tutorial, that’s why I set it all up for you.
  5. Don’t forget to do this tomorrow!

Just like I give tips and instructions to people learning German, he talks to those who are learning his yoga moves. And in the beginning people struggle. Some can do the moves easily, other take ages to learn them. But to him it doesn’t matter. He reminds people to use a chair or make adjustments to their moves if they have to, to make the workout THEIR workout. There are still many moves I can’t do, but that doesn’t stop me from doing the exercises. Yes, it annoys me that I can’t do them but I practise them and then move on, because I know there are other moves that I CAN do. But I do need to carry on trying. When he says “If it’s not really going that far today, talk to me in a couple of weeks, because I know that it’s gonna keep going”, he expects you to carry on trying and not to give up. He also reminds you of his tutorial where he explains every main move in detail and he encourages people to go back and check if they are in any doubt. Finally he reminds you to practise every day!

The same applies to learning German.

Practise every day but don’t get too worked up about the bits you are struggling with. If, for example, you can only make past tense sentences with a sheet of irregular verbs by your side, use it! It’s not cheating, it’s helping to learn whatever you are struggling with. If you need to read a section in your grammar book again or watch another grammar video, do it! That’s what they are there for. They were designed to help learners, so use them. Keep on practising, but at the same time enjoy using the German you already find easy.

If, for example, you find the present tense easy but don’t understand the perfect tense (despite having been taught it), just enjoy writing sentences in the present tense and then look up what you need for the perfect tense. One day you won’t need that help anymore.

Apart from my son’s nagging, it was also the inspiring transformation of Arthur Boorman which persuaded me to try DDP Yoga
Although this video has nothing to do with learning German, it does show how with determination things can be achieved.

So, if you really want to achieve your goal of being able to communicate in German (or any other language) use any help you get get until you don’t need it. Never, ever give up, and …

Don’t forget to do it tomorrow! ☺

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