Saturday, April 28, 2007

What is Dahn Yoga?

Dahn Yoga is based on principles of Oriental medicine, and is designed to increase blood and energy circulation throughout the body. Meridian stretching exercises are designed to open the meridian channels, improve flexibility and increase the energy circulation that makes natural healing possible. These movements also improve body balance and overall fitness, and promote stress relief. Testimonials praise Dahn for weight management, increased physical fitness, stress relief, allergy relief, feeling younger, increased flexibility, personal well being and disease recovery. Many share that they have discovered emotional stability and have weened off anti-depressants; others have discovered spirituality. The website also features endorsements from medical doctors and psychiatrists.

The roots of Dahn yoga began in Korea 5,000 years ago. Two-thousand years ago, the tradition died. It was revived in 1980 when a single man began teaching it in a park. From there, Dahn yoga has spread across countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Brazil, Russia, Korea and Japan.

The mission statement includes the four components of healing: the individual, the family, society, and the earth.

Fees: "Dahn Yoga centers offer different levels of membership. Membership fees depend on your area of interest and your body condition. You can choose from regular classes, special workshops, private sessions, more advanced trainings, or a combination off all of these. Dahn Yoga memberships vary from 1 month to 1 year to lifetime membership, with many options in between. Our instructors can customize a yoga exercise program to match your needs and interests. Membership prices are comparable to those of other national health clubs and spas. Generally, prices for membership at a Dahn Yoga Centers range from $89 per month to $180 per month, depending on the center location and the programs you choose to take. At Dahn Yoga, there is something for everyone."

Dahn is also affiliated with many other organizations: Dahn yoga centers supports Body & Brain Clubs on college campuses, which includes Young Earth Human Alliance (YEHA) activity groups. These motivate young people to expand their horizons and grow awareness and will provide them with appropriate opportunities to do so.

The World Healing Family Association (WHFA) was founded to enhance the health, happiness, and peace of families everywhere. WHFA instituted a Healing Family Campaign to support families in regaining and maintaining their health, strengthening their familial bonds, and creating a robust, balanced life. A community-based international initiative, the Campaign is dedicated to providing support, tools, and resources that empower families and help create a healthier, more peaceful culture.

The International Graduate University for Peace aims to create new peace studies on the basis of harmony and co-existence/co-prosperity; change humans into peace-oriented moral and spiritual beings via experiential approaches; and cultivate intellectuals with peace-making and peace-realizing abilities for the realization of peace on the Korean Peninsula and around the globe.

CGI Fitness is a luxurious 30,000 sq. ft. Holistic Health Club and Spa that combines the latest Western scientific cardio and strength training equipment and techniques with the whole body healing mentality of the East. CGI offers a wide variety of programs that focus on restoring the natural flow of Ki-energy throughout the body and education that enables participants to live a holistically balanced life. CGI represents a revolutionary concept in comprehensive health clubs that bring complete body, mind, and spiritual health.


This of course is a look at Dahn yoga from the institution itself--but what it claims to offer seems respectable, with a strong spiritual orientation that would not appeal to everyone. However, its affiliated organizations raise an eyebrow.

As a lover of Dahn yoga classes, I have made it my mission to explore the organization, as well as its dangerous activities. Cult experts and former members (and their families) warn against Dahn yoga, and I relate to their concerns. The exclusiveness of the organization is suspicious, as well as signs prohibiting pictures/videotaping, and tiny rooms with only 2 mats. My blog will chronicle my investigations, as well as personal research on Dahn yoga retreats and related practices.

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