Member’s Letter to Rolling Stone
I wish to express my gratitude towards Dahn Yoga, in contradiction to the current negative press that is bombarding this helpful organization. I have been practicing Dahn Yoga for 1 ½ months, and I have seen more improvements in my mind and body in this short period of time than I had ever thought were possible. I am a 28 year-old professional violinist who has studied violin since age 3, and I have struggled with performance injuries for over 10 years. I had gotten to a point where the pain of playing in combination with the many hardships of the music world had caused me to take a break from playing my instrument entirely. I had also experienced a horrible car accident in May of 2009, from which many new physical pains lingered, in addition to the old injuries. When I came to Dahn Yoga, I was experiencing a lot of back pain, which was interfering with my daily activities and my career path as a performer. After just one week of yoga study, my back pain started to disappear. Now, just one month later, I have an impressive list of positive results I have seen in 1 ½ months: I rarely get back pain anymore; I have gone from playing my violin once a month to 3-6 times a week with more enjoyment, sometimes for hours a day; I have struggled with acid reflux for 3 years and was able to go off of my acid reflux medicine; I have re-connected my mind and body with my music; I have gained flexibility, energy, and a positive attitude; I have lost 13 pounds since late December without even trying; and best of all, I have gained a sense of hope that I can surpass my previous physical ailments to get to a place where I will be able to play my instrument happily and without pain for many years to come. I can already see the progress in my musical studies, and the feeling of this success is indescribable. In addition, I have experienced a heightened level of mental focus and extended concentration in my violin practice. I am able to learn more difficult pieces because of my degree of mental clarity and ability to focus on the music.
Shortly after I began my studies at Dahn Yoga, I heard about the negative accusations toward Dahn Yoga of financial cons and mind-control. It saddened me that amidst all of my great mind and body improvements, others were trying to tell me that this organization was rumored to be a cult and would try to con me out of money. It was amazing to me that people believed the sources that were in popular beauty and main-stream magazine articles, when I had come from having research courses where you have to dig through archives and search reliable databases to gather the truth about any research subject. I went online to do my own research, and I decided that I did not buy what the press was selling. I had not had any such experience, and decided that the people telling these stories to the press are clearly attention-seekers who want to profit from exploiting this organization. I have previously studied Yoga, Bikram Yoga, as well as Tai-Chi, Alexander Technique, and have had experiences with meditation and energy healing prior to my experiences with Dahn Yoga. I think that Dahn Yoga draws upon many aged Eastern art forms and focuses not just on a physical work-out as some other yoga methods tend to do. Dahn Yoga focuses on a person’s health through both mind and body exercise, and that is what sets it apart from other methods of yoga.
In addition to the research I have done and my previous experiences with many forms of health improvement, I would like to say that I do not think that Dahn Yoga is a cult in any way, shape, or form. Given my past experiences with a particular religious denomination, I can honestly say that I would know if I had joined a cult. As a child, I was in an extremely charismatic, fundamentalist church that had me brain-washed, and after leaving this environment, I developed a heightened awareness for the kind of organizations that try to tell you how to think and live. I do not feel that Dahn Yoga tells its members how to think or what to do with their money. I am a musician with many financial difficulties, and they have helped me to find a way to fit a yoga membership into my budget. They are willing to work with you to find the right plan for you and encourage you to go at your own pace, never pushing you too far physically or financially. I think that the accusations of the plaintiffs seeking media attention are founded only in the fact that those people have a very closed-minded view of the world, and could not find an appreciation for the study of something outside the physical work-out realm, although many other Eastern methods focus on meditation and mind-body connection. Unlike the small number of disgruntled former employees who are attacking Dahn Yoga for media attention, I have a deep appreciation for the many instructors at Dahn Yoga who have devoted their lives and careers to truly helping others live better and healthier lives, which they do with great success. I am thankful for having found a method of exercise that can not only change my body condition, but also provides me an opportunity to improve my career as a musician through pain management and heightened mental focus.