Records & Materials : Tom Schroyer
Ms Janelle Rodriguez
January 5, 2010
Dear Ms. Rodriguez,
I am writing in response to the forthcoming airing about Dahn Yoga. It is my understanding that your coverage stems from a law suit filed by former instructors and portrays Dahn Yoga as a cult that advocates self torture and requires members to hold postures against their will. If this is indeed the point of view of your coverage of Dahn Yoga, it could not be farther from the truth.
I have been a member at the Dahn Yoga center in San Mateo, California since March of 2007. I have been employed by the City of Palo Alto as a Fleet Service Coordinator for over 15 years and am 60 years old. Before Dahn Yoga I spent my life looking forward all year to my summer vacation backpacking in the Sierras Nevada Mountains, working, watching a lot of old movies and dreaming about all the things I would do with my life but never did.
Now I look forward to attending a class every evening that I can at our center, I am part of a caring, loving community where people come to heal their bodies, minds and souls.
I have been teaching a kid’s class at the center for two years, something I would have never dreamed of doing before, and I love it. I have done many additional trainings locally in the San Francisco Bay Area and at the Dahn Yoga retreat centers in Sedona, Arizona and at Honor’s Haven in upstate New York. I also traveled to Korea this past summer where Dahn Yoga originated. In all my experiences everyone I have met, instructor or member, has been honest, straightforward and respectful.
The philosophy of Dahn Yoga is very similar to those of many others in Asia. The training program is based on energy flow through the meridian channels. Health is achieved and preserved through specific exercises and the holding of postures in order to facilitate this energy flow. Other body movements and meditations assist in quieting the mind and calming the emotions. I have studied eastern philosophy since my twenties and in my late thirties practiced Buddhist meditation for three and one half years. Some postures used in Dahn Yoga are from various yoga disciplines. Dahn Yoga is unique in the way it combines and provides a positive and healing environment to its members.
Last I would emphasize that at the core of the Dahn Yoga philosophy is that everyone always has choice. No one is ever forced to do anything against their will. My instructor always emphasizes that at every moment there is choice while I am encouraged to keep growing. I often ask what should or what do you want me to do? The reply is always, “What do you want to do?”
cc: Richard Davis, Shirley Powell and Jonathan Klein