Stories from Dahn Yoga Staff (Page 2)
11. Joseph Alexander
12. Laura Castagnino
13. Jiyoung Oh
14. Wendy Hall
15. Karen “Lucky” Thornton
When I walked into the Dahn Center, I could barely move my body. Every move was painful. I had suffered from Fibromyalgia for over 3yrs, and the pain and fatigue were ruthless.
Within 2 months I went off all my medications! And by 3 months I was so strong, I could do 3 classes in one day! The changes were amazing! Even my doctor hugged me and said I was doing everything “right”, he said I deserved a big hug! (he told me daily exercise was imperative for my condition, and I went to Dahn Center daily for that).
My physical health was one thing, but the more valuable change was the lifting of depression that had plagued me most of my life. I actually felt happy again, and Dahn helped me to discover a purpose for my life. My days started to be joyful. THIS to me is worth the world! Now, nearly 10 years later, I STILL feel this sense of joy upon waking! In fact, not only has it kept going, it’s gotten STRONGER over the years! My life went from ruin to riches (mentally, emotionally, physically rich) almost overnight. My body and my brain are amazing partners now, weaving rich tapestries through the days, months and years. I feel so fulfilled, being able to help others like myself, suffering from stress and depression.
Thank you, Dahn Yoga! I guess you could say, “I liked it so much, I bought the company!” I now own a franchise center, and hope to help thousands of people become healthy, happy and peaceful, like I was helped at the Dahn Center. I think I am the “Luckiest” person on earth!
16. Danielle Gaudette
Danielle Gaudette is the Head Instructor of the Arlington Dahn Center. She was raised here in Watertown, Mass., attended the University of Iowa for studies in English Literature and Creative Writing and even spent time at the University College Galway, Ireland. She returned home with the deepest interest in her own self-study and development.
She became a Dahnhak practioner in 2000, shortly after which she began volunteering her time to share the exercise with the community by teaching at adult education and assisted living centers. In 2001 she became fully certified as a Dahn Instructor. In 2002 she graduated from the first term of Dahn Healer School in Sedona, AZ, then went on to her Master-In-Training Course.
Since that time she has worked at and managed several Dahn Centers in the Boston area. Her passion is as a healer and trainer, and especially as a Shim-Sung trainer. She is committed to assisting people in awakening their body, mind & spirits, and continues to do all of this as an effort to better herself, humanity and the Earth.
Danielle Gaudette share her experience
“I have been a part-time employee of Dahn Yoga since 2000, and a full-time employee since 2002. I have been managing and running Dahn Centers myself since 2003. I believe without a doubt that these have been the best years of my life. Since becoming a practicioner myself, and then an instructor and healer, I have first of all seen my own physical and emotional health improve — the biggest of these being the total elimination of my chronic constipation and chronic anxiety. I have switched to a much more joyful and peaceful state of mind, which is easy to have when I spend my days watching so many people have amazing and transformative healing results from the simple exercise and self-development programs. I get to see people heal their bodies and then continue on to share that healing in their relationships, in their workplaces, with their families and ultimately improving their lives in almost every way. It has been an enriching and satisfying experience to do this work, and to have such an effective practice myself, one that I proudly share with others. Thank you.”
17. Kim Root
I was 42 years old when I started taking classes at a Dahn Yoga Center. At the time I had been the office manager of a small construction company for about the past 10 years. I enjoyed the job and the people I worked with were among my closest friends. But I wanted and needed to do something more meaningful with my life.
I had taken many classes in different styles of yoga, tai chi and dance. I really enjoyed everything I was involved in and I was often invited to become an instructor while my teachers were away. But I really wanted to run a healing or yoga center of my own.
I loved the classes the workshops the people and the instructors at Dahn Yoga. Everything made so much sense to me. Sometimes I would stay for 2 classes in a row because they made me feel so good. I was happier, less tired (I used to need to sleep about 9 hours a night). As I got more into the practice I realized how deeply beneficial it was for all parts of my life. I met Ilchi Lee and was always struck by his wisdom and simplicity.
Soon I found the chance to do just what I wanted. There was the chance for me to become the owner and head instructor of one of the Dahn Yoga Centers. So in 1992 after finishing my training I purchased the center. Now I could share the benefits I had received and more. I could use my life and my energy for something really beneficial. It has been so satisfying. Just last month a man came into the center with a big smile on his face. He asked “Master Kim! Do you remember me? You saved my life! Did you know that!” I remembered him. When he first came to the center 5 years ago he had some problem with the functioning of his brain, and I was sometimes worried he would not make it home at night. But now he has his own internet business and he is healthy and happy.
I feel proud and lucky to be able to share the benefits of Dahn Yoga with anyone who desires it. And I am so lucky to be surrounded by others who have the heart and mind to do the same.
Following the easiest way of education for girls in my native country, I graduated from college with degree in Banking and Finance. During my college years I met my husband and got married few years after the graduation. I enjoyed working at the family business as an accountant with the flexible schedule and comfortable pay check, and tried to be as creative as accountant can be. Soon I noticed that work didn’t satisfy me anymore and the path that seemed so easy and comfortable drained my life. I wanted a change. Over a period of years I tried photography, art and interior design, moving to another country, intensive athletic programs, Bikram yoga, raw food diet, ayurvedic studies and lots and lots of self-growth books. I felt there was so much knowledge in my brain, but still not much change in my life. The most precious moments though came from expanding my family.
I met Dahn at the local Farmers Market through aura photography and found my picture didn’t match my smile. I knew that my happy face was a fake, but didn’t expect anybody else to notice that. I decided to sign up for classes, hoping to just have a little time for myself from being a full time mom. I was always pretty athletic but I never had such a great body awareness as I learned from Dahn. Since my first day there I experienced that I want to come to stretch and breath, not because I knew it is good for everybody, but because it felt great. I was a very regular member and my family felt the change. My 3 year old son kept sending me to yoga whenever I was stressed out! Taking ShimSung workshop literaly changed my life. I experienced myself as a “whole person” for a first time, I felt free and powerful, responsible for my own choices and accepting mistakes of my own and other people. I felt so awake and clear as never in my life. I made my decision of helping other people to experience their truth, the decision I was waiting to make since I remember myself. I never was asked or “pushed” to take any program, I felt like I was “pushing” my trainer sometimes though!
So, how did my life changed since I’ve been “on the other side”? There are moments when I feel the stress is up to my neck – running business is never an easy job, but Dahn gave me usable tools to manage my stress. If I’ll make a chart of my life “before and after” Dahn, second part will be twice longer with pluses. I feel I matured with Dahn and every day feels like a new beginning. There are challenges in anybody’s life, as I meet people daily and listen to their stories, there are no easy path for any of us. But the more I listen, the more I am grateful for Dahn in my life, for clarity of direction and choice. When I meet people, whose decisions and habits made them “sick”, I am humbled in front of the program that can give them hope. I am honored to see brothers united, parents accepting their children and adults forgiving their parents after the ShimSung workshop experience. I am blessed to see the beauty of human soul, something I was not able to see in my life “before Dahn”.
As for my life “outside Dahn” during the last 6 years: I have my family and our relationship is better than ever. I even own a cat, who occasionally scratches a high-level training who may be visiting from out of town. We bought the house, even after paying for all of the trainings for me and my husband. It “cost” me learning the priorities when it comes to spending money, which repays now, when I run my own center. Resentfully I met some of my classmates online and one more time I felt grateful for the past and hopeful for the future.
19. Donna Lovong
I would like to share my own story of how Dahn Yoga empowered my life, so that you have a balanced view about a great company and practice that has helped thousands of people recover their health, including mine.
Here is my story. In August 2004, I began to suffer from recurrent severe gastric pains and idiopathic chronic hives with swelling. This health event was a big wake up call for me. My pains would keep me awake at night. I needed medications on a daily basis for my pains and hives. At that time, I was just promoted to senior management level research position at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center too, and trying to complete my Master of Public Health. Finally I was getting frustrated with some of my work as a health researcher, very long hours, stress in my shoulders, and that we were caring more for our patients than for each other as fellow coworkers and mentors. I was involved in Wellness groups at the hospital and also taught meditation noon time classes in my Department. So, I saw the Dahn Yoga flyer at my doctors, and he recommended that I try it. My life has changed for the better since!
I have now been teaching at Dahn Yoga and doing community health outreach since 2006, and it gives me the greatest joy to hear students say “Thank you. Thank you so much. You have helped me so much.” I have seen countless miracles and success stories from our students.
Needless to say, I have lost 2 dress sizes, feel great and energetic, my abdominal pains and hives have gone completely after first 6 months of Dahn Yoga practice, my skin is glowing and smoother, I finished my masters back in 2006, I am a full-time center manager at Dahn Yoga. We are a respectful center that is active in our Chamber of Commerce and community. Most important, I have gained the confidence to handle any situation I encounter and trust my deepest experience. My family is happy that I am more at peace and patient and healing them now too. My parents practice at the center near their home, my sisters have taken classes and workshops, and even my Grandmother and relatives are doing the practice at home and it is helping their health and wellbeing. Truly, Dahn Yoga helped me to find real mind, body, spirit balance. The joy that it brings me to see my students improve their health and lives is immeasurable. Health is not just physically healthy, but a happy heart, and peaceful spirit, and I have dedicated my life to helping others attain just that, and it is working!
20. Robert Stowell
I was studying International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. I had a lot of depression, anxiety, and I did not know what I wanted to do with my life.
One cold rainy winter day I got a Dahn Yoga flier, it seemed so warm and bright. Some friends suggested I try yoga in the past so I went in for the Introductory Session. I was comfortable, the Instructor did an accurate analysis of my physical and energy condition, and I naturally wanted to sign up for the classes because I felt really genuinely taken care of and I felt like this is a good place to heal myself which I had been asking for.
The classes started to open up my body and I enjoyed meeting different people from all walks of life who can relax and breathe together over a cup of tea and meditation. Eventually I met more younger people and students and we socialized and encouraged each other, I was so genuinely happy I did not need some drinking or party to have fun like before, I was starting to live my life from my true self. Sure there is change, like my mom is surprised that I am not skiing in Whistlet a weekend, instead I am participating in self development workshops, etc. But this is healthy^^ Inspired by others, I started my club at the university teaching yoga tai chi meditation, and participating in community outreach. This became a really beautiful, challenging, and transformational part of my life where I was being pulled by work, school, family, and through this growth a deeper renewed direction of healing and growth which I wanted to do with my life. I am so grateful for this.
So now I am a full time Instructor or Master in the Dahn Yoga Center. I love to keep growing and sharing and connecting to many different people and guiding them to health inside and out. In my over 5 years of Dahn Yoga as a member and Master I was never pressured. I just genuinely wanted to choose for what I felt in my heart and I always receive so much more love and healing and joy back.
Just like any job there can be conflicts. Personally I really appreciate Dahn Yoga and the amount of healing they do to thousands of people every day and that they are genuinely helping communities, as well as healing people at the centers. I enjoy being a part of this and I still have an enriching family and social life, lol, even more so actually. If some people choose to work for Dahn Yoga and don’t like it you can just leave. But I hope you can truly weight the benefits which people receive, and you feel in your heart, with the small amount of negativity which is everywhere. Thank you I hope this may shed some light.