Dahn yoga is a Korean yoga technique which was founded as a business by a Korean businessman known as Ilchi Lee. The Korean word ‘Dahn’ means primal.
Like the classical yoga technique, Dahn yoga also believes in bringing a balance between the body, mind and the soul, bringing in emotional, physical and spiritual well being. When you look at the exercises performed in Dahn yoga, you will find them to be a mix of yoga, several martial arts and Tai chi.
However, since this technique borrows heavily from other disciplines like hatha yoga and the patented Bikram yoga, there have been many lawsuits on Dahn yoga, which is essentially a business practice.
This Dahn yoga controversy has been continuing for many years because of legal reasons. In fact, some consider this a Dahn yoga cult.
The technique is intended towards improving the health of the practitioner through a series of exercises which are aimed at developing the energy systems of the body, improving the connections between the mind and the body. as opposed to the light stretching and breathing exercises at the beginning of each classical yoga session, in Dahn yoga, a typical session begins with an exercise known as meridian stretching. This is also a stretching exercise but is believed to be stimulating to the mind body connection.
After the initial stretching poses, there are a series of poses that are more rigorous. These postures are a blend of tai chi and traditional ki practice.
These postures are also focused on accumulating the energy of the body and circulating it throughout the body.
Dahn yoga has been criticized extensively because of some of its teachings. It is believed that some of its partner associations are in fact cults which promote Dahn teachings. Though these accusations have been denied several times, the training as well as the organization has been involved in various lawsuits which involve the death of the practitioners. The members of the Dahn association claim that the deaths have occurred due to over enthusiasm of the practitioners which was wrongly misunderstood as cult practicing. However, former members have brought to light that the Dahn organization is essentially characterized by rote learning and suppression of individuality, both of which are condemned by the practitioners associated with different disciplines of yoga, throughout the world.
Former employees of Dahn organization have also filed lawsuits against the organization for employing unfair business practices.