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Title dahn yoga - Dahn Yoga stretches into controversy
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dahn yoga - Dahn Yoga stretches into controversy October 30th, 2007 - Adherents of Dahn Yoga praise its approach to body and mind. But others say they were pressured about money and commitment. [...] In a Google search of Dahn Yoga, posts comparing the practice with a cult pop up on the first page. Be careful, warns a posting on yoga.com. In New York state, a family is suing the Dahn enterprise on behalf of Julia Siverls, 41. According to the lawsuit, Siverls died from heat stroke and dehydration during a master training hike at the Sedona center in 2003. [...] What started as group physical and energy exercise in a South Korean park in the late 1970s has grown into a network of for-profit businesses and nonprofit entities. [...] Dahn Yoga classes at the Albuquerque centers consist of stretching, tapping on the body with hands, breathing exercises and brain respiration, which Dahn describes as integrated exercises for the body and mind. The classes conclude with tea with the teacher and classmates. These classes, skeptics and enthusiasts agree, are beneficial and fun. It is the next level of the Dahn Yoga experience that invites suspicion, skeptics say. Demarco, a 19-year-old UNM sophomore, and 25-year-old waitress Barbara Ryckman say they both enjoyed Dahn Yoga classes at the Nob Hill and Cottonwood centers. Within three months of their first session last fall, they said, their lives revolved around classes and office work they put in at the centers to get a discount membership. I felt so awesome after every class, Ryckman said. The next thing you know, hook, line and sinker, Ryckman said. Looking back, she says, she felt pressured to take classes beyond her budget and was surprised to realize she had spent about $1,000 on classes, uniforms and seminars. Its really welcoming and a warm place, but at the same time, its a business, Ryckman said. It is really high pressure. and they expected a lot of commitment from me. [...] Last December, Demarco and Ryckman said, their Dahn masters told them they shouldnt miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a week of training to become an instructor. Demarco said she couldnt afford the $1,000 tuition, and so Dahn offered a scholarship toward the cost of the seminar, including room and board, and she paid $200. The two women and about eight others car-pooled from Albuquerque to the retreat center, 40 miles outside of Sedona on a remote desert plot. The first day, Demarco recalled walking into a training session that she expected would be for learning new stretching or martial arts moves. Instead, she said, participants were meditating with their inner child and saying sorry to yourself for your inner pain. People were hysterically crying, some hitting the ground with their fists. It was freaky, Demarco said. Imagine 150 people doing this all at once. She said she and a few others sat in the back of the room pretending to participate so no one would ask me about it later. The oddest experience, Demarco said, was the session with Dahn Yoga founder Lee during one of the last days of the retreat. We had to meditate for an hour before he entered the room, she said. People were sobbing before he came in. He spoke about working for peace and told the group he was shooting us light through his eyes, Demarco said. [...] As the end of the week neared, the three were told the next level of classes would cost them each about $8,000. Ryckman said her enthusiasm for Dahn Yoga and a peace movement stopped right then. The whole reason we were there was to do an advertisement for another retreat, she said. [...] Siverls, the 41-year-old who died at the Sedona retreat in 2003, had been involved with Dahn Yoga for about two years before advancing to a master training seminar, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims she was pressured and coerced into walking a tightrope 30 feet in the air without safety precautions, that she was secretly drugged with narcotics and that she was forced into the hike that killed her. The hike, the lawsuit contends, consisted of her five-member group hiking up a mountain while wearing backpacks filled with 40 pounds of rocks and only three, 10-ounce bottles of water and three pieces of fruit for the entire group. The lawsuit claims she passed out several times starting about 9:30 a.m. but continued, finally collapsing unconscious sometime after 10 a.m. The Siverls attorney says the hikers didnt call 911 until about 4:30 p.m., after they had called the center. Adding to the familys trauma, the lawsuit claims family members had to travel to Sedona to get Siverls body despite the centers claim it would pay for transport costs. The case is pending in federal court in New York. This is a summary extract from the full article as it appeared on Albuquerque Tribune, March 14, 2006