Friday, December 26, 2014

Dahn Yoga Centers - A Business Wrought with Conflict of Interest

Merry Christmas All! I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed holiday celebration.

A couple weeks ago, I shared my opinions based on personal observations and stories shared by others why I believe the business Dahn Yoga is not ideal for center managers. As promised, I will begin here where I left off last, that is: "I will focus on the aspect of conflict of interest. ie., studio managers are supposed to promote health, healing, and happiness through their services, but just how genuine can these intentions be when the machine is run by a money-hungry monster?"

Note: All links in this post link back to my previous articles. Don't worry - you're not leaving the site or server. The links just give greater context based on my own experiences.

Conflict of Interest
It is a sad state that in any business, and I mean ANY, there will be a degree of conflict of interest. Particularly in the field of healthcare and alternative medicine, business owners, practitioners, and employees will have to "sell out" at some point. Why? Because that's the nature of business - it doesn't make us "bad," per se, unless we know we are not operating under a higher power of ethics and morality.

Dahn Yoga is a good example of a business wrought with conflict of interest. On one hand, these people are supposedly in the business of helping and healing customers, or at least advocating better health. Every day, new and existing members come into the centers with all sorts of ailments, big and small, ranging from MS, herniated discs, depression, and high blood pressure, to arthritis, psoriasis, and insomnia.  They experience a biochemical high (a surge of endorphins) from their Dahn Yoga sessions, and some continue to experience healing or alleviation.

This certainly was my case. If you recall, I had suffered for years (I'm now going on year #7, BTW) with extreme neck and shoulder pain. And, Dahn was the only modality that seemed to give me relief. It is during this time, however, that the Dahn masters and employees peel off their serene exteriors and reveal who they really are: sales sharks who will pull no stops to guilting you into buying your way to freedom.

Wait. What? "Buying your way to freedom?" I'll explain. Dahn Yoga works, at least it did for me. But, as in any business, the proprietor can't rely on his bread and butter to grow the business. He has to cross-sell and up-sell. The fast food industry has "Super Size" options, the auto industry offer baseline vehicles with myriad upgrades, and Dahn has its own package (upon package) of services.

So what's the problem? "Everyone else is doing it, why can't Dahn?" And there's the rub. Many people who have physical pain come in with emotional pain. When they begin to experience physical healing, they become more open and vulnerable to emotional and mental manipulation. They have some relief in the arthritis in their hand and now they want to see if their arm, shoulder, and back will improve. They become desperate for more.

It's a hook line and sinker opportunity to Dahn businesses to reel in these types of customers and guilting them into buying exorbitantly expensive packages including seminars and workshops to continue their journey to wellness. Often, the customer feels indebted and therefore obligated to spend the extra $500 for a weekend workshop...even though their native language is English and they won't be able to understand a lick of the Korean that the lecturer will speak. Never mind the Korean-to-English translator, who can barely translate 10% of the entire lecture to the non-Korean attendees.  And did I mention? A standard 3-month membership costs $400-$500 total, the same cost of a single weekend seminar (which does not include lodging, meals, or parking).

Who knows if Dahn Yoga employees really care about their customers' well-being. Honestly, I'm sure they are pleased to see that their product and services really work. But, at what point do they stop seeing members as people and start seeing them as vulnerable cash cows? At what point do the daily hugs stop becoming warm gestures of welcome and start becoming love bomb techniques? It's a dangerous and slippery slope, and I can't help but think that Dahn employees are in some ways greater victims than the actual paying members.

What do you think and what have your experiences been? I'd like to hear both sides of the story. If you would like to share how you were helped or duped by your Dahn Yoga practice, please share your story. I allow anonymous comments on my blog so long as they're not from blatant trolls, especially from those from the unintelligible Dahn camp.


  1. I have been reading your blog and I think you are stating things correctly and fairly. I found my local studio on the web and signed up for an introductory class and assessment. Upon arrival, there was no class but the assessment and "healing" that I was given instead felt very good and I agreed to purchase a three month membership and additional healing sessions. But by that night I was feeling that something was just not right. A few days later I returned for my first full healing session and found it soothing but as I tried to open myself to what the instructor was saying, I just kept seeing unwanted red flags. I took an actual class two days later and loved it. Took another one a few days after that and feel as if I benefited from that one also. But when I still sensed something creepy and turned to the internet to figure out why. Reading your blog and others it is obvious that I should have trusted my initial instincts but I really wanted this to work. So, I am in a quandary: I could simply continue taking the classes but not succumb to pressure to become any more involved with the studio, but what is my moral and ethical responsibility to others now that that I see how easy it is to be sucked into something that may ultimately be quite harmful? Am not sure where to go from here.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I completely understand how you feel. If you've read my blog from the beginning, you can really see my positive initial experience from it but see how things quickly began to devolve into something that was more sinister. I will dedicate a blog post to your comment. Please check back on 6/8/15 for my response.

  3. Has this outfit gone out of business?


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