After all these years, I still believe there is merit in the actual exercises for pain relief. But, at some point, often early into your membership (*cough*..indoctrination??) you will realize that you can't pick and choose individual elements of the practice that you like. Dahn Yoga is not a la carte - it is a holistic practice wherein ALL the components, for better or worse, are interconnected.
You can go and enjoy the health benefits, but this is a cult, and you will absorb either directly or indirectly the cult energy, including:
- Love bombing - excessive hugging and physical touch* by the employees. *not sexual
- Exposing your vulnerabilities - they prey on the weak, and will expose your physical ailments and/or emotional pain in order to gain your confidence, control you, and sell you something.
- Shame and Guilt - they will use peer pressure and influence you to keep participating and buying into their scheme. If you're not buying, they will use your weaknesses against you and subtly manipulate you to do what they want. "Our $300 Shim Sung class is not worth your health? So you don't want to be cured of your blockages? You will never be free if you stop now, etc." Never underestimate the power of suggestion.
- You will pay - Yes, it's a business. Yes, they are selling products and services, but at a cost that exceeds any monetary value. Once you commit, they know they can keep cross and upselling their services MLM style. Several readers on my blog have reported spending literally thousands of dollars on retreats, seminars, healing sessions, and merchandise/accessories. Remember that each Dahn center has no choice to be preoccupied with bringing in new members and making money because they are funding Ilchi Lee's larger cult cause.
- Mind-altering practices - You're not just stretching and moving, you're led to meditation, closing the session by chanting "Happy body, happy heart, yes yes yes!", and strenuous/dangerous exercise in desert retreats. And, they often use loud, tribal "music" to coax a trance in form of wild and reckless body flailing. Failure or refusal to participate further increases the me vs. them chasm.
- The leadership structure is elitist - The instructors are to be addressed as "Master" and the Founder, Ilchi Lee claims a special, exalted status for himself. He has reported in interviews that he receives special messages from the divine, and is on a special mission to save humanity! Consider his construction of Mago Earth Park in Sedona, AZ. This place has massive statues of various gods, all erected to give the illusion of a harmonious world. People! There is only ONE true and living God, and He is Christ Jesus our Lord!