Dahn Yoga was a type of yoga I hadn't ever heard of, so I decided to give it a chance. After my experience, however, I'll never go back.
|Chakra Displeasure by Claire L. Evans|
Before my Dahn Yoga Appointment
While purchasing some shampoo recently, I noticed the store where I was shopping had flyers posted in the store advertising a free aura reading for later in the week. I hadn't ever had an aura reading before, so I thought it could at least be an interesting lunch-break diversion.
I arrived back to the store at my appointed time and was greeted with a hug by a very friendly Dahn Yoga instructor. He asked a few questions about my health and wellness, and he used a piece of electronic equipment to "read" my aura. When the results came up on his laptop screen, he was very complimentary about the uniqueness of my aura, pointing out that he could help me reach my potential by providing instruction that would "brighten" the areas of my aura that were literally darker in my results. He spoke to a great extent about chakra healing and meditation, both of which I believe can help a person lead a balanced life.
After five minutes or so, he presented the opportunity for me to have a private session at a Dahn Yoga center for the low introductory price of $20.00 (€ 15.0800). I took the opportunity with an open mind. I wanted to form my own opinion of the center and practice, and he seemed like a sincere, friendly person. The problem areas he had identified resonated with me. He told me he would call the day before my session to confirm.
Before the session I read reviews about the particular center I would be attending. Although most of the reviews were glowingly positive, there was one review that warned readers that Dahn Yoga is a cult and a scam. Thus warned, I promised myself I wouldn't sign up for any additional sessions until after I had mulled it over the week following the session.
Not having heard from the practitioner as promised, I did call to confirm my appointment before I left the office and headed to my appointment.
During the Session
I was slightly wary of what was happening throughout the session to the extent that when I looked at myself in the mirrored wall, I realized I was visibly uncomfortable. I was talking a lot, I could not relax, and even though I am normally able to clear my mind while meditating, my body and mind seemed to be on high alert.
I was noticing everything, both positive and negative. I noticed the music was a bit loud and distracting, and the practitioner fiddled with the laptop that was playing the music a few times during the session. Although he did ask for permission before touching me, I noticed that when it was time to breathe while he pressed or tapped on my body, I was feeling more ticklish than normal because my body was very tense. This, in turn, made me hold my breath. I noticed he seemed very knowledgeable about chakra healing and meridians. I noticed that although I was too warm in my sweatshirt, I was not willing to take off my sweatshirt. I continued to think about that distractedly for the entire hour. I noticed I felt no different when we were finished than when we began.
What I noticed the most, however, was the extremely obvious hard sell that followed the session.
When I explained I did not have a work schedule that would allow me to come during class times, the practitioner "reminded" me that this was a very important journey I was about to undertake and "suggested" $1200.00 worth of private sessions would solve my scheduling difficulties. When I explained my financial situation would not allow for that, he suggested a plan in the $900.00 range. Every time I said "no," he offered a plan $100.00 to $250.00 less than the previous suggestion until we got all the way down to a $93.00 plan with a 3% discount. Knowing I was probably his worst nightmare, I told him I would think about it. He gave me his number and told me to call no later than 9:00 p.m. so that the 3% discount could still be applied.
Following the Sales Pitch
Unlike positive experiences I've had at other yoga or meditation centers, this seemed very phony, from the tacky music to having to call to confirm my appointment when I had been told I would receive a call to the hard sell that followed the session.
As someone who strives to avoid the consumer-mindset in my daily life, I never respond well to a hard sell. The longer I thought about my session and attempted to keep my open mind about it and how it ended, the angrier I got. Just as I had promised myself, I thought about my session and whether or not I would subscribe to a plan. "No way," I thought, and that was before I researched the company and its various legal challenges.
I did not call the practitioner to subscribe to any plan, regardless of the very arbitrary 9:00 p.m. discount expiration. Instead, I realized what I should do more of is take advantage of the wonderful and easy-going yoga center located only a few miles from me where people can drop in for sessions at only $15.00 for an hour - with no sales pitch, only fresh fruit, to follow.
Falkenberg, K. (2009). Dahn yoga: Body, brain and wallet. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0803/fraud-dahn-yoga-centers-body-brain-and-wallet.html
Copyright Amy Lynn Hess. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.
Original publication May 1, 2012.