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Based on an ancient Korean mind-body practice, Dahn yoga is a blend of martial arts, tai chi and yoga that helps practitioners develop a deeper awareness of the mind-body connection and improve personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. At its core are three foundational principles: bringing about change by using the mind, the belief that fire energy travels down to keep the lower half of the body healthy and water energy travels up to keep the upper body cooled, and the teaching that taking care of physical health will give one purified emotional energy that will bring about clear-minded spirituality. Experiential practice, both in classes and in daily life, is an important part of the teachings of Dahn yoga.
Unlike other yoga classes, Dahn yoga is not based solely on specific yoga postures. Instead, it uses a combination of exercises to facilitate the mind-body connection. Brain wave vibration is a moving meditation done to relax the mind and body. Jung choong breathing uses five different postures, directed breathing and correct body position to release stagnant energy and bring new energy into the lower abdomen.
The benefits of yoga exercise and meditation practice are well known. Those who practice Dahn yoga report improved flexibility and strength, deeper sleep, weight loss, improved focus and concentration, peace of mind, self-confidence, joy and empathy. Other practitioners have reported that their symptoms of high blood pressure, sciatica, diabetes and other chronic illnesses have rapidly improved as they have participated in Dahn yoga classes.
A South Korean man named Ilchi Lee founded Dahn yoga, and he opened the first of many Dahn Yoga Centers in 1985 in downtown Seoul, Korea. The first Dahn Yoga Center in the United States opened in 1991 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dahn Yoga has become a worldwide, for-profit company with centers in 18 U.S. states and 10 countries. In 1997, its headquarters moved to Sedona, Arizona.
The company has been the source of much controversy. Some former employees and members have brought a lawsuit against the company and have claimed that it is a cult, it perpetrates fraud and it has engaged in illegal acts. The company denied the allegations, and the case was ultimately dismissed in 2013.
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