Ashley, Renee and six others stood in pairs massaging each others’ shoulders, scratching each others’ backs, and sweeping away stagnant energy with their hands. Then they hugged each other tightly, let go enough to bow to each other, and said, “kam sa ham ni da.”

It’s Korean for thank you. Then they sat cross-legged on the floor beside each other and stayed for tea and sharing.

For some, like Ashley and Renee, Dahn Yoga provides physical and spiritual renewal. Others have called it a financially destructive cult. What is Dahn Yoga and how does it turn from feeling good to feeling “had”?


Alex, a master, and the “life particles” poster.

In one of the Denver area’s five Dahn Yoga centers, on the second floor of a mini-mall, the room is bright yellow, one wall mirrored, like a dance studio. And on Fridays, it just about is. On “Vibration” day, participants dance freely, “releasing energy,” to Pharrell Williams’ Happy song, and other upbeat tunes.

Posters adorn the other walls, one is an effusion of “life particles,” Dahn Yoga’s core concept, others illustrate some common Dahn stretches, and a chart outlines levels of consciousness. Attendance sheets sport stickers, red happy faces and silver stars. Pinned to a corkboard is a sign-up sheet promoting a special healing workshop scheduled for the next week. The day-and-a-half session costs $1,050.

Ashley, 32, her light brown hair pulled into a ponytail, is wearing a “Heroes” t-shirt, an orange sun-like symbol on the upper arm, like a badge. She’s just come back from a Dahn Heroes training in Sedona, Arizona, Dahn’s U.S. headquarters.

“Carla,” also 32, with dark bobbed hair, stays for tea, too. Carla is not her real name; she asked to remain anonymous.

Carla started her Dahn training in 2005 when she was in her early 20s and at a particularly vulnerable time in her life. “I spent about $40,000 on trainings to become a master. I was encouraged to charge the workshops on a credit card and I did,” she said. No longer a master or teacher, Carla cleans houses and babysits for a living.

Lawsuits against Dahn Yoga

In 2010, Carla was asked by some other masters to join a lawsuit against Dahn Yoga. The lawsuit charged Dahn with mental coercion plus breaking wage and immigration laws, evading taxes and sexually abusing female disciples. One charge was forcing people to spend exorbitant amounts of money on trainings.

A previous suit for wrongful death – a woman died of dehydration during a Dahn workshop in Sedona – was settled in 2008. Rolling Stone Magazine, CNN, and other major media covered these lawsuits and accused Dahn of being a dangerous cult.

Carla didn’t join the 27 other masters and employees in the lawsuit.

“But I understand it,” she said.

Carla’s immersion in Dahn

Carla was 23. Her parents had just gotten divorced, her father remarried and moved to the east coast. She went to live with him there. And went to a Dahn class.

She loved how they tapped their bellies with their fists to warm their “Dahn jons,” stretched and twisted to open “meridians” (energy channels), but it was during the meditation that she truly engaged. Participants were asked to sit in half lotus position, crossed legged on the floor, with eyes closed, and hands about two inches apart in front of their hearts and told to imagine an energy ball growing between their hands.

“The energy I felt, the magnetic sensation in my hands, it blew my mind. I was a virgin in the spiritual world until then,” she said. This was more than just physical exercises.

Within a month of attending her first class, Carla was working as a receptionist and wewas encouraged to train as a master, taking workshops on the east coast and in Sedona. “It was all new and exciting. I always wanted to be a helper,” she said. And, according to Carla, the practice promotes “being enlightened, helping others, and benefiting the earth.” It appealed to her idealism. Meanwhile, it absorbed more and more of her life.

The Dahn website says Dahn Yoga is “committed to helping practitioners create energetic, balanced, and healthy lives and inspire them to make positive contributions to their communities.”

Dahn Yoga founder, Ilchi Lee

Carla’s been to the Sedona center dozens of times and has met the founder of the practice, Korean Ilchi Lee, who she said, is quite charismatic. “Il Chi” means one finger, or pointing the way. He gave himself that name 30 years ago.

alexbendLee founded the practice in 1985, about the time he changed his name. It debuted in the U.S. in 1991 in Philadelphia. Dahn’s focus is brain training through physical movement and meditation. It uses 360 meditative and brain enhancement techniques, one of which is head shaking, or “brain wave vibration.” According to the Dahn website, the practice “integrates ancient, millennia old, Korean philosophy and Sundo culture with applied neuroscience to teach optimal brain utilization.” That’s seems to say there’s some science, or at least thoughtful analysis, behind it.

Lee, author of 36 books, most self-published through the Dahn operation, has developed various ideas, organizations, and “systems” around brain training. He founded the International Brain Education Association, the Korean Institute of Brain Science, the University of Brain Education (it has a department of “peaceology”), and Brain Education for Peace, organizations that promote study and training of the brain for positive results for individuals and for the world.


One of many posters promoting Lee’s ideas.

Lee also developed The Brian Education System Training (BEST) and recently the Brain Operating System or BOS which has five parts: wake up and pay attention; good news makes a good brain; choose. If you choose it, it will happen; become the master of time and space; and design all circumstances.

That our thinking is a powerful determinant in our lives is not Lee’s mantra alone. And it’s not a new idea. From the most destructive brain training, as in brain washing, to the most freeing, as in a belief that anything is possible, there’s been lots of attention given to training or reprogramming our brains. Cognitive therapy, a recognized psychological therapy, operates on the model that our thoughts control our emotions. The book, The Secret, is all about how positive thinking can create life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness. It has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide.

The popularity of positive thinking

Motivational speakers like Tony Robbins have made a fortune promoting positive thinking and actions. Robbins’ seminars and books, like Unleash the Power Within, have amassed him about $480 million. Even traditional religions have taken up encouraging people to bring good thoughts (and good fortune) into their lives. Joel Osteen, preacher, televangelist, and pastor of the largest Protestant church in the U.S., also got rich and famous on this idea. So Lee is just one of many who has become wealthy on selling brain power.

One Dahn initiative is a glossy magazine, “BrainWorld,” published by its own organization called The Earth Citizen Way (articles in the Spring 2105 issue, interestingly, include one on brainwashing and one on Billy Crystal).

 Dahn aims to engage more than your brain

According to Carla, however, the goal Dahn Yoga is to change more than the body and brain.

One of Lee’s latest books, Bird of the Soul, self-published by his publishing house, Best Life Media, includes a guided meditation CD. The book encourages readers “To free your soul, you need to release your thoughts and emotions first, and begin to listen to your soul’s voice.” Dahn Yoga, it seems, seeks to engage – and some might say control – all of you.


Group after a class.

“When you’re really into it,” she said, “Dahn is a spiritual practice and a lifestyle. It’s not only about changing your life, getting in touch with your authentic self, your soul, but also about helping others to tap into their hearts.” It’s about believing that you can make a difference in yourself and others.


Individual change and community actions seem not enough for Lee. He planned a “Harmonic Convergence” of his own. The first Harmonic Convergence was scheduled for 1987. It was linked to an exceptional alignment of the planets. The idea was that if enough people – millions – all meditated and focused their energy on peace at the same and right time, it would change the world. It obviously didn’t bring world peace. But the goal was laudable.

According to Carla, Lee also wanted to create a similar shift in 2012. His goal was to engage 100,000 people to bring about “a change of consciousness,” to empower the heart. It didn’t happen. The goal of 100,000 wasn’t reached.

The Dahn way

Changing yourself – and the world – is a time-consuming endeavor. Carla taught classes and worked full-time at a studio for several years. She made it her life. She had to.

“It’s the Dahn way,” she said. The group of masters often lives together, as she did. “You’re surrounded by it 24/7 when you’re a master. Giving classes, selling memberships, taking workshops, giving workshops, talking about it.”

Carla was committed, and something of a star. She was sent to Boston for three months to teach classes to disadvantaged kids, she also went to Korea to demonstrate Dahn and Tai Chi. And she loved the sense of community, of something to believe in and belong to.

Carla talked a lot about the energy she felt in the practice. Although some say the energy is “life particles,” when asked, Carla hesitated, her voice dropped almost to a whisper. “When you’re deep into the practice, that energy is – is – kind of channeled though Ilchi Lee.”

Back at her home studio, Carla had membership and financial goals to meet. She was feeling more and more pressure “to meet quotas, to sign people up for memberships, enroll them in workshops, encourage them to go to Sedona” where she says, the highest level workshop of five days cost $100,000. Those were aspects she was increasingly uncomfortable with.

New recruits

Alex Meyer, 29, discovered Dahn Yoga about 15 months ago at a low point in his life. Thin and 6’5,” he said he was a recluse for several years before his father helped him find Dahn Yoga. His father had had health issues. And Meyer himself was suffering from Crohn’s Disease. His parents had just divorced, like Carla’s. It was a vulnerable time in his life.

“I questioned everything,” Meyer said, “and walked away from everything. I quit my job, broke up with my girlfriend, and moved out of our place. I just felt, if you’re sick, no one would stay with you.”

alex tea

Tea and sharing after a class.

Dahn Yoga filled the gap in his life.  After his initial introductory session in which he was “evaluated” and introduced to the practice, he was hooked. He attended several classes a day, had pressure-point healing sessions, and took workshops. He began to live the Dahn life. He says his symptoms of Crohn’s disappeared. He’s not alone in claiming health benefits from Dahn. His father said his health problems, too, neck and bladder are better. And many such stories of healing decorate the Dahn website. Indeed, the website states Dahn Yoga “is a national leader in health and wellness,” offering classes “based on traditional Korean healing philosophy and East Asian energy principles.”

Meyer is now a master, teaching classes. Dressed in a billowy white yoga shirt and loose pants, his blue eyes twinkle behind nondescript glasses. He bows deeply and smiles. “Ban gap sum ni da,” happy to see you in Korean. He hugs some regulars.

Nine women and three men, from 20s to 70s, but mostly middle-aged, form a circle. Meyer has them tapping their abdomens (which he calls their Dahnjon) and sucking in their bellies and puffing them out, then they greet (ban gap sum ni da) and bow to each other. Moving out of the circle, Meyer leads them in various stretches – arms out wide, pressing fingers toward walls, necks forward and back, hips rotating, knees bending, and then rotating their spines to squeeze stagnant energy from their livers and stomachs.


Sleeping tiger pose.

There’s considerable talk about exercising internal organs. There’s soothing music. They hold various “breathing and energy accumulation” postures on their backs, like sleeping tiger, for up to five minutes at a time. Then there’s relaxation time and a meditation. The class ends 70 minutes later with a bow and a cheer – “healthy body, happy heart, power brain.” Some participants head for the attendance sheet and put happy faces or star stickers on the day or stay for the tea ceremony.

A Korean master led another class. The exercises were vigorous, with lots of fast arm and leg movements. Participants were encouraged to breathe out through their mouths, to breathe out energy blockages. So the room was filled with sighs. Then there was a loud gasp and a slightly overweight woman, about 50-years old, slumped to the floor, panting loudly and gasping for breath.

The master glanced at her briefly and continued directing the class in the exercise routine. A kindly looking woman stopped and knelt by the fallen participant, placed her hand on her chest, spoke soothingly to her and encouraged her to relax and breath slowly. About five minutes later, the fallen one moved to the wall, and leaned against it. The class continued on.

According to Carla, the Korean masters are more rigorous in their practice than most American teachers. “They’ve all done military service, it’s required, so they’re more disciplined,” she said.

Dahn Yoga, although mostly fronted by Americans here, has its rigorous side. Participants are challenged to hold poses, to control their bodies with their minds with statements like, “You can do this, let the natural vibrations happen, it shows where the blockages are, only one more minute, you can do it.”

Relaxation exercise.

Core exercise.

Although all yoga is about connecting the mind and the body, the Dahn program goes beyond that – so is Dahn even yoga? The non-profit Yoga Alliance, a professional and trade credentialing group, with thousands of members, teachers and studios, has not one Dahn Center or teacher listed in its registry. According to Carla, Dahn teachers don’t qualify for membership. The Yoga Alliance, when asked three times to confirm whether Dahn Yoga qualifies, wouldn’t say. A spokesperson said that after looking through their records, they could not find evidence of a Dahn center applying for registration.

Dahn Yoga studios always offer Tai Chi classes also. It’s part of the full practice.

World-wide practice

Currently there are Dahn Yoga centers in 20 states and 120 cities in the U.S., either owned by the company or by franchisees. Franchises are typically named Body + Brain Yoga. Seven other countries Canada, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia, the UK, and Hong Kong, also have studios. A new retreat center just opened in New Zealand.

Several attempts over two weeks, by phone and email, to contact the Dahn corporate offices in Sedona went unanswered.

alexattedIt’s not known how many people who attend Dahn classes continue in the practice, or how deeply they commit to all the beliefs. Not everyone claims seemingly miraculous recoveries from this practice or spends $40,000 to become a master. Some members’ names on the attendance sheet at the SE Denver Dahn center sport only an occasional star or happy face sticker. Some are blank – maybe they dropped out.

Ken McCarty, a tall, thin, retired accountant, said he “comes for the exercise.” He’s been attending classes once or twice a week for about three months. “It’s a good change of pace from other exercise programs,” he said. He moved toward the door, turned, and added, “You can put whatever time and effort into it you want. You can come to class and leave or if you seek a higher level, that’s fine.”

Possible not to be absorbed?

Carla, who now lives with her boyfriend and pools resources to get by, still goes to classes but says she has mixed feelings. She misses the high she got from the practice – the exercise, the energy, the communal meditation, the sense of doing good, and of belonging to a community of like-minded people. She’d like to teach again, to make a living on it.

Two things stand in her way. She would have to take workshops again to reinstate herself as a master. Those would cost money she doesn’t have. But there seems to another reason, just as compelling. “When you’re a master or really into it, it’s your life 24/7, it’s Dahn, Dahn, Dahn,” she said. Maybe that’s where the “cult” accusation enters in. “I just don’t want it to be my whole life anymore,” she said.

The Dahn practice seems to have a set of spiritual and lifestyle beliefs that demand total absorption when you’re really committed to the practice, and that can cause problems for leading a balanced life.

There’s the hard sell and the pressure to fully engage –  mind, body, heart, soul – and wallet. If you’re not careful how much of each you invest – feeling Dahn good can make you feel bad.

Copyright, 2015, Bojinka Bishop, story and photos

Full disclosure – the author had attend Dahn classes and had been pressured to take workshops and extend her membership, and go deeper and deeper into the Dahn world. She no longer attends.

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Comment(s) on When feeling good goes bad – Inside Dahn Yoga

  1. Allen says:

    Body and Brain Yoga, formally known as Dahn Yoga, is a very well structured cult. While their practice encompasses various Eastern esoteric exercises, not one of them are strictly their own; copied from many different sources, Tao principles, Chan Buddhism, Japanese martial arts, etc. There are some benefits to the practice. They made it very simple so just about anyone can start training their body, mind, and spirit. Also the exercises does make one feel good as it is mainly focused on grounding one’s energy although any exercise will make you feel good if you didn’t have regular exercises before. However, that is where the benefits end.

    I started B&B Yoga back in August, 2015. I had just experienced a spiritual awakening on my own outside of any spiritual or religious background in July, 2015. I immersed very rapidly once I got started as B&B gave me simple tools to advance and strengthen my spiritual needs. But soon realized how rudimentary the practice was. Many of its principles came natural to me. They were basic knowledge for anyone that had any spiritual background. That is when hard sales pitch and push started. I was promised more knowledge and higher training if only I attended various workshops, some at the local centers, and some were national trainings in Sedona, Arizona. Which I gladly accepted as I thought this will help me grow. I attended multiple classes a day and many of the local workshops. Then I was asked to take national workshops in Sedona. And these didn’t come cheap. I was initially signed up two workshops, Solar Body Healing Course (SBHC) and Brain Management Training (BMT), together the cost was $5,000. I gathered all my credit card to pay for them as I was being convinced by the regional manager and trainer Eunice that this cost is for my own growth and education. Not even a week after I’ve decided to take these two courses, Eunice once again approached me about taking another workshop, Dahn Master Course (DMC), cost $10,000. I was told that if I took all three courses together, I will receive major discount, total cost of $11,900 for all three. As I told her I don’t have any more money, she started to ask me if I can borrow from family or friends. She was very insistent that I ask around for money. When I told her no, she said she can arrange a monthly payment plan for me. Which I eventually agreed for monthly payment of $485 until the balance is paid off, convincing myself that it was necessary for my own spiritual growth.

    I attended SBHC and BMT in early November, 2015. The workshops were devastatingly disappointing. First of all, I was told to purchase various items that were necessary for the workshops. However none of them were used. Very deceptive and shoddy practice to sell merchandise. Second, there was no new principles or exercises I learned. Third, I witnessed the mind altering brain washing process. Loud music, frantic dancing, and zealous body movements to lead people into trance like altered consciousness then they bombard members with subliminal and suggestive guided meditation in which they introduce worshipping of their founder Ilchi Lee. This became very obvious in BMT with multiple introduction videos about Ilchi Lee and constant talk of how “amazing” he is for creating this practice for all the members yet they don’t talk about how much money he makes from the members. Lastly, half the workshops were commercial for other workshops they offer, franchising information, and product demos. It felt like sitting at a Time Share presentation. It’s worth mentioning that the lead instructor, Master Jay seemed very depressed and confused about what he is doing. He hates himself for brain washing members but he is extremely talented at it. This was another issue. None of the masters seemed sure about the practice. All of them seemed to have mixed feelings about the it. One of them, a master with more than 25 years of training in the organization, told me that people don’t need to take all these workshop and it is just waste of money. After consulting with many fellow members about my concern, I realized that there is something really wrong with this organization. But it wasn’t until I came back from Sedona I realized the true depth of horrors and deception of this practice.

    First thing Eunice asked of me after I just got back from Sedona was whether if I can pay for the DMC in full that day. I was really disheartened and taken aback by her. She didn’t care how my experiences were. I started going to regular classes less and less and I decided to do research into this organization. Fortunately for me, I am fluent in Korean. Instead of English search, I decided to look at Korean websites for more information. These are some of the findings I thought were worth sharing. Most information is shared by former masters and individuals who worked closely with founder Ilchi Lee and the organization.

    1. B&B franchise is known as Dahn World in Korea. They are the number one complaints of fraud and being a cult.
    2. There are some 60 or more sub organizations and institutes in Korea and internationally operated by Ilchi Lee which he launders his money. He is suspected to be worth billions but no one knows for sure how much. These include many different types of Chan Buddhism institutes, Tao fellowships, HSP brands, brain education institutes and miscellaneous unidentified organizations.
    3. One of the biggest sister organizations of Dahn in U.S. is Earth Citizens Organization in which Ilchi Lee is the chairman. While they are supposedly trying to help environment, they have not made any significant donation to any cause as of yet.
    4. Dahn has more than 30 years of history. They say they are promoting the ideology of benefitting all beings on Earth yet only thing they have been doing all these years is growing themselves in size. They haven’t been behind any worthwhile cause. All talk, no action. Just collecting money from its members for themselves only.
    5. All the workshops are set up to mass produce center masters (jidojas), or franchise owners as they are critical in group’s ability to grow larger in size. This helps recruiting new members which equals more money for the organization.
    6. While Ilchi Lee has claimed that he is not religious and Dahn is not a religion, he himself has been registered as Chan Buddhist Institute since 2004 in Korea receiving tax benefits.
    7. They take advantage of members who are vulnerable, weak, and fearful. They seem very nice, kind, and warm at first glance, but as soon as you are out of money and you are no use to them, they will cut you out cold hearted. When you first join the practice, they may give you aura readings or other consultation in which they boast you to feel special. They may tell you things like you were meant to be a spiritual leader and that you should become jidoja.
    8. Jidojas or center masters are taught to use their sexual energy when interacting with members. Especially, male masters are instructed to be very affectionate with excessive touching and hugging interacting with female members. This creates general attraction towards the masters from members and they are more easily convinced to pay for workshops and make donations.
    9. Many male masters use this ability to seduce female members to sexual relationships. Dahn has been heart break of many unsuspecting families. Adultery and sexual harassment is very common place in Dahn. There is ongoing joke among Dahn masters; this is not Dahn World, this is Sex World, or Sexual Harassment World.
    10. Ilchi Lee is obsessed with money more than anything. He has many houses and properties in Korea, US, and Japan. He has personal jets, yachts, limos, Hummers. Many of the properties are under his families and relatives.
    11. Ilchi Lee is addicted to sex. He’s had so many sex scandals since early 90’s. His favorite line to female students is “your mouth has the most acupressure points. Suck on my fingers, I will give you some energy”. He’s known to invite young female students to his private room for personal trainings as young as 14 years old. He has frequent sexual relationships with many female students. He is surrounded by ongoing, nonstop sex scandals even now.
    12. Ilchi Lee is big fan of gambling. He has a private residence in Las Vegas and he visits quite frequently. He’s known to waste several millions of dollars in a single night. He is loyalty and VIP at many of the Vegas casinos.
    13. He is a complete glutton. He eats 4-6 big meals a day and is suffering from diabetes and obesity. He has stopped doing any of his exercises many years ago. He can’t even walk without his walking stick anymore. He doesn’t practice what he preaches but he plays golf and horseback riding. He can’t even take care of his body, how can he help the world and people?
    14. Ilchi Lee has exalted himself into a “divine being”. He calls himself the Heaven. He calls his lectures Heaven’s Landing. His lectures are basic information rehashed and repeated from the same information available everywhere. He has to be bowed and worshipped before he comes out and speaks to his followers. He has created a division between himself and fellow human beings.
    15. They control their members through fear. They say that the world is coming to an end in 2020 so we should dedicate ourselves and our money to reach an enlightenment now. They prey on innocent people who really want to make a change in the world and help themselves.
    16. Jidojas are slaving their lives away with almost no pay while Ilchi makes more than double the money of 3000 or so jidojas throughout his organization each year. Jidojas live away from their families and friends in a dorm with other masters. They spend ungodly hours working. It’s depressing, inhumane environment. There are handful of cases where these jidojas committed suicides.
    17. Ilchi has been arrested for fraud, misrepresentation, false advertisement, falsification of legal documents, and reporting manufactured sales and tax information multiple occasions. They have been reporting that they are making profits but in actuality, they are losing so much members these days. They are expected to close up to 70% of centers in Korea and U.S. He has made a claim that he was one of the chosen 50 spiritual leaders by U.N. which was complete lie and was arrested by Korean government for misrepresentation. And he called it the “day that went against the Heaven”.

    After finding more about the organization, on December 21, I met with Eunice and talked about my findings and concerns. When I told her that I was concerned that this is a cult, she didn’t even deny it. She said, “Yeah we are that kind of organization. So what of it?” There was no shame or guilt from her cold eyes. Baffled by her reaction, I just told her that I’m not going to attend any more workshops and that I am finished with the practice completely. Then she tried to convince me that there is no other practice like Dahn. I told her actually, you’ve copied from other practices without giving them credit and that I can go learn from somewhere else the same exact principles and exercises without going bankrupt. At that moment she just completely cut me out and told me to get out. I asked about how can I get my money back and they were going to call me about how in couple days. However, as of today January 2, 2016, they have not made any attempt to communicate with me about refund.

    While Dahn promotes wonderful message of hope and harmonious world, the organization itself is extremely corrupt and evil. In that core is Ilchi Lee who is worshipped by these blinded masters and members follow without questioning. Don’t trust the center masters. They may be good people but they also can’t see beyond the illusions created by Ilchi Lee. When you step back and look with objective eyes, it becomes very clear. Look deep and wide and see it for what it truly is. There is no singular truth or ideology to enlightenment. There are as many doors to enlightenment as there are people in this Earth. Take a step back and free yourself from these restrictions and limitations. In the end, I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. I only want to share my view of the practice. You don’t have to believe what I say. I want people to question everything and make that choice from their heart and soul. If you truly believe that Dahn or B&B yoga is the way you’ve chosen to grow your spirituality, then that is perfectly fine. But there is a beautiful world out there and real growth comes from researching and applying yourself in your life, not hiding behind a false safety created from an ideology of a cult leader.

    The following is an excerpt from the book “Captive Hearts, Captive minds”, by Madeline Tobias and
    Janja Lalich adapted from information compiled by Dr. Micheal Langone.

    Checklist of Cult Characteristics

    “Comparing the following statements to the group with which you or a family member or loved one is involved may help you determine if this involvement is cause for concern. If you check any of these items as characteristic of the group in question, and particularly if you check many of them you may well be dealing with a cult and should critically examine the group and its relationship to you or your loved one.

    1) The group is focused on a living leader to whom members display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.

    2) The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members and/or making money.

    3) Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged.

    4) Mind-numbing techniques (for example: meditation, chanting, denunciation sessions, or debilitating work routines) are used to suppress members’ doubts.

    5) The group’s leadership dictates how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, or get married;) leaders may determine types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth.

    6) The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, it’s leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).

    7) The group has a polarized we-they mentality that causes conflict with the wider society.

    8) The group’s leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).

    9) The group teaches or implies that its “superior” ends justify means that members would have
    considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).

    10) The group’s leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control then

    11) Members’subservience to the group causes them to give up previous personal goals and interests while devoting inordinate amounts of time to the groups.”

    12) Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

    Note: These comments are the views of commentator and were not vetted for accuracy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Allen, thank you for sharing your experience and the information from Korean website.
      Believe me, many people have the same experience you had in your local center but also many of them are afraid of speak up.
      I myself had the exact same experience you had. In the beginning I didn’t know so I paid. But after that almost every week they insist me to apply seminars. Each one cost several hundred to several thousand dollars then it was endless. Just crazy to me, those center managers and instructors are totally brain washed but they don’t know themselves that’s for sure. When the center manager insist me to apply Sedona Mago Castle member ship which cost total $16,000, I finally realized something was really wrong in this organization. Also I had a seducing from one male instructor that made me very upset. This guy has already a girlfriend ( she is also the instructor ), very dishonest. I left immediately before it was too late. I filled the papers and got refund next month, only $500, but that’s alright, good lesson !

      • Anony says:

        I also agree with what is posted. I was also a Master in this organization. I and several other masters left after we were approached to give $10000 gift to be part of Mago castle. Plus $100 a month for 5 years to belong on a website for this group. The story was that 1000 people would be the chosen ones to save humanity. It was supposed to be a privilege to be asked to be one of these 1000. Obviously this is a crazy story, and people left because when you are deep in this group you don’t want to think it is a cult. What I learned along the way is that when people joined B &B. or Dahn as it was formally known as, the center managers were already sizing them up. If the new member is young, and beneficial to them, they get groomed to be one of them, if they seem to have money or a way to get money they become the money cows for the organization. Others who are older, have less money sources, or not on a spiritual quest are left alone. Plain and simple. At first it was Master level cash cows who were asked to be part of Mago Castle, but now Ilchi asking the center managers to pressure others to join for lesser amounts of money now. This contribution goes to their non profit wing Tao Fellowship. The sad thing about all of this is this organization could have done much to help the world because what is teaches is good, and people get healthier, however greed seems to have took over. Once a person has depleted all their money by giving their savings, retirement, homes, chargecards, etc…the love goes away…once someone has been funding them for years sometimes it’s hard to walk away because you just dont want to believe any of this so you just close your eyes. The truth will always reveal itself. Eventually.

  2. Anonymous says:

    PS. some correction : I received total only $500 refund from all I paid. I just had to accept because I didn’t want to go any more further communication with them. Also one more thing, After 2month I left the organization, the center manager subscribed one website using my email account without my permission. I received notification from the site and thought it was weird. I had to contact the site, then the admin gave me the name who used my email address so I explained the full detail and had to cancel the subscription myself. Awful. Some of Dahn Yoga instructors may be a nice people, but BRAINWASHED. They do anything, any crazy things if it was for Ilchi Lee.

  3. Jane says:

    I went to Dahn Yoga for 6 months and never experienced anything like what is stated here. Maybe it’s the location I went to but they never pressured me into anything financially. They posted the extra classes and that was it. We laughed a lot and really enjoyed it. The classes we energetic, relaxing and fun. The tea ceremony was most pleasant. I read these stories and find it hard to believe that is the same Dahn Yoga. I had to stop going because of a work commitment, but I’d join again if time permitted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jane, you’re lucky. I notice they give pressure to the certain members especially if they think that member has money. Don’t ever apply 1year membership from the beginning or never ever wear expensive watch, clothes and handbags etc when you go to the class. That’s what happened to me.

    • You are lucky. They pressure people all the time, here.

    • LL says:

      I also love dahn yoga..I try to do it once a week. Purchased package of 20 and enjoying it. No one has approached me nor pressured me into commitments. I don’t have 10k to donate nor will ever put such amount on my credit card. But thanks for the warning..but will keep on going til I get bored~

  4. julie says:

    Dahn Yoga is a cult. The classes are good but they immediately go after you for money, small at first but then more and more. And when I say “go after you” I mean they will chase you out to your car in the name of “saving your soul.” they use every tactic including borrowing from your credit card, from other people, and brain-washing you that this is the only way to save yourself. Sound familiar. Soul’s completion is the ONLY way to save your soul. The trainings get more and more expensive, up to $150,000 and I took them all. Then the day came when I was asked to lie to another member so that she would take the same training. I said no. I got yelled and screamed at. I had been yelled at screamed at many times before, but this is what did it for me. If I had been asked to lie for them to make money all the puzzle pieces came together, which were already in the back of my mind. I had been tricked, bamboozled, brain-washed, as my sister had been telling me for years, I just didn’t see it. And I got NOTHING from these trainings – NOTHING! So I got out. I had already paid for two trainings and they would not give me my money back. I told them if they did not give me my money back, and I knew this would work because Dahn has so much bad Internet press since their leader IlChi Lee was accused of sexual assault in 2009 among other things, that I would spread among my social medial what they had done to me and “I have a LOT of friends.” With that I had the unused balance of $10,000 within a week. THAT is how scared they are of bad press. Please stay away from Dahn Yoga AND Tao Fellowship in Arizona. They are one and the same, both owned by Ilchi Lee.

  5. anonymous says:

    CULT- a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    How is trying to manage your brain, control your emotions, and teach self healing sinister or strange? Yet spending thousands of dollars on one hospital visit and medication that doesn’t cure you is not strange or sinister? We are willing to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on education, which this is I hope you know, for some kind of benefit. What makes this so different?
    In my FREE Internship course in Mago Garden AZ, all I had to pay for was my ticket out here for a 12 day course. People are human, and yes, this is a business, just like any other professional (non-donation) type exercise class. Ultimately, your money is your money and you choose what you do with it, even if someone is trying to convince you to do something you might not want to do. That is a reflection of your will power. This discipline is not for everyone. If you want something cheap and easy, there are plenty of donation based classes out there for you. This is an education, not a religion or cult. I should know, my parents founded a Christian church and I know the inner workings of the politics. Where in this practice are they telling you to rely on someone to come and save you other than that person being yourself? And where have they asked for your money without you or your community benefiting from it by either education or physical body improvement? They do not ask for tithes to keep their BUSINESS running like most religions and cults.
    My teacher is very non-invasive with money and even offered me a part-time job to help me pay for workshops. It is really about your center manager and the sincerity in your own heart. Remember, we are human. I am sure you have gotten very excited and tried to sway others to your opinions, beliefs and wants or you wouldn’t have written this blog, right? What makes your teacher so different trying to have you sign up for classes to teach you the principles they believe in?
    As for ECO, my region’s team is raising money to send drug abusive teens to leadership school for FREE to change their lives and to teach them the discipline and principle to live without self-destruction and depression. As you know, the youth is our future. And yet you say there is no benefit from it. As for saving the environment, it cant just take a handful of people and maybe you aren’t seeing results because you haven’t been proactive with the change. Next weekend, my ECO team is going to pick up all the trash off the beaches, yet is that not beneficial? Do you know how many sea creatures are suffocated in our trash monthly? It is a collective effort, not just for our leaders to do.
    As for Power Brain, did you know that there are programs teaching teachers how to actually build confidence in our youth and how test scores have sky rocketed drastically from this program? Of course, this isn’t beneficial at all, right?
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but are you apart of a change for good or are you just spreading your discontent because you feel you didn’t get some just reward? I hope you can ask yourself honestly.

    • Bojinka Bishop says:

      Thank you for your comment. As the article notes, it’s up to the individual to make decisions about what he/she wants to participate in, which is your point, also. And please note, the article is based on observation and interviews with actual participants and it simply reports their experiences.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its mind control. They have good intention to help people, yes but they have a lot of fear. There latest is the world will be unable to turn itself around if we don’t change in 5 years, by 2020. Who knows whats true. But this information is used and of course to make the world a better place but used to get masters do create results and members to commit… it is still mind control. They think if they can get a million earth citizens but now its mago castle members, essentially, dahn members..the world is saved. And Ilchi Lee is the messiah. (the deeper you go…but information is withheld but the deeper you go the more that is revealed). I don’t know sounds like a tall order. And thats whats similar among many destructive groups (or cults) they have a philosophy, a leader and usually a timeline and information is withheld but pressure increases the deeper you go into it. So what they share with public, what is shared to beginner members, what is shared to advanced, to masters, more mind control and fear is used. I was a master, I know. Whats strange to me is how surprised the masters are when they learn of a other groups or people also wanting to change the world. Of course! And yes there are more affordable, sustainable, more inclusive ways in doing so. Because they think think its the best way they come across as if its its the only way. I love the masters dearly, I understand their heart and mind. I understand Ilchi Lees intentions; yet from experience the deeper you go the harder it is to get out. All of your thinking becomes “principle” and then there is a lot of fear to do anything but dahn’s way. Its an interesting rabbit hole that I once went down deeply, and now that I am out it is much clearer. I wish you good luck.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spending thousands of dollars on one hospital visit and medication that doesn’t cure you is not strange or sinister? We are willing to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on education, which this is I hope you know, for some kind of benefit. What makes this so different?

      Anonymous , your words already show the evidence you’re trapped by the cult.
      You should not say that you guys can educate other people’s brain. Your organization doesn’t have official degrees and permission from university and government.

      You sound like you and Ilchi Lee are the selected people on this planet. It sounds really weird.
      You really should not say that hospital and medication can not cure the people even spend hundreds dollars and thousand dollars but you guys can do…
      Your words are typical cult believer, sheep.
      I don’t want to insult you but really, you guys are wrong.

  6. Pat Clark says:

    My experience with Body and Brain has been good. I feel more energy and enjoy the classes. No one pressures me to do more. It probably depends upon the instructor. I did sign up for a 3 month membership because it was cheaper than a 10 session card. I have no plans to attend expensive workshops and have not been pressured to do so.

  7. Mary says:

    It’s a cult. Over time they want to control your thinking but mostly your checkbook. It’s not even real yoga! In terms of the brain education it’s a joke and the workshops were disappointing and weak.

    The reports here I can attest to as true. It you need stress management go to a real yoga class or get a massage and Save yourself a lot of time effort and money –

    The longer I did the classes the more uncomfortable I got with all of it because it felt like a cult, mind control and the worship of their very rich “master”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dahn Yoga people always say it’s the brain education. I think you cshould not say that unless you guys belong to the government or official research center or either university. It’s a joke.
    Also about all the volunteer activities including clean up beaches and collecting donations for saving this earth, they are nice but we can do all of these without Dahn Yoga. We don’t need Dahn Yoga and Ilchi Lee. Better to save that thousands $ for more honest organization like red cross and so on.

  9. Anon says:

    I find it strange that some people who have been in the organization for years can say that there is nothing wrong with Dahn Yoga.

    It is obvious that the masters work an ungodly amount of hours. They rarely have a day off and work weekends. After a long day, I have seen them go off to meetings at 9 or 10 o’clock at night. Masters do not hide the fact that they live in group houses, have no health insurance, and have very little money.

    I have seen telecasts where Ilchi Lee says the world will end if this the organization does not get 100,000 members. Lee also appeared in this telecast to be knocking people over by simply pointing his finger at them. Lee claims he stayed on Moak Mountain where he neither ate or slept for 21 days. Does any of these things seem plausible?

    Members are pressured to take expensive workshops, buy the latest book by Ilchi Lee, donate money, and to recruit new members for free. Masters use guilt and promises of peace and enlightenment to manipulate members into giving all their time and money to Dahn. This constant badgering increased my level of stress: isn’t yoga supposed to be relaxing?

    Dahn masters discourage “thinking”. They are woefully uninformed and closed minded. I found it curious this spiritual practice is supposed to be based on Taoism, but the “master” at my center said he had never read the Toa Te Ching.

  10. Lisa M says:

    I have been going for only a short time and I find it very fulfilling. I am a slightly overweight 52 year old woman, so there is no worry of them trying to push me into becoming a master or taking advantage of me sexually. The master here is kind, caring, helpful and truly enjoys seeing his group of people “get it”.
    I go 4 days a week and that is what my leaders tells me is good. Nothing more. I don’t really care if the Mr Lee is an A hole in real life. I don’t have to deal with him. I take from it what I want and will not allow myself to be taken advantage of. Why don’t some of you try the same thing?

  11. Laurie says:

    I used to attend a free Dahn yoga class at the local recreation center. Now it’s the same class and teacher but is called “mind and body yoga”. No one has asked us for any money, and we were even given a small children’s book about a spirit bird. Interesting.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I found this article, it must be the original article about Dahn Yoga. I feel torn because I don’t regret my experiences yet I want to make sure other people know. Dahn yoga (or now they call them selves body and brain yoga) is like being in a fishbowl. They seem to monitor all the information and at first its so nice and safe but then gets mucky if masters try too hard to make money which is what they have to do. they are told how much they are suppose to make per month 10-20K per center. They have goals they check and monitor daily/weekly/monthly. Its crazy. I mean I suppose a good business monitors their income. But thats why at the end of the month the pressure increases and the water gets mucky and stuffy and hard to breathe. Its so nice when they can keep it clear but inevitable its hard to maintain. Im glad Im back in the ocean.

  13. Victoria says:

    I agree with some of the comments above, I personally find that the Masters do pressure you buy longer memberships and workshops. In my experience, the yoga/tai chi classes were great and the instructors were great at teaching the classes. The thing that I had a problem with was that after taking a class which made me feel very relaxed and refreshed and filled with energy, they would approach me to buy classes or workshops knowing that I had experienced interest earlier.
    Ultimately, as others have mentioned it is up to the person if they feel it is necessary to purchase workshops/programs and not purchase it just based off of someone’s recommendations. I do understand though, if a person is in a bad place at the time or vulnerable it might be easier for someone to purchase a lot of programs.

    I’ve only done 2 of their workshops and one program in Sedona, AZ and I found them to be helpful for myself not because a Master recommended it or said it will help me (which they did say to me which I guess is also their selling pitch) but I just felt like it would do me well.

    The problem that I see with Dahn at times, is it’s looked at as a salvation, the only way to become awakened or enlightened. There are good benefits in my experience from taking classes and some workshops but I know for myself that I’ve taken what I’ve needed from the Dahn Yoga world and I can move on to other things or revisit it if need be.


  14. Hans says:

    Business is business. Treat customers well, give them a good value and they will keep coming back. Seems like the folks at Dahn Yoga either never knew that or, in the zeal to be successful in the eyes of the higher ups, chose to ignore that fundamental principle of business. Is it a business or a social movement? It seems that they don’t want to commit to either. Problem is, you cannot have it both ways. Hard sell techniques work some of the time, but in the long run it seems that they lose more people because of the overbearing pressure than they benefit from the sales. It is a fantastic program for self renewal and spiritual awakening, but, over time, the pressure to contribute more and more will, most likely, eventually cause the wise and prudent individuals to back off. I think it’s a shame that an organization built on such a valuable premise is hamstrung by its own idiosyncrasies. Starbucks makes money because it provides a pleasant experience for a good value. If the Starbucks manager tried to sell you an incredibly expensive lifelong subscription for coffee and pastries, which required you to never eat or drink anything else, you probably would stop going in before work each day. I think that is the experience which turns so many away. Unfortunately I know way too many people who loved the programs, but won’t return because they don’t want to subject themselves to the unbearable pressure. If the pressure doesn’t bother you, that is fantastic! There is much to gain.

    • I like to wear tank tops half the time I am there and they hate that. Part of the reason I don’t go often is that I don’t like the grief they give me, for not dressing like a regular trainer. I was also shunned for my ‘(they say) too tight pants’ last night. Even though the lady next to me had them SKIN TIGHT. I was still the only one pointed out though. Heck even one of their trainers wears tight clothes, from top to bottom.

    • Shanti says:

      Amen, Hans! My thoughts exactly! After a year at B&B and a recent trip to Sedona, I am thinking exactly this: they fail both as a business (the Sedona setup is laughable to put it mildly!) and as a social /spiritual movement. This organization is lacking on both fronts. You are so right that there is much to gain from exercise and meditations and energy work, but the “cheap” (as in “value-less”) flare around it with useless expensive workshops and all this pressure turn annoying very very quickly. I am attending classes as they are beneficial to my health (no question about that), but if the workshop-related pressure continues, I am willing to even forfeit the rest of my yearly (just paid for the 2nd year) membership and go elsewhere. Man, I wish I had read this forum before going to Sedona… it was rediculous! I am taking it as another expensive life lesson and my overall attitude is positive as even awake and aware people make mistakes… I am just annoyed at how they trap others and that they perceived me as “trappable” too… yeah, right! I was curious, gratefully could afford to feed the curiousity, but I felt something was amiss even before i could materialize it into thoughts… And this forum just confirmed exactly what I felt soon after I attended one of the first workshops. Thank you to the author of the article and to all who have commented!

  15. Ilchi says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation…

    For the questioning student/master…

    Dahn has created a beautiful picture out of fragments of truth claiming it to be more powerful and real than perhaps what it really is.

    Let’s start simple and then get to the more intense stuff…

    This article is about Denver location… Let’s take their Google reviews … 10/23 are of Masters/Instructors current and old….. And if it’s like most centers the majority of other reviews are probably from core members whom Are contacted and asked to write reviews and sometimes for multiple locations… I’d bet money 3-4 are organically real

    Dahn yoga is so contrived…. Ilchi lee was never part of the 50 leaders of UN he happened to be in a group photo and Dahn used that to make their own title. Read official articles and see Spokeman of UN illuminate ilchi lee’ false claims/ advertisement.

    He was never a doctor despite adding Doctor to his name for period of time. It was a papermill degree

    Did he really stay awake with out laying down or eating for 21 days? My inner hopeful monk in me says yes!! But really, did he?

    He says he no longer holds position in Dahn as to say not getting paid by its profits. Yet he is a consultant through Br Consulting who no heard gets roughly 500K or more per month just from America. Granted he buys lots of property to give back to Dahn be honest I do not know for sure how much he gets paid…

    It is normal for Dahn yoga “masters” instructors to put their own money, savings, loans for monthly “vision” which is extreme amounts of money. Average 16k-25K per month . Every. month.

    Masters will promise Anything to help someone and to help someone means this person will grow Most by Dahn programs… Anything for money… And if someone is unsatisfied with their program/result it is almost Always their fault, not the program… “The person wasn’t ready, wasn’t open, didn’t do it right, etc”

    Now let’s look at the more complicated stuff…

    There are Dahn “masters” scared to leave because they are scared for their soul’s growth. This is not okay.

    They are Dellusional to think Ilchi lee is the savior… People spend loads of money for the security that 100years after he or they die (I forget) will come save you. Man Jesus must be more the philanthropist type…he does it for free… And yet because I was in this cult as a master for 6 years I have a conditioned response… “Money helps bring things to physical manifestation. So of course he’ll save you and give money because it’s going to help create real changes needed here on earth”

    Problem is people in Dahn lose connection to the reality that Many organizations and people are also doing Amazing work. And there are lots of ways to grow your soul and to help humanity. Now that I’m out I see more similarities and overlaps with so many amazing groups yet being in Dahn felt like us vs them and we need more people as if people couldn’t grow and do Amazing things in other groups. 100earth citizens/mago members meant Dahn members.This is what’s sad. Having left… My hearts love has expanded 2fold. I can even say I love those in Dahn as they too are just trying to do their best in this confusing world where truth is revealed just a little bit through everyone’s eyes.

    To those who are enjoying the classes please I hope you continue too. As these principles and practices are Not unique to Dahn. when I was a beginner member I was warned about all this and I didn’t even want to hear it mostly because I was getting SO much benefit (1. Didn’t care 2. Didn’t believe it) And stil now I can have gratitude for the benefit, healing, and abilities I developed through my time at Dahn. Extremely grateful. But to those who are wanting to leave but scared for your soul because of what they tell you please please take time and space…. If ilchi lee really is savior he’ll forgive you if you need to leave, seek balance, reconnect with family, take little time for self, take a break, seek a neutral counselor, talk to an ex member… If he really is savior..his love will embrace you anyway… And if not well then by following that little voice to leave because it’s not quite right then may take you closer to what you really want. And a master questioning has been given fear “the voice to leave is your ego voice for comfort. Follow your souls voice, which is to stay and be lead by ilchi lee for earth citizen movement”
    It’s become another voice clouding and ensuing guilt and confusion… Dahns way does not seem to be sustainable and with good emotional to financial practice. Really those questioning please put all the pieces together and is your soul and heart proud of its practice? Of course it’s beliefs but the reality of it in practice ?

    Please take time and space…

    “What do you really want?”

    • Hans says:

      I agree with you completely. As a member who became a master, I transformed myself with the practices in ways I never would have believed to be possible. My love for humanity and my desire and ability to serve my fellow man, flourished. All of the expensive trainings appeared to be well worth the money and time. Then, I feel like I hit a glass ceiling…. I recognized subsequent trainings to be almost transparent recycling of prior material. The “exclusive and elite” groups of spiritual community members (Dahn master, life particle ambassador, solar body group, mago castle member, etc.) kept being reinvented as an excuse to draw more cash out of the truly inspired and sincere followers. The “BBC” franchise idea was a flagrant attempt to take advantage of the pure of heart. Throwing the unsophisticated into business ventures on exorbitantly inflated terms, with virtually no regard for the financial “crash” which these unproven and unsound business models were going to cause is indicative of the basic underlying flaw. The philosophy is sound, but the practice is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. During the height of my involvement, I loved helping members connect to their spirituality and heal their bodies and souls! But my beautiful community was marred by the organization. Members were tacitly discouraged from having contact outside of Dahn functions (presumably because the money spent on a lunch or coffee was expected to be better spent paying for some training). Willingness to donate time to help newer members was met with a curious reaction. (I.e. Yes, but first you must train one on one with master XXX, who charges $xx,000.00 per training. By skye, no less!). I miss the wonderful, good hearted people in that community, but the structure is so rigid and closed that it is difficult to imagine adopting it for life. It seems headed in the direction of a multi-level marketing scam intended to fleece the naive and desperate. Abusive relationships are complex. The victim searches for reasons to forgive the outrageous actions, because the victim does not want to lose the relationship. The abuser, feeling greater and greater power, deludes himself/herself into truly believing that behavior is their birthright! The realization that it isn’t right hurts! But you are right! There is more out there. Don’t be discouraged and consider it a stepping stone on the path to enlightenment.

  16. Robbie says:

    Ilchi thanks for your comments. I have a partner currently in this group and see and I are both struggling to make sense of what it is all about.

    Could you tell me where to look to find out more about the UN connection.

    Dahn yoga is so contrived…. Ilchi lee was never part of the 50 leaders of UN he happened to be in a group photo and Dahn used that to make their own title. Read official articles and see Spokeman of UN illuminate ilchi lee’ false claims/ advertisement.

    It has often puzzled me how a group with so many red flags over it could be associated with the UN.

  17. Robbie says:

    Any ex members or ex masters from the UK out there able to give an insight into Dahn Yoga/ Body and brain in the UK? I live in England and am not sure if the group is less of a cult in the UK than it is in the USA. It seems to be less severe here.

    • SVO says:

      Hi Robbie

      I am an ex-member in the UK and my experience was intense! I do not regret it, but was able to get out before it was too late. The whole memory is bitter-sweet.

      I was a student with mental health issues and no family support when I joined, so very vulnerable. It seemed the ‘masters’ saw the bigger picture with me, and due to my age and mouldability gave me reduced memberships. I did the ‘physical’ and ‘spiritual’ awakening workshops and had amazing experiences. I was invited to go to Sedona for a workshop with other young Dahn members – only 2 of us from the UK went and it was AMAZING, great workshops and they took us up Bell Rock and to the Grand Canyon. However, the second part of the week the hard-sell started, and this really put me off. I became friends with the amazing guy called Zander, and he said “they don’t need to sell Dahn, Dahn sells itself” which summed it up for me really. When I was getting a lift to the airport I saw Ilchi Lee struggling to control a big, beautiful horse which was kind of funny.

      I graduated when I returned and started working at the centre one-day a week in return for free membership. I became more disillusioned when I saw a colleague afraid to drink water (we had been walking all day delivering flyers) and I saw other apprentices mistreated and punished like children. One time I saw the main Korean UK masters in the street and they ignored me, which I found really odd. The final straw was when Ilchi Lee came to the UK for the first time and they charged members a crazy amount of money for some bullshit seminar, with the same bullshit content he used in Sedona. I had a discussion with my master and left after that, she knew the time was up I think and that I had seen through it.

      All in all, I do not regret any experiences and feel fortunate that my master was kind and genuine (she is no longer involved herself, I recently found out.) The experiences you can achieve are incredible, but as Allen states they are pilfered from other sources and you will pay the price in the end!

      So in answer to your question, yes maybe less severe here but do not let your guard down!

      Peace & Love, SVO

    • M Man says:

      UK, US, China, Korea….it all run by Dahn International which has corporate offices in countries around the world. One thing that is for sure is the business is very standardized as far as practice, policy and procedure goes. You will need to check out the organization for yourself. as has been said there are great offerings but the cost is high for some. Weed through emotional opinions and make a call that works for you

  18. Stephanie says:

    My experience at the Albuquerque Body and Brain, San Mateo location is as others describe – once I joined Master Hong-ik applied EXTREMELY HIGH PRESSURE sales techniques on me to buy a longer membership and/or expensive workshops. I did attend one workshop – they used classic physiological techniques to break one’s mental barriers down, then gave a free “healing session” which was a ruse for a financial shakedown. Yoga has no need for a place like this – stay away.

    • Moon says:

      I had the same experience with Hong-ik. She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She doesn’t listen to anything you have to say, either.

  19. Cynthia Thomas says:

    I came to Dahn . divorced and looking for alternatives for my mentally ill son. Dahn yoga is a cult, based on some truth but carried to a military level of mind control, purpose to extract your time and money. As in any scheme the masters, the ones who are in your centers are truly geniune, but the founder is truly an evil man

  20. Elizabeth Blockwitz says:

    I guess I have been fortunate I have not had one bad experience with them and I Have been going there awhile now. They don’t ask me to do anything I’m not comfortable doing and they don’t try to squeeze money out of me. Sad to read of bad experience with others.

    • Roxanna says:

      Elizabeth Blockwitz – I have had the same experience and am very very sad to read comments of the opposite here. I do want to note, as some have, to not ‘throw the baby out with the bath water”. Two remarkable teachers in Colorado totally and positively impacted my life in Colorado and in this lifetime. They are in Littleton – Lenny Zuilike ` and Golden – Maxine – I adore them and respect both of them as wide as the sky opens. Living far from the Rockies now – each time I have contact with them (in thought or message online/phone) my whole being smiles. Life Particles do Dance a Happy Dance. May this be so for all who have been betrayed, used, and abused. May you Be Free, Healthy, happy, and in Harmony with Life. Reclaiming your power is essential to well Being and Evolutionary Growth. Blessings.

  21. Anon says:

    My experience unfolding here…
    as a student and once a Master running a center

  22. Nancy says:

    I got involved due to health issues and thought the Tai Chi might be a gentle exercise that would help. I was vulnerable. I clearly stated I was a Christian. I was told that it was science not religion.

    This is clearly a lie and very deceptive. It is based on Taoism.

    I experienced financial pressure, mind control and some very negative spiritual warfare when I stopped attending classes. I am out over $1,000 dollars as well.

    Please do not get involved with this organization! Wiser but poorer.

  23. Dr. Sharon Eng says:

    Signed up for Body&Brain in my neighborhood about 2 months ago, and am having a wonderful experience. I come out of my 70 minute sessions (6 days a week) refreshed, relaxed, content, and happy to know that my classmates love the class as much as I do. I asked for the very best deal (unrestricted, full on participation, twice a day, if I wanted). The per class fee is about what I would expect to pay for a yearly membership in Bikram Yoga, Hatha Yoga or a gym membership. The masters at the franchise where I attend (Masters Baek and Lee, husband and wife) are gentle, kind, compassionate, committed and loving. I cannot speak highly enough for this fascinating integrated yoga-tai chi-chi gong-mediation-meridian stretching healing modality. I speak for myself and my 15 or so colleagues who come to the 10 a.m. class: we love the class and are grateful that Dahn Yoga exists.

    • Danni says:

      Dr. Sharon Eng, it is so wonderful to see light in this very darkened room. I am beyond grateful to have stumbled upon Body and Brain. Every business has its flaws, but that’s the part of learning and improving. As we individually must do.
      I am currently a Master in training and having a wonderful center manager who completely understands me and wants me to heal and grow, she has not pushed me or forced me TOO much. I am grateful to have her and will send life particles for all the people who haven’t experienced a good center manager like mine. I pray that we all hold true to our true selves and always have courage to speak up with what doesn’t resonate.

      All in all, may we have appreciation to the heavens, gratitude for the earth, and love for ALL humanity!!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad Allen mentioned the fact that they copy everything from other practices. It is so true: here are some of the organizations they copied from without giving them credit:
    Shim Sung from the Basic at PSI (Personal Success Institute)
    copied stuff from The Sedona Method (actually from the man that sold I’ll Chi Lee the land where Mago Garden is located)
    The famous Principles from the Three Spiritual Principles by Sydney “Syd” Banks.
    How do they get away with it?
    Not only that, but Shim Sung is just a water down version usually presented by Koreans, when the Basic is two whole nights, and two whole days facilitated by world class presenters.
    Another thing I don’t like about them is that they don’t respect couples because for couples it’s too expensive to both be in their organization. Usually it’s one of the two that likes the attention, and they try to hook that one person without thinking about the two as a couple. Many times that creates couple’s conflicts.

  25. FairySteps says:

    This outfit is a sham. Don’t do it, just don’t. Ilchi Lee is a one time Moonie. Every aspect of their practice belongs to other disciplines, the Masters are masters of nothing, they are totally unrecognised qualifications apart from in their own organisation. Changing the name of the company doesn’t make them better. Beware that they want to take their practices into schools in the UK now, watch out Uk, your children will be ensnared into this money making web, don’t let Body’n Brain or Brain education in. They destroy families, pretend to be all loving and caring, but it is a sham!!! If it behaves like a cult……

  26. Alma says:

    My experience, with Dahn yoga was so beautiful. It is similar to being in an amazing relationship, (fun,exciting,loving,full of unlimited possibilities, boundless energy). Unfortunately, change in finances, or a move to a different location or internal conflicts separates us. It sounds like some of you broke up feeling bitter. Don’t worry, unlike a male/female human love relationship, Dahn Yoga only taught you how to love yourselves. Stay physically and mentally strong, nobody can take away the skills you learned in Dahn. Apply them how you wish, know Love is only found inside you. Trust me, it is super hard to teach people how to find their true selves. If we all failed to complete the program, it is only because not everyone can deliver this message; love yourself, be aware, stay strong. Be glad there are those who are trying, against all odds, to deliver this crucial piece of information of survival. Decisions in life are yours, please take full responsibility. If you did not like them, just go away peaceful. Mind Body training is here in the US to stay. Look at it this way, you need a strong mind to survive, get the skills you need, leave the rest.

  27. Own It says:

    Most of this comments seems like a lot of victim consciousness which is something that I learned through Body and Brain. Seem like this people forgot what they learned in Finding True Self or did not take the workshop. People complain because they dont want to take ownership of their actions and choices, lack of ownership makes you have the need to blame. Anyways people do a lot of speding time and money on meaningless things that leave them feeling empty. Energy you put towards your growth and soul is never lost. IF you take OWNERSHIP.

  28. Langdon Lorimer says:

    Similar to Dahn Yoga I was immersed in The Dharma Yoga Center that focused on uniting your consciousness with the thoughts of the Guru. Like Dahn has caused death so I was informed that Dharma Yoga would lead to suicide if the psychic teachings by the Guru were not followed. I am lucky to be alive today.

  29. Sabrina Streeter says:

    I know Dahn yoga very well, they scavenge on the elderly the sick & people going through hard times.
    They find out as much as they
    can about you and talk to all the instructors and they construct a plan on how to work you for your money. You sign up for yearly subscription for $1,000 for the exercise classes that are awesome. But then they find out as much as they and tell you how much the classes will help you mentally. If you don’t sign up for their seminars 1,000 to 3,000 a piece they treat you like dirt. And you either walk away from your prepaid yearly subscription for classes or keep going to the exercise class and keep getting treated like dirt. They’re truly not there to help you but to take your whole bank account.
    I initially signed up for Tai Chi classes and got sucked in.
    No matter how hard you try just to take the fitness classes they won’t let you stop there, no matter how hard you try. I have seen older ladies lose their houses and everything they own.
    Their exercise classes are comfortable and effective. So my best thought is to find a senior class somewhere else. Because they will end up getting more money than you want to give!!!

  30. Alan Gordon says:

    Many of the criticisms I have read are so exaggerated and fallacious as to be totally ludicrous. The cost of being a dahn master was exaggerated to a ridiculously crazy extent. The masters I have met and continue to work with are sincere and dedicated. It has certain features that are “religious”, I compare it to Self Realization Fellowship, but it doesn’t require conformity and self abdication to the extent that the monks and nuns must accept. So read this article with a critical eye. Dahn yoga may be at times a little pricey but the benefit you get from the practice makes the money well spent, in my opinion. I don’t believe all this nonsense about Ilchi Lee being a hypocrite. Don’t believe it at all. You can tell just by looking at him. This is not a Rajnish type of fellow. This is spiritual, very enlightened, visionary, humanitarian person who wants to leave a positive legacy for the world. If you chose not to believe that and to believe all the dirt that is shoveled out in this article that’s your business.

    • Concerned and Saddened says:

      Not going to comment extensively here, except to give you the truth about the cost of becoming a Dahn master. To become a Dahn master, the cost is truly and actually $10,000. To become a jidoja, which is a master who has 100% committed their life to Body N Brain, is more around $2200, but you pay with your time, your energy, and your relationships. So, no, the cost of being a Dahn master has NOT been exaggerated to a ridiculously crazy extent as you stated. As for “at time a little pricey,” the least expensive training is $250 for a day. Everyone, use your logic and ALWAYS listen to your gut instinct. I wish I had…

  31. Ngamako N Patara says:

    I am a member of Body & Brain for 4yr. I was ask’d to join other class’s for a fee, I declined. I don’t want to teach. I know about Iche Lee thru media after I join’d. Not sure if knowing before I join’d would have cloud’d my judgment. I was taken aback! But my mind is mind as is my soul. Love the Tai Chi,Yoga meditation and the monthly lunch’s with some of my fellow members. The Masters are awesome. I am sorry for the person’s who have had bad experience. I wish them well from my heart.

  32. Jennifer says:

    Love it at Body and Brain. Any organization that requires a membership can be viewed as a cult. You have control of your body and money. Be wise as you would buying a car or piece of furniture. Do what feels good and decline if you’re weary. I love the masters at the one I attend. I love the exercises and see the benefits but smart with what I can afford.

  33. Green Earth says:

    I feel like I have to share my story with Dahn. I joined back in 2013 attending a free Yeha class(class for younger people at the time). I was at a very low point in my life; looking for answers to who am I really, what am I doing here, what is my life’s purpose, why can’t I find my place in this world and similar questions just haunted me. I felt a sense of kinship to the master of the center, who was young just like me and seemed so energetic, full of life, and seemed to love what he does. I was immediately hooked. I signed up for their regular classes and attended almost every day. I loved learning about the energy, feeling my body, doing the tai chi, and feeling a sense of community that shared my passion for healing the Earth and sending out love and peace into it. I signed up for their initial awakening sessions, their heart opening workshops and anything I could afford. Because it was all money and yes, it was a lot of money I didn’t have. I was enchanted by my master, whom I thought I started to really love. Coming out of a lot of heartache and terrible relationships, I thought to my self, this guy is real and is giving me everything I needed, from love and attention to deep spiritual healing. We spent a lot of time together in the beginning, we did extra trainings at the center after class, we did hongbo together(going out to neighborhoods and putting dahn yoga flyers in business or mailboxes), we ate together, and with the “young members” we constantly went out to do things together, like bowling or going out to eat. I felt like I had a sense of a community and purpose. He kept saying that Dahn yoga is like a family, we are all here for each other. In the meantime, I was signing up for more and more classes, for more workshops, Ilchi Lee came to Atlanta, so I spent about $10,000 just to attend his dinner and lecture. I spent over $3000 in healing sessions with the “top” master for Atlanta region, who had me sit and tap my chest for an hour releasing stagnant energy. That’s on top of the regular money I spend on membership just to be a part of Dahn yoga. As a little time went by, I was honest with my “master” teacher, whom at this point, I really fell for. I told him how I felt and that I really cared about him as a person.. as a man. We kissed once as we had met for lunch. Another time we had fooled around in the studio.. nothing too much, just touching and feeling one another. Ok. At this point, I was completely hooked. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a Dahn master. I wanted to help people like I saw him do and be happy like he was. I had quit my job at that point, took out credit cards, and was determined to see this thing through. Now, all the other masters in the area, mainly his teacher mentor who had recruited him some years ago, and the top master teacher for the Atlanta region, knew how I felt about him… and that obviously he had some feelings towards me too. Let’s just say… that wasn’t allowed. They told him that I am a distraction from his training and growth as a master and that I needed to focus just on my training and healing. So, he started to pull away and told me we can’t be together, but we will always be “connected” through dahn yoga. After spending time away in Sedona twice, once for a Yeha camp and once for a initial master training, I had exhausted all my funds and money. When I came back from my initial master training, still having to attend more training and give more money in order to become a full master, I had started to work at one of the centers. At this point, me and my initial teacher(whom I loved and now was heartbroken again) were not allowed to see each other and were not allowed to work in the same center. So, I was working at a center with a Korean master who was indeed very different from the energy I had first felt at Dahn yoga. Everything started to become about how many members can I bring in and sign up, how many members could I sign up for extra workshops and how much money can I make the center. I was working there from 6am to nighttime… sometimes 9 or 10pm. I was getting paid $400 every two weeks. Let’s just say… that did not cover my bills and expenses. So, I told my Korean master teacher that I needed to find an extra job. And I did. A few months later I stopped going to Dahn yoga period. I didn’t go to any more classes and didn’t teach any more classes. I didn’t receive any calls or emails from any of my so called “family” asking me how I’m doing or what’s going on. The young community of people I felt a kin to, were gone and because I wasn’t part of Dahn yoga anymore, no one cared to call I guess. None the matter. I blame my self and my weakness for spending so much money on principles and teaching I can learn on You tube. And I take full responsibility for allowing myself to be lured in by someone who saw my weakness and used it for their own benefit. I was at a fragile point in my life and I felt used by him and all of Dahn yoga.
    At the end, I take all the energy and stretching principles I’ve learned, and I throw away everything else. They are a cult and yes, they want you to do Dahn 24/7 with no sense of your own life outside that organization. I feel bad for that guy sometimes, because I see him as giving his best years of his life to Dahn yoga and listening to everything they say, including no romantic relationships allowed until you reach your true self or potential or whatever. Until then, you have to obey your master. No, thanks. I’m not that brainwashed. And if their teaching is to be strong within yourself and find your true self, why would you listen to anyone outside of your own Self. All the answers we already hold within us. That’s the point, isn’t it?
    My life after Dahn changed drastically. I met my husband through work I found right after Dahn Yoga and have been happily married for over 4 years now. I cherished my path and experiences because it led me to him. I have shared with him exercises and breathing and some of the tai chi I have learned and all my experience with Dahn Yoga.
    I did file for bankruptcy a few years ago because of all the credit cards and loans I had taken out to cover all my trainings. So in a sense, I have to carry that with me for 7 years until it clears off my credit record. It bothers me that I had to spend so much money to learn their truth. But I don’t regret my experience.
    I have found my true love, we grow our plants, listen to the birds and enjoy nature together. One day we will have our dream Earth home, surrounded with fruits, vegetables, edible trees, maybe some chickens and all the wonderful nature around us. That is the only way I know how to heal this struggling Earth for the better – Living your life in love with one another and the Earth.
    Peace be with all of you and I hope that my story helps those who are seeking the same kind of Truth and Love.