We haven’t written much about Dahn Yoga here on 42Yogis because, well, we weren’t very familiar with it, and didn’t know where to start. Dahn Yoga looked more to me like qi gong than yoga. But I shouldn’t have brushed it aside so easily. Founded by Korean man Ilchi Lee, Dahn Yoga is a fitness institution that’s sweeping the nation with over 100 locations nationwide.
I spoke with Temani Aldine, the head of communications for Dahn Yoga, to find out more about Dahn Yoga.
What exactly *is* Dahn Yoga and what sets Dahn Yoga apart from other forms of Yoga?
“Dahn” is a Korean word that refers to the primal life force or “energy.” So, you can say that Dahn Yoga is “energy yoga.” In our practice the word “yoga” is borrowed from Sanskrit as it was used before “yoga” became an American fitness staple.
When I first encountered yoga in India more than 2 decades ago, the word yoga was applied to breathing techniques, meditation methods and personal development regimens, as well as the physical postures. Dahn Yoga is more like that, integrating many aspects of personal development.
In addition to the stretching and postures one might expect in “yoga,” Dahn Yoga classes also feature energy-oriented aspects of Qigong and moving meditation. It’s the emphasis on “energy,” which sets Dahn Yoga apart from other styles.
Energy is universal and omnipresent, so we tend not to notice it. A world of possibility opens up for the individual who learns to sense and work with energy. S/he can quickly develop awareness of the body which can lead to greater awareness in everyday life. It can be very empowering.
How many centers does Dahn Yoga have nationwide?
Currently, there are 66 corporate Dahn Yoga centers, owned and operated by Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. and there are 41 franchises locations, under the brand Body & Brain yoga. In addition, there are many free or very low cost community based classes operated around the country.
Tell me a little bit about “brain wave vibration.” What is that, and what are some of the benefits?
Brain Wave Vibration is like a moving meditation. It simultaneously releases tension in the body and helps to focus the mind. The most basic form involves gently shaking the head from side, allowing the neck and the base of the skull to become relaxed.
This movement or ‘vibration” is considered beneficial and stimulating to the brainstem, helping to produce more relaxed brain wave patterns. Hence the name, “Brain Wave Vibration.” The movement of the head is not the only way to encourage these brain wave patterns. More advanced forms of Brain Wave Vibration involve the shaking or “vibration” of various parts of the body.
We often add tapping of the lower Dahnjon, an energy center in the lower abdomen, for greater focus and clarity.
What are some Dahn Yoga self-care tips our readers could benefit from?
“Tapping” in general is an under-appreciated self-care technique Dahn Yoga practitioners use. For warm-ups in class we often use “Dahn Jon Tapping” on the lower abdomen. But the best one that folks can do on their own is “Toe Tapping.”
Sitting on the floor with the legs stretched out, make sure that the heels, ankles and knees are close together. Then open and close your feet, touching the joints of the big toes together. Doing this repeatedly for 2 to 5 minutes is a good way to relax before bed.
Have you gone to any Dahn Yoga classes? Let me know your experience in the comments.