|Industry||Health and Wellness|
|Founded||June 18, 1996|
|Headquarters||Gilbert, AZ, USA|
|Number of locations||69 Corporate owned locations,
|Key people||Helen Kim (CEO and President)
Hee Nam Kim (Executive Director)
Temani Aldine (VP and Gen. Counsel)
|Products||Yoga and Self-Healing Books, Music and Video|
|Services||Yoga Classes, Tai Chi Classes, Ki Gong Classes|
Dahn yoga (also known as Dahn Hak or Dahnhak) is a Korean physical exercise system and business founded in 1985 by Ilchi Lee. In Korean, dahn means "primal, vital energy," and hak means "study of a particular theory or philosophy." Dahn teachings are said to place equal emphasis on physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. News sources have described its exercises as "a blend of yoga, tai chi, and martial arts exercises." Dahn Yoga is taught through for-profit and non-profit studios as well as community centers.
According to Dahn Yoga Basics, a book published by Dahn Yoga Education, Dahn Yoga has "three unique characteristics": "the mastery and use of energy", "enhancing the body-brain connection", and "self-managed, holistic health care". The practice draws upon traditional notions of ki, also known as chi or qi. A typical class begins with what is called "Meridian Stretching" exercise, which is believed to stimulate the energy in the body. After these stretching exercises, practitioners normally follow a sequence of postures. Classes often include elements of meditation, as well.
An article by three physicians from Weill Cornell Medical College published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reported the conclusions of a 3-month study of community-based mind-body training methods. The study surveyed 171 adults enrolled at various Dahn Yoga Centers in the New York City area. All of the participants had taken ten or fewer classes at the beginning of the study. They scored poorer in measures of health-related quality of life than the general U.S. population and were significantly sedentary at the start of the study. The article concludes that participants reported "moderate improvements after 3 months of practice" with increased scores "in all [of the surveyed] domains of health-related quality of life, fewer depressive symptoms, less trait anxiety, and greater self-efficacy". The design and objectivity of the study has been called into question by Dr. William Briggs, PhD, statistician and professor at Weill Cornell, who critiqued the study on his blog and described why he believes the positive results were likely due to regression to the mean. 
Brain Wave Vibration
Brain Wave Vibration is promoted as a mental and physical health enhancement technique developed by Ilchi Lee. According to Lee, brain waves are a type of vibration that has a significant effect on a person’s health and outlook on life. A form of moving meditation (head-shaking), the technique was described by one Dahn instructor: "By shaking your head and vibrating your body, you bring healing energy. You just need to close your eyes and turn your head right and left, right and left, focusing on the center of your brain and keeping a rhythm. Afterwards, you feel very rejuvenated!" As part of CNN's three-part investigation into controversy and lawsuits surrounding Dahn Yoga, Neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta was asked about testimonials that Brain Wave Vibration "lowered blood pressure, corrected lazy eyes, [and] even reduced symptoms of multiple sclerosis." Gupta stated that the notion of vibrating the brain or other parts of the body to turn parts of the brain on and off is not grounded in science and that anecdotes are not empirically verifiable.
In 2010 a study sponsored by Ilchi Lee's Korean Institute of Brain Science (KIBS) and published in Neuroscience Letters examined the impact of Brain Wave Vibration training. The study showed subjects who engaged in Dahn Yoga led meditation reported lower levels of stress compared to the control group, which did not practice any sort of meditation. Another KIBS-sponsored study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that Brain Wave Vibration meditation reduced stress similarly to Iyengar Yoga and Mindfulness meditation.
The tradenames Brain Education, and Brain Education Systems Training (or BEST), refer to a set of exercises developed and promoted by Ilchi Lee subsequent to his "Brain Respiration" and "Dahnhak." According to Dahn Yoga's Web site, after more than 27 years of practice, Lee had developed a system of exercises, breathing, and stretches “to activate the natural healing rhythms of the brain and body.” Brain Education is described as consisting of five separate steps: brain sensitizing, brain versatilizing, brain refreshing, brain integrating, and brain mastering. Dr. Ben Goldacre of the U.K. lambasted Ilchi Lee's brain education claims as pseudoscience in his Guardian column "Bad Science" in 2004.
In 1985 the first Dahn Yoga Center opened in downtown Seoul. By 1990, fifty locations were teaching Dahn Yoga in South Korea. In 1991, the first U.S. Dahn Yoga Center was opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1997 the Sedona Ilchi Meditation Center (SIMC) was established, hosting specialized programs open to Dahn yoga members for a fee. Over the next ten years Dahn yoga focused on expanding its operations globally.
The Dahn Yoga Foundation was created in 2006, offering classes for free or at reduced rates in senior centers, community centers, churches, public parks, offices, schools and hospitals. In addition to the outreach classes, Dahn Yoga Foundation volunteers participate in community service projects.
A wrongful death lawsuit was brought against Dahn Yoga over the death of Julia Siverls, a Dahn Yoga member, during a training hike in 2003. According to a document filed by the Southern District of New York of the United States District Court, the case was dismissed on August 1, 2008, with no fault found.
In May 2009, the Barba et al. v. Dahn Yoga et al. case (Case No. CV-09-1115-PHX-SRB) was filed with the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. In this case, twenty seven former members and employees sued Dahn Yoga and other defendants for fraud, undue influence, unfair and deceptive business practice, emotional distress, wage and hour law violation, and civil RICO.
In this case, ten plaintiffs were dismissed by the Court  and the other seventeen plaintiffs withdrew them in anticipation of being faced with the defendants' counterclaims and difficult challenges in meeting their discovery requirements, and settled the case by mutual release.
No money was paid to any of the plaintiffs by any defendants in this case. On the other hand, a Judgment was entered against seven of the dismissed plaintiffs awarding defendants $11,072.07 in litigation costs. Two plaintiffs admitted that the primary reason for them to have brought this lawsuit was the misrepresentations made by their former attorney Ryan Kent about their claims and his ability to handle their case.  In the declaration accompanying his motions to withdraw from the case, Kent stated that "I believed it was probable this matter would settle prior to protracted litigation. As it turns out, I was mistaken in this belief." 
Also, several other plaintiffs admitted that the allegations made in the lawsuit are not what they intended or directly contradict their experience with Dahn Yoga.
The case was finally dismissed entirely on April 1, 2013 by court order.
Media Coverage of Litigation
The 2009 federal lawsuit against Dahn Yoga received extensive coverage. Forbes reported on the lawsuit alleging Dahn Yoga's cult-like activities in July 2009. CNN presented an investigative journalism segment on Dahn Yoga in January 2010, posing the question of whether it was cult. Rolling Stone Magazine did its own investigative piece on the lawsuit's allegations of cult-like behavior in February 2010. They interviewed several former employees of Dahn Yoga who claimed they had to engage in practices such as punching themselves in the stomach and rubbing their faces in the dirt. According to Forbes magazine in April 2010, Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga, announces resignation following lawsuits.
- Dahn Yoga Education (2006). Dahn Yoga Basics. Healing Society. ISBN 1-932843-17-5.
- "Lake Braddock Students Learn How To Give Back". Connectionnewspapers.com. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- Dahn Yoga Education (2006). Dahn Yoga Basics. Healing Society. pp. 15–16. ISBN 1-932843-17-5.
- Dahn Yoga Education (2006). Dahn Yoga Basics. Healing Society. pp. 21–29. ISBN 1-932843-17-5.
- Dahn Yoga Education (2006). Dahn Yoga Basics. Healing Society. p. 45. ISBN 1-932843-17-5.
- Lee SW, Mancuso CA, Charlson ME (July 2004). "Prospective study of new participants in a community-based mind-body training program". J Gen Intern Med 19 (7): 760–5. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30011.x. PMC 1492489. PMID 15209590.
- Briggs, William. "Dahn Yoga Touted 'Peer-Reviewed Study' Stinks", William M. Briggs, Statistician to the Stars! blog, 19 January 2010.
- "Learn The Method « Brain Wave Vibration". Brainwavevibration.com. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- "Aging Gracefully with Yoga, Humor, and Joy". Neighbor Newspapers. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- "CNN.com - Transcripts". Transcripts.cnn.com. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- Jung YH, Kang DH, Jang JH, Park HY, Byun MS, Kwon SJ, Jang GE, Lee US, An SC, Kwon JS. (2010). "The effects of mind–body training on stress reduction, positive affect, and plasma catecholamines". Neuroscience Letters (479): 138–42. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2010.05.048.
- Bowden D, Gaudry C, An SC, Gruzelier J (2011). "A Comparative Randomised Controlled Trial of the Effects of Brain Wave Vibration Training, Iyengar Yoga, and Mindfulness on Mood, Well-Being and Salivary Cortisol". Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/234713. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Classes combining Yoga, Tai chi, Meditation". Dahn Yoga. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- Goldacre, Ben (October 28, 2004). "brain sensitising" Bad Science column, Guardian.
- "Dahn Yoga Video Introduces History and Growth of Dahn Yoga Founded by Ilchi Lee" (Press release). PR Web, Dahn Yoga. 2011-03-12. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- Fremont's Holy Family sisters enjoy yoga class. Inside Bay Area. April 20, 2011;. Accessed December 21, 2011.
- "Burien woman teaches yoga for the blind". Highlinetimes.com. 2011-05-02. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
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- Stipulation of Dismissal, Case 1:05-cv-07518-PKC, Document 144, August 1, 2008
- Order published on dahnyogavoice.com website, January 30, 2012. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Order published on dahnyogavoice.com website, April 6, 2012. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Order published on dahnyogavoice.com website, May 17, 2012. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Orders Granting Stipulations as to 17 Plaintiffs published on dahnyogavoice.com website, March 29, 2013. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Judgments on Taxation of Costs published on dahnyogavoice.com website, July 16, 2012. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Leisher Vogel Settlement Agreements published on dahnyogavoice.com website, March 29, 2013. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Kent Motion to Withdraw published on dahnyogavoice.com website, September 9, 2011. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Plaintiffs Declarations published on dahnyogavoice.com website, December 14, 2011. Accessed April 27, 2013.
- Order published on dahnyogavoice.com website, April 1, 2013. Accessed April 27, 2013.