A while back I wrote about how I went to a Dahn Yoga class as part of a Groupon and how I had more classes to use. I mentioned that I found the class kind of weird and not at all like “yoga” as I’ve come to know and love yoga. And then people started sharing with me concerning stories about it being a cult.
So short answer is, no… I did not go back.
At first I thought I could go back with an investigative reporter mindset. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t enjoy the environment all that much. The energy levels of the staff were all over the place, some of them seemed almost crazed they were so energetic and others seemed like they were pissed off at the world.
If it truly does have a cult tie (and I’m not saying that it definitely does or does not) I’d like to avoid that. I would want to assume that I’m strong enough to avoid a “cult” but who knows… most people who get caught up in those probably feel like they should have been strong enough to avoid that!
I didn’t like the way the class spent time at the start beating the abdomen. It wasn’t hard punching, just drumming on the abs… but it doesn’t seem useful or normal to me.
So… how about some other options for some REAL yoga, not weird-chanting-martial-artsish-pseudo-yoga?
Of course, there is always the option of finding a yoga studio. But how do you find the right one? Well, if you live in certain cities, you could buy a Passport to Prana pass. Once purchased, this card grants you access to one class at each of the participating studios in your town. So you get a little “passport” to tour the yoga in your world.
Sadly, they don’t have this available in Las Vegas yet, but they are in the following US cities as of this writing:
ATLANTA, BOSTON, CHICAGO, DALLAS, DENVER, LOS ANGELES, MIAMI, NEW YORK, PHILADELPHIA, PORTLAND, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO, SEATTLE, TAMPA BAY
And the following Canadian cities:
CALGARY, EDMONTON, MONTREAL, OTTAWA, TORONTO, VANCOUVER, VICTORIA, WINNIPEG
Another option, that only requires a computer and internet access is Gaiam TV. I signed up for a 30-day free trial for this site at the end of 2011. (They offered 30-days free immediately upon launch to people who had purchased from Gaiam before. The standard for anyone right now is 10-days free.) There are a wide variety of videos available, not just yoga but ones from Jillian Michaels, Walk Away the Pounds series, Tai Chi, Kickboxing, etc.
I tried Kathryn Budig’s Aim True yoga class on there and was really impressed. So if you get on Gaiam TV or if you just find this DVD available, give it a try. She has a very clear manner for instruction and her voice is calming without sounding like she’s trying too hard to be new-agey.
In addition to fitness/yoga workouts, they have movies/tv shows/interviews with a wide range of authorities on a wide range of health-related topics. From environment, spirtuality, metaphysics, etc.
They have an iPhone app too, but when I used it the class offerings via the app were extremely limited and that annoyed me. Upon first launch, the app didn’t seem to offer much, but perhaps they’ve improved now. I’ve let my Gaiam TV trial lapse, but I’d consider signing up as a paying member at some point.
(I just didn’t earlier, because I had my Groupon to Dahn Yoga to use… and that really panned out for me!)