New Questions About a Controversial Yoga Group

They say they can ease your stress, even heal your ailments.

With more than 130 centers across the country, Dahn Yoga claims to promote health and empowerment.

But experts said that beneath the calm lies a cult.

“A destructive, deceptive, mind control cult,” said cult expert Steve Hassan.

The ABC15 Investigators uncovered a link to a younger population operating on college campuses.

ABC News report.

Monica is a former follower of Dahn Yoga and a student at the University of New Mexico. She said she was recruited into Dahn Yoga on campus.

“They advertise it as being something to help you de-stress from school,” Monica said.

Monica came to Dahn Yoga’s Sedona, Arizona center for a retreat geared towards spiritual enlightenment.

But instead she described bizarre rituals.

“People were crying,” Monica said. “People were hitting the floor with their fists.”

She also described intimate group massages, and the pressure to give money as a symbol of devotion.

“They were asking for a lot of money,” Monica said.

Steve Hassan is a cult expert with more than 30 years of experience. Hassan said that he has counseled more than 15 former Dahn Yoga followers.

“They are basically taking people’s minds and substituting the Dahn mind in its place,” Hassan said.

Cult expert Steve Hassan

Steven Alan Hassan, cult counselor and mind control expert is a Nationally Certified Counselor and licensed Mental Health Counselor and has developed a breakthrough approach to help loved ones rescue cult mind control victims.

Hassan said Dahn starts with the power of suggestion.

Our producer went undercover at one of Dahn Yoga’s seven valley locations.

The initial meeting was an energy check, which seemed more like a health diagnosis.

The Dahn Yoga instructor told our undercover producer that her spine was crooked, and that her kidneys were tight.

“That means you’re not circulating,” the instructor said.

The instructor suggested treatment for our ailments.

The instructor told our undercover producer she needed at least one year of Dahn Yoga, at a cost of more than $1600. The instructor said it was the only way to get rid of all our ailments.

“I do not believe people in Dahn are qualified to make medical evaluations,” Hassan said. “There is a wealth of psychological problems that this group has generated.”

In California, a former Dahn follower and center operator is sued Dahn Yoga and associates. The plaintiff alleged that the group “indoctrinated and brainwashed the members for profit” and “coercively induced plaintiff to divorce her husband”.

In New York, the estate of Julia Siverls is suing Dahn Yoga. The lawsuit alleges that Siverls was forced on a “Master” hike in Sedona where she collapsed and died.

Cult FAQ Frequently Asked Questions About Cults, Sects, and Related Issues

Includes definitions of terms (e.g. cult, sect, anticult, countercult, new religious movement, cult apologist, etcetera)

Plus research resources: articles, books, websites, etc.

Listing of recommended cult experts, plus guidelines to help select a counselor/cult expert
– CultFAQ is provided by Apologetics Index

Dahn Yoga’s spokesperson, Charlotte Connors, said she could not speak to the specifics of the Siverls case.

“But it was a tragedy for everyone involved,” Connors said.

Connors denied that Dahn Yoga is a cult. She said there are thousands of satisfied customers.

“Dahn Yoga is a practice that empowers individuals,” Connors said.

But former members, like Monica, have raised new questions about Dahn Yoga’s expanding influence at the college level, through the Body and Brain Clubs.

Monica said the Body and Brain Club recruited her into Dahn Yoga.

The ABC15 Investigators found 22 Body and Brain Clubs at college campuses across the U.S., including Arizona State University.

Members of the Body and Brain Club at ASU told our undercover producer why they practice Dahn Yoga.

“It’s good for you,” a Body and Brain club member said. “It’s a different kind of thinking.”

We asked Connors if Dahn Yoga is recruiting on college campuses, through the Body and Brain clubs.

“No, there is almost no connection,” Connors said.

But members at the Body and Brain club at ASU said that there is a connection.

“Body and Brain is like in conjunction with Dahn Yoga,” a member told our undercover producer.

“They want young talented people to recruit their family and recruit other students,” Hassan said.

Students like Monica.

“They exploit people for their pain,” Monica said.

Statement from Arizona State University

  • As a public higher education institution, we support academic freedom and the free exchange and expression of ideas.
  • All individuals and groups on campus have the right to express their opinions, whatever those opinions may be.
  • An important aspect of higher education is to allow students to explore and discover new ideas, analyze and think critically about those ideas and decide what they want to believe or not believe.
  • ASU has more than 650 registered student organizations on all four campuses that allow students to interact with others who have similar interests in such topics as culture, religion, politics, art, athletics and more.
  • Students are free to express their opinions and ideas in many different forms on or off campus, as long as the chosen form of expression does not violate student code of conduct, student organization policies, another student’s individual rights or local, state and federal laws.

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KNXV-TV,, Phoeniz, AZ, USA
Nov. 25, 2007
Joe Ducey

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014