Last week when I was walking to my last Noon yoga class. I saw a flier for something called “Body & Brain Yoga” in downtown Portland. I vaguely remembered seeing this before and a conversation with Bob where we decided something about the place didn’t look quite right and maybe it was a cult.
I handed the flier over to Holiday to see if she knew anything about it and she said no and asked to hang on to the flier.
Since I REALLY want to find a Noon yoga class, I decided to do more homework. Maybe I’m just being judgmental because this yoga center is slightly different than what I’m used to and maybe these are really nice yoga people who don’t have a good handle on marketing.
For the past week I’ve been keeping my eye out for another flier and finally yesterday I saw one at the mini-mart. Now I could study it more closely.
Put “yoga classes” into any search engine and I guarantee that 99% of the yoga studios you pull up will be more or less the same. They describe the style of class, introduce the teachers, tell you what it will cost and usually have tips like arrive at class a little early, don’t wear shoes in the studio and practice on an empty stomach.
The way to get started at Body & Brain Yoga Center is to make an appointment for a private introductory session. Giant red flag there. They want to check up on your flexibility, breathing and “energy flow.” You mean the teacher can’t eyeball you at the first class? Also they say nothing about what the classes cost.
At this point I still really want Noon yoga and I want to give them the benefit of the doubt so I do a little poking online. Within three minutes I have a connection to something called Dahn Yoga and that leads me to a cult study organization that has an extensive page on this organization.
Comments from participants:
"I was looking for a yoga studio near my residence. A 'master' at Dahn performed a physical exam by tapping areas of my body. The exam was painful. The master said there were 'blockages' in my body that needed to be removed and then offered programs ranging from $3,000 to $10,0000. I went for a non-refundable three month membership. Most of the members were new to the center. I wondered why they had such poor retention. And what about all that paraphernalia and those expensive sessions? They sell everything from a 'Power Brain,' which is a small battery-operated device for $80, to healing sessions for $3,000.
In their defense I will mention that many participants liked the exercises, which apparently aren’t really yoga. But I don’t think I’ll go there.