The latest news regarding Dahn Yoga and it’s cult accusations is disturbing to me as I do not desire to see a shadow cast upon the Yoga community here in Northern VA, or anywhere else for that matter.
Teaching and practicing Yoga in such a diverse area as Northern Virginia offers many forms and varieties of Yoga styles such as Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and others. Yoga is a mind-body, physical, as well as spiritual practice focusing on breath control (Pranayama) while holding or flowing through poses (asanas).
Speaking to people in this area – drawing from the Springfield, Fairfax, Burke, Chantilly, Centreville, Herndon, Reston, Manassas areas here in Virginia – I am pleased to know how many people are familiar with Yoga. Some new comers do express concern as to the religious affiliation of the internal arts. My response is to inform that while the internal arts such as Yoga, Chi Kung (Chi Gong, Qigong), and Tai Chi (Taiji) can be a spiritual practice, it is not religion based, nor is it a cult.
As an instructor, we put in many hours and invest considerable time and money in training for ourselves and yes, we do deserve to command a reasonable investment for the classes we offer, but gathering extreme amounts of money and taking advantage of students and creating “followers of your cause” is not Yoga.
To give readers an idea of what to expect to pay for internal arts classes (Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Meditation, etc) in the Northern VA area, I have noticed group classes being offered anywhere from $8 to $18 per one-hour class per person on average. This depends sometimes on the experience of the instructor, the location, what the instructor has to pay for space use, if you register for an multi-week session or drop in, and various other things. Some instructors also teach by donation and personal one-on-one instruction is, of course, a higher fee. Workshops and special training is often higher as well.
My advice…Find an instructor that you like, a location and time that is convenient, balance that with the investment you are able to make to take the classes and a style that suits you – different people are drawn to different styles and forms – and stick with the practice – for you, your health, your well-being and your spirit, not to support a group.