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Julie Shore March 12, 2017
It looks like my bad review was deleted so I will repost as I have every right to give a review of this business and it's extremely concerning that my 1 star review disappeared overnight. Copying and pasting what I wrote back in the beginning of January 2017. I picked the Zen Den for my YTT after putting much thought into the 3 options I had found in the time frame I was hoping to get my RYT200 done and ready to teach by 2017. I flew from Philadelphia down to Florida with so much excitement as I was finally able to start learning what I needed in order to become a yoga teacher. Upon arrival, I noticed that the yoga "school" is not what the pictures show on the website or anywhere else, it appears old images are being used to show a studio that I've never seen and unsure when it existed. Their school/studio is inside a home, a home the owners were living in up until our last week down in Florida where they moved outside the yoga house and across street from another house they had us students and retreat guests staying in. The address that is listed/posted is not the address for the school, which is a school and not a yoga studio. Had I done more extensive research, I would not have chosen this location as there were costs/things that were not explained to us. I paid for breakfast and lunch prior to arriving and learned upon arrival that it was to do their juice plus sales pitch for the wife's business. For someone who has "allergies" to foods- they sure don't understand the severity of REAL allergies. I told them prior to booking I am deathly allergic to peanuts and all treenuts and would be traveling with my Epi pen yet when I was having reactions the first few days down there- my health issues were minimized. Due to people traveling from all over and them not being organized- the "brand new" vitamix they purchased (and say they got it for me, sure) after days of me having to take Benadryl was NOT nut free or safe to use as the women in the house were using it because it was new and they liked it- without realizing my health was being put at risk. I paid money as mentioned for breakfast and lunch and only used their organic veggies and fruits to put into the shakes 5 times in total. If you have any serious allergies- I would not recommend this program. While the wife is a "nutrition coach", I find it super odd that someone in the nutrition field chooses to sell pills instead of having someone actually eat their food to get all the nutrients we need to fuel our bodies. As another former student wrote- a lot of the smoothies and "meals" that I paid for prior to arriving (and didn't even use after 3 straight days of bad reactions)- is just a Juice Plus sales pitch. I don't know any doctor or nutritionist in the health field who recommends pills over actual wholesome food. If you think it's no issue- no problem. The fact that they were giving me a product that was manufactured and packaged in a plant with nuts and didn't even check labels or share that information with me shows that you really have to stay on top of your own health and issues or you could end extremely sick, or even worse- dead. I am grateful for the amazing women who were a part of my graduating class and I don't regret getting my RYT200 but I think it's safe to say you get what you pay for. When you decide to save money and pick the cheapest option, remind yourself why you want to save money before you sign up for something that isn't what it claims to be. If you are looking for a place with a large studio where you have mirrors like any other place so you can see- especially when learning- this is not the place for you. Hard to see your own alignment or learn how to give them when you cannot even see if you are doing something correctly. I find it bizarre and odd that the Yoga Alliance doesn't require the owner of a yoga teacher training school to be a yoga teacher and the fact that this school is on their website, but there is no teacher(s) listed. From what I gather, people can either choose to have their personal profiles visible or hidden. I thought one of my classmates was lying and manipulative about certain aspects of this program and once home I learned that maybe she wasn't so far off. With further information gathered, I learned from other people that this is just a diploma mill. Those were words of someone else but thought relevant to share. Did I express my gratitude to the owners for opening up their home to me and helping support me during times of anxiety or pain? Absolutely. I thanked them many times and meant it and still do despite my experiences; but it just felt like this is JUST business to them and I didn't sense any genuineness or authenticity from them toward me or anyone else for that matter. If I was more then just business for them- I think they would have made an effort to be a little more compassionate toward some of us whereas you could tell who they liked and who they didn't. Genuine love and empathy radiates from someone. Negative comments about my drinking a coffee or eating a bagel (god forbid you eat food before yoga or 3:30pm during training) and rape stories all the time were enough to make me want to leave many times throughout the program but I stuck it out because I worked too hard to walk away. Rolling your eyes at people who are paying you exactly what you price your certification costs- is beyond unprofessional and quite telling of someone's true interest and intentions. To tell me that you don't care if someone comes there and you know they will be a terrible teacher but it doesn't matter because you are still getting paid shows that yoga isn't a passion of theirs. Business clearly is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a great business but in the yoga world- I would have appreciated having a teacher who actually practiced with us. To tell me you have "limitations" from a back injury, I can understand and have compassion for... but I have much more serious health issues then the owner and would be told by the owner that I don't have pain, it's all in my head, pain isn't real, I don't have a brain injury, I must not want to get better since I refused to fall into the MLM scheme of buying Juice Plus which was not safe because of my serious allergies yet they insisted I choose to be in pain because everything in life is a choice. I just wonder how they can say these things when he doesn't even practice because of a "disc" issue in his lumbar spine. This is not a competition but I have 2 herniations in my neck, 3 bulging discs and then 2 more disc protrusions in my lumbar spine. For someone to tell me they have limitations when I began my yoga to HEAL from a tragic accident is mind boggling. I survived a 22 foot fall over 3 years ago and yoga is what helped me heal and I got my RYT200 so I can pass on the beauty of yoga to others. I don't let my pain stop me or define me. I let it empower me. I let it motivate me to strive for better. Maybe you should try. **And when you write a review about your own business with your own name..it's tacky, unethical and clearly trying to make up for the reviews that aren't what you like. I'm editing my post to include info I originally thought I shouldn't include because it wasn't necessary. When you see the owner posting a 5 star review of his own place from an already posted review of a former student from 2015/2016- that should be telling/obvious that something is WAY off about this entire place. Zen Den Yoga School Wellness and Retreat Center real address is 425 NE 20th Street, Boca Raton Florida 33431
The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. Pema Chödrön