Yoga Retreats See Karmic Convergence in Recession

Ashrams enjoying newfound popularity
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 1:30 PM CDT
The Himalayan Institute's headquarters is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.   (Himalayan Institute)
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(Newser) – Many left unemployed or weary by recession are heading to yoga retreats, where they get meals, lodging, spiritual education, and quiet reflection for some chores and a low fee. “I figured if I stayed for a year, the economy would be warming up by then, and I could head back and see what’s available,” one participant—who’s been at Pennsylvania’s Himalayan Institute since 2007—tells the New York Times.

Past applicants were usually those whose work allowed extensive time off—retreats can be as short as a weekend, but many last months—but recent applicants have often lost jobs. “It’s a great place to get a new start or to heal,” says one. Adds another, “At Intel, I was helping the owner get a new yacht. Here, I’m part of something that actually makes a difference.”