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Economy Got You Down? Head for the Hills.

If we've learned anything from this recession, it's that yoga is not a "luxury" expenditure but an important necessity for many who have found ways to stretch their (already thin) dollars to make it yoga class. In fact, many studios...

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If we’ve learned anything from this recession, it’s that yoga is not a “luxury” expenditure but an important necessity for many who have found ways to stretch their (already thin) dollars to make it yoga class. In fact, many studios are noticing an increase in attendance! Yoga students see layoffs as their perfect opportunity to finally enroll in a teacher training.

Now, the NY Times is reporting that unemployed yogis are finding a way to immerse themselves in their practice without breaking the bank–by moving into an ashram for a residency work-exchange program. That’s right. Their former employers (and the crummy economy) gave these yogis the freedom to leave their homes and everyday lives. The ashrams, in exchange for a little karma yoga washing dishes or preparing food, gave them the opportunity to study for cheap.

However, as Yehnemsah Oneha of Ananda Ashram in New York warns, the ashram’s immersion program is intended for deep spiritual study and contemplation, not hiding out from the world. “If you’re applying because you can’t deal with life, that’s not a good motivation,” she said.

What do you think? Is a long visit to an ashram a good idea for the unemployed?