I yesterday told you that we had the first honeymoon couple at the Ashram. They were also our first Indian customers. Why, how come we normally don’t have Indians booking with us? And do I think this will change in future? Let me answer these questions for you.
We really until now have only had customers from abroad and a few NRIs, Indians who live abroad, who have often grown up in other countries and who are, from their mind-set, actually more like non-Indians than Indians.
When we asked ourselves why this is the case, why we normally have only westerners at our Ashram, we always thought that Indians just don’t buy what we sell.
It is true as well: Yoga and Ayurveda Retreats are not interesting for all Indians! Even those who are interested in the topics itself, in a healthier lifestyle, may not choose to come for such a retreat in their own country. They acquire a basic knowledge of yoga either by DVDs and videos or even by going to a local yoga course. They may not have the wish to take a full retreat to learn more. They will also see that as a luxury and may not want to spend money on it.
It is not however so much a question of cost and this gets clearer to us now – it is a matter of lifestyle. We see an increase in interest in our pages in India and believe that it will be more and more interesting also to come to a retreat when the more people dive into the busy, stressful corporate world and the lifestyle which is generally considered ‘western’ but which has actually spread all over the world. When people give more importance to their work than their health, when their job, earning money and being busy is the number one priority – and when they one day realize that it doesn’t fulfill them. When they get burnt out, when they get depression because they are always worried about losing their job, when they get anxiety problems when the phone rings because their body and mind cannot take it anymore.
In this lifestyle people don’t have time for themselves, for real life and for real feelings. That’s how they also don’t have time to pass on traditions like Ayurvedic remedies or do daily yoga practice. They have to learn it again, they need their time out.
Sometimes we also think a typical Indian person may not be as much at ease here at our Ashram as our western guests are – as we, too, follow a very relaxed lifestyle with less formalities and far from traditions.
So let’s see, maybe we will have some Indian guests here at the Ashram some day in future. That is something only time can tell and we will see how the general lifestyle, culture and needs of people will develop.