That Eat, Pray, Love Spiritual Retreat Will Not Save You

Many return broke, or at least bored
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2010 12:00 PM CDT
That Eat, Pray, Love Spiritual Retreat Will Not Save You
This 2009 file photo shows Julia Roberts with ashram owner Swami Dharmdev at Hari Mandir Ashram in Pataudi on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, while Roberts was shooting "Eat, Pray, Love."   (AP Photo/FILE)

Just in case you read Eat, Pray, Love and now believe spending a month (and $19,795) at an ashram will change your life, the New York Post is here to tell you…it probably won’t. Thanks to the book, spiritual retreats are incredibly trendy, but many who take them end up broke, not enlightened, buying courses and books they can’t afford. “There was always the sense that money you spent in the ashram—even if it put you in debt—was money well spent,” says a former ashram employee.

Not to mention that your “guru” could be a con man—especially since, in the unregulated industry, anyone can claim to be a guru. Even so, “people want to be happy,” says a yoga blogger, “and if something can be purchased to facilitate that happiness, they’ll do it.” And they’ll have plenty of opportunities: A related Post article details the more than 400 retail tie-ins to the book and upcoming movie, from $32 perfume and $45 candle sets to $152 prayer beads.
(Read more Eat, Pray, Love stories.)

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