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Yoga Ashrams Offer Cheap Rent and Alternative to Being Homeless

Unemployeds Find Spirituality and Low Rent at Yoga Ashrams

Living off unemployment and scraping the bottom of your checking account each month? Well if you can stomach no meat, alcohol, and sex along with required meditation, tent cities may not be your worst-case scenario. A yoga "community" in the woods could be!

NPR reports that at least one yoga ashram has seen an uptick in newcomers since the economy nosedived last Fall. Yogaville, which rests in Virginia's Appalachian foothills, never intended to be a safe haven for the nouveau poor, but it welcomes new residents whether they've come for the unlimited yoga or the $300 rent.

While there's no credit check or competitive admission process, there are a few catches. To see where Yogaville gets you,

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In exchange for a dorm room, three vegetarian meals a day, and monthly rent, residents are expected to perform daily chores and practice the yogi lifestyle. What's that entail? Abstinence from meat, alcohol, and sex form the sacrificial trinity, and yoga classes and five meditation sessions per week meet the physical requirements.

One resident, who moved in after a layoff, found Yogaville's attitude toward unemployment as refreshing as a sun salutation. He said before people responded to his job loss with somber sympathy but not so in Yogaville. "That's so great!," people said, "All these doors are going to open up for you." Namaste!

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