In the land of the sadhus, yoga sessions for foreigners can make lucrative business sense.
After selling its religious circuits as tourist packages to both domestic and foreign tourists for decades, the Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation is currently banking on the novel idea of wooing foreign tourists through "three-nights four days" yoga week package to boost revenues.
"Although the tariff for the yoga sessions is listed in US dollars, domestic tourists are also welcome to join in the package. Although much needs to be done to draw sizeable tourists for yoga sessions during the months to come," said Parthasarthy Sen Sharma, Director General UPSTDC.
The 'yoga week package' comprises a choice of one or more destinations on the banks of more than one holy river to enroll for yoga sessions at UPSTDC properties across the country.
The payment for the yoga sessions even start from as low as US $ 5 for a 'non residential' yoga session in an ashram of repute to US $ 115 for a similar session in a deluxe category accommodation its properties in the country.
Interestingly, the UPTDC also promises to arrange for special yoga sessions for treating specific diseases for tourists who would be interested in learning asanas suitable for treating a particular disease.
The 'yoga week' package combines with it the usual leisure trips in a destination allowing tourists to while away hours on the banks of the Ganga or go on a sightseeing trip within and outside Uttar Pradesh.
The UPTDC also plans to hold 'International Yoga Week' in which tourists participating in the yoga sessions would be sharing ideas among each other in the near future.