cheap yoga retreats? how about just plain old cheap housing in fly-over country?

I am referring to this wonderful NY Times article . Ignoring this overworked seeker’s “cooking duties” and garden work :slight_smile: it sounds like the rent is around $200 per month, utilities included ($600 probably goes to pay for food).

Now, looking at the big picture, I wouldn’t find it surprising if housing really were THAT inherently cheap, if you are willing to live in small rooms in the middle of nowhere in fly-over country and use a communal fridge. Nevertheless, this begs couple of questions:

  1. is the situation illustrated in the article “for real” or is it the case of the sect offering a “loss leader” housing to expand the flock while heavily subsidizing it all from richer members’ contributions?

  2. regardless of the above, what would be expected approximate marginal cost in providing this kind of dorm-style spartan accommodations in fly-over country?

I think that considering the increasing long-term unemployment, boomers getting old/retiring and the possibility of remote work for many professionals who might be interested in cutting their living expenses down closer to those of their overseas competitors, this is pretty relevant and interesting stuff. Even without the daily meditations…

I’d easily believe the costs can be that low. They are cooking vegetarian food in bulk and from basic ingredients. You can feed someone on 3-4 dollars a day no problem doing this. It won’t be the greatest food but its healthy.

I can’t work out if the himalayan institute is non-profit or not, but if so thats another big deal making it cheaper. Assuming they own the land and built the dorms with volunteer labour what costs do they have? cleaning and maintenance is also volunteered from the sounds of it.

ah yep, it is a non profit and they have 400 acres so presumably they grow some of their own fruits and vegtables, picked and tended by volunteer labour as well.

non profit status at bottom