Yoga has several health benefits and is based in the ancient wisdom of India. It is an undoubted good in a life beset with illness, worry, grief and hardship. Yet a person visiting Srithanu might think that there are too many yoga centres, and perhaps the capital side of things is far too evident.
I can remember visiting streets in India and China where virtually every business offered the same product or service. I witnessed streets of shoe repairers, of notaries, of stalls selling plumbing parts, of stalls selling wrong-sized Tesco bags. The uniformity is both wondrous and exasperating. Can there be enough custom to make all the businesses successful? Is there a lack of imagination and vision at play here? Would not someone make a killing selling plumbing tools to go along with the plumbing parts?
Something similar is apparent in Srithanu and the surrounding area. There is Ananda Wellness Resort, Agama, Orion Healing, Chakra Natural Therapies, Kamala Healing Centre, Gaia Yogashala, Samma Karuna, Mannu Yoga and Sunny Yoga. It feels like the list will grow further. Has some type of spiritual clarion call be made sending for all the young Europeans and Americans who had previously spent several years studying yoga in India, Nepal and Tibet to suddenly make their way over land and sea to Thailand and in particular Koh Phangan?
This is perhaps unfair. Srithanu has become a centre for healing, learning yoga and for spiritual learning. As well as having a commercial value, these things have a human value. For many people a yoga or other course in Srithanu marks a turning point in their life. They become unburdened; they become detoxed; they learn something of mindfulness; they learn to exercise their body; and they might become better, more generous and kind people. What is wrong in that? The incremental positives are not to be sniffed at. Moreover, all those who become yoga teachers have the chance to become masters themselves and spread even more joy, peace and wisdom in their journey through life.
It is more than likely that several of the above mentioned yoga places will lose out in the commercial race and fall by the wayside. Others will over time be re-branded with new management and staff. Demand might rise or fall; the world economy might teeter or it might boom. However, it seems likely that Srithanu will continue for the foreseeable future and beyond to be regarded as a centre for yoga.