Yoga is a subject of global interest in present movement with motive to have health, happiness and harmony. The major media for promoting and publicizing of this science should be the exploration of tourism development all over the world. Tourism is increasing globally day to day and is also predicted to scale up in our contests. There is also a noticeable change in the motivation for tourism from normal health to self-realization innovated mental and spiritual pursuits. As a part of this process, ‘yoga tourism’ is gaining popularity; however, this development is burdened with inequalities. Yoga tourism offers to relieve the adverse effects of stress, psychosomatic problems, newly and chronic diseases partially induced by modernity. These predicaments affect everybody uniformly, rather in some ways, worse for men and the low socioeconomic groups. Yet, only 16% of the yoga practitioners are males and tourism is mostly out of the reach of the low socioeconomic groups as some researches. Here in Himalayan Yoga Academy, as my records since 2008 A.D. also shows almost same data approx. 20%. The situation provides yoga tourism industry an opportunity and also optimum needs in such a modernized socio-economic period of time. It is known that many female yoga tourists have a happy family/personal life. Yoga tourism industry can offer attractive financial and comfortable incentives to encourage them to bring up. Village tourism will be more rational in growth rate of tourism scaling.
Overview of Yoga
Yoga is gaining popularity in every nook and corner of the world, even though physical way of understanding and practices usually seen in society. Yoga defines itself as a science--that is, as a practical, philosophical, and systematic discipline or set of techniques that have the idealistic goal of helping human beings to become aware of their deepest nature. The goal of seeking to experience this deepest potential is not part of a religious process, but an experiential science of self-study and self realization. Religions seek to define what we should believe, while a practical science such as meditation is based on the concrete experience of those masters and yogis who have previously used these techniques to experience the deepest Self. Yoga does not interfere with any religion, cast, nationality and zonal, and may be practiced by everyone in everywhere. Given the increasing pace and conflict present in modern life, with all its resulting stress, one could say that yoga has become an essential tool for survival, as well as for expanding the creativity and joy and happiness of our lives.
Definition of Yoga:
There are many scriptures which define yoga in various manners. In general yoga is a union of body, mind and soul. One of those scriptures is 'Paatanjal Yogasutra', the authorship of which belongs to Maharshi paatanjali who defines yoga in his text as: "Yogash chitta vritti-nirodhah" P.Y.S. 1.2
Meaning: Yoga is the cessation of modification of thoughts in mind or chitta. Here the word Chitta doesn't literally mean the mind but generally it is considered as mind only. Chitta is fundamentally of the nature or consciousness which is immaterial but affected by matter. In fact, it may be called a product of both, consciousness and matter, the presence of the both being necessary for its functioning. Actually yoga is mission, achievement or happening. Yoga begins when lesion or practice is over. All the physical based practices and lifestyle is vehicle of meditation and meditation is final switch for Yoga or Samadhi.
Yoga Tourism in Nepal:
Nepal, the Himavat kshetra has a prime spot in the world tourism carrying a huge potential as major section of the Himalayan range, and high altitudes which is home to some of the tallest peak on earth, including Mt Everest, lies here. The Himalayas has always been referred to as the abode of gods, the land of sages and seers, cultural and spiritual beauties and natural sceneries. From the ancient times, the mighty Himalayas are known as the source of mystical energy and immense spirituality leading people to enlightenment. It is often said that the enlightenment can be achieved from Yoga sadhana. If we look back at the history, Lord Shiva himself, as well as various yogis and sages, practiced Yoga in and around the Himalayas and got liberation.
The Yoga and wellness traveling trend in the world is growing day by day. In this context, the Himalayan countries like Nepal can exploit this prospective market for the very good reason. Apart from the activities carried out by the visitors in Nepal, travelers also can get an additional bonus of Yoga, spirituality and wellness. The tourism in Nepal can be given a new and highly potential dimension in form of Yoga and Spiritual tourism and it can be helpful in taking the tourism of the Himalayan country like Nepal and some parts of India to a desired level of prosperity.
Since the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, most people have been coming to Nepal for trekking or climbing. But wellness and spiritual tourism can be another potential area which can be developed as an attraction and help boost our economy. Today, many established fashion brands are seen producing Yoga mats, clothing and other gears. Taking this as an example, the Yoga and wellness tourism should be given importance in Nepal also which has abundant source of natural beauty and spiritual environment along the Himalayas and Hills. According to the Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report of 2013, ‘wellness tourists’ spend 130 percent more than regular tourists. Elements of spirituality and its practice in the East have always become popular in the western part of the world. Yoga studios are mushrooming globally along with practitioners of Yoga.
Why Yoga Tourism?
The increase in demand for travel has created new marketing opportunities in tourism. Since Asia region covers a great diversity of cultures, lifestyles and preferences, more innovative and creative marketing strategies have to be designed for each market segment of visitors. With the increasing sophistication, the Asian visitors also require travel products to offer quality, comfort, convenience, relaxation, independence and unique learning experiences that maximize the value of their leisure time.
Firstly in the modern world we have become quite successful in our external achievements, we have created powerful technologies and a variety of products, we are obsessed with accumulating power, wealth, property and objects--and yet we have not been able to create either individual or social peace, wisdom, or happiness. We have only to look around and see the destructiveness of our weapons, the emptiness of our pleasures and entertainments, the misuse of our material and personal resources, the disparities between rich and poor, and above all, the loneliness and violence of our modern world. We see that amid all our success in the external world, we have accomplished little of lasting value. These problems will not be solved through new technological developments. Instead, the resolution to these human problems will come only when we discover within ourselves that for which all of mankind is searching--inner peace, tranquility, and wisdom. This attainment is the goal of yoga, for yoga is the practical science intended to help human beings become aware of their ultimate nature.
Secondly it is essence to convey this beautiful message of yogic science to the world people purposed to fuse the eastern wisdom and western technology in order to keep peace, harmony and happiness in the world. This is possible only throughout the global adventures for that Nepal is the finest designation of world. The crisis brought by the modern science and technology, though parallel to making the life easier, faster and luxurious, yoga will manage and balance this very well.
Thirdly most of people from all over the world visit Nepal for trekking, tours and to have more exploration with Nepali cultures, traditions, Nepalese lives, beauty of natures and philosophy like Veda, yoga and other sacred texts, they have limit time and budget. So they can explore all together throughout the yoga tourism, it will be multi-dimensional treats for tourists.
Fourthly they want to learn yoga academically or non-academically in Nepal and India purposed to be yoga professional's motive to run the yoga business. In America 10% of income market is yoga business and also world market ration is also ascending day to day as a major public business.
Fifthly, to make the product more saleable and popular, there is a need of innovative thinking, willingness to return to the human roots and the much-touted public-private partnership. Proper development of Yoga and wellness tourism can catapult Nepal’s tourism into the global hall of fame. Though the entrepreneurs have the flexibility and ideas to work for the development of the product, government should also be more innovative and cooperate. Proper development of this form of activity can give the visitor an opportunity to practice Yoga, meditate and spend time in ashrams and other places of spirituality.
Sixthly, by yoking the Yoga with tourism, one can achieve a very high sense of spirituality and wellness and Nepal, the land of the Himalaya, is the perfect destination for Yoga travelling and immersion. Thus, if Nepal taps this potential of Yoga and spiritual tourism, it can hugely benefit the country for the prosperity. This new dimension in the Nepali tourism field certainly plays a vital role to boost the industry as well as contribute in the national economy. In return, the tourists will get an eternal experience of mind, body, and soul harmony in the Himalaya. Yoga and wellness is not only beneficial for the country but for the travelers as well.