Ramdev's yoga, peace haven on 2m Scottish isle

Wellness retreat

 
Yoga guru Swami Ramdev practices yoga on the island of  Little Cumbrae off the west coast of Scotland, on Sunday. AFP Little Cumbrae Island, off the fishing town of Largs in Scotland, will also serve as the guru’s base overseas, where his teachings of yoga as a means to cleanse the body and mind are gaining popularity.

The acquisition itself was carried out by a Scottish couple of Indian origin, Sam and Sunita Poddar, who saw recession and the resultant fall in property prices as an opportunity to expand the base of Patanjali Yogpeeth — the institution founded by Ramdev for scientific research and treatment in yog, spiritualism and ayurveda.

Ramdev is not well known in the western world and does not care to be. He speaks no English and has never travelled outside India. The island property, inaugurated on Monday with a “hawan,” a Hindu fire ritual, will be administered by the Patanjali Yogpeeth (UK) Trust. “My aim is to turn this island into a peace haven,” said Ramdev, who joins a handful of gurus to have set up international bases. The conch-shaped island, spread over 1.25 sq km and home to a 13th century castle, was put on the block, according to a source familiar with the deal, by its previous owner due to developments related to the credit crunch.

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