The Bhajan Belt

October 18, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On October 18, 2002 The New York Times reported on "the Catskill Mountains... [which] some call... the bhajan belt, applying a word derived from Sanskrit for devotional song to an area that stretches from the holistic enterprises of New Paltz to a yoga ranch in Woodbourne. The term fits, for as much as the region is defined by dairy farms, summer campers and a John Deere ruggedness, it is also home (or second home) to the influential stars of the new New Age -- people who dine with the Dalai Lama or turn up on the cover of Yoga Journal -- and their less celebrated followers. As the Hamptons have become summer destinations for city people who spend weekends sailing, playing polo or maintaining an aggressive social agenda, the mid-Hudson Valley tends to attract those more at home with a yoga mat or a prayer wheel."