Vancouver is an "emerging microcosm of what the world should be," Dr. Deepak Chopra said in a news conference Friday, the Vancouver Sun reported. "Vancouver is a favourite city of mine," Chopra said. "It's multi-ethnic, multi-cultural. It's Asia and America and Europe, and all of the flavours and tastes of the world."
The world-renowned author, physician and spirituality expert was here for the official launch of the world’s first Chopra Yoga Center, at 451 Granville Street.
The centre, which opened in January, offers traditional hatha and ashtanga yoga classes, as well as some newer innovations such as hip hop yoga, hot yin yoga, and something called Cho Fit, which promises "cardiovascular euphoria".
“Knowledge is stale if it doesn’t evolve,” Chopra said. “Just because something is ancient doesn’t mean it’s the best. Tradition has value and tradition has the great experience of the past. But it can be a burden if it doesn’t allow you to evolve to new levels of creativity and expression.”
Membership at Chopra Yoga Center is not cheap - starting at $153 per month - but the facilities are stunning. Gourmet raw-food cafe Organic Lives serves up salads, wraps and smoothies in the centre's reception area. Practitioners in ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy, acupressure and massage offer treatments in consultation rooms upstairs.
In keeping with Chopra's body of work in the field of spirituality and human potential, the Chopra Yoga Center emphasises the spiritual aspects of the practice, offering meditation classes and foundational yoga based on Chopra's new book, the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.
But for those who aren't after enlightenment and simply want a nice set of tight abs, Chopra has a simple piece of advice.
“Start where you are," he said.
"Through yoga you will get to know your body. Keep practicing and you will come to understand your mind. Eventually, you will know your soul."