Written by Katherine Rosman for the Wall Street Journal
Deepak Chopra, 65, sometimes wears socks when he does yoga. His left fourth toe gives him trouble — “an old cricket injury,” he said last week, just after he completed his morning yoga practice and just before he left his apartment to meditate in an apartment a few floors below with P. Diddy.
I know this – and here are words I, as a Wall Street Journal reporter, didn’t anticipate saying – because I did yoga with Chopra on assignment, as a part of a new column in which I will practice yoga with interesting people and write about it.
Chopra, the best-selling author of books like “Spiritual Solutions,” does a 45-minute physical yoga practice every day, in addition to a daily two-hour meditation (which begins at 4 AM) and a visit to the gym. When he is at his home base in New York City, he practices in his midtown living room with Tara Stiles, 31, the founder of Strala Yoga in NoHo who has brought affordable yoga classes to the masses through her iPhone app (which Chopra helped develop).
The plan was to meet at Chopra’s apartment for a seven AM practice. There was an absolute deluge of rain that morning and I arrived five minutes late.* When I made it up to his 69th floor apartment, he was sitting at his living room table, surfing Twitter on his Apple laptop computer. In addition to socks, he was wearing thin black sweatpants and a black Chopra Center t-shirt with the word “peace” scrawled on the back in several languages (shanti, shalom, salaam). When we settled onto our mats, Chopra removed his rhinestone-encrusted glasses.
His apartment is a very comfortable size and has endless views of the city and the Hudson River. It is decorated with art and artifacts of South Asian, South American and Indian influence and provenance. Two guitars with ornate beading on their fronts rested on a credenza beneath a wall-mounted flat-screen television. Chopra nodded at the guitars and explained they were made by a famous instrument-maker who enjoyed peyote.
“Steve Jobs said that taking LSD was one of the most important experiences of his life,” I said.
“For me too,” replied Chopra.
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