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Yoga, meditation and lots of coffee: How Deepak Chopra, wellness expert, spends his Sundays
[NEW YORK] Dr. Deepak Chopra, the alternative medicine and New Age megastar, spends his Sundays meditating, walking and contemplating life. "Sunday is a day of reset. It's not a day of obligations," he said. "There's nothing that important if you miss it." For the past five years Chopra, 72, and his wife of 48 years, Rita, 70, have lived in a luxury green apartment, complete with vitamin-filtered showers and antimicrobial coating on high-touch areas, in Union Square, Manhattan. "The air and water are filtered," Chopra added, and "there's no outside sound." This year he will introduce a podcast on the Cadence13 podcast network and is on schedule to finish his 89th book.
I'm up at 5 a.m. I'm a morning person. We have circadian lighting in the bedroom, which changes from total darkness to predawn to morning light. Then I stare at the ceiling for 10 minutes doing nothing.
For the next two hours I sit in bed and meditate. When my wife wakes, she meditates with me. Then I practice body and breath awareness while asking myself, "How can I have the most joyful day?"
From 7:30-8:30 I do standard yoga. Three times a week I go to a class in the building. Right now I'm using a purple mat someone gave me. It has my name on it. People keep giving me mats. I have six or seven of them.
I make coffee and drink three cups before noon. Then, no coffee after that. I used to have only one, but my brother, who's a doctor, convinced me to have more. He thinks everyone should have five cups, but that's too much.
GETTING THEIR STEPS IN
Around 9:30 my wife and I take a two-hour walk. We do Central Park or ride the subway to Queens or Brooklyn. I specifically go to ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little India because it's different. I enjoy sensory experiences like color, taste and people. Living in New York is like living in the rest of the world. We walk a minimum of 10,000 steps. Usually it's 20,000, or 5 to 10 miles.
First we decide if we're going to have a big lunch or dinner. I only have one big meal a day. I leave that to my wife. I'm not a foodie but I know every restaurant in the neighborhood. I love anything that's different from our own Indian cooking, which my wife will do if the kids are here.
I'm not a social person. I'm alone a lot because my wife has many interests. She loves to go to movies and museums. She's learned to do it by herself when her friends can't join her.
For the next two hours I work on my new book, "Meta Human." This will be my 89th. I'm going to write one more and then I'm done. I'm juggling 20 different books because they pertain to what I'm writing. I go on the internet and will find a title that's tantalizing, like "You Are Not Your Brain." Right now I'm reading two from Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, "Sapiens" and "Homo Deus." He tracks our existence to the Big Bang. Also "Wings of Death: The Last Poems of Rabindranath Tagore," which is inspiring. I'm obsessed with death these days.
I write or jot down notes that have been incubating in my head for the next 30 minutes. Or I prepare for a talk I'm giving.
LET IT GO
From 5 to 5:30 I do a second, short meditate on the day that has passed by, which I do in my gray chair. Everyday reality is a lucid dream, and I reflect on that. Then I detach from it and let it go. Experience is ungraspable. It's all snapshots.
My wife comes home. We talk about each other's day. Mine was not as interesting as hers. She updates me about what she did and who she saw.
I don't eat after sunset, so I'll have a small meal, yogurt or an everything bagel with cream cheese, or lentil soup.
WALK AND REFLECT
From7 to 7:30I may take a second walk by myself. I'm a loner. I don't have a social life. I try not to reflect during this time. To just be and enjoy the sound, color, neon lights or the flavors that New York assaults on your senses.
I don't watch TV, so from 8 to 8:30 I check the news on my computer. I look at The Times or CNN. I catch up with my emails and communicate with my kids, and grandchildren, who I might FaceTime with. I talk with them every day. It doesn't matter where they are.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
By 9 I get into bed and do yoga nidra for 10 minutes where I consciously shut off sensory experiences. I drift into the infinite, fall asleep, hoping to see the world for the first time the following day.