Dani Kremeniuk | May 2012
Photo by Rhonda Dent Photography
On February 24, world-renowned mind-body healing pioneer Deepak Chopra arrived in town to celebrate the launch of the first Chopra Yoga Centre in the world. “I am passionate about reaching a hundred million people in the world to create a critical mass of consciousness that moves in the direction of a peaceful, sustainable, just, healthy, happy world.”
Whatever you need to enhance your wellbeing can be found at the world’s first Chopra Yoga Centre…
Since I spend most of my workday hunched over a computer in solitude I am always in dire need of a midday stretch and some human interaction, so I make my way to Chopra Yoga Centre—which just opened its doors a short walk from where I live. The lobby greets me with the faint scent of lavender and a manduka mat and I feel a bit like I’m in a spa with the saunas, fresh towels and onsite Organic Lives location.
I speak to the centre’s managing director, Sharam Rafati, about why he and the four other partners—all local entrepreneurs—decided to come together to open another yoga studio in Vancouver.
“There were a few of us practicing yoga and meditating, and we were looking for a place that offered more than just the physical aspect to it. I think that Deepak, well— who better than to contact when it comes to meditation? When it comes to something like meditation you have to have some sort of credibility—people want to have read about you, you can’t just open a meditation centre and start selling mantras.”
Deepak brings with him his Seven Spiritual Laws, which have been incorporated into a class by the studio director Danielle Mika Nagel, who is certified by the Chopra Center in all three of their programs—Ayurveda, Primordial Sound Meditation and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.
With regard to the ‘new school’ of yoga Deepak says, “The Seven Spiritual Laws will be the anchor and from there you will have hip hop yoga, yoga barre, shot yoga—all the different schools of yoga that have withstood the test of time.”
On February 24, Deepak arrived to celebrate the launch of the first Chopra Yoga Centre in the world and hold court with the press, cut an invisible ribbon with the mayor and guide an audience through meditation.
He saw an opportunity—with Rafati and his partners—to create a community-based facility that would incorporate his Seven Spiritual Laws, offering a value and quality of service that would differentiate them from other studios.
“I am passionate about reaching a hundred million people in the world to create a critical mass of consciousness that moves in the direction of a peaceful, sustainable, just, healthy, happy world,” Deepak explains.
Chopra Yoga offers a varied but all-encompassing practice for everyone. “The experience you’ll have in the room is a combination of the skill of the instructor, the actual practice, the meditation and the technical aspects—such as the state-of-the-art HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system,” Rafati tells us.
It is also the only place in the city where you can locate your chakras and leave with dessert.