Danielle Mika Nagel is studio director of the world’s first Chopra Yoga Center located in Vancouver, BC. The studio practices Chopra Yoga, a form of yoga inspired by the teachings of Deepak Chopra and David Simon. The Mindful Word asked her about this new form of yoga and how it integrates with the teachings.

What is Chopra Yoga?

Chopra Yoga is a philosophy that integrates the teachings of Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon’s book the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. It can be applied to any style of yoga.

How does Chopra Yoga integrate Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success?

The teachers of Chopra Yoga Center integrate the Seven Spiritual Laws by implementing one law each week into their classes. We start on Sundays with the “law of the week” and carry that until the following Saturday. This week we are focusing on the “Law of Giving and Receiving.” Each class this week will be focused on heart-centred awareness. We will speak about the breath and maintaining the dynamic exchange we have with ourselves and our surroundings with each inhale and exhale. We will encourage guests to keep this flow of energy throughout challenging situations.

Is there anything else that distinguishes it from other forms of yoga?

The Chopra Center’s signature class, the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, incorporates mantras into the sun salutations which may be new to most people. Each posture is chanted with a particular mantra throughout the sun salutations. For example, when starting in tadasana, the students chant “Om Mitraya Namaha, Urdhva Hastasana, Om Ravaye Namaha” and so on.

Do you integrate any Ayurveda or shat karma practices into your classes?

Depending on the instructor, some may integrate elements of Ayurveda into their classes depending on the time of day and which dosha is predominant. They may choose music that is more grounding or uplifting. We also use essential oils in each of our yoga studios to calm, energize or cool. Some instructors also incorporate various pranayama techniques and chakras into their classes.

How are the teachers trained at your studio?

The teachers were trained in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and the basics of Ayurveda by myself and Davdji, lead meditation teacher of the Chopra Center for well-being.

What is primordial sound meditation?

Primordial Sound Meditation is a meditation technique rooted in the Vedic tradition of India where you will be given your personal mantra.

It sounds like Chopra Yoga embraces many different styles of yoga. For the practitioner who likes regularity in their practice, can they get that from this style or does the class routine always change?

Yes, we do like to take an inclusive approach to yoga and its evolution. However, for the practitioner who likes regularity in sequencing, I would suggest taking our signature Hot Hatha class where there is a set sequence.