Tag Archives: faults

A Chopra in Yoga Class and the Intent to Connect

We are midway through week two of our 21 Day Yoga Challenge with Tara Stiles and Sports Club LA and I want to thank all of you that have participated.

There have been a lot of inspiring intents about creating a yoga practice, getting back into it or simply wanting to create a deeper connection. Here are a few of my favorites that I wanted to share with everyone.

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The best thing about starting Intent has been to foster a community that supports each other and pushes themselves to do better things. That’s the real purpose of these challenges – to bring everyone together and encourage each other. Click any of the intents above to support them or adopt them as your own. If you want to join us you can create your own and put it in the yoga category on Intent.com.

And you’re not alone! I’ve been using the challenge to push myself in yoga as well As a Chopra there is this expectation for me to be really good at yoga, but the truth is I’m not. I’m not at all.

One Christmas, Gotham gave me a gift certificate for yoga classes. The certificate was valid for 6 months, and I had not redeemed it. When the guy looked at the certificate, luckily, there was no date on it — so, I lied. I told him, with a sweet smile, that I received it for my birthday in July. Not a moment of Chopra guilt.

As he was putting my info in the system, he furrowed his brows and I knew the question was coming. “Any relation to Deepak?” I nodded. “Yes, he’s my father.” He replied, “Cool. We have his books here.” I looked up, and my fathers face was smiling at me from above the counter.

“Deepak Chopra is your father!!” A woman waiting in line next to me, squealed with delight. “Oh, my God! I love him. Can I touch you? I have never met anyone famous before.” The rest of the people in line peered at me. I smiled awkwardly. “I’m not famous,” I said. “People know my father…”

The woman was right in my face now. “My name is Sarah. I loved his book – 7 Practical Laws of Love.”
Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” I replied.

Sarah put her mat next to mine. She started telling me about how the Law of Least Resistance had changed her life. The yoga instructor walked in, “I just heard you are Deepak’s daughter,” she announced to the room. “Now, I feel all this pressure!” The other people turned, looking at each other, nodding knowingly. And, then it all went totally downhill. I completely unraveled. It was the moment of truth and the whole room witnessed it.

I kept slipping during Downward Dog Pose. I couldn’t balance during Tree Pose. Forget about even attempting, Sirsasana, the Headstand Pose. Every time I turned to the left, Sarah was ogling me, but also a bit confounded about what I was doing. I felt totally inadequate. I just could not perform. People pretended not to see my awkwardness. Sarah actually stopped looking over. The teacher seemed to have slowed down a bit, embarrassed. Finally, it was Mrtsana, the Corpse Pose, and, thank god, it was over!

I rushed out. I did not glance at Sarah — well, to be honest, she was not even looking at me any more. I did not want to face the teacher. I felt like everyone in the room had discovered my most intimate secret. But as I ran out, the man at the register stopped me. “Hey, Ms. Chopra, could you do us a favor and sign these books?” There was a pile of my dads books on the counter. People started drifting out of the room.

I panicked for a moment. Sarah was looking over my shoulder now. “Oh, wow. I didn’t know Deepak had written a book on yoga.” She actually sounded perplexed. I took a deep breath. I dropped my head in shame. I took another breath. And, then, something miraculous happened. With that breath, somehow, I had re-connected. Another breath. Connection. I was a Chopra. Another breath. Admit it, I suck at yoga. Another breath. That is ok.

I smiled at the man at the register. “Sorry, I really can’t sign those books. They are my father’s, not mine.” Another breath. I started to walk out.

Remember who you are.

“But, you know what,” I turned back in. “I could sign my book, if you carried it…”

Sarah looked up, and the look was coming back into her eyes. The look of hope, the look that there was still something to believe in.
I stood tall, put my hands together in Namaste, and smiled that Chopra smile at her with all of its glory!

Setting goals and intents aren’t about being perfect – it’s about trying. So I hope you try with us!

Smoke and Mirrors

Years ago I worked pretty hard to build the smoke and mirrors that would make me look as if I had things together—that I was calm and collected and easy and fine.

I put on the funny and added the witty and offered to carpool and volunteer and listen and give good advice and is there anything else I can do—why of course I can do it all. And if I were to be seen as the super mom—the look-she-can-do-it-so-I-should-be-able-to-also gal, then so be it.

I lunched with the girls who were putting on the same show—no nothing’s wrong life is good and let’s throw a summer soiree we’ll invite all the smoke-and-mirror ladies and they will come because they will have to come. And of course, they did and we all bought new handbags for the occasion and had our hair blown out and acted as though we were being photographed.

There is, as always, a price to pay for living this lie, this endless trap that is too easy to fall into in our modern-day isolated put-on-the-show-and never-let-them-see-you-sweat motherhood society.

Sooner or later—it is ineveitable—the smoke will begin to fade and the mirror will crack and we will be seen for exactly what we are without our makeup and shiny hair and the Marc Jacobs bag at our side for protection. It will be revealed that we are all the same.

We are all the same.

If your dust happens to clear before one of the lunching ladies’ does, it will be painful. If you happen to get fat or depressed or to yell at your kids in public even a moment before they do, it will sting. And they will judge. And they will remember. And the moment will sit with you just as it did when you were 13 and shunned by the cool kids in front of the lockers before the class bell rung.

But, rest assurred, their smoke will fade, too.

As adults, we may, at times, feel more mature, more confident, better knowing we’ll go home to our spouse and our kids who will forgive us our dorky ways, but when it comes down to it, when the moment hits and we are vulnerable, we all share raw adolescent self-doubt.

I gave up the smoke and mirror lifestyle years ago, and though it may not be seamless or pretty or clean, I now go about my life openly showing my faults.

As Don Miguel Ruiz points out in “The Four Agreements”, most compliments are given by someone who’s senses are hightened to that topic. For example, if someone comments on the fact that it seems you have it all figured out, they are probably sensitive to the fact that they don’t.

So now, if someone tells me they think I am put together, I want them to see the safety pins that are holding up my pants and the new age spot on my cheek over which I have plastered several layers of makeup.

I want the person chatting me up at the cocktail party—the one who thinks I’m cool—to know that I tripped and fell on my face on the way in.

I want to let the new mother who thinks I’m an expert because I have three kids know that one time I thought I was in labor because I threw up and my water broke and when I went to the hospital the handsome intern told me I had only peed my pants.

He said it was quite common—which is exactly my point. You may not have peed your pants and been sent home from the hospital without a baby, but you’ve done something just as embarrassing, and so has she and so has he.

It’s time for us to let it all hang out, to put the cards on the table. To be okay with being who we are—the good and the bad—and love the fact that we all share our own ups and downs and gifts and burdens. Our faults make us who we are. They make us better people.

They make us just like everyone else.

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