So when Deepak Chopra isn’t writing his 80th book, defining spirituality, dueling with Hinduism and Western Egos or occupying Wall Street, apparently he’s at home playing his own video game and meditating with his virtual self. In case you were curious!
We had a feeling when we first reported on the blisstastic interactive meditative adventure that, Leela, Deepak’s new collaborative effort with Curious Pictures, was going to be a trip. Fortunately we had the pleasure of attending a demo of the game earlier today with an intro from none other than Captain Chopra himself.
We’re keeping sattvic on this one. Trippy? Oh yes. Fun? Kinda, though hard to tell quite yet. Meditative and/or hypnotic? You betcha. We only saw about 10 minutes of a game demo, but Deepak explained that the dualistic offerings are broken into Movement and Reflection, and 4 sections: Movement, Meditation, Mandala and Oracle. There are 40-some games based around the 7 chakras and you work through each of them without much competition, besides yourself, and without the threat of “dying,” being attacked and/or shooting large weapons. No 1-ups needed here. Zombies not included.
The mini-game we saw was eh, ok, but the coolness factor came with the breath monitoring. Uh, yeah, this thing can help you with pranayama, and is in fact, the first of its kind in sensing your inhales from a distance, even 3-part breath, and you can watch yourself breathe (on XBox Kinect, dunno about Wii). Neato. (though it’s not lost on us that you can feel yourself breathe without any technogadgetry). Also, Deepak was especially excited to tell us about the Oracle element. It’s like your old school Magic 8 Ball, where you ask any question you like, it gives you an answer, and then it’s up to you to interpret.
Overall, it seems like a fun thing to do in your spare time, if spare time is on your schedule and you prefer to spend it entranced by a neon wormhole or designing your own mandala.
Oh yeah, why a video game? DC explained that the game idea came about due to a need to make yoga and meditation accessible and more fun for everyone. “This comes from great ancient tradition, but everything evolves,” said D. Fair enough.
After the demo we were treated to a real live yoga class inspired by Leela and featuring the Leela-inspired yoga teachers at Equinox. It was a lovely practice, though we’re not sure what made it super different from a normal yoga class that includes pranayama, chakra focus and a “play” element (Leela, or Lila refers to cosmic play in Hinduism, by the way.) However, if you’re curious you can go ahead and try the new Leela classes now offered at your local Equinox. Really.
The Leela game will, of course, be available for purchase and at-home yogatainment 11/11/11. It will also be conveniently sold at each of the 55 Equinox locations nationwide.
NOTE: We maintain (from our original reaction) that your Leela experience may be enhanced by shrooms, weed, or intense pranayama.
WARNING: We are now in possession of the game and may or may not return from our state of blissful consciousness.
Are you a virtually facilitated meditator?
Here’s another promo video. Can you guess whose voice that is?? (guess! answer below the video)
It’s Elena Brower! Did you guess correctly?