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Health & Fitness

Deepak Chopra in Tampa to share spiritual, health insights

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Published:   |   Updated: February 22, 2014 at 01:37 PM

Deepak Chopra must be doing something right.

Although he declines to give his age, we know the India-born Chopra has been married 44 years, so you can do the math.

Fit and healthy, he’s written more than 75 books — his newest, “The Future of God,” is due out in August — runs his foundation and travels the world to promote physical and spiritual well-being.

He also gets the word out via Twitter, with a following of some 1.77 million and counting.

Chopra began his profession as a traditional internist and endocrinologist, but left traditional medicine after meeting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced him to Ayurveda, the ancient science of healing from India.

From then on, he was in a different realm. The days of feeling like a “legalized drug pusher” were behind him.

Once hailed as the “poet-prophet of alternative medicine” by Time magazine, Chopra will bring his message of enlightenment to Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

He shed a little light for us as a preview.

Q: Is Obamacare going to help or hinder alternative medicine?

A: Neither. The act is mainly about insurance reform. What insurance companies decide to cover is another issue. Even though more people are pursuing integrated medicine these days, we still have a long, long way to go. That’s because Washington is controlled by health-care lobbyists who represent special-interest groups like doctors, pharmaceutical companies and hospital chains. The current political situation makes it nearly impossible to do the right thing.

Q: Alert! Baby boomers are aging. This is the generation that wasn’t supposed to do that. So give us three tips on staying young.

A: Don’t look at it that way. This could be the best period of your life. You have the wisdom of experience; now work on the biology of youth. That means you should eat carefully, sleep more and keep moving. Put aside some time for daily meditation.

Q: Why don’t you tell us your age?

A: Timeless. Or, let’s just say that I forgot.

Q: Dog or cat person?

A: Definitely dog.

Q: We’re getting ready for the Bollywood Oscars here in Tampa. Excitement is mounting. Can we expect to see you on the red carpet?

A: I don’t get to movies. So, no. I didn’t even know they were coming here.

Q: You’ve been married a long time. Give us your secret on keeping the home fires burning.

A: Lots of love. And allowing the other person to be who they are. Right now, for example, my wife is with several friends on a pilgrimage in India. She’s out climbing mountains and having a wonderful time. Great for her!

Q: It’s been an awful winter, weather-wise, for most of the folks around the country. How does one keep centered, balanced and at peace when you’re cooped up from an onslaught of storms?

A: You can do physical exercise right in your bedroom. Do breathing exercises. Give yourself a massage. Catch up on your sleep. And watch comedies on television or videos.

Q: What’s your favorite?

A: “Candid Camera.” I love that old show.

Q: Anything on your bucket list that you haven’t accomplished yet?

A: Not really. I have no anticipation of the future, no regrets of the past. But if there was one thing, it would be to create a science that understands higher consciousness. That’s what I intend to do before I go.

Q: And that’s how you want to be remembered?

A: (Laughs) Face it, we’re just a fragrance in the breeze. What do you remember of your great-grandparents? We’re only good for a generation or two, then we fade into obscurity. So embrace the moment.

mbearden@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7613

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