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Health guru Deepak Chopra debuts his first video game this Friday. Is it a smart, spiritual use of new technology or a silly sales ploy? We find out.
Deepak Chopra Leela
A view of the seven Chakras on Leela for Xbox Kinect

Leela, a video game made for Xbox Kinect and Wii, is Deepak Chopra‘s first foray into video games. That’s quite a departure for the well-being guru with a stack of New York Times best-sellers to his credit and an Ayurvedic health center and spa in Carlsbad, California.

The game, which features a dizzying array of psychedelic graphics, is organized around the seven Chakras (or your body’s metaphysical energy centers).

It’s meant to “anchor people’s intention and attention” and allow them to seek spirituality “in a playful way,” Chopra said at a launch event last week at Equinox (where the game will be sold and a special Leela yoga class will also be offered).

Deepak Chopra Leela
A Deepak employee demonstrates the swirling tunnel of the third-eye Chakra on Leela

Leela, the game, is divided into four parts: movement, meditation, mandala, and oracle, and consists of activities like swaying your body side-to-side through a winding tunnel, moving your hands around randomly until you feel that the mandala on the screen represents your “soul,” and learning three-part Pranayama by allowing the system to sense the rise and fall of your chest. (You provide the hallucinogens.)

While the technology is pretty damn impressive—it can pretty much sense your breathing!—the last time we checked, meditation was about inner reflection, not allowing your senses to be wooed by swirling digital code.

And we just don’t see the Xbox Kinect audience connecting with this 21st-century lava lamp. Child of Eden or Dance Central this ain’t.

Plus, there’s something just plain disconcerting about Deepak Chopra, who gave us mind-body healing methods galore, telling you that you can post your mandala on Facebook or ask the oracle “Should I go out with this guy?” (Both of which took place at the launch. Chopra was being somewhat facetious with the dating question, but still.)

A digital-Deepak innovation we are looking forward to? The DVDs he filmed with Tara Stiles in Joshua Tree, which will launch in December, in which he offers guided meditation to match her yoga instruction.

To pre-order Deepak Chopra’s Leela, visit Amazon.com
or www.deepakchopraleela.com

What do you think? Would you engage with your chakras on Xbox? Can video games help foster your spiritual side? Tell us in the Comments area, below!

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