Customer Reviews: Grow Younger, Live Longer: Ten Steps to Reverse Aging
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I have regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation (TM) for a number of years, having originally become interested in it through one of Dr. Chopra's first books. I have found the practice to be a helpful one, and regularly recommend it to others. I have also experienced Ayurvedic health treatments and have read about the practice. As a result, I always look forward to reading Dr. Chopra's new books.
Grow Younger, Live Longer is an update on Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. The authors describe the Ayurvedic principles (practiced in India for many hundreds of years) of self-healing in a more detailed and understandable way than in any of Dr. Chopra's earlier books. Long-time practitioners of Transcendental Meditation will find little new in the book. Those who do not meditate now will find the book an easy, comfortable way to begin mind-body integration in ways that will probably help physiological and psychological health.
The authors argue that by forming ten new habits (by following the recommended practices for at least 10 weeks), you can "reset your Biostat (your biological or functional, age) up to fifteen years younger than your chronological age." Your Biostat is determined by various measures of your body's functioning, as compared to the average of people of the same sex and age. That point is not proven, however, in the text of the book. Many references care made in the notes. I am aware of studies done by practitioners of Transcendental Meditation that show such effects, which may be part of what the claim is based on. Some scientists have criticized the studies for potential bias because practitioners conducted almost all of the studies. The authors are not recommending TM, but rather other versions of meditation. Some nutritional and relationship studies have shown reversals of such biological markers.
You are encouraged to psychologically reframe aging to "an opportunity for greater wisdom, love, creativity, meaning, joy, and increased mental and physical capacity." "The real purpose of the book is to remind you, the reader, that this deeper reality, the domain of pure potentiality of spirit, is who you really are." "To know a person's body in the future, examine their experiences now." This sort of writing will remind you that Dr. Chopra likes to use Quantum physics as a metaphor for explaining the potential benefits of spiritual practices....
I also found much more scientific explanation here than in his earlier books about why these changes should be helpful. These were most detailed in the nutrition and exercise sections. The recommendations were explained in enough detail that I think that most people could understand and follow them. You will also find at least half of these food, water, and exercise recommendations in the better health books. The emphasis on spiritual and pscyhological practices is much stronger here. A good book on the importance of love from the scientific perspective is Dr. Dean Ornish's Love and Survival. The book also ends with a long section of vegetarian recipes from various cuisines (Thai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, French, American, and Middle Eastern) for seven sample menus. These have fairly extensive lists of ingredients, and you may need to buy some provisions you don't have now. Tamari sauce is a good example of something that is not present in many American larders.
This book will probably be most appealing to a retired person who finds her- or himself feeling disconnected from a meaningful purpose. The practices here would be most helpful in that situation, and a retired person would have the time to take on the many new habits suggested here. Although middle-aged people with children at home would feel like they could never take the time to do these things, they would probably benefit even more from the stress reduction that these practices could bring.
I would also enourage you to learn about practicing TM. With that change, you would probably find it easier to make these other changes that Dr. Chopra suggests. Most cities have TM centers where you can locate a teacher. You can go to introductory sessions at no charge. The yoga in this book will make a nice complement to your meditation practice.
Take life's unexpected events less personally and with more curiosity!
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on February 10, 2002
This is a terrific book. Follow the ten steps and your life and health will be greatly improved. The two M.D.s who wrote this book are no strangers to scientific medicine. The fact that they have been willing to go beyond the limitations of our modern scientific medical community is to their credit. I've spent many years working in hospitals. I've seen the marvels of modern medicine and the horrors. New discoveries overcome past horrors but the mistakes of modern medicine are usually seen as steps forward, which they are except for the ones stepped on in this evolutionary process. My problem with modern scientific medicine is it's arrogance and criticism of other healing options when it has killed and maimed so many along the way.
The supposed scientific criticism of this book is based on the arrogant assumption that spiritual realities have little connection to or impact on our physical well-being. Heck, if we can't detect it with all our new fangeled toys, it doesn't exist! Give me a break. Does anyone believe that all of our modern scientists put together have discovered all of the dimensions of reality?! You can't even put them all together without starting a civil war of differing perspectives.

Chopra's prescriptions for health and longevity are based on both spiritual and scientific realities and he has expertise in each of these disciplines. After 31 years of spiritual ministry, much of it done in the world of health care, I advise you to not let the "smarty pants" M.D.'s and Ph.D's scare you away from this valuable health resource.
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on November 28, 2004
I took the audio program of this book out from my library due to sheer curiosity and since then have bought the book in print because I though it would be easier to use it as a reference that way.

I have many of Dr. Chopra's audio tapes and while I don't take everything he says at face value I try to stay open to what he says on any given program and judge the material for it's own merits.

Of course Dr. Chopra's popularity as a "Pop Culture Guru" can make it tempting to take him less seriously and write off anything he does as just another way for him to make a buck. Sometimes I myself feel this way due to the "factory-like" volume of materials that have come out under his authorship. Also, I do find that Deepak can get somewhat repetitive in much of his talk about "Cybernetic Feedback Loops" and the like :)

Still, I always feel that if there's even one idea that can be helpful it is worth the effort and I generally get some benefit out of Deepak's work which is what led me to check this out.

What I found on this particular program was a lot of good advice for living a healthier and less stressful life. While I'm not a scientist, it seems quite obvious that anyone with a brain and common sense would realize that if you actually follow the advice given on this program you could only realize tremendous benefits on many levels.

Perhaps the only thing that might be considered "hocus pocus" by the mainstream medical community is Dr. Chopra's use of affirmations. While I'm generally not personally drawn to use affirmations , I would have to at least admit that if an affirmation helps one to focus on something positive rather than something negative it certainly can't hurt.

As far as the claims of a program like this making you live longer, who knows, BUT it seems quite clear to me that if you follow this program you will in the least feel better during whatever time you do have. Not only that, it seems pretty logical that if you do follow the useful advice on this program and therefore improve your overall physical and mental well being that it should translate into having a longer life than if you didn't follow the advice, and there is a LOT of practical and sound advice here.

I would be wary of some of the obviously jaded and arrogant scientific criticism that I read in previous reviews listed here concerning this book. My experience with the book is that those criticisms didn't ring true. While I can understand their concerns that this book may make some bold claims which they don't feel are scientifically proven, in general it appears that scientists seem to have a very narrow window that they look through and if it doesn't fit their world view then they think it's false.

The danger is that they think their world view is one based on facts, but perhaps they fail to realize or admit that they are limited by their current level of understanding, methods and equipment.

It wasn't so long ago that Newton was THE voice of physics and Quantum physics didn't exist as a scientific discipline. It wasn't so long ago that Galileo was given quite a hard time for views that are obvious to us now. There are other world views out there, that are equally valid. There are also many other approaches to well being that have been working for thousands of years, long before there was the American Medical Association and the like.

Likewise it also always amazes me how many doctors like to write off certain healing anomalies as a "placebo effect". What they fail to admit is that the whole notion of a "placebo effect" in and of itself is quite miraculous and shows that there are possibilities beyond what many Western doctors and scientists would like to admit is possible. Just because they can't quantify it doesn't make it invalid.

All that being said :)

Aside from the "Affirmations", this book is actually very grounded and filled with excellent and practical advice and one doesn't need to have a Ph.D. in aging to realize it's benefits. Anyone who "has a body" and common sense can benefit by good nutrition, exercise and stress reduction and therefore can benefit by the information in this program.

This book IS by the way co-authored by two doctors, one of which is Dr. David Simon. Dr. Simon was trained in neurology but came to feel the limitations of Western medicine as a sole healing modality. His search has led him to an integrative approach utilizing the best of so called "Conventional" and "Alternative" disciplines.

I am currently reading two of his books "Vital Energy" and "Wisdom of Healing" which are excellent. I was first exposed to Dr. Simon through a 12 tape audio program he did with Deepak Chopra called "Training the mind, Healing the Body" which is fascinating and very helpful. I was deeply impressed with Dr. Simon's deep knowledge, obvious sincerity, and compassion. After encountering that program I started searching out more of his materials which have all been outstanding!
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on July 29, 2002
Chopra and Simon offer 10 basic steps to living longer and feeling younger. The steps in of themselves are not complicated (drink water, sleep 8 hours, meditate, etc.), but putting them into practice is difficult for most of us.
I, for one, have a terrible sleep schedule, I drink coffee like a fiend, and I hardly look for activities that get me out of my daily hum-drum routine. But the fact of the matter is that I do these things unconsciously, and this book has motivated me to live a more conscious life and be more aware of how every choice I make affects my health for the better or worse.
You don't have to follow the book's plan to the letter, but learning more about healthy habits and adopting what works in your life can only help.
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VINE VOICEon December 19, 2001
I don't know much about quantum physics (or science in general), Ayurveda, or biological aging, but I do know that there are many older people who have the energy and attitute of those 20 years younger. Maybe it has to do with diet, exercise, and vitamins. Maybe it does have to do with "letting things go." I know that it is possible to break your body down by having bad attitudes about life and not taking care of yourself in general. I have worked with a lot of older women who laugh at me when I tell them that I will be a strong older woman who is not only going to talk about my aches and pains all of the time. I agree that "what you see, you become." I also believe that you can look and feel younger by getting lots of sleep, using sunscreen, exercising, deep breathing, eliminating toxins, being flexible (physically and emotionally) loving, and expanding your mind and perceptions. That is the whole point of this book. I know that many people seem to disagree about this book, but my grandmother lived to a healthy 91 years old because she continued to do things she always did. She swam till she was in her 80's and painted until her last year of life. I hope that I keep a good attitude throughout life to be as healthy and she was, and this book had a lot of good ideas and recipes!
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on April 9, 2003
Despite some blatant entrepreneurial pitches for Chopra's Prana Institute and its products, as well some blatant abuse of quantum physics, and the annoying "I am young" manatra you will repeatedly be asked to mouth throughout the book in order to help change your psychological perception of age, GROW YOUNG, LIVE LONGER is a fine book that will indeed enhance health, and thus perhaps make you look and feel younger. It's one of those all-around good books: covering basic yoga, providing some good recipes, filled with wonder facts about detoxification, wise nutritional supplementation, and the benefits of proper sleep and exercise. And of course, Chopra outlines his universal philosophy of love, which I found inspiring. On the whole, I was deeply impressed with the book, and ended up buying copies for friends. Another book I highly recommend that will add to your healthly living arsenal is The Optimum Nutritional Bible by Patrick Holford. Unlike Chopra, Holford takes a purely nutritional stance, but his dietary suggestions have the power to increase intelligence, vitality and life-span. Now go eat your veggies!
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on November 8, 2004
The message within the pages of Grow Younger, Live Longer is nothing short of transformational! Practical, easy to follow, result oriented ways to live a long, healthy life. Chapters cover a wide variety of topics including, sleep/daily routine, diet, exercise, creativity, flexibility, and mind/body/spirit balance to name a few. There is also a selection of delicious, nutritious recipes that leave the reader wanting more.

A personal story: I had the pleasure of meeting (and having my picture taken with) Dr. Deepak Chopra at a presentation he delivered as part of the promotional tour for this book. After hearing the lecture and reading the book, I finally found the courage and inspiration to finish my own book. Give Dr. Chopra a chance to show you how to Grow Younger, Live Longer.... you won't be disappointed!

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on November 2, 2013
I purchased this book in 2002 and at the time I had recently turned 36 years old. Much of the information was new to me
and I found the book an entertaining, stimulating and friendly read. At the time I did not meditate and I did not eat as well as I should.
I did exercise and take some supplememnts. I began keeping a notebook of the advice from this book and slowly adjusted my lifestyle
with many of the tools in the book. Meditation, positive thinking, fresh food, spplements, exercise of different types. I also tried to keep my surroundings filled with positive energy such as music , books, movies and TV shows that promoted positive aspects of life.
It was actually easy implementing these things slowly and it all made sense. I didn't follow all the advice and I am still learning
but I feel I am on to something. I was at a dinner party recently and 3 people guessed my age at 35 - 37 years of age, the age I was when I began reading this book 11 years ago. When i did reveal my age they were truly surprised and asked me what my secret was.
I don't look 25 but looking 12 years younger than your birthday feels good. My energy level is also great. I feel as well as I did in my early 30's
and i don't feel the decline so many of my peers talk about. One of the keys has been always learning something new. In the Fall I get excited because
I pick a class every year to take at the college and online to keep me in that mindset that I am still growing.
This book is definitely worth a read. All of Deepak Chopra's books are wonderful but the two that have changed my life the most have been
this one and The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence (Chopra, Deepak)
Both books if read, enjoyed and then studied will change your ife in amazing ways.
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on May 16, 2004
This book is a true gem! It's recommended reading for everybody who is interested in feeling better, healthier and looking younger. The book offers a 10-step program to achieving this, and is written in a nicely, loving and easy to understand way.
The negative reviews here on amazon are coming from people who never devoted any time to practicing the exercises in this book. Anyone who has spend some time doing the exercises can account for the splendid results they produce!
So if you are looking for a well written and practical guide to health, youth and joy, read this book.
And for those of you who want a good laugh, go to Master Hoax Elixxer's (the guy who is writing his own positive reviews on amazon because no sane person will) website. It's amazing how much BS can fit in one website...
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on October 4, 2009
You are like an architect who changes his building plan. When you change your perception of aging you also change your behavior. The mind rules when it comes to aging. Ideas presented about eliminating emotional toxins are priceless. Being flexible and open to new experiences is crucial according to those that have lived a long life. Both ancient practices and the wise use of supplemental nutrition are discussed. Once you know how harmful some practices are you begin to change. You start to let go of the past and look forward. After dinner, I used to take a nap. No mas. Instead, I take the ten-minute walk on the treadmill, as suggested; in addition to my daily 30 minute walk outside. I find nightly sleep more relaxing. Rising with the sun is exhilarating. You can develop your own stretches and salute to the sun, or follow the recommendations in the book. Taking a few moments during the day to meditate seems to enhance creative ideas. Oh yes. Mind and body integration is an essential part of growing old. This book is both inspirational and a practical guide for future reference. People often say you are what you eat. After this book, I now believe you are what your thoughts and perceptions lead you to do. After all, that is what people see.
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