Mary Reilly Nichols on Ecstatic Experiences, Muktananda and Hatha Yoga (#28)

About the Guest:

Mary Reilly Nichols holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University and completed five years of residency in meditation ashrams in India and the US.  A devoted student of Muktananda, she has taught yoga and meditation in New York City for over thirty years. Her teaching combines Iyengar, Integral and Anusara styles of Hatha Yoga with the Upanishadic tradition of the wisdom and experience of non-duality. She offers frequent workshops on classical yoga philosophy and psychology, including Advaita Non-Dualism and the Tantric methods of Kashmiri Shaivism. Currently, Ms. Nichols teaches stress management in psychiatric settings and is involved in ongoing research on the mind/body benefits of yoga and meditation.

In this episode, we discuss:

  1. Ecstatic religion as a response to social institutional decline as a way of acclimating to new paradigm of reality.
  2. Mary’s Kundalini awakening while studying ecstatic religion.
  3. Her experience meeting Swami Muktananda.
  4. The relationship between dualism and nondualism.
  5. The contribution of the philosophy of Shaivism to our understanding of yoga.
  6. How hatha yoga is kundalini yoga.
  7. Meditation on OM being the least appreciated practice offered by the yoga tradition.
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