Satyananda style Yoga Nidra
Due to the frequency of emails from students and teachers asking about teaching Yoga Nidra in relation to Satyananda’s teachings, I have outlined the facts below.
Satyananda Yoga Nidra TM
Yoga Nidra is not owned by any teacher or lineage, although some teachers and some lineages have contributed a great deal to passing on this ancient practice. Contrary to widespread information in books, articles and on the web, Satyananda did not discover or devise the practice of Yoga Nidra. However, he did trademark his limited version of it, and successfully promoted this version from the 1960’s until his death in 2009, introducing the practice to many students and teachers around the world.
The Manduka Upanishad (around 1st century AD) contains the first known written reference to aspects of Yoga Nidra, describing the mantra OM as it relates to different states of consciousness. There are also references to the practice in the works of Sri Deep Narayan Mahaprabuji (1828-1963).
Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati, teachers from the Himalayan tradition, Dr Richard Miller, and many other individuals, teachers and therapists have been using the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra therapeutically for decades. Those who only experience the style of Yoga Nidra taught and promoted by Satyananda, to the exclusion of other lineages, can risk missing out on reaching the state of pure, formless awareness.
One of the aims of this Yoga Nidra teacher training is to ensure those who enroll experience and study a range of approaches to Yoga Nidra. This includes both classical (Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati) and contemporary (Dr Richard Miller) scripts, as well as others. Having studied and practiced these in depth, the results of each of the methods speak for themselves – the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Satyananda Yoga Ashram at Mangrove Mountain, Australia
The ongoing Australian Royal Commission of Enquiry into Child Abuse in Satyananda Yoga Ashrams preliminary findings (December 2014) are truly sickening and irrefutable. They can be found online; if you choose to read them, be aware that they are deeply disturbing. For this reason, references to, and promotion of, Satyananda publications have been removed from the Yoga Nidra Teacher Training course offered by Classical Yoga UK (they were considered a good source of reference and comparison, as they are widely known and were respected).