by Sandy Pukel

Chandrakant Hiester, a senior teacher and seminar leader at the Amrit Yoga Institute, in Salt Springs, Florida, develops and presents student and training programs worldwide. For the last 10 years, he has specialized in the Integrated Amrit Method (I AM), including Amrit yoga, yoga nidra and stress-reduction. As a student and practitioner of yoga and meditation with pioneering yogi Amrit Desai for 40 years, Hiester has learned to nurture and encourage positive changes in his and others behavior, understanding and practice in order to more fully realize the original purpose of yoga.

What are the benefits of having a regular yoga practice?  It’s important to understand the purpose behind any regular practice. Yoga practice in America popularly encompasses releasing physical tensions, developing muscular strength, increasing balance and flexibility, reducing stress and mental anxiety, and promoting mental clarity and relaxation.

The original purpose of yoga is described as “evenness of mind” cultivated through developing “skill in action.” The I AM method is a series of techniques designed to reveal an inner attunement to the innate intelligence of the universal vital life force, or prana. This attunement can transform everyday life into a meditation in motion.

How does a yoga nidra practice further
enhance this?

Albert Einstein realized that the mind that creates the problem doesn’t see the solution. Yogic philosophy, along with modern psychology, enumerates three basic types of tension responsible for all of the problems of modern life: muscular, emotional and mental. Yoga nidra is a systematic, guided meditation method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation, in which long-held limiting life patterns can be resolved through experiencing a profound change of mind.

Living with less tension is the single greatest contributor to personal, family and community well-being. People going through divorce might use yoga nidra techniques three times a day to short-circuit the mental and emotional whirlwind consuming them, while others might employ it once a day to cleanse their minds of stress. The fullest benefits are realized when we’re so familiar with what a deep state of physical, mental and emotional ease feels like that we’re able to return to it without needing to revisit the learned techniques.

How has a mental practice of yoga changed your life?

Remaining consciously alert has revealed the universal presence as a constant touchstone in all states and experiences, which enables me to better manage life’s ever-changing thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

Chandrakant Hiester will be a featured instructor on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise, Mar. 11-17, 2017. For more information, call 800-496-0989 or visit See ad page 2.