Dr. Nick Atlas is the Director of Evolutionary Education®, and a master teacher of the ancient, transformational art of Sleep & Dream Yoga. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and has twenty years experience in the healing and expressive arts. Dr. Nick currently serves as Faculty Chair at Atlantic University, and conducts experiential research on deep ecology (our interconnectedness with nature), in addition to his work as a psychedelic-integration specialist, visual artist, author and musician.
Born and raised in New York City, I was an athlete throughout my youth. I went on to study sociology and visual art at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), where I also fell in love with ecstatic dance and the burgeoning rave scene. During my senior year, I spent a semester abroad in Belize and traveled throughout the Guatemalan backcountry researching the impact of Western materialism on native cultures. I also developed a passion for photography and began to explore yoga, qigong, and meditation. Upon graduating from college, a series of mystical dreams, as well as a profound spiritual awakening while under the influence of psilocybin, radically altered the course of my life.
No single event was more impactful than a loved one’s tragic car accident when I was twenty-two years old. Prompted by support from an online community of healers, my subsequent attempt to heal my friend inspired me to quit my job, hit the road, and follow my heart into the unknown. I began to record my dreams on a nightly basis, and a remarkable, decade-long journey unfolded.
After several years spent documenting music festivals and visiting natural places throughout North America, I met my first great yoga teacher, Stephen Spyrit, in Portland, Oregon, and was inspired to travel to India, Nepal, Southeast Asia, Israel, and Egypt. From there, I spent a year as a professional photographer in New York before another mystical experience revealed my life calling: to start a school. Relocating to the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, I devoted myself to yoga full-time, ultimately returning to India, Thailand, and the Philippines to advance my spiritual practice.
In 2012, I commenced doctoral studies in Psychology: Consciousness & Society at the University of West Georgia, the only public institution in the US offering such a program. My research examined the dynamics of healing and psychospiritual transformation during lucid dreaming, and its relationship to archetypal mythology and yoga psychology–aka, Sleep & Dream Yoga. Concurrently, I continued to develop Evolutionary Education®, an institute for experiential learning, where I currently serve as the Director and facilitate a wide range of continuing education courses and events.
Along the way, I have been blessed to study with and assist many incredible mentors, including Paulie Zink, Toni Bergins, Jack Kornfield, Rhiannon, Bobby McFerrin, and the entire Department of Psychology at UWG.
In 2019, I published my first book, The Light Travelers, which describes my transformative journey, a generation “waking up,” and what happens when waking and dreaming merge into one. In 2020, I began work as a facilitator with Atman Retreat, conducting pioneering psilocybin-assisted, wellness retreats in Jamaica.
When I’m not teaching, speaking, writing, traveling, or working with clients, I enjoy making music (especially improvisational singing), hiking, swimming, storytelling, and deep listening in nature.