I haven't been able to take as many classes this past fall with Neel as in the past because my schedule is pretty full, but it's nonetheless been another great year of spending many happy Saturday mornings, especially in the summer, in wonderful classes at his home. I'm blessed in my life to have many terrific teachers who have influenced my practice in so many positive ways, and Neel's approach has been especially helpful in cleaning up my alignment in yoga asanas as well as with learning even more about the gift we can give ourselves with a steady meditation practice. I am intensely grateful Neel's warm-hearted approach to classes and attentiveness to individual students' needs, and count myself very lucky that I was introduced to him in 2005. When my schedule clears up a bit more, I'm hoping to return to more of his classes.
I just HAVE to tell you that the last couple of classes with you have done MORE for me than I ever imagined possible. As with any learning, I think sometimes that the mastery of something--or the glimpse of the possibility of mastery--like a given pose, comes in small increments and a person often doesn't realize how much the little increments have added up over time. But your ability to focus in on what SEEMS like a small single element of a pose and NOT confuse things too much with a lot of explanation of everything else that may or may not be following FROM that element? It's opened up all kinds of new doors for me in my practice. Yesterday was the first time I'd ever been able to lift into sirsasana with straight legs--and I'm sure it was because your instruction finally got me focused on the right SINGLE thing I'd been ignoring. You're a great teacher, Neel!
I've absolutely loved my classes with Neel. I was introduced to him this past fall by a yoga teacher I very much respected, and have incorporated weekly classes with him when I can into my already packed schedule of yoga classes at a local studio and my home practice. It's been well worth the time and effort, since Neel's classes are unlike any other I've taken in my two years of intensely studying yoga. His approach has been a huge 'force multiplier' for me in terms of taking my practice deeper. He very carefully dissects asanas down to their individual elements and has his students spend a considerable time focusing on each component of the pose. For me, it's been a surprisingly powerful means to turn my attention inwardly. Moreover, the small class size means that he is able to devote intense attention to each student's unique needs and where they are in their practice and in their poses. Best of all, when Neel is asked a question, he really LISTENS closely and his answers are always thoughtful and detailed. He really listens very closely to and observes his students with great attention, and I always leave Neel's class with a great deal of fresh insight into my practice. My home practice has benefited greatly, and I find myself being much more attentive and mindful to the individual elements of every pose--even the ones that I haven't worked on in classes with Neel. The seemingly simple act of spending time, mindfully, in a small handful of poses has done more to teach me about the power of breath and the concept of relaxing into, rather than forcefully jamming myself into, asanas. Many of the openings I've experienced--not just in asanas but in my meditation practice--are due in no small part to the lessons I learn from seemingly 'little elements' of the poses in classes with Neel. Finally, the lighthearted and warm spirit of the classes makes them one of the most lovely parts of my week!