Testimonials - Teacher Training Course
Livia Maria Cordasco - Yoga Teacher, Italy
I try to be as brief as possible but I am "The Boss" so I use to talk much and do less...
I couldn't ever imagine, even when I first kept in touch with Teacher Neel Kulkarni, how the things would evolve during my Teacher Training course. I am sure that some particular signal, sent previously by myself to the Universe, has got his shape. It's like my personal cry, like I was unconsciously singing a Mantra, has been listened by Someone.
This experience has radically changed my life, giving me a concrete possibility of a new born into this world; another occasion for a step forward as a compete human being, I mean with body mind and soul. Just the presence of Neel is giving me the whole understanding of some ancient knowledge that maybe before I was precluding myself due to the society I am experiencing right now. Teacher training is giving me the discipline and the method to achieve my goal. I applied to the program of 100 hours TTC certification but since the first days, I started feeling a complete ignorant in this field, and, in spite what I knew seemed to be enough for me, I also started to comprehend my own mistakes. Neel is constantly giving me the strength to trust myself and to continue in this path as a young yogi. I started to feel like a lion, I mean as a royal, strong and aligned being. He really trained my mind, but not by forcing it in any way. So I was able to find the answers into myself. Continuing in this path will let me find the Ratio of this life.
PS I'd like to make a statement, that I didn't think so much for writing all these words: they just flew out by firsthand, maybe suggested by the soul.
Just one more thing: Won-Der-FulL
Livia the Boss
Anita Ianiello - Yoga Teacher, Italy
Note: Please see English translation after the original Italian
Testimonial Premetto che la mia esperienza con Neel è durata solo due settimane, tempo non sufficiente per avere una visione completa del sue insegnamento, ma, dalla sensazione che mi rimane, credo che neanche un anno intero con lui possa essere sufficiente per avere un idea completa di tutta la sua conoscenza. Detto questo posso dire che Il mio teacher training con Neel è stato un esperienza sfidante, ma , proprio per questo, estremamente utile: il modo di insegnare di Neel è molto diverso da ogni altro modo che abbia mai visto. Da un lato ha una profonda conoscenza delle basi dello Yoga: ho trovato le sue lezioni chiarissime e sono riuscita a comprendere molti degli aspetti dello Yoga che non avevo mai capito; aiuta anche moltissimo il fatto che Neel abbia un background matematico cosa che gli permette di schematizzare molto bene gli argomenti durante la lezione permettendo a chi lo ascolta di avere veramente una comprensione completa dell’argomento. Dall’altro lato ha molti anni di esperienza, di pratica e di insegnamento alle spalle, cosa che si nota già dalla prima lezione di Esercizi di Yoga che si fa con lui: con pochissime parole è in grado di dare istruzioni precise ai praticanti ed il suo occhio esperto coglie immediatamente in ogni studente le parti del corpo che vanno allineate ed allenate di più. La parte più interessante, però, per quanto mi riguarda, non sta nella quantità enorme di informazioni chiarissime che può trasmettere e neppure nella pratica con lui, ma piuttosto nella relazione esclusiva e personale che Neel costruisce giorno per giorno con i suoi studenti, una relazione basata sulla vita quotidiana, sulle reali necessità di ogni studente e sulle situazioni che si creano man mano durante il Teacher Training. Ed è qui che è iniziata la sfida per me: per accettare l’insegnamento di Neel ho dovuto abbandonare la mia zona di confort, le mie vecchie conoscenze e tutto quello che già sapevo, ma soprattutto ho dovuto costantemente essere disposta ad ammettere che di Yoga ne sapevo molto poco. Ho dovuto allenare la mia umiltà e lasciar andare la necessità di controllare tutto nel processo di apprendimento. Neel non ha peli sulla lingua e non è interessato ad elogiarti per quello che sai già fare, anzi piuttosto cerca spesso i tuoi limiti e te li mostra con franchezza perché tu possa costruire la tua pratica in maniera solida e diventare un insegnante efficace. Concludendo posso dire che se sei una persona realmente interessata nella crescita della pratica Yoga, se sei una persona disposta a mettersi in discussione continuamente, e vuoi imparare davvero come funziona la mente e dove si incastra, allora il Teacher Training con Neel Kulkarni fa per te.
I would like to point out that my experience with Neel lasted only two weeks, not enough time to have a complete insight into his teaching, but from the feeling I am left, I do not think even a full year with him will be enough to have a complete idea Of all his knowledge. That said, I can say that my teacher training with Neel has been a challenging experience, but that's why it is extremely useful: Neel's teaching style is very different from any other way I've ever seen.
On the one hand, he has a profound knowledge of the basics of Yoga: I found his lessons clear and I was able to understand many of the aspects of Yoga I had never understood; It also helps greatly that Neel has a mathematical background which allows him to schematize very well the topics during the lesson, allowing anyone listening to have a thorough understanding of the subject.
On the other hand, it has many years of experience, practice and teaching behind, which is already seen in the first lesson of Yoga Exercises that is done with him: with very few words it is able to give precise instructions to practitioners and His expert eye immediately seizes body parts in each student that are aligned and trained more.
The most interesting part, however, as far as I am concerned, is not in the tremendous amount of clear information he can convey, nor even in practice with him, but rather in the exclusive and personal relationship that Neel builds with his students day-to-day, a report Based on everyday life, on the real needs of every student and on the situations that are created during the Teacher Training. And this is where the challenge started for me: to accept Neel's teaching I had to abandon my comfort zone, my old knowledge and everything I already knew, but above all I had to be consistently admit to Yoga I knew very little about it. I had to train my humility and let go of the need to control everything in the learning process.
Neel has no hair on the tongue and is not interested in praising you for what you already know, but rather looks for your limits and shows them frankly so that you can build your practice firmly and become an effective teacher.
Concluding I can say that if you are a person really interested in the growth of Yoga practice, if you are a person who is constantly in question, and you really want to learn how your mind works and where he gets involved, then Teacher Training with Neel Kulkarni is for you .
Nicole Capell - California
Melinda Moraes Latanowski - Yoga Teacher, UK
Especialmente para usted que esta leyendo este testimonio, (English at the bottom)
Si estas en la búsqueda de un Yoga Autentico, Neel Kulkarni es un increíble maestro para emprender este viaje Yoguico.
Neel es Yoga por sí mismo, su vida esta dedicada al Yoga y la Filosofía Yoguica, por ello mi marido Stef y yo sinceramente apreciamos muchísimo su trabajo.
Ya formada en Yoga y como maestra de Yoga y otras artes, emprendí el viaje de entrenar con Neel, todo comenzó cuando empecé a traducir el libro AdhiYoga al español. Fue un placer traducirlo, ya que mas allá de la traducción, todo lo que fui aprendiendo y recalcando en mi vida día a día fue muy valioso, hay cosas que ya sabemos pero necesitamos que nos recuerden, por ello pienso que siempre todos debemos continuar nutriéndonos con conocimiento, y Neel realmente tiene mucho conocimiento.
Es increíble escucharlo cantar los Yoga Sutras de Patanjali, Mantras a Ganesha, etc, todos allí, en la punta de lengua, eso de por sí ya habla de su conocimiento sobre Yoga y la Filosofía de Yoga. Profundizando sobre el Baghavad Gita fue una experiencia muy enriquecedora, conocimiento que mas allá de escucharlo lo vas a ir incluyendo en tus clases.
Me encanto dedicar parte de mi entrenamiento al Canto Yogico, “Chanting”, es mágico conectar con la esencia del OM y del idioma Sanscrito, esa conexión divina ancestral, y Neel es un excelente maestro para ello. Estoy enamorada de los mantras que he aprendido, son una conexión divina con mi esencia.
Es difícil encontrar personas que dedican cada día de sus vidas al Yoga, y Neel es una de esas personas.
Fue interesante porque viniendo de una cultura sudamericana, ciertos puntos de vista son diferentes, pero Neel se tomó el tiempo para escuchar lo que tenía a decir al respecto, y ahora llegando al fin de mi entrenamiento puedo decir que he aprendido mucho. No hay nada que sea blanco o negro en la vida, y siempre hay algo que aprender e incorporar a nuestras vidas.
Gracias Neel de corazón por tu dedicación a mi entrenamiento.
Gracias por bendecir nuestro espacio de Yoga www.integralharmony.co.uk
Gracias por bendecir nuestro matrimonio con Stef.
Gracias por AdhiYoga y toda tu dedicación al Yoga.
Om Paz, Paz, Paz…
Maestra de Yoga Dance & Terapeuta Holistica, Melinda Moraes de Latanowski.
Especially for you who are reading this testimony,
If you are looking for the Authentic Yoga, Neel Kulkarni is an incredible teacher to undertake this Yogic journey.
Neel is Yoga himself as his life is dedicated to Yoga and Yoga Philosophy. Therefore, my husband Stef and myself sincerely appreciate his work very much.
Already trained in Yoga and teacher of Yoga and several arts, I undertook the journey of training with Neel. It started when I began to translate the book AdhiYoga into Spanish. It was a pleasure to translate it, since beyond the translation, everything I was learning and emphasizing in my life, day by day, was very valuable. There are things that we already know, but we need to be reminded, so I think that we should always continue to nourish ourselves with knowledge, and Neel really has a lot of knowledge.
It is incredible to hear him sing the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Mantras to Ganesha, etc., all these at the tip of the tongue, that in itself already speaks of his knowledge about Yoga and Yoga Philosophy. Going deep into the Baghavad Gita was a very enriching experience, knowledge that, beyond listening, you will include in your classes.
I loved to dedicate part of my training to the Chanting, it is magical to connect with the essence of the OM and the Sanskrit language, that ancestral divine connection, and Neel is an excellent teacher for it. I am in love with the mantras I have learned, they are a divine connection with my essence.
It's hard to find people who dedicate their daily lives to Yoga, and Neel is one of those people.
It was interesting because coming from South American culture, certain points of view are different, but Neel took the time to listen to what I had to say about itj. Now coming to the end of my training, I can say that I learned a lot. There is nothing that is black or white in life, and there is always something to learn and incorporate into our lives.
Thank you Neel from the heart for your dedication to my training.
Thank you for blessing our Yoga space www.integralharmony.co.uk
Thank you for blessing my marriage to Stef.
Thank you for AdhiYoga and all your dedication to Yoga.
Melinda Moraes of Latanowski
Yoga Teacher Dance & Holistic Therapist
Nancy Anderson - Yoga Teacher in California
Over the years, I have read many translations of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, constantly trying to deepen my understanding of the lessons. I have attended classes and workshops on the Sutras attempting to find ways I can apply them to my daily life. None of these seemed to resonate completely with me. There always seemed to be something missing, something I wasn’t quite understanding.
Neel brought a whole new way of looking at the Sutras to the class. I gained a deeper understanding of the philosophy the Sutras come from. He presented a logical progression to the concepts in the Sutras, pulling similar topic ideas together from all four books. Neel gave me a much deeper and clear understanding of the subject ma!er. I am extremely grateful to have been able to learn from Neel. His vast knowledge of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and his teachings have given me a different way to approach and think about the Yoga Sutras.
Nancy Anderson, Yoga Instructor
Jen Steadman - Senior Yoga Teacher, California
There is a familiar adage that almost everyone has heard, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This is exactly how I feel about Dr. Neel Kulkarni. For years I had longed to study Yoga Philosophy with a teacher who speaks and understands Sanskrit and who is well versed in the ancient texts. Not only is Neel a Sanskrit scholar, his knowledge of India’s vast philosophical texts is exceptional. His teachings have given me a comprehensive overview of various ancient writings and a deeper, clearer understanding of texts that I was already familiar with. With his guidance, I am experiencing these sacred writings in a new light. He makes the material accessible and takes whatever time is necessary to answer all questions that arise.
Neel, thank you for sharing your knowledge, your generosity of spirit, your devotion and enthusiasm for the teachings with me. I have found my time with you to be very fulfilling and relevant to my life. I look forward to continuing philosophy studies with you.
Certified Yoga Instructor and Lifelong Student
Clayton Yoga Shala - California
May 25, 2017
Thank you Neel for our 2nd year of teacher training in the Shala! You’ve been a great asset to our community in teaching Authentic Yoga - something not too easily found these days. It has been my great pleasure to attend your workshops, read your books, listen to your lectures and chanting, and to learn the AdhiYoga system. Mostly I am happy to have such a bright and pure soul like yours to call my friend and teacher! I am so impressed with your knowledge and experience, and the way you present the ancient and esoteric information in such concise and clear manner. Your understanding of the philosophy and tradition of Yoga is astounding. I look forward to many years of work and friendship and learning together.
Thank you, thank you for all you do - for all of us serious students of Yoga!
Love & Peace,
Owner, Clayton Yoga Shala
Julie White - 500 hour Teacher Trainee and Yoga Teacher in California
First, I’d like to share that I am very grateful for all of my time spent with Dr. Neel Kulkarni. Whether it be in personal study, in the classroom or just sipping chai, I learn something new every time we are together. His wealth and breadth of knowledge comes from a lifetime of personal experience.
When I approached Neel to take me on as a student, I knew that my training would be great. What I didn’t expect was such a personalized training - both in subject matter and time spent with him. He always takes the appropriate time to study a subject and make sure you have the tools you need to understand it. He has an innate ability to meet you where you are and take you on a personal journey with each subject you study.
Beyond the usual subjects offered in teacher trainings, I had the opportunity to study more in-depth philosophy directly from the ancient texts, and the importance of chanting and meditation in my own practice and how (and when) to introduce those subjects to my students. He also offered a fresh (and sometimes very different) perspective on the more common lessons like teaching vinyasa, the use of props in the classroom and even the format for which we can teach.
My view of yoga has been expanded and forever changed. What I valued most about my time with Neel was his view on the teachings. He was always inclusive of all of the trainings and lessons I have had in the past and was clear that he was offering me his knowledge. If you are looking for a teacher with a lifetime of wonderful knowledge, look no further!
Thank you Neel!
Marisol Fusion - 500 hour Trainee, California
Dear Future Yoga Student,
If you are reading this testimonial that means you have chosen to take the journey into personal growth. Let me start off with sharing this is written from the heart and it is intended to share my experience through the 500 hour Teacher Training with Neel Kulkarni. This has been a 2-year journey for me which has allowed me time to really understand the wealth of knowledge Neel has shared. Adhiyoga is not another style of yoga postures, it is an authentic approach which allows you to experience the true essence of Yoga. Neel teaches to the individual and through his book you will learn many concepts. Each chapter has a sutra written by Neel and filled with information which will help you gain a deeper understanding of Yoga. Neel’s dedication to sharing Yoga with everyone, anytime, any place is his true essence. He teaches in any setting…literally…in an RV, at the park, in a parking lot, and in a classroom. He will extend your horizon in many ways!
Neel is dedicated in student growth in many areas. He offers books, videos, CD’s, and translations in a variety of languages. He truly is dedicated to sharing Yoga knowledge with everyone. He offers philosophy (including Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad-Gita, and more), chanting, pranayama, meditation, yoga exercise, lectures, workshops, and homework assignments to keep you moving forward it your studies. Throughout this Teacher Training you will get a chance to work with other trainees and become close friends through this journey. Even though each of you may take a different path you will always have this common bond.
I started this journey because I wanted to gain more knowledge about Yoga postures and ended up learning so much more. I learned more about myself than ever imagined. This experience will give you the tools you need to take your practice further and any direction you want. Neel's teachings will give you wings to fly and a heart filled with desire to share Yoga with others.
Marisol G Fuson
15 April 2017
Stephanie Koteles - California
I came to yoga after medically retiring from education. I have my multiple subjects teaching credential, CLAD credential, English supplemental credential and master’s in school counseling. I retired after a lumbar spinal fusion was deemed “failed” and I live with nerve damage in both legs and almost constant pain. Yoga helps me. I believe I have avoided further surgeries through yoga practice.
The longer I did yoga, the more I wanted to know. I took workshops that were offered and recommended to me.
Neel Kulkarni appeared at Clayton Yoga Shala, my studio, in the spring of 2015. I attended one of his workshops and was blown away by his knowledge.
The 200-hour teacher training program was announced that fall to be completed in the spring of 2016 and spring of 2017. I was very interested and signed up.
Neel’s teacher training is like no other available in the United States. His is personal and directed for each individual student and is also universal, covering many topics. Neel lectured and answered any questions in such topics such as “Om,” chanting, yoga nidra, meditation, pranayama, yoga philosophy, yoga sutras of Patanjali, nutrition and how it all integrates into the 21st century.
In today’s world yoga usually means to go to class and learn poses. The original yoga was developed thousands of years ago as a system to end sorrow or dissatisfaction. The asanas were developed to go through the body to the mind. The true goal is to focus the mind and to achieve liberation from the world of sorrow by merging with Ishwara.
Neel wrote and published a book, Adhiyoga Authentic Yoga System. In it he flipped the premise on its head. Neel maintains that humans are not trying to avoid sorrow; they are searching for happiness. They should decide on a goal that is achievable for your situation and make steps towards achieving it.
It is with this as a guiding principle, that Neel runs his teacher training. He individualizes each trainee’s training per the goals decided upon between himself and the trainee. Neel is very dedicated to assisting his students to reach their goals. Neel has been known to meet his students early in the morning for yoga exercise and meditation, fast with them, find them students to practice with, and much more.
Everyone must keep notebooks. We create our own pose notebook, then have notebooks for questions that arise, homework, class lectures, teaching notes, observation notes and personal interest notebooks. Neel encourages us to write many things, but much of his teaching of yoga teachers is experiential. Neel will tell you to do something. If you ask why, his answer often is, “You will know.” Or “You will come to know.” If you ask questions, he will answer with other questions for you to answer or consider. Sometimes you feel frustrated and want to just say, “Just tell me Neel!” but his Socratic type method works. You do learn and discover more his way and find your own way as opposed to trying to copy someone else’s way.
Iva Jean Maguda, California
I turned to yoga initially as an outlet during a time of great trial in my life. I wanted to find something that would divert my attention and make me feel better about myself. I began practicing and taking classes at a handful of studios, it wasn’t until I came to Clayton Yoga Shala that I had the chance to meet Neel. His reputation and expertise in the yoga field are so well respected, when the opportunity to study under Neel arose, I knew this would be a once in a lifetime prospect.
When I first began yoga the benefit I thought would be the forefront of my journey was physical. Being able to move my body, be good to it, care for it and keep it healthy. After my study under Neel I was shown the true way of Adhiyoga and connected with it. Neel’s teacher training was an invaluable experience. His approach first and foremost is based on the individual. His keen sense of observation allows him to see my abilities as well as my limitations. Neel uses his knowledge and keen intuition to help conquer any obstacles and also to enhance and encourage my abilities. Within my training each of my limitations were addressed so that the progress I made in overcoming them strengthened me not only as a person but a practitioner.
Every aspect of what I thought yoga was or what it was to me was changed by my learning under Neel. His training is based on the ancient tradition and text of Patanjali's Sutras. Neel is a master of these scriptures. He brought them into modern day as a tool to help others develop and accomplish goals within the yoga practice and life. He has done this by converting them into common language that can really be applied to everyday living. Neel takes any task big or small and makes it a step by step process. This is a huge part of his teaching, the simple development of a yoga pose broken down step by step can be a metaphor for how Neel’s teaching shows you to approach everything in life. It’s through this I learned that it’s not the end of the pose that is the ultimate level of success rather the steps that you take and the mental and physical journey it took to get to that pose.
From this experience and opportunity I walk away with more than I could have ever imagined. I have the confidence and connection to the philosophy based on Patanjali's Sutras. I will continue to practice Neel’s teachings and apply them to my practice and life daily. The discipline, confidence, and self-awareness I have gained through this teacher training class is more than a class, it is the beginning of my journey. Before this process my home practice was limited; I now have a strong and ever growing home practice. I am honored to carry the tradition of authentic yoga and style and more importantly continue to teach this style of yoga not just as a practice of the body but as a total mind and body connection.
Thank you Neel
Iva J. Maguda
Lori Hartline, Teacher, California
It has been an honor and a privilege to work with yoga master teacher Dr. Neel Kulkarni over the past year to earn my 200-hour yoga teacher certification through the Authentic Yoga Teacher Training Program. I have been practicing yoga for 11 years and I am a credentialed special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the department of Educational Psychology at California State University, East Bay. I have taught special education students for the past 31 years and am currently teaching students in a Mental Health Collaborative program in Bay Point, California. I am fortunate in that my school administrators have allowed me to teach yoga to my students a couple of times each week for the last three years. I also teach a yoga class to adult staff and teachers at my school once a week.
I participated in a yoga teacher-training course elsewhere, yet I did not complete it. When I met Neel, I had the chance to complete my yoga teacher training. I wanted to complete my yoga teacher training with Neel for many reasons, but the most important was because Neel is a very sincere yoga teacher and his techniques for teaching yoga teachers seemed like a great match for me. Neel was very willing and flexible to work with my busy schedule. We met in person, through private message and messenger live chat. Neel took into account my background, experience, and tailored my yoga teacher-training program around my goals and experience.
By working with Neel, I believe I have improved my personal yoga practice in many ways. I now have a home yoga and meditation practice, which I did not have before. During my asana yoga practice, I believe I have better focus and I can concentrate on my breath work, the calming of my mind, and I am more connected to my body (by going inside to watch from within, to see how the posture looks and feels to me). I mention this because by improving my personal yoga practice, I believe I can then be a better teacher and yoga teacher to my students.
During my yoga teacher training with Neel, I studied many aspects of yoga, which also included reading his comprehensive book Adhiyoga Authentic Yoga System of Neel Kulkarni. As mentioned above Neel tailored my yoga teacher training to meet my individual needs. The training included lectures/discussions with Neel on philosophy, health, yoga exercises, the spiritual aspects of yoga, meditation, and chanting to name a few. Neel also answered all of my many questions that I had around the Adhiyoga book, my yoga students or teaching yoga that came up. The most important and fundamental aspect of my training was learning how to teach yoga. This is not a simple concept, but Neel helped me to understand what I needed to teach yoga and how to be a better teacher of yoga.
Another aspect of the yoga teacher training included picking 20 poses (of my choice) and creating a diagram of each pose and seven points for what should happen in the pose (Entry, In Pose, Exit, Time, and Breathing. More Observations and a Reviews sections were later added.) This was crucial because Neel did not ask me to memorize a script to teach each pose, but rather design my own script. This was a wonderful way for me to learn more about each asana and further understand how to teach each pose. I now have a detailed notebook on 20 asanas, which I will continue to use and add on to as I continue to teach yoga.
Part of the yoga teacher training included writing down teaching notes I observed or thought about anytime I took a yoga class or taught a yoga class. This was very valuable because it helped me to reflect on the many parts of a single class whether it be Pranayama (yogic breathing), individual asanas, Vinyasas (combing asanas in a series), sequencing of asanas during a class, chanting, and/or meditation. If I thought it was important, I wrote it in my notebook. I now have an invaluable resource, my notebook with many important notes, thoughts, ideas, and observations from the classes I taught or practiced.
A final aspect of my teacher training was to have Neel observe me while I taught my yoga classes. I was grateful to have him observe my teaching. Neel videotaped (with permission) one of my classes. He also gave genuine and constructive feedback and written notes for me to keep and review. Teaching yoga to middle school students is very different then teaching yoga to adults and Neel understood that and gave suggestions for both types of classes.
Anyone who is interested in learning how to be a yoga teacher should take Dr. Neel Kulkarni’s Authentic Yoga Teacher Training Program. Neel is an extremely knowledgeable and highly experienced yoga teacher who is willing to work with individuals or groups. Students will learn a better understanding of their own yoga practice, which will enable them to become a more qualified yoga teacher. Neel’s background and wealth of knowledge on the topic of yoga, his amazing Adhiyoga book, coupled with his sense of humor and willingness to work with the individual yoga teacher in training is invaluable. I highly recommend his yoga teacher training course to anyone who is interested.
M.S.Ed. Special Education
Riverview Middle School
Bay Point, CA. 94565
March 6, 2017
Jyoti Chavan, Pune
Hello, My Name is Jyoti Chavan, and I was a lecturer in one of the well-known colleges in Pune. I worked for short span of time, and I had to give up my job due to family priorities. I like teaching and I am, bit passionate about teaching.
I always wished in my free time, if I had a teaching job, which permits me to teach in my free time and convenient to me, after family priorities. The teacher inside me kept me awake and thoughtful about, what can I do to fulfil my passion for teaching.
After long deliberation and thinking, I decided to become a Yoga Teacher. I also perceived the growing importance of Yoga in future lifestyle and health related issues. The growing awareness of YOGA and its benefit to health (body and mind), will make it indispensable part of everyone’s life in near future. I decided to perceive the profession of Yoga Teacher. I always thought, when you are growing kids or teenage, during your early of part of the life, is the best stage to introduce Yoga practise in your lifestyle.
I had lots of challenges, as I decided to become Yoga Teacher. I had to start from ground zero. I knew, nothing about Yoga. I had no idea, where to take up the yoga teacher’s training course. I started surfing on internet, and I came across few professional Yoga Institute who offered the Teacher’s Training Course. As I spoke and interacted with these institutes, I developed a perception about how does this operates. It is typically either week-day batches or week-end batches, 4 to 5 hours of training to be completed in a week. Depending on Nos. of hours completed, you get the certifications like 50 hours, 100 hours, and 200 hours. There will be large nice yoga studio and expert yoga teachers, they shall teach us, various Yoga Aasana, to make us expert like them.
But this was my perception of ideal institute to take up Yoga Teacher’s Training Course, only until, I came across Adhiyoga. When I found Adhiyoga on internet, went through all credentials of Neel Kulkarni Sir and red all testimonial from their student across different age group and professions, I developed a very high curiosity about Adhiyoga.
I decided to visit and check the institute to get feel of my perception of an ideal Institute to take up the teacher’s training course for Yoga. But I got little disappointed, when I found, there was no large studio or Yoga hall, no receptionist, no office, no batches, no predefined programs or schedule, no posters ! Nothing. It was his house, where He was residing alone. I had my reservations, until, I had my first session with Neel Kulkarni Sir.
During first session, he developed a very friendly conversation and made me very comfortable, in no time. He asked me to demonstrate, Suryanamskara. Later, I understood, he was making a judgement about my capacity, flexibility and my purpose of learning Yoga.
He had very unique and different style of training the student. Depending upon your purpose, capacity and flexibility, he customises the training programme for you, without decorating the programme, very specific to achieve your purpose or objective. Every Student gets separate and personal programme, specially designed to suit his capacity and purpose.
As training progressed, I started realising that, I am being trained by an internationally very well-known Yoga expert. During my classes, Neel sir used to receive calls from different part of the world, Europe, USA, Russia to name few countries. He has Students everywhere in the world, and unknowingly, I happened to be one amongst them, I felt quite proud and lucky!
During the training, I realized what Yoga really is and how to adopt it. He is very systematic and never wastes our time. He teaches poses in a systematic step by step manner. He makes the Yoga exercises easy to understand and perform. He encourages us to modify as well as create our own Yoga exercises. He has great knack of simplifying most complex theory or Aasana.
He can convert any exercise into a Yoga exercise and he always finds methods to do get that exercise done.
I must thank him, for going out of the way, and checking up with his references in schools, so as to provide me an opportunity to learn in real environment. He made stupendous efforts to get me very practical training, spent less or no time in theory.
Finally, he got me opportunity in nearby school, where I am practising to teach Yoga to students.
I decided and started my journey on 7th Jan 2017, and today, on 12th Feb 2017, after merely one month, I am teaching Yoga at school and have developed very high confidence. When I look back, I don’t believe this!
He is the most influential and passionate teacher, I have ever come across.
I promise sir, one day I will make you feel pride, being one of your pride student.
I highly recommend his training to many aspirants like me, who want to perceive profession in Yoga teaching or coaching. Neel Kulkarni sir is the best Guru, if you have no time to waste. There is nothing practical than this !
Thank you, Neel Sir!
Shashikala Bikkannawar - Yoga Teacher, Belgaum, India
This is my 2nd Yoga Teacher Training. But, the system of Neel Kulkarni is quite different from what I have experienced before. Due to Adhiyoga - Authentic Yoga System of Neel Kulkarni, I realized what Yoga really is. He is very systematic and never wastes our time. He teaches poses in a systematic step by step fashion. He makes the Yoga exercises easy to understand and perform. He encourages us to modify as well as create our own Yoga exercises.
This is my first training with Neel Kulkarni and I never thought I would get such a wonderful opportunity to study with him.
He can convert any exercise into a Yoga exercise and he always finds methods to do get that exercise done.
The time with him was really great and I hope to study with him again.
Viacheslav Svitailo, Yoga Teacher, Saint Petersburg, Russia - 19.01.2017
First time I studyed with Neel in November 2016. It was 200 hours TTC. I was novice in Yoga field, so I didn'n even know what to ask and what to studying Yoga.That time I gained so much Knowledge and practice tips so it was enough for more than one year to practise without lot of questions. After 1 year I understood that I want to know more and go deeper into Yoga. I already taught more than 100 students and questions and interest in Yoga were growing with number of students and practice.I decided to take 50 more hours from Neel. I exactly knew what I want from this study and I got it and even more.Now I have deeper understanding of Yoga philosophy and roots of it. It motivates me to do my daily practice. All questions about teaching my students were answered. Now I can teach variety of classes including different kinds of physical exercise classes, breathing classes, health classes, even philosophy classes.One thing left is to integrate it in my daily routine. And I will do it.Thank you Neel for such deep knowledge and for the way how you give this knowledge
Bharati V Nikam, Yoga Teacher, Belgaum, India
I have been practicing Yoga for almost 10 years and have so much passion for Yoga and in quest to learn more and more, wanting to know life, to know me. I was in search of Teacher to know Yoga not at physical level but more, and finally I came in contact with Neel Sir in Belgaum, He was here for a seminar on Philosophy. Neel Sir is a wonderful person, great teacher, friend, and mentor, so down to earth, full of energy, enthusiastic, he likes to talk and it’s nice to listen him. Neel Sir is full of knowledge not only by reading but self practiced, you will know anything and everything about Yoga from him.
Neel Sir’s Adhiyoga Authentic Yoga System (AYS), a great book covering valid points on dealing Life in Modern world. The teaching method is so unique and different, step wise and as per capacity of a person and at the same time also one getting to know own capacity and further getting mastery over it. He makes us to think over the matter and be creative.
I like the Teaching method, it so simple and realistic though we have to give more time for practice for self improvement. My training was for very short time but for sure I will be taking more training from Neel Sir in future to enhance my Passion for Yoga, further to deepen my knowledge and to teach Yoga. He is the Best teacher I have ever met.
I like this Happy Face, Look within…. His main focus is to keep happy face, watching the body from within which is helpful to understand the pose from inside, not only at physical level but also at mental level.
Anyone who is in quest of learning Yoga, Neel Kulkarni is your stop…
Thank you Neel Sir….Best wishes….
Shama Rana, Yoga Teacher, and a Yoga Studio Owner, Pune, India
I am a recent graduate in RYT500 from the Authentic Yoga Teacher Training programme. My name is Shama Rana – Founder and Owner of Samsara–The Yoga Studio, NIBM Road, Pune. Over the years practicing and teaching Yoga and based on the positive feedback and encouragement I received I realized Yoga was my calling and decided to take it further by exploring its various forms. With the mission to help people experience inner peace and bring balance in their lives I started my own Yoga studio. Teaching Yoga and Meditation had become an activity which consumed me. I got good reviews from my clients and received requests to start offering Teacher Training Certifications at my yoga studio. But before I ventured into any such activity I wanted to strengthen my knowledge further and to get myself a RYT500 Certification through Yoga Alliance. I did not want to study just for a certification, I was seeking somebody who could take my learning to the next level. After a lot of research on the net I finalised Saee Tech, The Authentic Yoga School of Neel Kulkarni. Going through Neel’s profile on his website and reading about his extensive body of work in this field based on his years of personal practice and teaching experience and the fact that he is an Engineer from IIT, I expected to find a teacher who is methodical in his approach and I was right in thinking so.
I myself am a graduate in Chemical Engineering from IIT Mumbai, but my quest to understand LIFE - body, mind and spirit, led me deeper into Fitness, Yoga and Meditation. I have trained and obtained a certification in Fitness and Club Management from Abhimanyu Sable’s ABS Fitness and Wellness Club, Pune. I did my Yoga Teacher’s Training with The Yoga Light Studios of Ajay Naik and later also got certified in Medical Yoga Therapy at the Unnati Yoga Therapy Centre. Training in Medical Yoga Therapy under the guidance of Dr. Vineeta Ketkar who has worked with the pioneers in this field like Yogacharya Shri BKS Iyengar, Dr S. M. Hardikar and Dr. S. V. Karandikar (founder Kabir Baug Yoga therapy) helped me gain a deeper understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the body, the root causes of the diseases and the why and how of the various medical yoga techniques.
Armed with this background I was wondering how my course will pan out over the next few months. On the first day of my training with Neel I was made aware that there would be no structure as such to this training programme but the way Neel was making a note each and every detail of all the activities that I was involved in, on a whiteboard, I was convinced that I was in the right place at the right time. Yes, being there and fully present is important and you will learn something new each day from him. He is very systematic and meticulous in his work and makes a note of everything. He decided to build up on my existing knowledge. He customises classes for each student. He prefers to teach a small group of students and he assesses your eligibility before you join him. Learning with him is more of a hands on experience which you will never probably find in any other teacher trainee programme. He has a mastery in doing all the yoga poses. You have to watch him in action breaking each pose into small steps, every step well documented and demonstrated making it easy for the student to follow through, even the difficult advanced poses like headstand, shoulderstand, handstand, etc.
It has been a wonderful journey with Neel Sir. He is very adventurous and loves to talk. He used to take us everywhere, to different schools where he would teach us and show us how the classes should be taught. Teaching yoga to kids is my goal too and he slowly introduced me to the method of teaching yoga to school children. At a very young age we should make them aware of what this body-mind complex and yoga is all about. What are the various joints, the muscles in the body? Why the fuss on being healthy, eating right? How to breathe better? What is the mind and what is meditation? Why do we need this body - this body being our vehicle to move around in this world? What do we teach the kids? How do we teach them? How should be your body language? I learnt the finer nuances from him to it make it more interesting for the kids and to build their enthusiasm.
He has given us beautiful teaching methods. How to create the structure of the session? What should be the theme? How your mind should be focussed at all times on what you are doing. Who are you teaching? He places a lot of emphasis that a yoga teacher trainee start practicing and teaching from day one, start making observations of his/her own strengths and limitations and chart a new way forward, becoming better and better each day. There is a constant follow up on your progress.
Yoga for Weight Loss in in great demand today so my requirement was to learn how to deal with such clients. I got training in Aerobic Yoga for weight loss here. Got intensive training in all the weight loss postures. Besides that he also conducted a weight loss workshop in my studio. I learnt a lot of new postures from Neel. Each and every posture that he teaches us, it is not like a regular posture documented in yoga books. I can say, that understanding, that insight, comes from years of practicing postures and experience with your body, the structure of your body – the anatomy, physiology of it. I gained a lot of insights from him, very minute details, I don’t think I would have got it anywhere else. It is my biggest strength of coming here to Neel Sir.
I also got training in Flow Yoga/Power Yoga/Vinyasa, how to create your own vinyasa sequences, I also learnt all the advanced level postures and how to do teach them with the use of props. He trained us to be creative in the use of props for doing various postures and device our own props. Shavansana, Yoga Nidra and Meditation were an important part of my training course. To train me into Adhiyoga he conducted a Meditation workshop on Adhiyoga Techniques at my studio.
I had read the book written by him ‘Adhiyoga’ - The Authentic Yoga System before joining the course. He has covered all aspects of Yoga in detail in this book which will help the modern man in the contemporary society to understand what ‘Yoga’ is. It is not just physical exercises. Neel has written another book on ‘Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’ which can be an invaluable guide for Yoga Students worldwide. We went through this book chapter by chapter as part of the Yoga philosophy training, breaking each and every level of Samadhi, the siddhis acquired and all the practices that are required to reach Kaivalya. He introduced me to me to Chanting too. Also studied Vedic Philosophy and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. I gained an in-depth knowledge of Yoga Philosophy, an understanding of the practices to attain liberation, It was so enlightening. It whetted my appetite to read more on this Subject. He got two more books for me to read, ‘The Gheranda Samhita’ and ‘The Shiv Samhita’.
My aim of strengthening myself as a Yoga Teacher served its purpose. Having acquired an RYT500 Certification and a lot of experience and understanding of the teaching methodology and the various forms of Yoga and also Adhiyoga, I hope to teach with the same zeal, dedication and passion as him. Thank you Neel.
Yoga Trainer & Medical Yoga Therapist; Fitness Trainer; Fellowship in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine; Life Coach
Founder and Owner - Samsara –The Yoga Studio, NIBM Road, Pune, India.
Neha Gaikwad, Yoga Teacher, Pune
This was my 2nd Yoga teacher training with Neel Kulkarni. Beginning of the course I had some arguments with him regarding the structure of the class.But slowly as I took the course further understood his weird style.He doesn’t waste your time teaching you something you already know. He modifies the course according to your needs. Taking you out of your comfort zone. Not only he trains you to be a Versatile yoga teacher. He incorporates discipline in you and directs you how to practice it.
His Adhiyoga Authentic Yoga System(AYS) is based on a series of very clear and valid points for todays lifestyle. I like his teaching style which is interesting and simple. I Especially like the way of teaching the poses in stages. It is very useful for inexperienced yoga practitioners and also for the advanced students to get safely in the final position. Preparing the parts of your body by focusing on all the points. His main concept of watching the body from inside is helpful to understand the pose from inside.
Only one point I felt his training was missing. Neel emphasises too much on teaching a class and sometimes he ignores the theory part. Apart from it I am very happy and satisfied with the training. Now looking forward to grow my practice and understanding in Yoga.
Isaura Maglio, Yoga Teacher, Milan, Italy; Owner of Ishwaraa Yoga, Italy
This is my third Yoga Teacher Training with Neel Kulkarni. This year, I had the pleasure of hosting his training in my new yoga studio in Grottollela. This yoga studio was born out of his wise and broad-minded advice. I feel privileged to continue my growth in the field of Yoga with Neel Kulkarni. His Adhiyoga - Authentic Yoga System (AYS) is based on a series of very clear and valid concepts. Above all, it understandable to newcomers to Yoga and also, beneficial to current practitioners and teachers of Yoga. I highly recommend anyone to read his book and follow his method.
Neel Kulkarni is an extraordinary teacher, with a special personality and unique methods. In his teaching, you find extreme logic, special attention to techniques for Yoga exercises, focusing of mind, right use of time to scan, and better organisation of a lesson.
During this short and intense course of two weeks, we have had the opportunity to study exercises, pranayama, bandhas, teaching techniques, Vinyasa, mantras, and philosophy, to name a few topics. Above all, as always, lots and lots of practice of physical exercises, both in the personal and practical so in-depth study of asanas in detail, both in terms of exploration of ourselves for the creation of new exercises. One of Neel's qualities that fascinates me is that he is always able to turn my mind to ever new discovery of myself and my body. He pushes his students to form their own style, not to be a copy of others, but to know themselves in depth so as to be able in every situation to bring out their own individual capabilities and qualities. I love his approach to practice the exercises, it is direct, clear, and well studied. He is able to make any object an interesting and surprising practical tool. Also with regard to the theoretical and philosophical part of Yoga, he is able to express and synthesise very large and challenging concepts, in a few simple and concise words. It really is worth to get an experience of study and living with him, there is a lot to learn!
Teresa Nuvola, Yoga Teacher, Napoli
The teaching system designed by Neel Kulkarni, (as indeed the one he formulated and termed "Adhiyoga") is entirely logical, linear, and complete. Its structure is most simple. One can
immediately perceive many years of dedication that led to create and improve Adhiyoga. This method is highly effective in leading a yoga class, giving the most out of each session.
The same effectiveness is present in training and preparing future teachers, who develop, in their students, maximum mental concentration, maximum physical results, the understanding and the study of each Asana, Sutra or philosophical concept.
His approach to physical exercises is extremely interesting. To study with him is illuminating, it never ceases to amaze me !!!
He succeeds in converting any exercise into a Yoga exercise, always finding unique and imaginative ways to understand the work to be done in each Asana, so as to adapt it to any need, physical or otherwise situation.
This is my third teacher training with him, and it still manages to astound me with the use of media out of the ordinary, out of the ordinary exercises, and practices out of the ordinary. Certainly Neel is a teacher outside the lines, for better or for worse!
Filippo Lo Gatto, Physiotherapist, Italy
I met Neel in the Summer of 2015. I immediately realised his authenticity as a Yoga Teacher. I got physical and mental benefits from the classes I took with him. With time, he proved to be a great friend in addition to being a great teacher. So, I decided to join his teacher training. I studied in London for a month and in France for a half.
In London, Neel's location was very far from my location. Therefore, reaching him was not regular in time. But, he was always available to me with dedication. In addition to strong teaching skills, I learnt a lot about myself, physically as well as mentally. Neel has training and experience necessary to provide knowledge of yoga in all its aspects, thus preparing student for optimal individual as well as teaching practice.
The last 15 days we spent in a wonderful place in the north of France: fresh air, lots of green, rooms suitable to the practice and the right company helped make the perfect workout. This was in addition to the continuous supervision of the teacher. I was benefitted with sharing studies and practice with highly talented and enthusiastic trainees. The experience was extremely positive.
Thanks for the opportunity that Neel has given me and for his sincere friendship. I wish him the best of luck and the greatest happiness possible; that his desires come true and may he always continue to teach with passion and with happy face. May the winds always be in his favour.
Filippo Lo Gatto
Ariane Allo, France
I had a very good experience of the YTT with Neel. His method brings you to build up your own practice according to your goal and your capacities. He realy takes the time to know each of the student and gives day by day appropriate work to each of them. I found it makes your learning process very efficient. He also gives you all the tips to improve your self practice during and after the training.
I enjoyed in a particular way his method to explain the yoga poses and to explain how you can teach them, with props when needed. You have first to observe and study the pose by your self and in a second moment you can benefit from Neel's deep knowledge about the pose. Neel also teachs how to use the space and the objects you have to practice the poses and improve them. So you can find out how you can practice in many different spaces, not just in yoga studios.
I realy appreciated that he encourages you to find your own definition of yoga and to clarify what is your aim by teaching Yoga. I'm sure it's a very important thing to have a clear goal when you teach, whatever you teach.
In his training you may have the opportunity to teach after a very small time (if your goal is to teach of course), and I found it very usefull because you know from the begining concrete points you have to keep in mind when you are teaching. You also have a good preparation about the philosofic basis of Yoga and the theory of classical and applied meditation. Who is interested can also have very good chant lessons. Neel has a deep passion for music and encourage you to include it in your practice. For sure, you will get inspired by hearing him chanting in any moment of the day!
Jennifer Van Wyck, Psychologist, Canada
I came to Neel's teacher training not knowing anything about Neel or what to expect. All I knew was that for some reason I had to go. Neel makes being a yoga teacher accessible, he's encouraging, patient and wise. These two weeks have been a deep spiritual and emotional journey for me and I feel very ready to take on the future. Thank you so much Neel for your wisdom, guidance, and support. I will see you again! Jennifer van Wyck
Geraldine Waring, France
I have completed my 200 hour Adhiyoga teacher training with Neel Kulkarni. It has been the most special two weeks as Neel has the gift of working with each persons strengths and helping them identify the direction they are going towards in their teaching as well as life goals.
Neel works with small groups which is a great advantage for the trainee. He teaches with dedication, patience a sense of humour and fun and is a man of great knowledge and accomplishment. During the two weeks I have a real sense of personal development as well as improved yoga knowledge, philosophy and self improvement with my practice.
I have worked for thirty years in the fitness industry and fully recommend Neel's unique training methods which are suitable for those starting out on their teaching career as well as those of experience. The two weeks gives you a chance to absorb and internalise the information and develop your own style of teaching which is some thing Neel helps you with a lot. I particularly enjoyed the yoga chanting as I was always shy about singing but through this course have enjoyed the chanting and benefits it brings. Neel always chooses locations which add to the experience of the training, in nature and tranquil. My 100 hour certificate last year was in Italy and this years 200 hour certificate took place in the French countryside.
The course has definitely given me the confidence to teach.
July 2016 Location France
Marisol Fuson, California
Neel is a unique yoga teacher. He is uplifting, inspiring, rejuvenating and helps his students push through mental barriers they didn’t even know they had. Neels connects with everyone in his training. He takes the time to really get to know all students and will individualise each person’s training to meet their goals. Neel is welcoming and makes the best Chai tea! His hallmark quote is “focus the mind” at first you might gloss over this idea but by the end of the training you truly understand it…it might become your hallmark quote too. Neel really loves and respects all aspects of Yoga and his energy is inspirational.
Neel lets his authentic personality shine through in each of his classes from workshops to lectures to private classes. He can teach yoga anywhere! His classroom can be a park, a rock formation, a classroom, a studio or even a small room. His light heartedness shines through. He makes everyone feel comfortable with the power of a smile wether you’ve practiced yoga for years or are a newbie who’s self-conscious. Neel is fun and knows how to shake the seriousness out of us with his hilarious personal anecdotes while still conveying a deeper message. He loves music and brings chanting into his teaching.
His guidance encourages his students to continue their yoga path. Neel brings yoga to life and helps students realise yoga surrounds us everywhere. His teaching is fresh and authentic. He has a deep knowledge of yoga and passion to share it with everyone. He lives and breathes what he teaches.
Marisol Fuson, Clayton, California
16 April 2016
Ivonne Siabato Londono, Pilot
With Neel and his Adhiyoga (Authentic Yoga) System, you can learn to live philosophy, meditation and yoga exercises. I found the concepts of Breathing/Pranayama are systematic and concrete, with exceptional methodology.
Nicole Elizabeth Capell, Electrician, California
Stephanie Koteles, Retired Teacher, California
I first met Neel in the spring of 2015 when I attended a lecture he gave at my yoga studio. He was so knowledgeable. When the teacher training was announced and I found out the trainer was Neel, I very much wanted to attend. It took a bit of doing but, now half way through my 200 hour teacher training course with Neel Kulkarni through Clayton Yoga Shala, my understanding of yoga has changed. Before yoga was asanas, now it is bringing “focus to the mind.” Neel’s Adihyoga system of teaching has the student looking inward from the first. Neel believes a student must build capacity and build up to a difficult pose so as to be correct and safe once a student achieves that asana. It is all about defining your goal and logically taking steps towards it.
Neel himself is wonderful. He is caring and positive. He teaches the group but also meets with each student individually and helps them first identify and then take steps towards that goal. He is beyond knowledgeable. Neel has read and studied yoga and yogic texts for over half his life. He has studied under many great masters and has been all over the world. Neel teaches his authentic yoga system to teacher trainees wherever he finds students. We have learned about meditation, chanting, Om, philosophy, and yoga nidra in addition to learning how to teach students. We must know points to begin a pose, points of what to feel while in the pose and how to exit a pose. If working dynamically, we add how to move. It is all very logical. Along with all this, we worked on how to begin a class, how to end a class, and what teaching points to remember.
We have all been able to work on personal practice goals as well. Neel is quick to diagnosis what we need to do to improve our pose goal and give steps to take to achieve better alignment in said pose. I am looking forward to the second half of my training in spring 2017 when Neel returns to Northern California.
Iva Jean Maguda, California
David Jaroch, Michigan
Who better to learn from than a native born, life long student/teacher of yoga. Neel Kulkarni now dedicates his life and efforts to sharing his love of yoga practice as a mentor and teacher. I had the opportunity to share in that journey as his student in Clayton, California.
I am a Michigan Yoga Teacher Training student. My Michigan class time was interrupted by a scheduled trip to California. Clayton, California Yoga Shala arranged for me to sit in on two weekend classes during my visit. That is where I met Neel and my training changed forever.
This experience has been stimulating and inspiring in so many ways. Neel makes it his responsibility to prepared each student to teach. Class time is spent learning the Authentic form of yoga encompassing all aspects of yoga life.
We have all taken a variety of classes where we struggle week after week trying to perfect each pose. Neel's approach insure you learn the pose correctly the first time. Along with weekly class time Neel schedules individual student time to work on individual challenges.
If you are looking to learn how to teach yoga as a complete practice or you wish to expand your studies beyond a traditional yoga teacher training course contact Neel today. It is worth your time and effort to change the direction of your yoga practice in ways you never felt possible.
I leave California and Neel's guidance with a new awareness of the wonderful opportunities offered by being a yoga teacher. I look forward to sharing the wonderful world Neel opened up to me these past few weeks.
This message has been custom made by: David J. Jaroch 4476 Franklin Street Ubly, MI 48475 989-658-2133
Dr. Aparna Jojare, Ayurvedic Physician
My teacher training was of only 50 hours duration. But, I learnt so much.
Most of all, this training built up my self confidence including that for teaching yoga to others. I learnt how to teach based on capacity of individuals, how to teach Asanas and how to make students perform them. In his unique method, Adhiyoga, we learn how to perform yoga exercise, how to synchronise breathing with the exercise, how to to perfect the Asana, and how to use various supports during the Yoga exercise. Also, I learnt how to manage timing of various Yoga exercises including Asana, Vinyasa, and Pranayama. I also learnt how to instruct in a simple, succinct and effective manner. I also learnt how to teach small children. I already knew Asanas to a good extent. But, his training taught me how to go deeper into Asanas.
Above all, this training taught me how Yoga Exercise should be performed to satisfy one's individual goal and how to perfect such an exercise. In the same manner, I learnt how the goal of my life should be attained using appropriate methods.
Archana Sancheti, Fitness Trainer
I am Archana Sancheti, a fitness trainer and now trained by Neel Kulkarni as a Yoga Trainer. My view looking towards Yoga as an art has changed drastically because of Neel Sir. Neel Sir is very well read and has intense knowledge of Yoga. His Adhiyoga system is a boon to the society and I am so proud to be a part of it. Neel has defined Yoga in such a way that it automatically makes our journey inwards, without even our realising this. I have started my inward journey because of his guidance and my realisation plus Adhiyoga system will definitely help all whom I connect with and help in upbringing of humanity and spread love and happiness to all.
ALWAYS KEEP HAPPY FACE! BEST LUCK.
Thank you Neel Sir for everything.
Neha Gaikwad, Pune
I did 50 hours training with Neel Kulkarni. From the first day of the class he made me ready mentally, that I am training to become a teacher and not just a student. I like his exceptional way of teaching, which goes with the modern time, without losing the authenticity of it. His teaching is clear, precise and brilliant. Neel Kulkarni Sir is a really special teacher and a unique person. He taught me not only his style of teaching, but also gave me freedom to come up with my own style. He has years of experience and therefore his knowledge is vast. I am very happy from the training I took from him. And looking forward to learn more from him, during his next visit to India.
Teresa Nuvola, Napoli, Italy
I was blessed with the opportunity to translate Neel’s latest and complete work “Adhiyoga – Authentic Yoga System of Neel Kulkarni” into Italian language. Also, I have completed 300 hours Yoga Teacher Training with him. Due to this, I was extremely lucky to spend entire two months in India, observing and studying his work closely.
I found Neel’s methodology amazing because it is in harmony with the most profound and often forgotten discipline of Raja Yoga, which has “mind” at the center of each study and training. Thanks to his smartness and knowledge of the most diverse "human types" as he spurs each of his student to get in touch with and master his/her mind. Then, the body follows the mind without too much effort. Hence comes a day you find yourself looking to the world upside-down without even knowing how!!!
During my prolonged teacher training, he had some other teacher trainees for shorter training, and also other yoga students from various countries and with diverse backgrounds. I noticed that each and every student’s training was different and suited exactly to the student’s needs and goals (sometime even beyond them understanding this!)
It looked like he has a “no bottom pot” he can go in whenever is needed and search for further knowledge. I found in Neel a person with great humanity and practicality, as well as extremely authentic because he himself is 100% coherent with his system. His system is not rigid. It is open to every criticism when discussed methodically. Actually, he spurs his students to question everything through their own experience. To sum up I would define his teaching method totally unconventional.
Due to his roots, he has extremely profound knowledge of Indian spiritual tradition, including of course, yoga and meditation. Additionally, due to his living in U.S.A and travels around the word , he is capable of understanding western culture , while keeping himself a very simple, joyful and easygoing man!
Cinzia Rinzivillo, Yoga Teacher, Italy and Pune
I enjoyed the course of Neel Kulkarni because it gave me the opportunity to know the Indian philosophy in more depth, approaching not only yoga but also to Indian culture. The explanations were clear and in-depth, demonstrating a knowledge and a remarkable ability to display.
The teaching of yoga practice was unique and very instructive. Making me understand that every client should be analysed differently but precisely, I learned of a new method that definitely helped me in my future career as a teacher. Helping in the difficult task of analysing the potential difficulties of my students, I am able to develop my short attention span into a higher one. The course is also very useful to develop a level of attention to special aids education that sometimes are taken for granted.
The attention given to both the philosophy and yoga exercises, by perfect closer look on what needs to be yoga, not only physical activity and body care but also a development of the ability to concentrate, until you come to a coordination body-mind .
The course tries to bring out the discipline of yoga from the simple sphere related to fitness to fit it in its original form, which is a means of improving teachers' lives and those of their students.
I especially appreciate the advice on learning the different asanas, a new and attentive to detail to develop in contemporary knowledge of the pose and the breath-mind coordination.
The course of 200 hours was definitely well as cultural enrichment also staff, an important point of view that undoubtedly will help me in this long journey to become yoga.
Deepa Nair, Yoga Teacher, Pune, India
Doing training with Neel was a very unique experience. During the classes Neel discussed his Adhiyoga philosophy a lot and explained how it was different. I liked his definition of Yoga “Any activity done with mental focus”. We focussed a lot on the breath part along with asanas. He makes one think and build their own style. He can teach yoga anywhere and make every experience a learning opportunity.
His vast knowledge and style of teaching of the Philosophy's of yoga, Bhagvagita and the Patanjali yoga sutras was really nice.
Yoga teacher training is an interesting and educational journey in world of Yoga. By detailed learning of theory and intensive practice I found answers to my questions.Thank you, Neel , for individual approach to each student. It was positive and productive approach.I have got a lot of useful skills in leading yoga class, in teaching poses and breathing, meditation and mudras, how to maintain focus in class , how to approach special needs that people have and so many other useful things. Thank you for attention to details.
Thank you, now it is time to practice and mastering skills. Lida. 29.11.2015
Viacheslav Svitailo, Russia
I had my 200 hours training in an interesting places- a noisy and smoky but very vibrant Poona City. From the first day of my training my understanding of Yoga became deeper. I understood more about history and philosophy of Yoga. Everyday I understood more and more about the inner working of physical exercises of yoga, breathing practice, and meditation. Of course, all this knowledge has been supported by intensive practice. This knowledge and practice would help me to choose my way of development with the understanding of direction where this path will lead me. By using the practice of teaching I know efficient and quality methods, how to lead group during practice, how to choose sequence of poses and breathing, what to say and on which points to pay attention to , how to rest properly after exercises. I have learnt more about healthy life style and nutrition. Now I know in which direction I want to move further. Big thank you for you training, Neel!
Anita Leombruni, Yoga Teacher, Italy
I did my first TTC with Neel in 2014 and I really liked his smart and direct teaching approach. He made me realise how important it is to take care about the weak part of the body and how to train this particular part. His method about teaching yoga reflects his own personality, being born in India and lived in the west for a long time. He has also an extensive knowledge about philosophy and history of yoga. In 2015, I had the pleasure to accommodate him in my house and a simple visit it turned into a real training session for approximately one month, and a lot of lessons for the people in my town. I had the opportunity to see how it is possible to create work and offer your own knowledge in every occasion and in every place, every time. For me this was one of the most important lessons: be who you are and what you know, everywhere. Neel teaches to a diverse levels of students different yoga exercises depending on the individual, he teaches how to manage the time during the lesson, how to improve your mental focus, how to learn balance and keep happy face during the practice. He has a gift to recognise persons since the first meeting and he knows how to test them! For me Neel is a friend and counsellor also, not only a great teacher. He really cares about the individual student's success and also career success, he proves this continuing support by keeping in touch with his students, following the progress. It's his mission. I'm really proud to have met him.
Yoga Teacher, Italy
Geraldine Waring, London, U.K.
I first met Neel this spring through my son Luc who met him in Mysore India in the place they were staying. Luc was interested in philosophy and engaged Neel in conversation and brought his book Adhiyoga. Neel then came to London where I met him and was so impressed with his happy and uplifting spirit, there I enjoyed yoga practice and talks.
Neel told us about his training in Italy and Luc went to Vinci for the 100 hours teacher training and myself to Milan. My main reason was to spend more time with Neel and have a deeper knowledge of yoga practice and yoga philosophy.
After many hours of lectures I now know that happiness is 'ice cream' Neel loves ice cream, and once eaten, you reach Samadhi, ha!
I have been in fitness for many years and am a Pilates instructor. Now in my 60's with a few injuries I thought my teaching days were over but now I am interested in teaching those my age, a gentler yoga and feel confident with Neels encouragement and teaching techniques to do that. I am still in Italy and look forward to a few more days to enjoy this exceptional man's company and unique teachings.
My view is that you cannot choose a better teacher. Neel is one of the foremost scholars of Sanskrit and comes from a family of yogis. He teaches with knowledge depth humour and originality and designs the course to bring out the best in each individual student. This is also because he prefers teaching and working with small groups. He encourages you to find and teach in your own style. He is an inspiration. His website is Adhiyogi meaning authentic yoga and that is what you will experience.
My journey and transformation continues with joy in my heart. Thank you Neel.
Geraldine Waring, London, UK
Isaura Maglio, Yoga Teacher, Milan, Italy
Yoga Teacher Training Course 15-07-2015/21-07-2015 Milano
This is my second yoga teacher training with Neel Kulkarni. The first time was unforgettable, when I had the pleasure to do the course in Pune and live in the same house with Neel. Each yoga student should have a guide like him, a gift on spiritual path.
His own system called Adhiyoga has a perfect logic and when you can connect, it will becomes a great tool for Yoga study and teaching.
Neel's lessons are unpredictable! One of his priority his to develop focused mind, so he will test your attention as long as he can.
The present training topics included Adhiyoga Vinyasa, general teaching techniques, and Patanjali's Yogasutras.
Neel is an attentive teacher. He always personalizes his suggestions and methods on for each student's individual needs. His clear mind everytime is able to create harmonious class and to stimulate a personal expression of the Adhiyoga system.
I want to thank Neel and the students of my class for the incredible experience, a great occasion of growing in a professional and personal way.
Lara Pintossi, Yoga Teacher, Brescia, Italy
Neel is a really special master, and a unique person. He gives himself completely to his students unconditionally, personally following each according to their inclinations. He has created his own system of yoga, Adhiyoga, but he gives full freedom and also invites his students to create their own style. This brings everyone to think about the logic that should to be behind each action, posture or philosophy. He has undoubtedly studied all his life and therefore his knowledge is very vast. Those who approach Neel cannot help being impressed by his brilliant intelligence, great goodness and irrepressible joy that spreads around him. I consider myself very lucky to have met him on my way.
Laura D’ Amore, Yoga Teacher, Torino, Italy
I met Neel in 2014, when I ran into, completely by accident, an advertisement of his course for teachers on a website dedicated to yoga. It was my first Teacher Training with Neel after four years of practice of the wonderful discipline of Yoga that increasingly fascinated me. I had no particular expectations about the course. I wanted to learn, of course, and learn how to teach, but I had no idea of how such a course could be. After a few hours of training experience, I realized how lucky I was. I have met so many people who are passionate and experienced, but above all I met Neel, a true master! It is an honor and privilege to meet such a person own one's path .
His teaching is clear, precise and brilliant. It directly provides everything necessary for becoming a good yoga teacher, and it encourages its students to put into practice immediately as designed. Everything, remaining faithful to a concept: learn as much as possible, but then put it into practice in the way that makes you happy.
This year, the training being in a different place and with different people, the magic was repeated and the course was punctuated by absolutely funny moments. I do not think that I would never be able to try bending all directions, on the bench in a mall in Mila, if not driven by the extraordinary enthusiasm of Neel Kulkarni
Julie Britton, Life Coach, Wales, U.K.
My homework was to sit in silence daily for 30 minutes, which I found very challenging!! To focus on 1 object. I choose my body weight as the topic.
Through daily meditation, I am I remember how I would thrive on feeling hungry, CONTROLLING MY PORTIONS TO LOOSE THAT NEXT kilo.
I was Able to make choices round food that made me feel light, knowing when my stomach was full and to leave feeling hungry knowing I would feel full after 20 minutes.
During special occasions eating high carbohydrate meals and large meals at that, just drinking water and eating salad the next day to even out the amount of energy consumed. All these strategies and formulas I used to have at an early teenager at 12,13,14,15,16 years right up to my 30’s. Then I started to suffer around food shortly after my farther died, now loosing both my parents has left me dissatisfied and using food and drink as a comfort impacting my weight gain. I then started to exercise nearly one to two hours 5 days a week over the past two years which has impact my back, knees and neck and now I am in so much pain I need to change my eating style all together. So the biggest things that has helped me on this course is mind meditation with silent sitting for 30 minutes which led from various emotions from anxiety to irritability to anger then eventually peace and mind focus. I have developed control around food, eating less, even enjoyed Pizza, pasta and bread which is usually the worst for me and even now I have maintained weight balance through raw food eating, fresh vegetables, juice with fruit. Now every time I plan my food for the day I balance it with a 3 sessions of 30 minutes intervals of exercise (yoga) that are gently building strength and stamina maintaining small portions of food or just juice or water.
I have found Neel Kulkarni highly educated and well read not just in yoga he reads sanskrit and has the original theory and history of how yoga started with meditation of the mind, it is through this knowledge I have gained control and power over my body which I am most grateful for.
Thank you Neel. I will be back to see you.
Lots of love and blessings
Mari Viterbo, Yoga Teacher, Italy
My second Yoga Teacher Training with Neel has been a discovery of Yoga and myself. Working with Neel is an ongoing investigation, deep and slow. The ancient knowledge of Yoga is updated and adapted to the present times, and to the human being who is practicing Yoga at the given time.
I am grateful to Neel for his vibrant presence on the planet Earth, for his way of being on different floors, for his knowledge and for his love.
And I sincerely thank those who have lived with me deeply this path. An alchemy that, if well prepared, lets you change the perspective of interior vision and life.
Luc Waring, Artist, London, U.K.
I started to get interested in yoga a few years ago and was lucky to have stumbled upon a great studio as my first introduction into asana. Since moving to London, in the last year I have struggled to find even one studio or teacher who has really felt totally genuine, combining the asanas with something deeper.
I met Neel by accident during my travels in India and was fascinated by his knowledge of Sanskrit and traditional yoga philosophy and history. I met him again in London when he was visiting and he came to my house and very kindly offered me and my mother a few free classes. They were the most simple poses I had ever done but after doing them for a week the transformation and progression of my body was something I had never experienced before in such a short time. From then I was both hooked and fascinated.
I have just completed Neel's hundred hour teacher training course and am starting to understand the system behind his apparent madness. Neel has not just taught me asanas or techniques but has given me a solid philosophy of how to approach yoga and yoga teaching. The philosophy of Neel's authentic yoga system transcends any particular yoga pose or style of teaching and is a tool I can use to organically understand any pose and teach it from a place of holistic understanding.
During the course Neel has guided me as a person as well as me as a teacher. His commitment to the individual is certainly a major factor that separated his teachings from any other. Neel is a kind and patient man who strives to understand rather than judge, may it be a situation or a person.
I am very honored to have found a teacher like Neel who has such a genuine love and understanding of yoga and teaching. Coming away from the course, even after just two weeks, I feel i have come away with a philosophy which serves as a strong foundation to tackle any pose, class or life event.
Thomas Baldi, Yoga Teacher, Arezzo, Italy
I am very happy to have had the opportunity to do, for now, the training of 200 hours with Neel Kulkarni. His courses are interesting and unconventional, we understand immediately that Neel is a particular person, very intelligent and his knowledge of the subject is not common. Neel is able to convey the true essence of yoga but helping the student to exhibit the practical and philosophical tradition within the contemporary everyday.
I highly recommend this training to all student of yoga who want to get in touch with traditional knowledge and who are interested in integrating it all inside, both as practitioner and as teacher.
The first meeting with Neel was a shock! We quickly realize that the case of a person at a higher level. Neel is able to convey his knowledge in a manner unusual for the Western world, it requires commitment and seriousness in the application of its guidelines; follow step by step the student during training and ensure that the tasks assigned individually according to personal needs are completed. It's very challenging, but in the end the results pay off generously; be changed, more focused, more healthy and excited for their work is the least that can happen in training with Neel Kulkarni. Highly recommended to all!
Laura Gallorini, Yoga Teacher, Florence, Italy
The teacher training with Neel Kulkarni is an experience that I recommend to anyone who believes they have a mental flexibility, so as to accept a teaching method that needs total confidence in the teacher. The results come as unexpectedly epiphanies throughout the course. Knowledge of Neel, about every topic is extremely broad. The only drawback is the time limit to be respected.
Personally I feel that every teaching of Neel is advice applicable to every field of life. Referring to the practice of yoga, Neel speaks of discipline, continuity and focus. If we applied these tips every day, in various everyday situations, surely we will see radical changes shocking. Neel provides the tools to create their own individual practice, and their lessons. His teachings are never ends in themselves, they always aim at something broader.
I believe that the course of Neel is a changing experience in deep, if you are ready to accept change.
Michela Miazzini, Italy
Sandra Lopez Cabrera, Uruguay, South America
In December 2014, I felt an overwhelming need to visit India to do Yoga Teacher Trainning. I wrote to some Yoga Schools, stating that I knew very little English. I received immediate response from Neel, which was translated into Spanish by his student, and contained all the necessary information. He asked me not to worry as he would arrange his other students from Europe to translate English into Spanish for me.
I was inquiring at other schools, and nowhere I was offered such opportunity. We decided the dates of training and Neel also arranged accommodation for me. The training was not easy! But it was very effective! It expected much discipline, allowing focus on Yoga. I do not think I would have learned everything I did, otherwise.
The methodology is extremely good, which makes you learn through experience, feel every exercise from within, and repeat things many times. Now, I realize that is the only way to teach properly!
I had many moments of frustration, due to language, missing my family, demanding routine, much homework, practice-practice-practice, and apprehension due to not knowing the language fluently. Sometimes, I had feeling of having missed some things, especially philosophy of yoga. But I think it was only a feeling. I learned that one learns to perfection what one wants to learn, nothing else.
Practical classes with Neel’s friends were extremely useful. Every day, I was noticing an improvement. This is the only way to achieve security and confidence in teaching. I had lots of teaching practice and opportunity.
To understand more about the culture of India, we visited many temples. At the moment I arrived in India, Neel took me first to a temple at 6 a.m. which I felt like a welcoming ceremony! He showed me many temples with a wide variety. He also took me to cultural programs such as music and Vedic ceremonies.
If we set a goal, there is nothing to limit the achievement, language was not a barrier, only the mind can create obstacles. This seems to be a beginning of a great journey.
As Neel says in his book (Adhiyoga © – Authentic Yoga System of Neel Kulkarni), AYS practice gives us the way to get good health, physical, mental and spiritual necessary to reach the individual goal of the person who practices it.
I had the opportunity to meet wonderful people, mingle with them without feeling outsider, but live as one of them, and this was really rewarding.
Thanks to Neel for sharing such experience, for being so patient, and for having me in this blessed country of such wonderful people.
Sandra Edith Lopez Cabrera (Urguay)
Pune, February 2015.
Isaura Maglio, Italy
I came to know Neel Kulkarni, thanks to a close friend of mine who met him once in Italy. I started talking to him on the facebook, about my trip to india and my Yoga path. He was really kind and nice to share with me the all information I needed. At that time I had already booked my Yoga Teacher Training Course in a different place in India so I was planning to go and visit him only for some yoga classes. Once I was in india, after my TTC, I started having a feeling that I wasn't ready enough to teach yoga, and something was missing during my study. I decided to contact Neel to share my feeling with him and go to meet him and try some his yoga classes. I wasn't meant to do a second TTC, but once I met him, a voice inside me told me this man is not an ordinary yoga teacher, this person can give me the preparation I need to feel complete. I decided to take the 50 hours TTC according to my plans and money. Together we prepared our classes and the main topics I wanted to study deeply.
He was so good to organize, in a short period, the whole schedule and put together different things and aspects of the Yoga world.
Studying his Authentic Yoga System was a new discovery every day. Every single page of his book gave to me a more clear and deep understanding of Yoga path. With his method, I learnt I how to listen to my body, how to watch my body from inside, how to focus my mind and be in the present moment. Every day was so challenging and exciting. His strong personality, his determination and love for yoga gave to me a different point of view about many aspects of Yoga. His Yoga system includes: old ways of teaching yoga, traditional yoga, a huge knowledge about different fields, a personal study and experience inside himself and outside, a constant research and work to improve his method day by day. His yoga system already includes many different yoga styles to give the entirety that a yoga student needs. He believes strongly in his students, he tries to understand his students and their goals to help them to reach what they want in their life and be happy. During the TTC he was giving me so much good advice about my studying and teaching in a direct and honest way that today I can say I feel more confident and strong to carry on creating something beautiful around me. I really feel blessed and grateful to have met Neel during my journey. "Strenght and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle". In Neel words this was a "wonderfuuuuuuul" experience!
Passione Yoga, Sanse Polcro, Italy
Neel Kulkarni's Adhiyoga has enriched my life two ways, first as a student and second as a teacher.
As owner of an Italian Yoga School, I organized two teacher trainings by Neel Kulkarni. Both trainings were very successful. After the training, all students attending the classes are now teaching too. In addition, yoga teachers who attended, like me, have improved our skills and are very happy with the results of the training. One characteristic of his courses that I really appreciated was the small size of the groups (maximum number students 10). Every one was guided in a very personal and unique way; everyone could grow according to their capacity and abilities.
I highly recommend this training to all the Yoga Institutes who want to take their Yoga to a new level that includes traditional Yoga as well as scientific, systematic, and an all inclusive approach applicable to the traditional and new age students. Adhiyoga - The Authentic Yoga System of Neel Kulkarni, is truly a great advancement in the field of teaching and study of Yoga!
Date: July 2014.
Students from Italy
I feel, on this course we worked very little on feeling and listening the body and on staying into the body (maybe this is called mind in body). Mostly we did physical exercises with the indication of focusing on one's body. I found very interesting the search for one's limitations with the purpose of overcoming them.
I was fascinated by the vast knowledge of the philosophy and the history of Yoga, but also intrigued by his ease and neutrality towards religions.
I also appreciated his particular way of teaching, full of good humored personal irony.
My experience with this Authentic Yoga Teacher Training holiday has been very very good. As an experienced Pilates teacher, of over 20yrs as well as other movement's methods and physical therapy, I had a lot of confirmations from Neel's experience. I'm very happy about it and also about a lot of interesting new points of view I was able to come in contact with. However, the most important thing for me is to keep focusing on oneself, respecting one's own limitations and gradually try to overcome them. Trust in your creativity and smile with both your face and your mind!!!
But first of all, thank you Neel!!!
I appreciated very much Neel's course. His approach is clear and direct. I think that I have had a lot of new ideas. It wasn't just a memorization of a series of body and mind exercises. It was a way to understand in a practical way what Yoga can be: not only a philosophy, but also a method to better understand ourselves, to improve and try to reach self realization. The work with body and mind is the first step for a deeper work. Everybody in their life has their own time. Take that time to better understand what the real needs are, this is a great time. This was my first time. I feel well, more energetic, focused on finding my time to practice and teaching yoga. It will be useful for me and for others.
This Yoga Teacher Training has been one the best things ever. It has been a great professional and personal self-growth experience. Neel was able to convey his method that brings to a continuous listening of oneself, focalizing on one's goals, understanding one's own limitations and bringing out one's abilities. It's been a great gift to be able to live in contact with such a fantastic Indian teacher: I've been inspired from him and I thank him for the trust that he placed in me.
I feel really joyful about this experience. Every single time someone is going to live through an experience, certainly he has expectations. Today I know that the course, the people I met at the Alpe della Luna, my teacher Neel, they all gave me more than I ever could have imagined or expected. I'm happy! The days were busy, sometimes tiring, but with a balanced pace, and most of all peaceful. Even though we all worked hard, I feel completely reborn, for some aspects even reset.
This could be a new beginning. In Love anything is possible.
Laura D’Amore, Yoga Teacher, Turino, Italy
I think the best thing of this training was meeting Neel. First of all because, he is Indian and has a very very deep knowledge of Yoga. And, he is able to share that passion. But, he also lived many years in America and Europe, so he knows the Western culture. He is an Aerospace Engineer with a strong logic, but he is also happy to teach Yoga. In Adhiyoga, you feel very welcome. No one forces you telling what to do from the top. We felt very welcome and we did not feel judged. Thanks to this Yoga system. It was a human experience in the first place, and a very deep Yoga experience. Thanks to Neel.
Date: July, 2013
Fonte Madhurya, Alpe Della Luna, Italy.
A fantastic experience, with an extraordinary teacher, comprehensive and accurate in every aspect of the discipline of yoga: from more complex exercises, more subtle philosophical aspects; from the recitation of mantras to teaching techniques "step by step". Fantastic fellow students: serious, generous and sympathetic. Happy face!!!
Date: July, 2013
Stef Latanowski, London, Pedeatric Physiotherapist
From the moment I made contact with Neel to inquire about carrying out my further 300 Yoga Alliance RYT hours to complete my full 500, I knew that I had been blessed with the opportunity to learn something special. Neel’s genuine care and compassion for his students was clear from the start with full attention given to find out exactly what my interests were so that the goals of my training could be formulated appropriately. As a pediatric physiotherapist I hoped to get as much experience as I could in yoga for children, disability and general therapy. My hopes were fulfilled far beyond than I could have imagined. Neel made continual efforts to organize as many learning opportunities for me as possible including teaching at a number of schools for children of all ages, for special needs children and for deaf and dumb children. With the emphasis of Neel’s teaching always based around actual practical teaching as opposed to just theory and demonstration it allowed me to grow in my ability and in my confidence at a very fast rate. Neel has developed a number of fantastic teaching concepts, which has really made my approach far more effective, however alongside this he has also helped and encouraged me to nurture the development of my own independent style. Neel teaches through example and his commitment to living a healthy, fulfilling and happy life drastically changed the way I now think about so many of life’s important principles. Not only did my knowledge on the true meaning and essence of yoga develop but during this journey I also learnt and found out so much about myself that has allowed me to maintain a strong focus on my life goals and how I am going to achieve them. It is Neel’s ability to be not only a great teacher but also a great friend that I will always remember. His continual efforts towards ensuring optimum health and happiness for me is one of the many things that I will be forever grateful to him. I now look forward to sharing all that I have learnt and telling Neel of all my progress as it is so obvious that the development of his students is what interests him most and inspires him to continue what he does so commendably. Thank you Neel from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to study under your tuition. I can only encourage any others that may be looking for an authentic, thorough, practical and most importantly spiritual teaching on yoga to do the same.
Stef Latanowski, London (firstname.lastname@example.org)
18 December 2013
Udaykumar thevar, Mumbai, India
While learning from Neel sir, it was a great experience; every time I visited for the class in pune and while coming back to Mumbai, I can feel that positive energy and focused mindset in me, which reflected in my outlook towards life and yoga, eventhough I was tired in the process of travelling from Mumbai!
There was N number of unresolved questions in regards to yoga, thanks to Neel sir I got a lot of answers in a right way, thus leading to confidence in the subject of yoga.
The most likeable part of his course is he makes you know different style/school of yoga, which other school may not include in their course.
AYS made me a good yoga student in terms approaching your own practice and how to handle a given class as a teacher.
His course approach is to give according to the students’ goal and level.
He not only helps students in terms of his yoga studies, he understands the students’ background, their culture, and guides them in life too, which is lacking in many institutes.
Will be continuing doing more workshops/course in the future.
For students who are dedicated and interested in learning yoga as a whole, he is the right person.
Wished he was in Mumbai…!, best wishes to Neel sir on his future ventures.
Udaykumar thevar, Mumbai, India
18 December 2013
Sayali Joshi, Sydney, Australia
I had been doing yoga for a decade before I realized that was to be my path henceforth. I wanted to train with someone who could provide me with an in-depth knowledge of yoga asanas and pranayama, and what is beyond them, something that I only had a vague idea about.
Neel Kulkarni not only provided me with an excellent training of the former, the topics I was familiar with, but he gave me access to yoga philosophy and chanting through his teaching, something that books and CDs can not replicate.
Through his teacher training, the unformed questions in my mind became clear and precise, and I was fortunate to find their answers too, which clearly defines my path ahead, that of imbibing that philosophy personally and teaching yoga to others.
Neel Sir has a very unique teaching methodology, but it is extremely effective. I would like to thank him for showing me the way.
Additionally, I would like to note the points I made when I observed Neel's classes as a part of my teacher training:
1 Structure of the classes is well defined and it flows well
2 communication with students is effective and all problems queries are addressed
3 the exercises are adapted to the level of the class and are introduced with steps which lead to the final pose which gives a sense of achievement
4 emphasis is more on the exercises and its benefits than on the names of poses
5 very unique way of noting the points of the pose makes student aware of his own body and they do it
6 the pose in the class is perfected at whatever stage possible
7 concepts core to teaching method like observe from inside are integrated with the exercises
8 prayer said to start and end
It was a great learning experience to do these classes.
Sayali Josh, Sydney Australia
28 November 2012
Final Report: I have been practicing yoga as a student for more than a decade. I have been a dancer and dance instructor for half of that time. I have naturally been drawn to teaching yoga and found the opportunity to do my Yoga Teacher Training with Mr. Neel Kulkarni using the Authentic Yoga System of Neel Kulkarni ®
I was looking at strenthening and technically correcting my own yoga practice which I have been able to achieve through the Authentic Yoga System approach.
Through this course, I have had a chance to interact with and teach a groups that were varied in age, fitness levels and life styles. These experiences have been helpful to understanding of the teaching methodology.
This course has enriched my understanding of yoga philosophy and yoga science enabling me to understand the definition of yoga beyond the asanas.
Observing different classes taught by Neel Kulkarni has brought home the importance of following various core concepts of yoga and this entire course will definitely shape my journey as a yoga teacher.
I look forward to spreading the joy of yoga.
Sayali Joshi, Sydney, Australia
29 November 2012
I have just completed my teacher training RYT200 in Pune with Neel Kulkarni Sir.I am very lucky to have found both, a flexible schedule and a valued knowledge. Yoga philosophy is basic to the students who aspires to make yoga a part of their life. Neel is very good yoga philosophy teacher. He uses Pantanjali and many other ancient and current thinkers' interpretation of yoga philosophy. As part of my teacher training , I used to write daily log for my Yoga practice and Neel Sir used to check that very seriously.This practice proved very useful to me and I will continue this further also.Only suggestion I would like to make is Neel Sir should create reference material for certain important yogaposes with all his concepts included in that. Thank you.
July 21, 2012
Vanessa Bodley, Madison, WI, USA
I just completed my teacher training in Pune with Neel Kulkarni, his teaching style is very unique, authentic and is based solely on the needs and ability of the individual. My own practice has progressed tremendously while studying with Neel due to understanding of his concepts, his innovative way of using his surroundings to teach and the building of each posture. While immersed in the Indian culture I was able to meet Sanskrit and Vedic scholars which helped enhance my knowledge and understanding of yoga philosophy. Yoga is a life long practice that requires discipline and patiences, with Neel's teachings and guidance I have more confidence within myself to pass this knowledge to others and to further explore the path of yoga. Neel has a wonderful personality and is a genuine teacher, I am unable to thank him enough for this life altering experience.
Melanie Savia, Virginia Commonwealth University, U.S.A.
April 14, 2012
I have recently completed Neel Kulkarni’s teacher training course and would suggest this program to any serious yoga student. I began teacher training via Skype from Virginia, U.S.A. whereas Neel was teaching from his Yoga School in Pune, India. As an university student, I am very lucky to have found both, a flexible schedule and a valued knowledge. I quickly made use of Neel’s Yoga philosophy inside and outside my yoga exercise. As time passed the spectrum of yoga subjects broadened and I found myself swimming in learned yoga concepts and deeper curiosity. This curiosity led me to the purchase of three week long journey to India over my winter holidays. Such a fortunate opportunity has given me a glimpse of the deep rooted culture in India, that has hidden inside its carved temples and disguised in flawless Sanskrit script. Neel introduced me to many sincere yoga students from all over the world and filled my mornings and evenings with classes to teach. Neel has graced me with an irreplaceable experience that words can not accurately convey. I am proud to continue my path in yoga coming from a system that has upheld even the “authenticity” of its name.
Virginia Commonwealth University, U.S.A.
Chinmayee Pai, Cummins Engineering College, Pune, India
I recently did teacher training with neel kulkarni . Oh wait… let me tell you my story. I was doing my yoga practices since 5 years. But I always felt a need for an experienced yoga teacher. I met Neel in Pune. That time, I wanted to join general group classes. But as I started gaining interest in yoga, he suggested me to consider the teachers training . At first I dint get it, ”why need of teacher training so early?”. But as the teacher training started, I started getting an understanding of the concepts of Neel’s Authentic Yoga System. He taught me to get into deepness of the pose, observing from inside, and a lot more. I would never have understood the importance of yoga philosophy if it weren’t for Neel. Teacher training was a wonderful experience that included learning yoga concepts, giving classes and visiting historical places that are important from yogic point of view. I must say that Neel’s style of teacher training is very unique. Anyone who is interested and sincere can do this training. Its not like if you do headstand then you are good student. It depends on one’s seriousness and ability to pick up more and more from the yoga study. Well, I wish him all the best (and may he breathe well J )
Cummins Engineering College, Pune, India
My name is Darshana. I belong to Pune city in india. I started my teachers training with Neel in July2011. As i started learning from him, I realised his style of teaching was unique. He never forced anything upon a student. His teaching included concept pattern. Every concept has been explained considering its involvement in yoga exercises. I benefited a lot from his teaching. I taught some yoga classes during & after my trainin,g & got good feedback from all the students. Iiam still improving myself through his tips & by attending his classes whenever i get time. i wish him all the very best for his work in yoga & may every student get kind & friendly teacher like him.
Raghu Ram Ala
I have benifitted greatly from the yoga classes that I have taken from Neel in terms of improving my emotional stability and health. After that experience, I decided to go for Neel's Teacher Training so that I can understand the concepts of Yoga exercises more in depth. Neel's Teacher Training gave me insight into the concepts that are used in his Yoga exercise classes. They have also provided me more insight into how to pursue spiritual goal following path of Yoga. Now, after completing my Teacher Training with him I am still learning, but the difference is I feel I am more equipped with the knowledge and understanding that I got from the Teacher Training course. Also before I end this, I would like to mention one important thing about Neel and his expertise with dealing with people who have injuries and providing them with Yoga exercises to recover, I am an example of this myself I have been getting special routine to help with my cervical spine problem and I am amazed by his understanding of different muscles and nerves and his ability to give routine that would help with dealing with my problem. I am still continuing his routines regularly and would surely recommend his classes to anyone I know. Thanks to Neel
for helping me and I feel very lucky to be his student.
Raghu Ram Ala
Ildiko (from Hungary)
Thank you for everything!
I think Neel is a great person. His teaching skills are interesting and unique. First I thought that he lacks the capability of giving his knowledge to others. Then I started to realize that his goal is not to give out his knowledge - it's impossible. You have to learn and get the experience by yourself. Through regular practice and watching yourself, you will get all the skills of teaching. You cannot learn that from books. His concepts are valuable. I especially like the way of teaching the poses in stages. It's very useful for inexperienced yoga practitioners and also for the advanced students to get into the final position gradually; preparing the parts of your body by focusing on all the points. Otherwise, I still think that the practical side of the training is lacking, that is too short. I could benefit from his deep understanding of Yoga that he has gained during his life. I wish his teacher training had been longer. I'm grateful for everything that I got out from his training and I will definitely always keep his concepts in mind and try to improve.
Ildiko (from Hungary)
2008 Teacher Trainee
Authentic Yoga Teacher Training Evaluation
Authentic Yoga Teacher Training Evaluation
May 22, 2007
I am a recent graduate of the Authentic Yoga Teacher Training Program with Neel Kulkarni. I am a licensed Special Education & Early Childhood Teacher. I have taken various trainings on teaching yoga to children. Over the years, I felt I felt that something was lacking in my training. I wasn’t quite sure what that was until I took the Authentic Yoga Teacher Training. There is a plethora of teacher training programs available for yogis & yoginis to obtain a teaching certificate. After careful thought and consideration, I had decided I wanted to learn from a teacher that grew up practicing from childhood and studied yoga as an ancient science from the eastern perspective. When I found Neel Kulkarni and the Authentic Yoga, I knew this program would be the most suited for my needs. Neel’s training is composed of standards that must be covered in any yoga teaching program; however, he tailors the program to meet the goals and needs of his students. A teacher considering this program can request topics of interest in addition to the key concepts that are required to further personalize the training. I was initially apprehensive because of his non-traditional approach. Many higher education curriculums and yoga curriculums are predetermined by the instructor. In the Authentic Yoga School, the Teacher Training program deviates from the standard way of learning when Neel takes the students’ background and experiences into consideration and includes them in developing the syllabus for the training. The training will still have standards that must be met to be a qualified yoga instructor but you have the option of personalizing it to your own teaching and practice by being given the opportunity to make decisions about what you would like to learn. If you like to have input into your learning, this approach will meet your needs.
In the Authentic Yoga Teacher Training, Neel teaches yoga from a classical perspective. Based on his experience and years of study, Neel has developed a program to teach yoga to people of all abilities and backgrounds. Authentic Yoga’s teaching concepts emphasize the importance of setting goals and matching the goals to your yoga practice. Neel’s book, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Proper Chanting and Translation and Yoga Philosophy DVDs were key components of my teacher training. As a teacher in training, I learned yoga from a historical and classical perspective. Neel’s knowledge of Yoga Philosophy enabled me to develop an in depth understanding of the purpose of yoga and how I could apply it to my life and daily practice. In addition to yoga philosophy, Neel instructs students in chanting to help a humble student of yoga contemplate the meaning of the Yoga Sutras.
Another key component of the teacher training was meditation from a classical perspective and how to incorporate meditation into our yoga practice. Yoga is not simply defined as doing asanas. Its greater purpose is to unite ourselves with our highest nature. Through Authentic Yoga’s teaching concepts, an individual is able to begin a path to find their deepest potential through experiential self-study. Having taken Neel’s training, workshops, and yoga classes both as a participant and observer, I strongly believe his approach will help all individuals find a path of yoga towards peace and self-awareness.
Asanas as done from the Authentic Yoga style is approached very differently than what is presented in most studios and gyms. Asanas are taught from daily student practice and experience. A script to instruct a student in a pose is not provided to teachers nor are anatomy and physiology taught in detail. What is emphasized is how to break the pose step by step to prepare students for a pose. In addition to seeing the poses in parts, Neel teaches how the pose feels from within both with the mind and as a skeleton. His method of demonstrating step by step procedure and giving options for students of all levels allows students to find perfection of a pose from within not as it appears on the outside. Many individuals are apprehensive of doing yoga because they believe they can’t look like the individual on the cover of yoga magazine or book. I have personally observed students of all ages, abilities, and health backgrounds in Neel’s class are able to participate actively and benefit from this approach. Authentic Yoga emphasizes teaching the teacher in training how to teach a pose by demonstrating and becoming aware of key points thereby allowing the students to learn through experience not verbal directions of where the knees or hands should be in a given pose.
As a student, I have more confidence and am able to notice differences in my yoga practice. As a children’s yoga teacher, I have incorporated the Authentic Yoga concepts of teaching yoga into my class. As a result of integrating Authentic Yoga’s approach with other children’s yoga programs, I have notice my students are able to find center and maintain stillness in a pose by watching from within. Integrating specific concepts of Authentic Yoga allowed young children and preteens learn how to develop focus and concentration. I plan to continue incorporating the Authentic Yoga Program into my children’s yoga curriculum to find a balance of keeping yoga fun and teaching self-care & self- awareness.
I highly recommend Authentic Yoga’s Teacher Training Program. Although this certification program is not registered with Yoga Alliance, the Authentic Yoga program meets the 200 hours RYS standards in the following categories: Teaching Trainings & Practice, Teaching Methodology, Yoga Philosophy & Lifestyle and Practicum. I was proud to earn an Authentic Yoga Certification and am confident as teacher and individual knowing that I learned yoga and how to teach it from a classical context.
I feel fortunate for having met Neel Kulkarni and having the opportunity to be trained by him. Both his knowledge and experience have enabled him to systematize classical yoga for today’s world. I not only benefited from as a teacher and individual but my family has reaped the benefits of my decision to train with Neel. Now, my husband uses yoga to compliment his stressful management job as well as improve his flexibility to enhance his weight training program. I have two boys, 12 & 8 who have admire Neel’s strength in performing challenging yoga poses. Although they only see the physical aspect of yoga, Neel is teaching them to watch from inside and to find moments of stillness and focus with the mind during their yoga practice. My 3 year old daughter has imitated me doing yoga and is now chanting as a result of my practice. Our Sundays have now become Family Yoga time. It is wonderful that through my training, I was able to obtain more than a certificate. Neel Kulkarni & Authentic Yoga will now be a part of not only my life and teaching but my family’s as well.
Bridge to Learning –
Children’s Yoga & Fitness Programs
M.Ed. Special Education/ Curriculum & Instruction
Having just completed the most recent teacher training for certification, Fall 2006, in your Authentic Yoga School program, I would like to tell you that this has been one of the most educational and enlightening experiences I have had while taking a training program and studying. As the training went by, I discovered how much of my past study and learning can be applied to this teaching and I learned things that I could not have anticipated at the outset. As I read from a previous participant's comments, it teaches you how to teach. My experience has borne this out. By providing the concepts, both yoga practice concepts and teaching concepts, you learn how to teach yourself and thus to teach others. The individualized attention that you give during the program is much appreciated and met my needs and interests while opening up new areas for me. Your patience, flexibility and willingness to help is also very much appreciated.
Developing a home practice is an integral and extremely important part of this course over the 14 weeks. This is where the concepts are taken from the classroom and put into action and where you discover for yourself how to answer your own questions. Neel, as he does in his other work, books and workshops, challenges you to think for yourself and to develop your own style and interpretation through the concepts he teaches. He is an extraordinary instructor and finding someone so steeped in yogic philosophy and culture, not to mention Sanscrit and chanting, here in the Washington DC area is a untapped treasure.
I highly recommend Neel's Authentic Yoga teacher training to anyone interested in developing their yoga practice, whether they are planning to teach or not. I can't wait to take another one. Thank you. Warmest wishes,
Khrystyn Martinez - Teacher Training Class, Fall 2006, Virginia
I have attended many yoga classes over the years due to my back injury and to help relax myself. I have been looking for different ways and yoga style, but I can't seem to find the right one for me. After Carla told me about you, I decided to attend one of your classes and from the first hour, I felt such a difference in myself. It was the first time that I have been so in tuned with myself and felt such peace that I was very emotional on my way home after that.
It was that night, that I have found the right way for me and joining your Teacher Training Class in Fall of 2006 was the start of a new outlook for me. I joined with the intention of teaching myself. Your way of teaching me was very personal and specific to my needs. You take the time to learn each one of us and teach us what is right for our own needs, not what everyone else's idea of what yoga is. With your methods, I have learned about myself and what I can do today and accept what I can't and practice on it. Not only do you focus on the body, but the mind as well which is the most important thing that I have learned from you. What I learned in your Teacher Training goes beyond the asanas, that is just the poses that we do, but true yoga is what you do after you leave the class.
Your teaching is what I try and use in my daily application of my life, for yoga is not just about the poses. After the Teacher Training, I just wanted to practise it for myself and it has changed my life in ways that I cannot thank you enough.
Now, I try and teach people the way I understood it from you. I know that people will interpret it their own way and that is one the great things I have learned from you. Yoga is your own. I have shared what I can in my teachings here in Europe. I teach only once a week, for the rest, I try and learn more. I can never learn enough and as I continue my journey, I will always try and live the yogi way for I have found peace from your teaching. I only wish that I could have spent more time with you and your teachings. Maybe in the future, in the meantime, I would like to thank you for changing my life for the better and I only hope that I can impart some of that to others.
Anyone who wishes to join your class, may it be for themselves or to teach others are very blessed. I cannot recommend and thank you enough. All my family and friends have heard about you and are very thankful for the teachings you have given me. I tell my students about you and they extend their gratitude.
Khrystyn Martinez- Teacher Training Class, Fall 2006, Virginia
Update from previous TT: Neel is such a wonderful Yoga teacher! He has a wealth of knowledge that extends far beyond the Yoga Asanas. I’ve learned so much from him about Chanting, Yoga Philosophy and living a true yogic lifestyle. There are very few teachers in the US with this kind of knowledge. Plus, Neel and his wife are wonderful people and I truly enjoy their friendship. I feel like part of their Yoga family. Namaste!
I completed the Authentic Yoga Teacher Training program this year. It was great--I highly recommend it. The class size was small and I got a lot of individual attention, which enabled me to focus on my areas of interest and to really improve on my weak/inexperienced areas in teaching. After completing the training, I felt pretty confident to teach on my own (I think everyone is a bit self conscious and unsure in the beginning, no matter what). Neel gave me an opportunity to substitute teach some classes at a local gym, which was invaluable experience. Plus, after that, I got other offers from another Yoga teacher to sub for some of her classes. So, if anyone is concerned whether this system is endorsed by Yoga Alliance or not, I can attest that you can teach Yoga as a professional Yoga teacher with a certification through Neel's Authentic Yoga system.
Carolyn Flitcroft, 12/29/2006
Dr. Sue Ann Lewine, Stress Reduction Specialist ad Doctor of Chiropractic, Virginia, USA
When Neel told me his teacher training was 14 classes, I was intrigued. There are thousands of asanas. How could he teach me every one, and how to teach them all in just 14 weeks? It's impossible.
I learned so much more. From the first class, I knew I was in the right place. By teaching me the concepts for teaching in the Authentic Yoga System, Neel taught me a simple and effective method to teach what I already know. I realized that my whole life became the teacher training.
Thank you, Neel.
Dr. Sue Ann Lewine, Stress Reduction Specialist ad Doctor of Chiropractic, Virginia, USA
"Neel is an outstanding yoga teacher and Sanskrit scholar. He takes his work very seriously and can address the huge spectrum of student needs in Yoga classes. Also, he can discuss and explain classic Yoga scriptures and philosophies, as well as share how to chant them properly. Neel is nothing but integrity, inside and out and I'm proud to have studied with him and count him as my friend."
Allegra Gulino, AYS200, RYT200, North Carlolinas, U.S.A.
Neel is a wonderful, gifted teacher with an unbelievable wealth of knowledge of classical yoga scripture and a familial lineage to back him up. I just ate up every moment of the training. He solidly demonstrated how and why his methodology and philosophy is superior. He has taken me out of my comfort zone and opened new doors for my thinking, praciticing and teaching yoga. At the same time he has made me feel absolutely safe to ask whatever questions I have and has an organic approach to addressing topics which I appreciated. All this and his lovely personality and welcoming attitude too. Neel is tip top!
Allegra Gulino, RYT, Arlington, Virginia and Yoga Teacher at American University, Washtington, DC
Elsie T. Neely
Neel Kulkarni created a style of yoga called Authentic Yoga System (R). He had a fortune of studying with B. K. S. Iyangar, who was his teacher as well as next door neighbor. One of the personal touches he incorporated into his training included the following: happy face, soft neck, mouth closed. As I teach my classes and use Neel's concepts, I realize that the 3 points he stressed allow me to know if a student is straining, or forcing their body to complete an asana, beyond their capacity.
Another thing Neel stressed was, leave your ego at the door. I have realized the significance of this idea as I train. Students often see someone who is able to perform an asana in a superior manner and they want to equal that effort, which is dangerous. Many of my students have had negative experiences in various yoga classes, because they attempted to maximize an asana, which caused pain and muscle damage. I know when a student is not completing an asana at their comfort level, as they have excessively rapid breathing, trembling, their neck is taut, and often they breathe with their mouths open. As I observe my students, and notice they are attempting to perform beyond their capacity, I often meet with them to discuss the importance of performing asanas at a level that is sufficiently challenging, and reassure them that with time and steady effort, they will almost perfect a pose.
He taught me to read my students, and to evaluate them to reasonably judge their capacity. Neel stressed that perfection of a pose is most challenging and seldom are we able to truly perfect a pose, as there are so many finite elements involved in doing so.
Because of Neel's training, I am a confident yoga teacher. I know that I should read and research as a standard requirement. Neel provided me with resource material from his library that has helped me continue my yoga education, and serves as a guide for my classes. I know that I am blessed to have had the opportunity to be trained by a classic yoga teacher such as Neel.
I just returned from a cruise to Panama, Costa Rico, and Belize. I heard your phone message, but was not available. during the cruise, I provided a yoga lecture to the Tuskegee Veterinarian Medical Alumni Association. It was successful. Many of the attendees are now inspired to join a yoga class. Thanks to you, I have been given the training, and resources to feel comfortable presenting information based on my knowledge. I constantly read the books you have given me, and have purchased additional books to continue my yoga education. I am eternally thankful to Iliana for telling me about your yoga teacher training class.
I hope to come to one of your classes between now and the end of December. Additionally, I will be inviting you to a yoga party at my house between now and the end of December.
I am Elsie T. Neely, a yoga student and teacher trained by Neel Kulkarni, the following is my testimonial about Neel Kulkarni as a yoga instructor:
Classes with Neel were an honor because of his superior knowledge of yoga. He possesses the skill of knowing where to start a student when they first enter his class. This is an important step, because many new yoga students are freightened or turned-off when they initially start a class because the teacher doesn't differentiate instruction for each student. When I was a new student, my goal was to learn the yoga headstand, which I had never attempted, and thought was impossible for me. Neel began to train me giving me suggestions to concentrate on as I was attempting the pose. He would add another major suggestion, at each class. I was a diligent student with my home practice, so I eventually learned to do the yoga headstand. Teaching the headstand is difficult, because their is a potential for serious injury. However, Neel was able to teach me in such a way that I never experienced any difficulty in my efforts to conquer the pose.
Neel uses props with precision. Students are able to assume a variation of a particular pose with the use of props: this allows the student to develop confidence and strength before removing the props. His instructions are sequential, and direct. His students know they are to constantly seek perfection of the pose with his gentle and patient prodding.
Yoga philosophy is basic to the student who aspires to make yoga a part of their life. Neel is the consumate yoga philosophy instructor. He uses Pantanjali, Ayangar, and many other ancient and current thinkers interpretation of yoga philosophy. However, his knowledge is so very astute, that he creates yoga aphorisms, and philosophy. As a philosophy teacher, he methodically introduces concepts and ideas in such a way that understanding is facilitated. After each of his presentations of yoga theory, students are encouraged to seek clarification, or futher interpretation. During my classes with him, he has been able to answer all of my questions to my satisfaction.
I am a yoga teacher trained by Neel, and I can say that I feel that he trained me to be a good teacher, because he informed me that I will never know all their is to know about yoga in my lifetime. Consequently, I constantly read material by the ancients and current yoga philosophers. As I read, I learn many new techniques and ideas that help my students and strengthen my teaching skills. If ever I need help with an issue related to yoga, Neel willingly provides the help for as long as it takes for me to grasp the concept (at no charge of course).
The most valuable trait that I observed in Neel is that yoga should not have money as basis. He always has students in his class who will never pay him. As anyone who studies yoga knows, the ancient yogis were never paid, they were provided with food, clothing and other basic needs by their students. My students pay what they can afford, and if they can't pay, they are still allowed to take my classes.
I am very thankful that I have had the opportunity to work with Neel, and I look forward to working with him in the future.
Elsie Neely, Education Specialist, Washington D.C.
Reflections on your teaching of the advanced teacher training and yoga classes for 2002-2003:
1. I liked the idea of designing a program to meet each student's needs. It allowed me to clarify issues that were confusing.
2. The size of the class was ideal. I received one on one attention, which allowed me to refine some of my asanas. Your manner of teaching allows a student to know what they need to work on to approach perfection of a pose. Additionally, following your advice about doing the asana first, as close to perfection as possible, the teachers are capable of before teaching it. When you concentrate on the poses you can better tell your students points to work on so that they can do the poses with ease.
3. I liked the detailed explanations you gave about yoga theory, the asanas and what they mean and how they benefit parts of the body. You also supplied valuable books that provided in depth knowledge about many aspects of yoga.
4. I disliked the idea that you formed the written exams while we were in the midst of class. I felt it implied that you did not plan well, the exam should have been prepared and handed to us. I feel that professionally such behavior appears that it was a last minute process. If a college professor did such behavior his job would be in jeopardy.
Overall I feel that I am better prepared than most yoga teachers in the USA because of your superior knowledge and understanding of yoga. You trained me to notice and listen to my body, to practice to get perfection, and that you usually never reach perfection yet you still try. I must say that in your class I have done things that I thought were impossible for me, as a result my confidence increased. Physically I am much stronger because of your training, more willing to try what seems to be the most difficult of poses, and more aware of my posture at all times. Additionally, I feel that there is much more I need to learn from you.
Elsie Neely 05/17/2003
Critique of advanced yoga training: The major goals I sought as I entered the advanced yoga training class were, to learn how to use yoga for specific therapy, and to improve my ability to perfect certain asanas. I did improve my backbends tremendously, and learned about some theraputic applications, but I would like to learn more. I find Neel Kulkarni to be one of the most highly qualified yoga instructors in the area. He is trained in the classical style of yoga, to which he has made personal adaptations to form his personal style of yoga, known as Authentic Yoga. He skillfully uses props, encouragement, and gently applied discipline with his students to make them do things they never thought they could do. My first class with Neel was marked with incredulity at the idea that I could ever succeed in doing certain Asanas. In due course, and with expert guidance, I was able to perform the asanas that I once thought were impossible. The advanced teacher training involved in depth lectures on health, yoga theory and philosophy. The health and nutritrion classes were very informative and enabled me to improve on my vegan diet. I feel that the health and nutritrion information is as vital as completing the asanas. The healthier the body the more prepared it is to do hard work. Yoga theory and philosophy helped to make sense of the entire concept of yoga. Many people take yoga for the physical aspects only; they miss the essence of yoga. Knowing the theory and philosophy has enabled me to concentrate more, to focus on my breathing, and to begin to explore meditation. I am about to take additional yoga teacher training and I expect to compound my knowledge as an instructor. I look forward to my next class and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn from a master.
Elsie Neely 10/28/02
This is my feedback of the teacher training class: The class was quite comprehensive. I am certain after listening to some of the tapes you could have used more time. That will probably be for advanced or further teacher training. I enjoyed the class and learned so much. It stimulated my brain and activated my body and mind. The lectures were most valuable for me as a teacher and for my personal life. They affirmed much of what I do for well being, and I learned more that I can do. The spiritual goal and mind and body training concepts helped me to improve my poses and meditation. I am reading the book you gave me to gain more insight, since I want to teach yoga. I will seek more training in different forms of yoga so that I will be more informed. On a rating of 1-10 I give the class a 10. You have great command of the material you presented, and you explain concepts in practical terms. I feel that I have had my initial training from a true master. I am very thankful. The only Improvement I have is that it would have good if we stuck to time schedules.
Sincerely, Elsie T. Neely 01/15/02
I will be taking the class on Wednesday. By the way, it is my observation that you are a good teacher. As a trained educator I see you using practices that I teach to school staffs. You are following some practices that are considered vital to the success of students. For each class the students know what material is to be covered. You allow questioning which provides for clarity. You are very patient. The main thing is there is no applied stress. I look forward to the next class.
Elsie T. Neely 11/15/01
Nilesh Jade, Computer Scientist, Falls Church, Virginia,
Authentic Yoga Teacher Training Feedback - The teacher training was conducted in a true spirit of Yoga.The structure of the training course was good, with a emphasis on a student maintaining the Log for the Home practice.There was also peer to peer review of the yoga classes as well as students conducting the same. The only requirement for teacher training is a strict discipline.
Nilesh Jade, Computer Scientist, Falls Church, Virginia, 02/27/2004
Katherine A. Banfield, RYT
My name is Katie Banfield and I have been studying yoga from Neel for over a year now. I had the good luck of meeting Neel at a point in my practice when I was looking for a teacher who could really offer personal attention and guidance. As a yoga teacher myself and a fairly advanced practitioner of asana, I felt the need for a teacher who understood the science very deeply and could meet me at my level of experience. Neel is not only a great teacher, he is a master practitioner of all aspects of yoga. Just when I think there cant be anymore to uncover, he opens up an immense body of knowledge for me to explore. I have particularly enjoyed the time we have spent together discussing philosophy, chanting, and the culture of India. I feel that I have been blessed to have met such a jewel here in the West. After four trips to India, I was skeptical about finding a competent and authentic teacher outside of Asia, but I have found one here in Virginia. It would take me more than one lifetime to learn the techniques that Neel considers familiar, but I am excited to have begun that process with someone I consider a brother, teacher, spiritual guide and friend.
Katherine A. Banfield, RYT, 2004
Authentic Yoga Teacher Training Feedback - Excellent overall understanding of the philosophy and focus of Authentic Yoga. This course is a basic must for serious yoga students in order to comprehend the foundation of authentic "Indian" yogic lifestyle. It will benefit me throughout my life and in all my endeavors.
Julie Shaffer 02/06/2004
Stephanie Schafer, School Teacher
Dear Neel - Merry Christmas to you too!Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the training you gave me - I'm still teaching yoga to elementary school students in Arlington County - retired from my counseling job this summer but have continued with the yoga classes -
Happy New Year -
Stephanie (Stevie) Shaefer
Aloha Neel - Thank you for keeping me on your list and I would love to come. This past Spring 37 yoga students signed up for my class after school at Barrett Elementary School (all Pre-K -usually ages 4 - to 3rd grade!) I had to form two classes - they are really growing beautifully. It is very wonderful work - thank you for all your guidance - I still would like to come back for more training when I can afford it!
Namaste and Aloha to you Neel!
Thank you for keeping me on your mailing list. Even though I have been asked to teach a class for adults in a private home I haven't done so yet but continue to offer Yoga on Monday afternoons from 3:06-4:00 P.M. for students at my Elementary School! Right now we have 28 mostly primary Yoga students (mostly Kindergarten to 3rd grade and two 5th grade students!) It is becoming more and more relaxing and we are very proud of them. Their favorite greeting to show respect to each other is "Nameste" with prayer position which means to us "The light and goodness and forgiveness in me respects and honors the light and goodness and forgiveness in you". Thank you for your wonderful class which has given me the tools to be able to share Yoga with these little ones! I hope to be able to take an advanced teaching class with you again sometime next year to improve my practice!
Thank you again for all your work. With sincere aloha (it means "I wish you the breath of life") and Nameste,
Stephanie Schafer, School Teacher, Virginia 05/23/2006
Dear Neel - Thank you for thinking of me. I hope all is going well. I just wanted to let you know that I am honored to still be able to teach and Yoga class for primary aged children at the elementary school where I work as a school counselor. This semester we have 24 preschool (age 4) through 3rd graders in the class. At the beginning and end of the class we always greet each person with "Nameste" which to us means "the goodness and light and forgiveness in me respects and honors the goodness and light and forgiveness in you." We also remind each other that "each person is very special because they are the only one of them in the entire universe!," and that "we are all teachers and learners." One class I had to come late so one of our 3rd graders taught the class and did a great job! Thanks to the great training I received from you Neel I know that I have a lot to share with them! I still plan to take your advanced teachers class sometime in the future! Please keep me on your mailing list - God Bless You! Sincerely, Stephanie Shaefer
Dear Neel - Congratulations on all the new class, center, etc. I hope to be able to attend in the near future. Just wanted to let you know that last year I was able to facilitate a yoga class at our school for elementary school children - we had 3 Kindergarteners, one 1st grader, one 2nd grader, two 3rd graders, and two 5th graders - we started out with many moments of relaxation and by the end of the semester the entire class was relaxing - their favorite thing to do was to offer "Nameste" at beginning and end of class to each person - we translated it as "the goodness and light of God in me, salutes and honors the goodness and light of God in you!" Oftentimes their teachers would ask these students to demonstrate and teach others in their classes about yoga - I hear that they oftentimes demonstrated the tree pose and told about Nameste and what it means! This yoga class will also be offered again as part of my counseling program at Barrett Elementary School in Arlington Virginia. Thank you Neel for helping me to have the courage to share what I have learned! Nameste to you! Sincerely, Stephanie
As a graduate of Neel's Basic Authentic Yoga Teacher Training, I highly recommend any of Neel's classes on Yoga. He is an excellent teacher, concerned and supportive of each of his students. With his guidance, he helped me improve in so many ways. He also provides an important holistic approach supporting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth in his students as well as the opportunity to learn about and participate in the Indian cultural events at his Yoga Studio. Thank you Neel!
Iliana Quander, Dancer, Artist, Philosophy Major, Washington, DC
Neel Kulkarni is a gift to those people who are interested in the history, philosophy and practice of Classical Yoga. His 'Health and Yoga System' has an unbelieveably sound foundation based on years of study and personal experience. It is both unique and innovative. His knowledge of both classical and contemporary texts and methods is extensive and he shows true scholarship in the sense that he remains well-informed about the different styles, methods and approaches to yoga. No matter the level of experience, Neel is able to help his students put their yoga learning experience into the correct context based on goals they set for themselves. Goals may be as simple as losing 5 pounds or more involved such as the study of Sanskrit and Chanting as it relates to Hatha Yoga. In an environment where there is an increasing amount of interest and talk of Yoga and equally, vast misunderstandings and/or misconceptions about it based on either lack of information or inability to put it into context, Neel remains firm in teaching Yoga based on it's original intentions but as they apply to our present-day lives. Neel's strength as a teacher is his practicality. Although he is aware of and very much rooted in theory, he is able (sometimes incredibly humorously) to show us how we can, most effectively, apply these theories to our lives. I've studied a little bit of everything with Neel in the past year and a half or so. I began with Sanskrit and Chanting and, later, added the Hatha Yoga classes as well as his Teacher Training, several Philosophy classes and two Meditation classes. Accomplishments that I can speak of are: I am able to chant an entire prayer in Sanskrit as well as recognize many words, my understanding of the history and purpose of Yoga has increased, my understanding of my own body and all of it's finer points has sharpened and, as a result, my poses, especially my Headstand, have improved. I dance as well and I have found that the combination of Yoga and Dance is a good one that has allowed for better ease of movement and, indirectly, clarity of thought. 'Authentic yoga' is truly a good name for Neel's style. It is unique in it's approach but also, graspable, practical and truly, truly 'wholistic'.
Iliana Quander, Dancer, Artist, Philosophy Major, Washington, DC