Testimonials - Yoga Philosophy Class
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
Julie White - RYT500 Yoga Teacher, California
Over the past few years, I have tried to read through the Bhagavad Gita on my own. Through the stops and starts, I realized that I need to study the text with an experienced teacher. Neel led our class at the pace we needed, helped us decipher some of the concepts and taught us how to study the text on our own as well. We were able to read it on our own and come to class with questions. It was also very helpful to read the verses out loud in a group and discuss them one by one.
I know that this isn’t something I will get over night, but I truly feel that the way he set us up will help me continue to figure out what the lessons in this historical text mean for me and my personal practice. I’d HIGHLY recommend studying any type of Indian and Yoga Philosophy with Neel.
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!
Madhu Padma, Yoga Teacher and IT Management Professional, USA
I got an opportunity to share a common dormitory with Neelj. One early morning, may be at 4 a.m., I heard him get up and sing of Divine Mother, I was instantly in tears. He has a beautiful voice and such a discipline in practice, he practices what he teaches. From then on, he has been my mentor, friend, teacher, I am so blessed to have him in my life. I ask for him for guidance on questions of life to Indian philosphy. He has such a beautiful smile and open heart, that you would love to have him around you always. Thanks a lot Neelji for spreading wise knowledge and love in this world. Humble bow and gratitude to you.
Wes Linch, Senior Yoga Teacher, California
I would like to offer my heartfelt appreciation for Neel's guidance and teaching of Yoga philosophy as well as it's ancillary sciences. What makes Neel's teaching so unique is his broader understanding of how Yoga fits into the greater picture of India's vast philosophical tradition. When studying a subject such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, one cannot isolate the teachings from subjects such as Samkhya and Sanskrit. Most modern day teachers do not have adequate understanding of these other subjects, therefore the presentation of Yoga darshana is lacking. This is where Neel truly shines as a teacher. He has a gift of unwrapping the teachings in a clear and precise manner, relating it back to the bigger picture, and then making it relevant and palatable for the modern day yogi. Thank you Neel!
Certified Yoga Instructor
Marison Fusion, Yoga Teacher, California
You might be asking yourself “why” study yoga philosophy? Maybe I should just focus on the poses…..but for me combining the poses, Sanskrit, and philosophy, it brought depth into my practice. Studying the sutras will enhance your practice and you will see it grow. These "threads" (as sutra translates from Sanskrit) of wisdom offer guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life.
If you have the opportunity to study The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with Neel…do it! You will learn so much; Neel does a great job explaining each sutra in depth and clarifies any misunderstanding. The examination of yoga theory will open up a whole new world of perspective and understanding for your practice. I learned that exploring these sutras helps us grow as human beings. I encourage you to deepen your practice and begin this journey!
Teacher Training Student (Spring 2016)
Yoga Teacher, California
Melinda Moraes, Yoga Teacher, Brazil / Paraguay
Shanti Brancolini, Yoga Teacher, Italy
I'm extremely thankful to got to know you, and have the opportunity to study with you...I raccomand all who are intrested in yoga to contact Neel for a profound understending of yoga Philosofy and practice!
Renée Tillston, Still and Moving Center, Honolulu, Hawai, U.S.A.
We gained a lot from your visit. I particularly loved your insistence about clarity regarding WHY people are doing yoga: if we are trying for enlightenment, we are not going to get it by just doing asana practice. I also personally loved hearing you chant.
Thank you again for your visit. I hope that you met and enjoyed Joss Jaffe.
Thanks from Adelaide
Good morning, BroNeel, I wish you will stay longer in Adelaide, there is still so much that I want to learn from you . Lots and lots of love. PS Btw I really like your posts on Facebook.
Shrikant Subnis, New Jersy, U.S.A.
Neel - Enjoyed watching the yoga in perspective DVDs. They give a good overview of yoga philosophy. Thanks for sharing (you have in depth yoga knowledge)
Shrikant Subnis, New Jersy, USA
8 May 2012
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Fairfax, Virginia, U.S.A.
Dear Mr. Neel Kulkarni:
On behalf of all the members of OLLI, I want to express our appreciation of your generosity in teaching "Authentic Yoga" during our 2006 Winter Term session.
The sole reason that OLLI has prospered and grown over its fifteen-year history is the success of our program. Yes, our members enjoy the congenial setting and the opportunity to make new friends, but they would not be here if it were not for the broad range of high quality courses offered.
It always amazes me that we are able to put on a superior program when every single course is taught by a volunteer. Thank you for donating your time, energy and expertise.
Charles Duggan, President
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, Fall 2005
I would first like to say that I cannot make it to class tonight. Once again my academic deadlines are getting in the way of fitness and peace of mind. However: Your classes are exactly the kind of yoga I am looking for. I really appreciate the long periods of time that are spent on each pose. There is no rushing anything and that is the best way to really feel your body and let it tell you where you need work. I like that you are a wealth of knowledge about what real yoga is. It is important to me to know what the details of breathing are and if I am really doing something wrong or whether there is a median way of doing things. These next couple of weeks are really going to be tough but I would love to get a few private session before the end of the year.
Dear Neel, I thoroughly enjoyed your classes once again this Fall 2005 semester. I regret that I was unable to attend a few of them due to conflicts. Fridays would be a better day for me. I appreciated your incorporation of chanting into the class. I think I learn the most during the talks on healthy living or yoga at the beginning. I would like to continue studying yoga, do you offer any other classes on night or weekends? Thank you very much for you help.
John Kocur, email@example.com
My name is Eileen, I am one of the students for yoga class in GMU. I think I made right decision for taking yoga class and am lucky to be one of a students of you. You had given me first image of yoga, the philosophy, and spirit. I really enjoy doing it and wish to continue my yoga experience.
This class has been very interesting and enjoyable. I would prefer a little more structure and repetition of same poses, and formations that are overall beneficial (all rounded). Thank you!
I enjoyed the class; Yoga even helped my neck treatment combined with my chiropractor adjustments.
I enjoyed the course and how relaxed Yoga makes me feel.It helped me reduce the stress.
I enjoyed ending my Thursdays with a challenging yoga class. To begin each class, Neel asked each student if s/he had any questions or concerns, and tailored the class to meet special needs of individual students. I especially liked the fact that we spend several minutes with each pose, working at our own pace to achieve maximum personal benefits.
I would like you to know that I enjoy the class very much. We cover a variety of exercises and topics, and I feel like I have learned a great deal. I have only one request. When we learn a new exercise, can you please tell us its name and objective? I enjoy learning about yoga theory, as well. Thank you.
Hi Neel! I liked the class at GMU on Thursdays. At first I only went because it's the most convenient time for me. But, even though it's not an advanced class, I always found that the class was challenging. I appreciate learning different approaches to poses that I had learned before. Since starting the teacher training I really like being able to see methods of teaching an all levels class. Will the class be the same time next semester?
Dr. Sue Ann, Yoga Teacher Trainee
George Mason University
Allegra Gulino, Teacher Training 2004-5; RYT, Arlington, Virginia; and Yoga Teacher, American University, Washington D.C.
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
Frank Woolridge, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Fairfax, Virginia
The Yoga Sutra classes you taught were truly wonderful! It's the first time I have had the opportunity to study from someone who thoroughly understands the Sutras. Although, your class has generated many topics in the Sutras that I want to study, there is one topic that I want to pursue first. You asked me if I knew about the mistakes in Buddhist philosophy --- which I did not. Can you suggest a reference or web site where I could learn more about this topic?
Nilesh Jade, Yoga Teacher & Computer Engineer, Falls Church, Virginia - Teacher Trainee
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.
Authentic Yoga sessions are not only good for Asanas(poses), but also have deep rooted philosophy in it. Anybody who wants to learn Yoga from Philosophical Indian perspective should definitely try Authentic Yoga. Since practising for a year, it helped me a lot, in knowing limitations and setting up expectations, thus helping to reduce mental stress. It definitely improved the health, reducing weight and keeing it under control without any major effort.
- Nilesh Jade.
Julie Shaffer, Yoga Teacher, Burke, Virginia - Teacher Trainee
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
Stephanie Shaefer, Yoga Teacher and Educationist, Alexandria, Virginia
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
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!
Hanna Mae Owens, Psychology Student, Virginia, U.S.A.
Neel, Thank you so much for everything you have done to help me and teach me on this trip. I am very lucky to he able to learn from you. I am amazed by your knowledge and generosity. I look forward to learning from you in the future.
Denny Grossman, Ecology Scientist, Vienna, Virginia, U.S.A.
"Neel has continued to provide valuable guidance to my yoga practice over the past year. Neel is a unique teacher with comprehensive knowledge of yoga philosophy, tradition and practice. I am grateful for the opportunity to study with him."
I have been a yoga student with Neel over the past year. His breadth and depth of knowledge regarding the history and philosopy of yoga represent the generations of dedicated practice in this family. I have benefited from general class instruction and individual training. My energy, strength, flexibility and overall health have significantly improved as a direct result from his intstructions. I am forturnate to have found this knowledgeable, helpful and friendly yoga teacher in Vienna. I strongly recommend Neel as a yoga teacher for any serious student.
Bob and Joelle Rudney, Vienna, Virginia, USA
"My wife and I have regularly attended Neel Kulkarni's yoga classes for the past two years. Neel is a phenomenal, dedicated teacher whose classes reflect his deep spirituality, commitment, and compassion. I have a disability, and Neel went to tremendous lengths to design exercises that would accommodate my disability and bring me maximum benefit from yoga. We miss him greatly and look forward to seeing him again next summer."
Rajiv Sarin, IT Manager, Springfied, Virginia, USA
"Saturday mornings with Neel ji this year have brought forth a singular aspect namely, do your part in life. Coming to terms with this dimension in one's day to day life has unfolded incalculable 'mahatva' for my career, my family interaction and my life compass. Also, this year, I have been remiss in not setting aside regular 'niyam' time for Patanjali Yogasutra chanting."
Neelji's Class: I continue to participate in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali class, and benefit from the wonderful gift of chanting in Sanskrit as well as Neelji's hospitality of garam chai. I encourage anyone interested in the subject area of stilling the mind to enroll in Neelji's class. As a student you may even be the beneficiary of his uncanny brand of humor! AUM.
I am a student of Neel Kulkarni and started Patanjali Yogasutra study in the Fall of 2005. I consider myself fortunate to be learning the text from someone who has a solid grasp of Sanskrit and makes it appear as if it is his native language. Neel is deeply committed to chanting the sutrams and I am therefore the beneficiary of the oral tradition of learning as well. I must confess the clarity of the philosophy contained in the yogasutra text has not been entirely approachable in portions of the first pada; however, Neel has been both flexible and patient to go over the tenets as often required. The initiation to the philosophy of Patanjali Yogasutra has made me curious on the practitioner aspects of ‘chitta vritti nirodh.’ I feel fortunate to have been recommended to this class by my yoga teacher, Nanda Bondade.
Cécile Poyet, Virginia and California, USA
"Neel has been my yoga instructor since 2007. He has taught me the most fundamental yoga concepts and practices. This has deeply changed my life – changes that will stay with me forever. Besides the most visible benefits related to better quality of sleep and healthier eating habits, I have seen myself becoming a calmer, more balanced, peaceful and satisfied person. Every day, I enjoy exploring my spirituality and divine nature further. These evolutions would not have been possible without Neel’s dedication, patience and teachings. I am very grateful to him for being my yoga instructor and to life for having made our paths cross. May every person on a spiritual path find such a helpful source of inspiration and universal love."
24 December 2011
Hi Neel, Thank you so much for offering me a special last yoga class. I am sorry I had to miss your class today and had not been able to say goodbye properly. However, I would like you to know that it does not change anything to the wonderful teaching you have been giving to me over the past months. Many things have been changing in my life in a very positive way since I started yoga classes with you. And I know I still have many things to learn, which is great. I feel very lucky I met you and Nancy. You are both very special people and you really became my "yoga family", as Nancy once said. I have been enjoying every time I have been sharing with you. Thank you very much again for offering me a yoga class tonight or tomorrow. I will not be able to make it, not only because I have to finish packing my stuff and have no car anymore, but also because I do not like goodbyes much :-) Take great care of you both of you. I will certainly give you news from California.
June 21, 2008
Before starting yoga courses with Neel, I had been thinking for more than one year about doing yoga. I probably did not dare to try because I was aware that it could open things in me that would be over my control, like when I studied philosophy in college.
Finally, after moving to Northern Virginia, and knowing that I would stay in the area for a little while, I though that I should really give a try. I had a look on Internet and found Neel’s website. I sent him an e-mail and, ten days later, had my first course of yoga. I liked it right away. At that time in my life, I was looking for a new approach about food, exercise, and mental balance. I read Neel’s book and understood right away that yoga could help me significantly. I also understood that everyone has to find his/her own approach. Yoga is something really personal and individual.
This is the reason why Neel is doing a fantastic job. He is able to share with his students his own knowledge of yoga, to provide them guidelines and, ultimately, to help them find their own way. He is always willing to answer their questions: questions directly linked to practice, but also questions about the more global discipline that yoga is – life, death, sleep, emotions...while having a realistic and wide enough approach so everyone can find his/her own way. Philosophy lessons are, in that regard, a privileged time to exchange ideas and develop a wider understanding of yoga. I personally found many answers and formulated many questions while reading Neel’s book, Health and Yoga Aphorisms, of Saee Tech, The Authentic Yoga School with Commentary.
I am currently traveling extensively for my job. I miss Neel’s courses but I was lucky enough to meet him at a calmer time in my life during which I built the ability to practice on my own. I am also very lucky I read his book. I come from France and, after more than one year in the US, I was still not satisfied with the way I was feeding myself. Speaking with Neel and reading his book opened my eyes. I understood that the purpose for me should not be to fight calories and pounds but, instead, to make sure that I feed my body properly. The same thing was true about my mind. I understood that activity, although everywhere in our society, was not necessarily what I should be looking for all the time. I learnt how to relax, close my eyes, pay attention to my body, ear how I feel inside. For me, it has been the first step to a more balanced life.
The exciting thing is that I know I still have many things to learn from Neel. Yoga can be an entire life. I want to explore the very wide possibilities it offers for a more satisfying and meaningful life. I know Neel will help me in this project.
Katherine A. Banfield, Registered Yoga Teacher, Virginia
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
John Kokur, Music Major, GMU, Fairfax, Virginia
"The "Authentic Yoga" class taught on the George Mason campus is a great introduction into the world of Yoga. Neel Kulkarni structures his class around his students and is willing to go out of his way to help you. He has an extensive knowledge of all aspects of Yoga. In one class, you will learn exercises and poses, meditation, philosophy, and advice for a healthy lifestyle. In my experience in just the last few months, I have found that daily practice of the exercises taught in this class promotes a definite sense of well-being and physical health. Contemplation of the philosophical ideas (seeking their truth in your life) and meditation practice leads to mental peace. Thank you Neel for sharing your experience and knowledge."
April 15, 2005
Pamela McDonald, Alexandria, Virginia
About your Yoga school-- I see that what you offer is much more than what the "marketed" American yoga schools offer. You provide a complete teaching--an awakened way of being that includes Raja, Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, and Hatha yoga. I experience you as a spiritual teacher who uses yoga as the means or path to an awakened life. I immediately experienced a transmission upon meeting you--that which cannot be put into words--but is what I translated into an "inner knowing" that I had found the right teacher for me. I feel that transmission every time I am in your presence. The beauty of being a student of Authentic Yoga is that I feel completely accepted and known from a very deep place in you. I realize that I trust you completely without hesitation from a place of inner knowing in me (and that sense of deep trust is rare for me). Your knowledge of yoga and the spirit is not book knowledge, it comes from within you and that is very special and rare. I believe the "right" students will find you and that your job may be to find a way to let them know you are here.
19 October 2004
Drs. Menetta Myers, Clinical Psychologist, Virginia
Feedback: I have thoroughly enjoyed being a student of yoga under the direction of Neel Kulkarni. His dedication to a yoga lifestyle comes across in his knowledge of philosophy, meditation, Hatha yoga, and a variety of other subjects. Yoga has helped me to feel more centered and better able to manage stress. I also feel physically stronger and healthier. I would recommend Authentic Yoga to anybody interested in learning yoga from a true Yogi. Neel can adjust his teachings to any experience level and any special need-even in a classroom with several students.
I have been practicing yoga (including meditation and philosophy) under the guidance of Neel for almost 3 years now. Initially, I forced myself to go because I needed an outlet for work related stress and a friend suggested that yoga might be beneficial. Currently, I am much more motivated to attend class, partly because of the benefits I have noticed and partly because of Neel's enthusiasm and dedication to the teaching of yoga. Neel has taken me under his wing and provided me with encouragement and support while gently nudging me to push my limits and work toward my goal. He is extremely attentive to the needs of each of his students and he develops the overall goal of the class based on the personal goals of each student. He caters his lectures and practice to the class goal and he is flexible when new topics are suggested by his students. He is knowledgeable on a variety of subjects and he is able communicate complex philosophical concepts in an easily understandable manner. From my observations, he is willing and able to answer any questions from his students and address any concerns that are presented to him. In between classes or for private concerns, he is accessible by email and will respond promptly. Neel is genuinely invested in yoga as a lifestyle and it shows in his style of teaching and his interactions with his students. I feel fortunate that my introduction to yoga was with Neel and I plan to continue this journey with him as my guide.
I have been practicing Yoga under Neel's supervision for approximately two years. I appreciate the individual attention I receive from Neel, even in group classes. He helps each student to identify and attain their goals. My personal goal is stress reduction and I have been able to reach and maintain that goal by practicing with Neel regularly and listening to the information he offers on Nutrition, Yoga Practice, Meditation, and Philosophy. He has a vast knowledge base and he has a way of pushing me to stay motivated without making me feel overwhelmed. I am very pleased with the progress I have made and surprised by what I have been able to get my body to do!
Cathy Andrews, Government Admin, Alexandria, Virginia
For the past year, I have attended Neel's Hatha Yoga/Meditation/Philosophy/Chanting class. The class is very challenging, informative, and interesting. It is a multi-level class and Neel manages to tax us all to our full capacity! The meal Neel provides at the end of class is always tasty, nutritious, and welcome. When I began studying with Neel, my goals were to decrease asthmatic symptoms, lose weight, increase strength and flexibility, and to heal a knee injury. I no longer take any asthma medications, have lost 30 lbs, and have increased my strength and flexibility.
My knee has been slow to heal but, with the progress I've made thus far, I am still hopeful. While I attend classes faithfully, I must admit my actual practice outside the classroom has been sporadic. Thus, one of my new goals is discipline. I enjoy Neel's classes immensely. Neel is knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects and has a gentle, peaceful, patient spirit about him. I continue to recommend his classes and instructional aids to my friends, family, and co-workers. Really, I would recommend his classes to everyone. I wish you peace.
I met Neel Kulkarni in the summer of 2002 on the heels of an unsuccessful attempt to train for a marathon. It has been an auspicious meeting for me. At the time I was experiencing knee pain and asthma symptoms exacerbated by the training. In response to Neel's question about my goals for the class, I said I wanted more strength, flexibility, and to alleviate the asthmatic symptoms. Regarding the knee pain, Neel said, "Don't worry about it." Regarding the asthma he said, "The asthma can be eradicated in six months. Are you ready to make some changes in your diet?" Thus began my journey into yoga. I stand about 30 pounds lighter and no longer take any asthma medications. (I was taking pills and using an inhaler.) The knee pain is off and on, but lessening. Neel's personalized approach to teaching is most impressive. The exercise classes are challenging. The meditation/philosophy classes are stimulating. A different way of looking at the world than what I am accustomed to. What I enjoy as much as anything about the classes is the interesting people I meet. I would heartily recommend Auhtentic Yoga Classes to anyone.
John Kovac, Harpist and Harpmaker, Front Royal, Virginia
I have been taking Yoga Instruction with Neel for two years. Prior to this, I have taken Yoga Instruction at health clubs for about 3 years, and I was benefitted by them as well. However, I felt intimidated by keeping with instructors and students who were better at the Yoga Exercises than myself. I went to Neel specifically because I had a severe case of Sciatica and the Acupuncture failed to remedy it. Chiropractics was of some benefit. I derived the maximum and full benefit and recovery due to Neel's individualized Yoga Routine. He was giving me fewer exercises to do but telling me to concentrate and do them well. The exercises were much less stressful, but involved relaxed stretching which was challenging and which I feel, took me to the very basics of Yoga.
I also like his approach where he asked me what particularly I wanted out of Yoga. Obviously, I wanted to improve my Musical Skills as I am a professional Harpmaker and Harp Player, in addition to recovery from Sciatica. It is difficult to say what Yoga is doing exactly since it benefits us in so many ways, but I am sure that Neel's measured instruction has been of immense benefit to me at many levels, healthwise, mentally, and musically. Neel is very knowledgeable about human body and Yoga, and has obviously devoted his life to the practice of this discipline. This is NOT just a part time thing with Neel. I would highly and unadvisedly recommend Neel to any one who is either beginning Yoga, or someone who wants to take it to higher levels. Neel really knows what he is doing.
I am a professional Musician. Thanks to Neel's Authentic Yoga! My teaching and overall Musicianship have benefited immensely. Thanks to Neel's instruction. Also, I suffered from Sciatica pain which the Accupuncture failed to remedy. A few Yoga exercises instructed by Neel helped immensely. John Kovac
Bill Sachaw, Nurse Scientist, Alexandria, Virginia
I have been studying for a year now with Neel. He is a very good teacher and is extremely knowledgeable about the benefits of Yoga. I feel that I have made gradual progress in doing the poses so that I get the maximum benefit from them, both physically and spiritually. My ability to focus and my endurance for aerobic exercise have been enhanced by the practice of Yoga. In addition, one of my goals was weight loss, and Yoga has helped me in that respect as well. Yoga has definitely been a welcome addition to my life and has enhanced my overall feeling of well-being.
Anandi (Sandra) May, Yoga Teacher, Alexandria, Virginia
I have known Neel for a number of years, meeting him at a satsang at Yogaville. I am a Yoga Teacher since 1992, certified in Integral Yoga and Sampoorna Yoga (Yogi Hari). I must admit that I am totally impressed with the method taught by Mr. Kulkarni.
I teach from my home and invited Neel to teach on a few occassions. I attended the class myself, and I and my students were very inspired by his style of teaching. He began by talking about Yoga - why we do it and the many benefits derived from the practice of Yoga and the impact on the entire system - body, mind and spirit. The hatha portion was different from what I normally practice, but I felt energized and uplifted. Neel ended the class with a deep relaxation as he played a recording of himself chanting OM shantih. His knowledge of Sanskrit and Vedas is very inspiring.
Neel's profound dedication to teaching Yoga and its philosophy are something very special, and I feel that Yoga community will greatly benefit by having such an outstanding, unique, and authentic yoga teacher.
September 18, 2001
Borders Bookstore Book Opening, Springfield, Virginia
Very well done. Interesting, knowledgeable. Good audience participation. Very able to answer questions. Great topic for the area. An Attendant, Borders.
Whole Foods Market, Springfield, Virginia
This was a fun and thorough introductory Yoga class. The principles were taught and I enjoyed it very much. Please have more! An Attendee
I found the class very informative. An Attendee
I particulary found the demo part of the lesson to be useful. Thank you. An Attendee
This was a very informative class for a beginner like myself. A great introduction to Yoga. An Attendee
Health and Yoga System by Neel Kulkarni - Good class. I enjoyed this introduction to Yoga and am anxious to start beginning a class. An Attendee
Very informative for the beginning Yoga person. Instructor was extremely knowledgeable. Very good! An Attendee
Thank you for the demonstration. I like the idea of learning more than the poses. An Attendee
Very nice session. Lots of information. Very interesting. Good instruction and good explanations. An Attendee
This class was very informative. The presentation was well organized! An Attendee
Whole Foods Market
Brian, Unitarian Church, Virginia
1. Benefits. Renewed interest in yoga. Upper body and back strengthening. Increased confidence in more difficult poses. 2. Goal. My goal was to find an appropriate teacher, one who would challenge me and discover my weaknesses. Have accomplished both. 3. Very light and friendly atmosphere. Attentive instruction. Well-rounded introduction to yoga and all its facets. 4. I would only improve the location. I am used to hardwood floors. As far as other classes go, I still need to work out my hectic schedule, but Sunday and Friday look like good options. Namaste.
Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria, Virginia
Mr. Kulkarni is very skilled and knowledgeable in the Yoga principles. I enjoyed the class very much.
Northern Virginia Community College
George Mason University, Fall 2002, Virginia
Excellent instruction, accommodations for Student levels. Very responsive to student concerns and desires. Would like to know the names of poses and their purpose. Achievement - the permanent 'knot' in my shoulder is gone, also less tense overall. Thanks for not trying to make me turn into pretzel.
Appreciate very much the individualized instruction. The class has been great experience. You have challenged us all, but paying attention to the capabilities of each student, you have been able to get all of us to extend to our limits. Your sense of humor, knowledge, and insight have made the class interesting and informative. I look forward to the next one.
John VK. johnand firstname.lastname@example.org
This Yoga class introduced me to a number of challenging, and actually strengthening poses. I can actually do a headstand! Flexibility is a work in progress. Website graphics are good for practice. And always wear a smiley face: teacher's voice is inspiring, and amusing too. Lots of fun.
I have been enjoying this class and hope we might do something that can use more strength in our next session.
Goal is Scorpion Pose. Achieved Full Lotus Position. Instruction is Excellent and Instructor is Excellent.
I have achieved my goal of more flexibility and loosening my lower back. I hope to continue.
I enjoyed this session very much. The teacher has been, as always, very kind and focused on the class and the needs of the students. In addition, the other students have been much more responsible and regular than in the previous sessions, so this has contributed a lot to the success of each class. The new elements added to this class, such as the music during yoga practice, have made the class much more enjoyable. Also, the recorded explanations have been very benefitial and focused on topics demanded by the students. The teacher was always on time and he stayed even longer than the class schedule. Thus, we had a lot of opportunites for yoga practice, relaxation, and personal improvement. I am very glad I took this class! See you next semester,
A good course. I am more flexible now than when I started. Neel makes Yoga easy to understand for the novice. John
Best of the three semesters I have been attending. SG.
George Mason University
Elsie Neely, Yoga Teacher and Educationist, Washington D.C
I am Elsie T. Neely, a yoga student and teacher trained by Neel Koulkarni, 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.
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.
Critique of advance 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.
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
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
Ed McDonald, Engineer, Alexandria, Virginia
Good morning Neel, I would like to thank you for a fantastic chanting workshop and your
guidance to incorporate an additional mantra in my daily life. Sunday morning, I extended my regular morning meditating by silently repeating many of the chants you introduced to us and experienced very positive effects. My back feels better and I only have slightly more than a memory of the discomfort. Also my back is feeling very straight and strong. Thank you again.
31st Jan 2005
Hello Neel: Thank you for the terrific classes this weekend. Your style of teaching is having a very positive affect on me. Also I would like to thank you most particularly of for the time and attention you put into answering my questions. Some things take a while to sink in; your patience and sincerity shorten that time for me considerably. I began reading the book you
gave me, Autobiography of Sivananda and find it hard to put down because it seems to
have been written with my questions in mind.
Eileen K, Vienna, Virginia, USA
One of the reasons I am enjoying your teaching so much is the emphasis on listening from within and the quiet that prevails while we are holding postures. It is different from many of the types of instructions we, what, as Westerners, are used to. As you know, I am very interested in learning about yoga in all respects, which means I am also very interested in knowing what the different postures do for the body and how they benefit the various systems. Any plans for a book outlining your poses, how to do them and and their benefits?
I think that as a very new yoga student, more cues and explanation can be helpful but I am finding that too much detracts from my experience. This comment of course does not apply to you but rather other instructors I have taken classes with. I suppose the interested student will seek out books or discussion with the teacher to expand their knowledge. Thank you for inviting me to the teacher training class. I will be very interested in seeing how both Carolyn and Nancy develop a style natural to them.
I plan to watch your CD's shortly so I will give you feedback on them if it would be helpful to you. I watched part of Sun Salutation I yesterday and look forward to seeing the second level one. I better get my niece over here to watch them as they are leaving on the 5th.
Please express to Carolyn again, how much I enjoyed her class. I think she did a great job and she should feel good about how her class went. Also, please thank Nancy for her music. I'm sorry for her bike accident but very happy that I was able to hear her play. And of course than her for the delicious food afterward.
I have read your Health and Yoga Aphorisms book twice now and have found it to be very concise, clear, informative and helpful. It summarizes, in one place, some of the topics I had been reading about and provided clear explanations. I love your story about the five friends in the garden (Aphorism 16) and how they came about to eat what they do.
I know that with each subsequent reading I will find new understanding of your aphorisms. I can already tell, after reading Vivekananda's Raja Yoga, that my understanding is deepening. I plan on sharing this with my niece. I think it will serve her well if she finds it interesting at this point in her life.
As you already know, I LOVE the CD you made that accompanies your book. Perhaps one day I will read along while I listen to it. Now I just enjoy the melodic flow of your voice and the background instrument playing. I find it VERY relaxing and soothing.
I am going to start reading your book again now, as I have been flipping through the pages as I think and type. Your book has me thinking about what I am feeding my body.
Iliana Quander, Dancer and Artist, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
I think of you every day and prayed for you all during your difficult time. things you have taught continue to serve as a roadmap for my life. i'm not always good at keeping in touch through other means. hope all is well with you and nancy.
14 December 2011
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, Washington, DC