Every year when the time comes to make a New Year Resolution…like it has now, I decide that I’ll teach 1,000 Yoga classes in the year. This is something that I’ve done for a dozen years now since I started teaching in 2003. Around 2008, Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Outliers’ was published where he introduced the fascinating idea that, ‘to Master anything, you’ll need to practice it for 10,000 hours at least’. That got me interested and I decided that I’ll consider myself a Good Yoga Teacher ONLY once I’ve taught 10,000 classes! Since I don’t teach on the weekends, that meant teaching a minimum of 4 classes daily, every week for 10 long years!
I’m humbled to say that I ticked off that milestone a couple of years ago. And my partner at Total Yoga, Neetu Singh did likewise. It has been a fascinating journey that has seen us teach yoga in Delhi and Dubai, and set up Total Yoga from Pune to Singapore to Bangalore. Apart from this, Yoga teaching has taken us to many other parts of the world. We seem to be living in a Golden Age of Yoga Teaching where there is so much creativity to go with the fundamentals of yoga and there are so many fantastic Yoga teachers all over the world. They’re adding to the richness of the Asana practice and introducing creative Meditations too. Yoga has well and truly made itself accessible over the last century – from the Himalayan caves to neighbourhood studios.
Over the years my style of Teaching has evolved into something really simple yet challenging and deeply focussed. Teaching a Yoga class has always been a Meditation to me, and also a Service; apart from being an Art-form I really enjoy. Total Yoga was the result of Neetu and me piecing together a set of practices designed to make students FIT and leading on towards Pranayam & MEDITATION. The ultimate idea is to create an Experience (not merely a class) where the student feels they have UNPLUGged. Therefore, having the right kind of student in our class has meant the most to us – people who actually ‘get’ Yoga! And in this sense we couldn’t have asked for more – we feel blessed to have the right students who we can literally share our yoga journey with. And we’ve been doubly-blessed to find some of these students taking up Yoga teaching. The TOTAL YOGA community is Family to us in the truest sense, and the thing we cherish the most in our lives today! Thanking all of you, and looking forward to another year full of Adventures! We reflect on 2015, and then get ready to bring on 2016…it’s a leap year and we are looking to take one giant LEAP!
– Neetu Singh & Manish Pole (co-Founders, Total Yoga)