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Manish Pole

/Manish Pole

About Manish Pole

Yogi, Yoga Teacher, Speaker & Writer on Yoga, Wellness & Meditation, Co-Founder+Director of Total Yoga

Everyone is a Yoga Teacher today! Finding the Yoga TTC that fits you.

Today, more people practice Yoga that ever before in History! And that's to a large extent because there is a Yoga Teacher in almost any corner of the World! So how did the Yoga TTC become so ubiquitous; and if you are considering a Yoga Teacher Training Course, what should you look out for? The modern Yoga TTC template was established by the Sivananda Ashram in the 1970's when they began offering a 1 month Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh. This allowed aspirants from across the world to take 1 month off their schedules and travel to India to learn Yoga and train to Teach as well. In the West, there were very few Yoga TTC programs till the boom happened post the mid-1990's, with Bikram Yoga and other Yoga Institutes then starting to offer Yoga TTC's. Now, the average American Yogi didn't have to travel to Rishikesh, Mysore, Pune or other Ashrams in India. They could learn in their City without having to take a retreat from their Professional and Family lives. Hence in 20 years, we've seen a proliferation of Yoga Teachers and that's spawned an entire sub-Culture that has made Yoga a universal language today. 3 things to consider before embarking on Yoga Teacher Training: First things first - starting Yoga Teacher Training is a commitment to a life-long study of Yoga. For want of a better term, we refer to this as a Yoga Teacher Training course. It is actually a deeper study of Yoga including the underlying Philosophy - beyond the Yoga classes you attend. You won't learn everything or even most things in the few months of your TTC, but you will be exposed to and hopefully get Inspired to pursue learning different aspects [...]

By | September 21st, 2017|Asana, Knowledge Articles, Total Yoga, Yoga, Yoga Teacher Training|0 Comments

The Life of the Teacher is the real Lesson!

As we celebrate Teachers' Day today, September 5th in India, we honour a rich and timeless tradition of the Guru-Shishya parampara (Teacher-Student relationship) that has been the bedrock of our Indian civilisation. For millennia, seekers around the world have turned to some of the finest Teachers in history for spiritual, intellectual and emotional learning and that vast source of Knowledge continues to Inspire millions in the form of Yoga, Meditation and more. I've been privileged to attend the finest of schools and through the institution of St Joseph's, imbibe many qualities that great Teachers stand for. I've been blessed to also live many years with my Guru, wherein the subject I studied was Life itself. When you live with a Yogi, you don't go to learn Yoga - rather to become a witness to how a Yogi lives and through that you are inspired to grow yourself. We all have our boxes, pigeon holes that we exist in - however, to live around a truly liberated being shows us our own limitations; and hence drives us to break through our self-constructed barriers. Qualities of a Good Teacher Firstly, there is no such thing as a bad Teacher - cause if you give the person a couple of years; they probably won't be around as Teachers. That a person survives as a Teacher in the free market usually means that there is some quality worth learning from the Individual. Last year the BBC did a research piece on the toughest jobs to replace by AI and Counselling and Teaching were deemed to be the toughest jobs to replace. These require Emotional Intelligence. Having said that here are a few Qualities that would serve anyone well: Stay a STUDENT forever: [...]

By | September 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Mindfulness: Simple, yet not Easy

Mindfulness is the practice of training your Awareness to remain on one thing - this could be your Body, your Breathing, the Sounds that your hear, or even the Thoughts in your mind. You could become Mindful of any other aspect as well. When you train your Awareness to become one-pointed, your ability to Focus is enhanced. Mindfulness practice is extremely beneficial in managing our Stress. Origins of Mindfulness The practice of Mindfulness as a formal training finds it roots in the Buddhist traditions. These were perfected in Japan in the Zen traditions. It's interesting to note that the word ZEN was originally a mispronunciation of the word Dhyaan! As Buddhism spread to China, Dhyaan was pronounced and became 'Cha'an' and as it spread to Japan the word became Zen. Observation of Self or Swadhyaya, is a Yoga principle that that is a pillar of the Ashtanga system laid forth by Maharishi Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. In fact. Mindfulness is integral to most Meditation systems of the World. It is within the Yoga and Zen systems that is has been given special focus. Mindfulness in Daily Living Exercise 1 Often is our busy lives, it is difficult to take out 1 hour daily to practice Meditation. In such a scenario, one has to creatively place Mindfulness into one's daily routine. If you think about your daily life, you will find ways to become more Mindful. One of my favourite times for training Mindfulness is when I travel in a Taxi! I realised that I spend over an hour daily commuting in traffic. So I swapped driving my car and switched to using a taxi so that I could sit with my eyes closed and train the watching [...]

By | July 27th, 2017|Knowledge Articles, Meditation, The Fun side of Yoga!, Total Yoga, Yoga in Daily Life, Yogis-on-the-Run!|Comments Off on Mindfulness: Simple, yet not Easy

Know your Asana: DANCING NATRAJASANA

DANCING NATRAJ asana is one of the most recognisable modern yoga postures. Although it finds no mention in the traditional Yogasana repertorire; Dancing Natrajasana has become ubiquitous in Yoga studios and Instagram posts of Yogis worldwide! What makes Dancing Natraj asana so special? Mythologically, we say that Yoga originated from Adiyogi, an aspect of Shiva. Shiva is also the celestial Dancer or Natraj - the Lord of Dance. It it said that Adiyogi spent all his time either Dancing ecstatically or sitting in deep Meditation - only these two states! Hence Dancing Natrajasana pays tribute to Adiyogi and reminds us of the value that Dancing brings in terms of Catharsis, for a Meditative practice to flourish in an Individual. Chakra-wise: Being a Balance pose, Dancing Natrajasana helps us train to become more grounded. This helps psychologically with feelings of Stability and Security, which are the key aspects of Mooladhar or the base Chakra. All balance poses helps us work on our Mooladhar chakra and sets the stage for an inward Journey through the various Chakras and corresponding levels of Awareness. Benefits of Dancing Natraj asana: Balance poses in Yoga train our Awareness of our bodies, so that we have a heightened sense of the simplest of activities like standing; on one leg of course. To maintain balance; both hemispheres of our Brain need to co-ordinate. Whilst we have both Logical (left-brain) and Artistic (right-brain) faculties, we often choose to live life in one extreme. Balance poses force us to co-ordinate better between both hemispheres - thereby bringing about a more balanced personality. This is also the reason why Women are better then Men at balance poses - the Corpus Callosum, connecting both hemispheres it thicker [...]

By | July 13th, 2017|Asana, Balance Asanas, Knowledge Articles, Total Yoga, Yoga, Yoga for Runners|Comments Off on Know your Asana: DANCING NATRAJASANA

Know your Asana: PADMASANA

PADMASANA is a classic Yoga Asana and is immediately identified with images of the Buddha, Agiyogi and other legendary Yogis throughout history! It's also perhaps the first asana that comes to mind when one tries to imagine a Yogi. What makes Padmasana so special? Actually, more than the form of the pose; it is what Padmasana stands for that has defined it's iconic status - the complete mastery over Body & Mind which Yogis are renowned for, and a certain Composure that we all aspire to! There are thousands of other asanas that we see all over Instagram, but nothing comes to close to Padmasana if we were to attempt to encapsulate all of Yoga in a single posture. KNOW YOUR ASANA! Padmasana or Lotus pose is one of 4 classic meditation asanas. A Meditation pose needs to fulfil one main criterion - that your back should be kept straight! And Padmasana accomplishes this. Also, meditation poses (Siddhasana, Vajrasana & Sukhasana being the other classic poses) generally lock the legs so that there is less loss of Energy (Prana) through your feet, whilst your hands are held in a Mudra to conserve Prana inside the body for the purpose of Meditation. Significance of the Lotus in Eastern Philosophy The 'Lotus' symbolises Transcendence, growing deep from the dirt and mud, yet rising out of it to full bloom and beauty beyond the water. It is symbolic of our Seeking to transcend our basal nature in our Journey of Life. Hence the Lotus finds repeated allegorical reference in ancient Indian and far Eastern philosophical writings. Benefits of Padmasana: Pranayam: Padmasana is the best posture for practising Pranayam. Also, it the the right pose for Om chanting. Chakras: In terms of form, Padmasana is special because it aligns all the [...]

By | July 8th, 2017|Asana, Bandhas, Knowledge Articles, Meditation, Meditative Asanas, Pranayam, Pranayam, Total Yoga|Comments Off on Know your Asana: PADMASANA

Yomaste Bhutan: the road to Happiness!

YOMASTE BHUTAN: Yoga – Travel – Culture Mark your dates: from Nov 1-5, Total Yoga & Byond Travel host YOMASTE BHUTAN in 'the Happiest Country in the World'. Immerse Yourself in Yoga, Meditation & Detox, Trekking up the Tiger's Nest Monastery, riverside Picnics and a whole lot of Celebrating with a group of like-minded Travellers! Join us on this Yomaste Adventure! >> Firstly, why should You embark on a Yomaste Yoga Retreat?! (This video was shot at our Retreat “Days of Zen” in Devbagh in Novemeber, 2014) Yomaste! Rishikesh rafting May 2015 So you’ve been learning Yoga for a while now, and you would like to take your practice to the next level – where you learn to Cleanse your body internally, and immerse yourself deeply into Asana, Pranayam & Meditation. These are practices that once learned will help you throughout life. Importantly though, you don’t need to be an expert at Yoga at all; even first-timers can join us! Yomaste! Yoga atop Mcleodganj, Nov 2015 Our Retreats are never restricted to just Yoga & Meditation. They embody the principle of Celebrating Life to the fullest  – and so we ensure that there are Dance sessions, Movie screenings, Trekking, Cultural trips, Yummy food and other activities. You’ll also enjoy community-time and bonding. And of course, there’s the need for all of us to getaway and find ourselves! Yomaste! Pangong Lake, Ladakh May 2016 In May 2015, we led a Retreat in Rishikesh – “Unplug”, which included Trekking, White-water Rafting et al. Read about Unplug in the World Capital of Yoga >> And in November 2015, we led a Yoga+Meditation retreat in Mcleodganj – “Himalayan Yoga Adventure”. Read about the ‘5 Things we Learnt about doing Yoga in the Himalayas!’ In May 2016, we led 43 Yogis to a [...]

By | June 24th, 2017|Total Yoga, Total Yogis, Total Yogis on the Road, TY Events!, Yoga-in-the-Park, Yogi Trek, Yomaste|Comments Off on Yomaste Bhutan: the road to Happiness!