ISHTA





ISHTA - The lineage and the method


ISHTA Yoga derives its name first from Patanjali's sutra 2.44:

SVADHYAYAD ISHTADEVATA SAMPRAYOGAH

"Through self-study, one ascertains one's necessary path to spiritual enlightenment. Traditionally, this path is represented by an individualised spiritual deity"

The second meaning of ISHTA is as an acronym: Integrated System of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda. These three principles: Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda - are the three key "sister" sciences of yoga.

  • Hatha deals with the physical body, to balance its strengths and weaknesses to enable energy and awareness to flow freely.
  • Tantra concerns the understanding of the energetic body and its ability to bridge the physical and spiritual worlds.
  • Ayurveda relates to the understanding of the physical constitution of a person and how it affects the practice of yoga.

Far from being an esoteric and antiquated set of concepts, ISHTA encourages a direct and personal application of yogic principles in a way that is specific and individual, whilst unifying the understanding of both the timeless universal principles and the uniquely modern aspects of being a yogi in the 21st century world.

The ISHTA system was created by Mani and Alan Finger in the late 1960s. Alan’s father Mani hosted many gurus at their home in South Africa, where Alan grew up surrounded by yoga. Seeking to integrate and celebrate these teachings, Alan and his father created ISHTA Yoga. ISHTA aims to give each student an understanding of how to incorporate aspects from various yoga styles and practices in a way that best suits their individual paths. Alan teaches today at his studios in New York City.

The ISHTA tradition has been brought to the UK by my teacher, the Yoga Master Katrina Repka.