The word ISHTA is also derived from the Sanskrit word "ishta," and is interpreted as “that which resonates with the individual spirit,” which is also ISHTA’s mission: to provide a personal yoga system that is neither rigid nor dogmatic, and which allows the individual student, guided by the teacher, to create the practice best suited to his or her physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Kavi Yogi Swarananda Mani Finger and his son, Alan Finger, created ISHTA Yoga in the late 1960’s in South Africa. Mani was first initiated into Kriya Yoga by Paramhansa Yogananda in Los Angeles, and later as a Kavi yogi by Sivananda in India. Mani subsequently went back to South Africa where he transformed his home into an ashram.
Over many years, Mani and Alan hosted many gurus at their house including Swami Venkatesananda (friend of T. Krishnamacharya and Sivananda’s ‘jewel student’), Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Nishraisananda, and Tantric master Shuddhand Bharati, who initiated both Alan and Mani into Tantra. Seeking to integrate and celebrate the different teachings and lineages that passed through their ashram, Mani and Alan 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.
Designed to create a community of like-minded people, ISTHA focuses on a heart-centered approach to life and a generosity of spirit. Blending the ancient and contemporary sciences of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda, it caters to the individual student’s needs with intelligence and authenticity. It combines yoga asana (postures), breath control (Pranayama), meditation and mantra (sound).
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