In January 2021, we will kick off ISHTA 200 hour and 300 hour trainings in Helsinki, Finland! Both trainings are broken down into 3 modules, giving you a lot of time in between training modules to digest, practice and integrate the profound yoga knowledge. See below details for both trainings and apply before August 16, 2020 to secure Early Bird pricing.
ISHTA 200 Hour Training
ISHTA’s Yoga Alliance certified 200-Hour teacher training program is designed to deepen your understanding of the science of yoga. Whether you plan to make a career out of teaching yoga or are simply looking to enhance your own practice, this program teaches you how to bring yoga into daily life.
About ISHTA Yoga Teacher Training
Become a Modern Yogi in an Ancient Lineage
ISHTA Yoga offers 200-Hour and 300-Hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher training programs, as well as a variety of specialty programs for teachers and trainees. We provide a uniquely modern, individualized, and integrated approach to the ancient science of yoga. The ISHTA lineage and teachings provide a comprehensive foundation for all aspects of yoga. We cover asana, the practice and teachings of the subtle and causal body anatomies, pranayama and kriya techniques, meditation, Tantric philosophy, and Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of life). Through in-depth daily asana practice, posture labs, practice teaching, anatomy, and lectures on topics ranging from the energetic bodies to neurophysiology, the ISHTA-trained practitioner is able to approach and embrace yoga in all of its forms.
ISHTA Yoga trains its teachers to acquire and master the skills needed to excel in group classes of all levels, private lessons, corporate lessons, and specialty yoga classes. ISHTA trainees emerge from training feeling confident and ready to practice and teach what they have learned. ISHTA supports all personal journeys – from those simply looking to deepen their personal practice to those who envision yoga as a career.
Areas of study include:
- Asana and meditation practice
- In-depth posture lab
- Anatomy and physiology
- Philosophy and principles of ISHTA Yoga
- Pranayama and the energetic bodies
- Specialty areas, including prenatal yoga, restorative yoga, and Sanskrit
200 Hour Training in Helsinki, Finland
The training is in module format during seven weekends (Friday – Sunday). Due the situation with Covid-19 we will start the training in January 2021 instead of Summer 2020. The replacing modules will take place during the Easter 2021 and we will finish the training according the schedule in Summer 2021. See the dates below. Times are 8am – 5:30pm every day.
January 8-10th / 8am-5:30pm
January 15-17th / 8am-5:30pm
Apr 2th-4th / 8am-5:30pm
Apr 9th-11th / 8am-5:30pm
July 16-18th / 8am-5:30pm
July 23-25th / 8am-5:30pm
July 30th – Aug 1st / 8am-5:30pm
Trainers: Yogiraj Peter Ferko, Yogiraj Wendy Newton, Senior ISHTA Yoga Teacher Aino Siren, Senior ISHTA Yoga Teacher Mikaela Soldan
Early Bird: 3990€ (apply by August 16, 2020 to secure this price)
Super Early bird: 3890 € (apply by January 10, 2020 to secure this price)
Regular price: 4390 €
*All prices are inclusive of VAT 24%.
Training Location: Helsinki, Finland
How to Apply
- 200 Hour training application in English. Download and fill the application. Save it a pdf and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Terms and Conditions for 200 hour training. Read carefully. By signing the application you state that you agree.
- Inquiries and signups: email@example.com
200 Hour Reading List
- MetaAnatomy: Anatomy of a Yogi – Leal, Kristin
- A Path with Heart – Kornfield, Jack
- Breathing Space – Repka, Katrina and Alan Finger
- Tantra of the Yoga Sutras – Finger, Alan & Newton, Wendy
- ISHTA 200-Hour Teacher Training Manual – Will be provided on your first day of training
What is ISHTA Yoga?
The ISHTA mission is to blend the ancient and contemporary yoga teachings of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda into a system that caters to individual students’ needs. Our name itself embodies our multi-dimensional approach. ISHTA stands for Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda, or a combination of physical, energetic, and healing practices. But ISHTA has a double meaning that stretches back to the very roots of yoga. ISHTA is also a Sanskrit word translating to “that which resonates with the individual spirit,” emphasizing the personal journey we encourage and guide our students to embrace.
What makes the ISHTA Yoga Teacher Training Program unique?
The lineage and teaching of ISHTA Yoga is a uniquely modern, individualized and integrated approach to the ancient science of yoga. While the body is studied and experienced in detail through in-depth daily practice, posture labs and studies of anatomy and asana, ISHTA provides a comprehensive foundation for all aspects of yoga, including thorough studies of the practice and teaching of subtle and causal body anatomies; pranayama and kriya; meditation; Tantric philosophy; and Ayurveda, the ancient Indian life science. The ISHTA-trained practitioner learns to teach safely, confidently, and compassionately to the individual. Our philosophy is to recognize the inherent strengths of each student and to enhance these strengths through personal practice. Finally, the ISHTA Teacher Training program was created and is taught in part by Yogiraj Alan Finger, one of the preeminent Western Tantric teachers of our time. Personal study with Alan and his senior teachers offers a wealth of yogic knowledge and experience that is profound and life changing!
Is this program appropriate for me if I am not necessarily interested in teaching?
Definitely. ISHTA’s 200-Hour teacher training program is a yoga immersion designed to deepen your own practice and your understanding of yoga first. Many trainees enroll in the program without plans to teach. The in-depth experience of yoga will be rewarding for you regardless of your future intentions. We encourage all trainees to simply take this step on their journey and see where it leads them!
I am not able to do some advanced postures. Can I still take this training?
Yes! While this training is not suitable for the brand-new yogi, we welcome all serious students with a minimum of 6 months of consistent practice. The Teacher Training Program is an inclusive program. Since yoga is an individual practice, we expect and welcome different levels of physical ability. Your commitment and desire to deepen your understanding of yoga are most important!
Does this program include vinyasa yoga?
Yes. The ISHTA Yoga principles of sequencing create a well-rounded practice that will encourage you to explore the yoga that suits you and your students. You will learn the basic tools and appropriate applications of asana, pranayama, and meditation for creating a well-balanced practice that leads to a balanced life. Vinyasa is an extraordinary tool for the mind, body, and spirit and is an essential component of these tools.
Is attendance at all the sessions mandatory to receive ISHTA Certification and to register with Yoga Alliance as a certified teacher? What if I have to miss a session?
Yes, 100% attendance is required to successfully complete your training. If you know in advance you will have to miss a session and you would like to receive certification, makeup options are available, though some do incur added cost. Exceptional emergency circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Detailed makeup procedures are provided upon enrollment; ask us if you have questions.
How do I receive my certification and register with Yoga Alliance?
Once you have successfully completed all requirements of the training (100% attendance or completed makeups, 100% completion and passing grade on homework, passing mark on written final exam, and passing evaluation on final practical exam), you will receive a graduation certificate and the necessary paperwork to register with Yoga Alliance. More information about Yoga Alliance registration is available at http://www.yogaalliance.org.
After the 200-Hour ISHTA Yoga Training, how can I study ISHTA more deeply?
For the trainee who is serious about teaching as a career or wishes to further commit themselves to study and practice, we offer a 300-Hour advanced training. This program is designed to greatly enhance your understanding of ISHTA Yoga and refine your skills as a teacher. Because ISHTA Yoga encourages individuality in all its forms, we have also developed a series of specialty training programs. We offer a range of intensives in many topics, including Anatomy and Theapeutics, Marma Therapy, Prenatal Yoga, and Restorative Yoga.
Can I teach at ISHTA Yoga after completing the 200-Hour training?
All trainees progress at their own rate given their experience and understanding. Still, it is our strong belief that most trainees are not yet fully ready to teach after a 200-Hour training. We require all our teachers to be 500-Hour certified, meaning that they have completed the ISHTA 300-Hour training after their 200-Hour program.
What are the payment and refund policies for the ISHTA Teacher Training?
A 500€ non-refundable deposit is due upon acceptance. Remaining tuition is due no later than two weeks prior to the training start date. In extenuating circumstances, a payment plan may be arranged.
”My yoga journey has begun 30 years ago, however as a plus size yogi I have never had the courage to join any teacher training until I attended wonderful ISHTA classes in Helsinki. I really felt included and the message that yoga is for everyone truly resonated with me, so I joined the training in summer 2018. This was one of the best things that happened to me in a long time, a life changing experience. Our amazing teachers Aino, Mikaela, Peter and Wendy gave me the tools not only to teach and share yoga but to live yoga every day.”
– Malgorzata Senderek / 2018 Finland 200 Hour Graduate
” The ISHTA Yoga 200 Hr teacher training was a life changing experience.
The teachers are all ISHTA Yoga trained and teach in a very confident and inspirational manner.
The well rounded curriculum is well thought out and challenging. It really helped me grow not only as a practitioner of Yoga but opened me up to a whole new world of Ancient teachings and Philosophy.
Founders, Alan and Sarah Finger have brought the sacred teachings from a long line of Yoga masters from India and South Africa all the way to Greenwich Village. “
– Phil Schuster /200 Hr graduate December 2016
“I cannot say enough about the level of excellence, depth, integrity & warmth of all the ISHTA Teacher Training. I am beyond grateful for my experience at ISHTA and this incredible training. The teachers go above and beyond in every way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!”
– 2017 Finland 200 Hour Graduate
ISHTA 300 Hour Teacher Training
Become a modern yogi rooted in the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda. This advanced teacher training program is designed to greatly enhance your understanding of ISHTA Yoga and refine your skills as a teacher.
The 300-Hour program is for students who have successfully completed a 200-Hour program and wish to pursue a career in teaching yoga. There are three modules included in this program: personal study, apprenticeship, and in-training studies. Please note that a significant commitment outside the advertised meeting times is required for certification.
Our 300-Hour programs are all taught under the guidance of Yogiraj Alan Finger and his senior teaching staff. Trainers include Yogiraj Mona Anand, Yogiraj Peter Ferko & Senior Teacher Aino Siren and Senior Teacher Mikaela Soldan.
The curriculum includes
- Advanced asana, posture and spotting labs
- Chakras and the glandular system
- Ayurveda and asana
- Yoga and the brain
- Yoga Nidra
- Advanced meditation and pranayama
- Advanced sequencing
If have you completed a 200-Hour training outside of the ISHTA lineage and wish to participate in 300-Hour training, enrollment in the ISHTA Immersion Program is required.
ISHTA 300 Hour Training in Helsinki, Finland
Aino and Mikaela are excited to be bringing this internationally well known and appreciated advanced teacher training to Finland. All trainers are Yogiraj or Senior teachers from ISHTA Yoga New York Studio, and have been teaching yoga for decades. This way you don’t have to go far, but rather world class teachers will come to you!
The 300 hour training is to those, who have completed a 200 hour training (with ISHTA or outside), and want to advance your skills as a yoga professional. You will learn in depth yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, Tantra, Kriya, Meditation and Pranayama techniques, how to work with private clients, more tools for sequencing, and much more. By investing into your craft, you will differentiate yourself from other teachers and grow your knowledge and business! 300 hour trainings are not offered frequently in Finland, so do not miss the chance to be a part of this magical group!
NOTE! Due the situation with Covid-19, the first module of the training will take place in January 4-14th, 2021
- week Mon-Thur 9-18, including a 1-hour lunch break
- week Mon-Thur 9-18, including a 1-hour lunch break. Wednesday 9-14 + 2-hour mentor meeting
Second Module: March 29th – April 8th, 2021
- week Mon-Thur 29.3.-1.4. 9-18
- week Mon-Thur 5.-8.4. klo 9-18. Thursday 9-14 + 2-hour mentor meeting
One on one -practice teach sessions: Fri 24., Sun 4.4., and Sun 11.4. 18-20
Third Module: August 2nd-13th, 2021
- week Mon-Fri 9-16.30 including a 1-hour lunch break. Wednesday 9-14 + 2-hour mentor meeting
- week Mon-Fri 9-16.30 including a 1-hour lunch break. Wednesday 9-14 + 2-hour mentor meeting
In addition to the in training, mentor meeting and one on one teaching times above, certification requires completing of the following:
- 50 hours of assisting an ISHTA Senior Teacher (this can be broken down and completed over the course of the training year. You can assist ISHTA Teachers in Pop Up studio)
- 20 hours of Svadhyaya Self study project
- 15 hours of One on one teaching and In Class Privates
- 10 + 10 hours of attending and observing ISHTA Classes
- 3 hours of workshop assisting
- 5590 € including ISHTA Immersion (15 ISHTA Philosophy Lectures in conjunction with the 200 Hour training)
- 5090 € for ISHTA 200-hour training or Bridge certificate holders
This pricing is available until August 16, 2020. Prices are inclusive of VAT 24%.
(After that regular price: 5890€ / 5390€)
Training location: Helsinki, Finland
How to Apply
Find the application here: 300HOUR APPLICATION 2020-2021
Before applying, please read carefully: Terms and Conditions for 300 hour training.
300-Hour Reading List
- Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy – Feuerstein, Ph.D., George
- Yoga Anatomy – Kaminoff, Leslie
- Tantra of the Yoga Sutras – Newton, Wendy and Alan Finger
- The Bhagavad Gita – As translated by Eknath Easwaran
- ISHTA 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training Manual – Will be provided on your first day of training
What is the 300-Hour Program? What does the curriculum offer? Our 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training Program is for those students who have successfully completed a 200-Hour program, wish to deepen their knowledge, and are serious about a career in teaching yoga.
The 300-Hour program consists of two major contact modules (In-Training Hours and Apprenticeship) and one non-contact module (Personal Teaching/Study).
- The In-Training Hours include approximately 180 hours of learning and practicing with your training group; thorough asana, posture, and spotting labs; and application of advanced techniques in asana, pranayama, and meditation. In addition, the In-Training curriculum includes advanced study in chakras and the glandular system, Ayurveda and asana, yoga and neurophysiology, Yoga Nidra, and more.
- The Apprenticeship is a twelve-month, 120-hour course consisting of: group class assisting (an incredible opportunity to learn from and assist our senior teachers), mentor meetings (small monthly groups to refine your skills in teaching advanced techniques and get personalized feedback and attention from mentors and peers), One-on-Ones (where your skills in teaching individual students are developed), and In-Class Privates (to fine-tune your abilities in hands-on assisting and personal adjustments).
- The Personal Teaching and Study module consists of your out-of-training study and preparation, including reading, homework, additional techniques and teaching practice, and completion of a required research project on an advanced topic of your choice. While a minimum of 30 hours is required in this module, most committed students exceed this significantly!
What makes the ISHTA 300-Hour advanced program unique? ISHTA teacher training is the gateway to become a modern yogi in an ancient lineage. Our 300-Hour program provides a contemporary, individualized, and integrated approach to the ancient science of yoga. Designed under the guidance of Yogiraj Alan Finger, the program offers many advanced techniques not taught elsewhere, especially in the areas of kriya, pranayama, and meditation. Advanced ISHTA training truly roots the teacher in the ISHTA perspective, guiding them to a seamless practice of technique, understanding, and joy.
I have already completed a 200-Hour Training. Why do I need this program? We believe the art and science of yoga is a lifetime study. We never stop learning, and there is always room to refine your teaching. In our experience, most 200-Hour certified trainees are not yet fully prepared to teach as they have not yet learned or refined all their skills. Even experienced teachers are always looking for new insights, tools, and techniques. The ISHTA program in particular offers a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of yoga that we truly feel is unique!
Who may apply to the 300-Hour program? The advanced program is a significant commitment of time and energy. Any serious student who has successfully completed a 200-Hour Yoga Alliance-registered program and is committed to yoga as a career and/or way of life is encouraged to apply. Space in the program is limited and all applicants are subject to review and/or mentor approval.
My 200-Hour certification is from another school. Can I take the 300-Hour ISHTA training? Yes! We invite you to explore the path of ISHTA. Trainees who have not completed the ISHTA 200-Hour program must enroll in the ISHTA Bridge Program. Bridge students attend approximately 26 hours of lectures in the 200-Hour Program, covering fundamental ISHTA material.
I am a serious practitioner, but am not able to do all advanced postures. Can I apply? Absolutely. Yoga is an individual practice and the path takes many physical forms. We expect and welcome different levels of physical ability. Your commitment to deepening your yoga is the true requirement.
Is attendance at all the sessions mandatory to receive ISHTA certification and to register with Yoga Alliance as a certified teacher? What if I have to miss a session? Yes, 100% attendance is required to successfully complete your training. If you know in advance you will have to miss a session and you would like to receive certification, makeup options are available, though some do incur added cost. Exceptional emergency circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Detailed makeup procedures are provided upon enrollment; ask us if you have questions.
How do I receive my certification and register with Yoga Alliance? Once you have successfully completed all requirements of the training (100% In-Training attendance or completed make-ups, 100% completion of Apprenticeship module, 100% completion and passing grade on Personal Study module requirements, successful evaluation on final practical exam), you will receive a graduation certificate and the necessary paperwork to register with Yoga Alliance. Please note that 100 hours of logged teaching time are required by Yoga Alliance in conjunction with your 300-Hour certificate in order to register at the 500-Hour level. Yoga Alliance registration is optional.
What are the payment and refund policies for the ISHTA Teacher Training? A 500$ non-refundable deposit is due upon acceptance. In extenuating circumstances, a payment plan may be arranged. Once the full payment has been made, no refunds are available. Please see the terms and conditions for the training before applying.
Do trainees receive any discounts or specials? What about classes? Yes! Unlimited classes at ISHTA Pop Up Studio for the duration of your training period are included in your tuition. We offer special prices for workshops and specialty training for trainees and training alumni.
How long can I take to complete my 300 hour training? It is advisable to complete all the modules and requirements within a calendar year from the first module. Extended plans are available, but they need to be planned in advance with the teacher training department.
What if I do not feel up to taking class? You are not required to physically participate in all asana practices. However, it is important that you continue to attend and observe in order to fulfill your requirements. Observing practice is an incredible way to see the whole room, watch spotting and learn from senior teachers.
What is Yoga Alliance? Yoga Alliance is a registry of schools and teachers who meet their minimum standard requirements. We are a registered school of Yoga Alliance. Once you complete our program you can submit your certificate to Yoga Alliance (along with the fee) and be individually registered. The most complete and current information is available at www.yogaalliance.org.
“When I began to seek out a program to complete my 300 hour certification, Ishta was at the top of my list. First and foremost for the rich lineage behind it, secondly, the convenience of the modular schedule. It allowed me to dive deeply into the curricula and practice, allowing the space and time around the modules to complete the necessary classroom hours. Throughout the nine months I always felt connected to the studio. The support and guidance I received throughout was unparalleled! I highly recommend this unique training program!”
Dana C Halsted Moss
“Embarking on the 300-Hour ISHTA Yoga Teacher Training in 2017 was one of the most life-enriching decisions I ever made. ISHTA has a sacred atmosphere and a refined caliber of learning that remains unparalleled in New York City. Training at ISHTA feels like earning a special express PhD in spiritual life and practice. Students intimately evolve alongside peers of every path, shepherded by true masters of authentic yoga in what is essentially a modern urban ashram. The community at ISHTA is rich, warm, welcoming, supportive, intelligent, and diverse. The practices, passed down with great integrity from a great lineage, are nourishing to mind, body and spirit. What you learn and develop in teacher training stays with you for life, and goes oceans deeper than anything you might glimpse from a regular class practice. I met some of the most significant people in my life through my 300-hour training. My personal health underwent a miraculous recovery, and then my creative career began to take off after what felt like a decade of stagnancy. Whether you intend to teach downward facing dog to others, or just enjoy pondering your own incredible presence in this world, the exceptional ISHTA training programs provide an undeniably transformative experience-of-a-lifetime.”
“ISHTA is an incredible yoga studio, and a fantastic place to learn. ISHTA explores all aspects of yoga, and explores each aspect in depth. The wealth of knowledge and experience from the senior teaching staff is boundless, and I couldn’t be more grateful that ISHTA is where I chose to train.”
About ISHTA Yoga
ISHTA Yoga, founded and created by Yogiraj Alan Finger, is a community of like-minded people with a heart-centered approach to life and generosity of spirit. Blending the ancient and contemporary sciences of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda, ISHTA caters to the individual student’s needs with intelligence and authenticity. Whether you are looking for improved strength and flexibility, clarity of mind, or a deeper spiritual practice, we provide you with the tools needed to bring inspiration into every moment of your being.
ISHTA Yoga in Finland
Senior E-RYT 500 ISHTA Yoga teacher Aino Siren and RYT 500 ISHTA Yoga Teacher Mikaela Soldan are Finnish yogis who have studied with Alan Finger and other ISHTA Yoga Teachers and Yogirajas. They are thrilled to bring ISHTA Yoga to Finland in form of specialty yoga classes, workshops and trainings.
The first RYT 200 ISHTA Yoga Teacher Training took place in Helsinki in the summer of 2017 followed by the second training in 2018. In the training students study with experienced yoga teachers and yoga masters, who will offer their inspiring teachings on the ISHTA tradition; tantric yoga philosophy, ayurveda, pranayama, kriya techniques, individualized asana and sequencing, to name a few.
ISHTA Immersion program
Created for students who wish to deepen their knowledge about ISHTA yoga, the ISHTA Immersion Program consists of approximately 30 hours of lectures and unlimited asana classes at the ISHTA Yoga Pop Up Studio during the training . The program is also a great option for practitioners who are interested in deepening their knowledge of yoga and the ISHTA lineage without enrolling in the full teacher certification program. This means, that you will not receive a certificate for the teacher training and will have to complete the full training in the future, if you wish to become a RYT 200 Certified ISHTA Yoga Teacher.
The ISHTA Immersion Program lectures include:
- Entry/Bonding Circle
- What Is ISHTA?
- ISHTA Tantra
- ISHTA Alignment/Intro to the 7 Segments
- ISHTA Kriya Yoga
- Introduction to Energetic Bodies
- Pranayama Techniques 1: FCB, Apa Japa, Ujjayi, Krama
- Intro to Essential Oils
- The Chakras
- Shakti, Prana and Pranayama
- Pranayama Techniques 2: Padadirsasana, Nadi Shodhana, Kaphalabhati
- Intro to Ayurveda
- Meditation Techniques
- Principles of ISHTA Sequencing
- How to Teach Meditation
- The Health Benefits of Meditation
+ unlimited asana classes with ISHTA Yoga Senior Teachers and Yogirajas during the training at the ISHTA Yoga Pop Up Studio in Helsinki.
The ISHTA Immersion Program is offered in conjunction with each ISHTA 200-Hour teacher training program and bridge program in Helsinki. See dates and rates above.
About Alan and ISHTA
ISHTA means that which resonates with the individual spirit and is also an acronym for the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda.
Hatha: From ‘ha / tha’ or ‘solar energy / lunar energy’ in Sanskrit, originated in the Tantric period. Hatha Yoga is the physical practice of asana, or yoga postures. Hatha also refers to the science of strengthening the weaknesses in an individual and removing the stress blockages in our systems.
Tantra: From the root words ‘tanoti,’ ‘expansion,’ and ‘trayati,’ ‘liberation.’ Tantra is the belief that our essential nature is divine, perfect as it is, part of the universal consciousness, and filled with bliss. The practice of Tantra increases our awareness of this state of total liberation through acceptance of ourselves and everything around us. Tantra gives us many tools to achieve the understanding of our true selves. In the ISHTA practice, we focus on asana, pranayama (breath work), kriya techniques and visualization meditation, as our primary tools.
Ayurveda: From the words ‘ayur’ which means ‘life’ and ‘veda’ which means ‘science.’ This ancient Indian tradition teaches that we each have a constitution, or prakriti, that is unique like our fingerprints. According to ayurvedic thought, the ideal practice begins with understanding the individual’s unique prakriti and their needs based on the interplay of that constitution with their current situation. For example, stress, injuries, or changes in life or work all impact what practice is ideal for you at a given moment. Ayurveda in the ISHTA practice encourages self-exploration and an awareness of the impact our circumstances have on our physical, emotional, and energetic states. We seek to understand how to best create balance in our lives and accept who we are.
History of ISHTA Yoga
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.
In 1975, after teaching in South Africa for thirteen years, Alan moved to the United States. He settled in Los Angeles and founded the Yoga Tantra Institute. Soon after, he co-founded Yoga Works. In 1993, Alan relocated to New York City and formed the Yoga Zone studios. Yoga Zone became Be Yoga and expanded Alan’s teachings into one of the most successful regional yoga teacher training programs in the country. Coming full circle, in 2004 Be Yoga rejoined the Yoga Works family of studios.
As the culmination of his life-long development of ISHTA, Alan and his partners, Julie Wilcox, Sarah Platt, and Bruce Wilcox, opened the first ISHTA Yoga studio in Manhattan on May 1st, 2008, at 56 East 11th Street in Manhattan. For the first time, all elements of the ISHTA tradition had a dedicated home. In February 2011, ISHTA opened the doors to its uptown studio, located at 1026 Third Avenue in Manhattan.
Paramahansa Yogananda: Author of Autobiography of a Yogi. Yogananda was Mani Finger’s introduction into yoga, his foremost teacher and his initiator into kriya yoga.
Swami Venkatesananda: A friend of T. Krishnamacharya and a leading student of Sivananda’s. Venkatesananda wrote many books on yoga, and with co-author Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger, wrote a book on Laya yoga. Venkatesananda, along with Mani, initiated Alan into Yogiraj. Venkates stayed with Mani and Alan for several weeks each year.
Swami Nishraisananda: A scientist/engineer turned yogi and disciple of the Ramakrishna Mission. Nishraisananda’s understanding of the links between spiritual yogic concepts and modern science is the foundation of ISHTA’s conviction that we are only now beginning to understand in a ‘scientific’ perspective the physical and energetic effects of yoga, which ancient yogis intuitively understood thousands of years ago.
Shuddhanand Bharati: A Tantric master. Bharati initiated both Alan and Mani into Tantra and was the driving force behind the systematization of ISHTA as a system of yoga.