I come from the lineage of ISHTA developed by my teacher Master Yogiraj Alan Finger and his father Kavi Yogi Swarananda Mani Finger. Mani and Alan's lineage has been influenced by many worldwide renowed figures and styles over the years; Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Venkatesananda of the Sivananda lineage, Swami Nishraisananda, Tantric Master Shuddanand Bharati, as well as young B.K.S. Iyengar.
Ishta Yoga derives its name first from Patanjali’s Sutra 2.44:
SVADHYAYAD ISHTADEVATA SAMPRAYOGAHA, “Through self study one ascertains one’s necessary path to spiritual enlightenment."
Traditionally this path is represented by an individualised spiritual deity”. Thus, Ishta means individualised or personalised yoga practice that resonates with the individual’s spirit.
The second meaning of ISHTA is the acronym Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda. These three principles - Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda - are the three keys or sister sciences of yoga, and it is through understanding of these three sciences that the student can blend and find their own practice. Hatha, dealing with the physical body (gross body) and how to balance its strengths and weaknesses to enable energy and awareness to flow freely; Tantra understands the energetic body (subtle) and its ability to bridge the physical and spiritual worlds; Ayurveda, understanding the individual constitution of a person and how it affects his/her practice.
Yoga is a path of growth, self discovery, self healing and self transformation. If we believe the divine is present everywhere and in everyone, our behaviour comes to reflect it. We practice yoga to learn how to live moment by moment trying to practice compassion and respect in all dealings.
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