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Archive for the ‘Yoga: Past, Present, and Future’ Category

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, I am fortunate enough to be on holiday in Lech in the Austrian Alps. I feel very grateful to be ringing in the New Year here in this charming mountain town. Over the month of December, my practice (and teaching) has been grouped around discovering a San Kalpa (the intention that I want to take forward into the coming year), and I can’t think of a more inspiring place to put it in to action.

I was introduced to San Kalpa twelve years ago in New York by Alan Finger. It was just after 9/11. With each passing year, I have become more convinced of its power to effect positive, lasting change by working deeply on the unconscious mind.

I hope that you will be able to join me on my annual New Year’s San Kalpa workshop at the Life Centre in Notting Hill Gate on January 5th from 1400-1600. I will lead you through a practice to reveal the San Kalpa that will most benefit you for the coming year, show you how to plant the seed, and how to allow it to grow and become real in your life.

Do come if you can.

Hari Om, Om Tat Sat. Wishing you much love and light for 2014.

For more information on the San Kalpa Workshop, please go to the Life Centre.

The Future is Yoga, Pt.2

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

In Part 1 of “The Future is Yoga,” which was posted on the blog in June, I proposed that the surge in yoga’s popularity over the past twenty years has been fuelled by the western world’s disillusionment and disengagement with Church and State, and as a consequence of rapid technological change. My conclusion was that we are heading towards a future in which the individual is left to fend very much for herself. The once comforting cloak of religion is in tatters; we can no longer rely on the State to safeguard our future; information technology is ineluctably changing the future of work (and not in a good way for many).

If the goal of yoga is to unite the body, mind, and spirit, the successful outcome of which we at ISHTA call “the unified self,” then it is the fragmented, incoherent self that we are trying to repair. As the great poet W. B. Yeats put it in his poem, “The Second Coming”: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…” When the centre goes, everything else goes with it. The centre is, of course, the trinity of mind, body, and spirit.

There is, to me, nothing more indicative of the centre not holding than the current obsession with the body in popular culture. And I do not mean the body beautiful, which I can understand (if not condone), and which has its origins in ancient societies. No, this is a somewhat newer development. I refer to the obsession with bodily dismemberment, specifically in the welter of crime fiction that deals almost exclusively with serial killers. Everywhere you look for entertainment—in film, TV, prose fiction—you are confronted with the chronicle of some killing spree by some madman whose stock in trade is some baroque method of dispatching his victims. What can we assume from the endless array of body parts that are scattered across the screen in current film and TV shows, and which are lingered on so longingly by the camera? Why are we so in love with death and dismemberment? Why is there no backlash against this perpetual horror show? What was once most likely a footnote in a crime story (the state of the corpse) has now become its main attraction. Serial killing is the new opium of the people!

Does nobody imagine that constant admittance to the inner workings of the abattoir will not change us—has not already? I fully understand that crime fiction is the most lucrative area in publishing and TV today, and that money trumps every other consideration, but, given that there is no conscience in the media, it is up to us, the people, to show our collective outrage and disgust at being presented with the spectacle of ourselves being cut, sliced, torn, sawed, chewed, ripped, hacked, or otherwise dismembered. We should be crying out: No more!

But we don’t. Why not? Because it’s just entertainment, after all. There’s no harm in it, we say to ourselves. Our highly developed sense of irony has collaborated with our general apathy to permit us to be lazy about such stuff. But, you see, there is a connection between our indifference to the spectacle of our own species being sliced and diced, and our indifference to politics and social change. The lack of outrage and action in one area seeps into our collective will and makes us apathetic in the other. To quote again from “The Second Coming”:

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

I think those striking lines sum up our current condition rather well. Innocence has been drowned. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed. The worst are full of passionate intensity. (Choose your own examples.)

And that is why the Future is and must be yoga. If it is to be every woman for herself, very well, then. If we have lost the will to act collectively, then we must act alone, each one of us, to the best of our ability.

The more that society tries to fragment, dissolve, and taint our personal integrity through the corruption of mindless, soulless “entertainment,” the more we need to restore ourselves to unity through yoga. The unity of body, mind, and spirit. The trinity of asana, pranayama, and meditation.

When we cannot control what is outside our influence—the direction of the State, the future of Europe, the incorrigible greed of the Banks, for example—we can still influence what is within our sphere. In yoga we have a very personal ally against the vagaries of the outside world. Yoga is our bulwark, our talisman, our moral compass. It is our best hope for the cultivation of self-government, self-reliance, and self-belief.

We are not on our own, after all. We still have something to protect ourselves from “mere anarchy.”

We have our yoga.

Meditation makes the mind

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I close my eyes and hear the mountain stream, half-hidden by the snow, the enchanting sound of rushing water. And now I see it, liquid silver threading through the underbrush. A moment later, I am standing on a lofty rock overlooking a valley swathed in firs, pines, and spruce. The colours are turning. It is autumn in the Canadian Rockies. My home, the home of my spirit. I have stood here before, many times, in my life. If I did not have this scene in my mind to turn to, how could I outlast the din and dinginess of the city? If I did not have this memory, how would I refresh myself when I was worn down? I am alone in the valley, except for a golden eagle riding aloft the thermals high above me, its wings spread wide as if to gather up the air. The more I look around, the more the shadow of my daily anxiety fades from me. Nature and solitude free my thoughts and give them space to find new form. I owe so much to this memory, this fantasy, which brings balm to my blood and lightness to my heart. Here, lost in Nature, I do not ask myself why, or what, or how; I am content to connect with the sublime without exerting myself in any way, to be blessed with that mood in which life’s mysteries, so often a heavy burden, become lighter than the mountain air. In the city, it is hard to feel love for everything, when we are chafed and buffeted on all sides by the relentless tide of willing and wanting. Here, I do not want, I do not strive. My breath is soft and deep. I am suspended in time, my body almost sleeping. My mind grows quiet in this natural harmony, and a deep power of joy suffuses me. The landscape and the sky are joined, and I am a part of them. I seem to see into the very life of things.

And then I open my eyes. The meditation is over. And straightaway the pleasant scene begins to fade as the concerns of the day return. But now there is new sustenance and a renewed sense of self. I dare to hope that even though I am much changed from the person I was, who first stood and looked out over these valleys and mountains, the change has been for the better. Yes, there have been times in my life when I have asked myself if the pursuit of my dreams was not more like a fleeing from my fears, or whether my appetite for the tall rocks and the deep and mysterious woods was not just an excuse to lose myself in something bigger—and thereby avoid having to forge my own destiny.

But when I meditate on Nature now, I do it not to be transported from myself, but to go inwards in order to hear my own voice more clearly among the many. The more I meditate, the more I have felt a presence inside me that overlays the scenes of woods and valleys with something beyond my knowledge—a motion, a spirit, a soul that is everywhere and is everything. I will always love to look at Nature, its oceans and mountains, but now I seem to feel their divinity as well. That is the power of meditation, to make art of our memories, and to turn each one of us into an artist—the artist of our own life.

Forever, Now

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The great Freddie Mercury once sang: “Who wants to live forever?” It was one of the most memorable moments in the Queen pantheon. Freddie was no opera singer, for sure, but he could belt out an anthem, and he sang it as if he already knew that he was not long for this earth. I heard the song again recently (like so many old pop favourites, it was being used to sell something or other), and I felt a poignancy that I could not have experienced when I was thirteen, the year that the song was first released. But now, older, certain thoughts arrive unbidden. Thoughts of mortality, even. You cannot help but think about the previously unthinkable as you age.

Who wants to live forever? Although he died young and some time ago now, Freddie Mercury is still a star. And I guess he will continue to be, for as long as pop music retains its hold on the world’s imagination. A great artist does live forever, somehow, in the music of our minds, or the more tangible legacy of his work, for as long as people show an interest in it.

But what hope of a longer life is there for the rest of us, the normal folk? A lot more than there was twenty years ago. Scientists, it seems, are on the verge of discovering how to extend the human life span. Recent news articles have been suggesting that we may soon be able to live an extra fifty years. Will it be done by injection, implant, transplant, or transfusion? No one is saying, yet. It may or may not be painful, this procedure, but I bet it will be expensive. And once fifty years has been tacked on, no doubt (in the inflationary, acquisitive way of the capitalist system) it will be superseded by an extension of a century, then two—until, at last, immortality?

Ah, to be immortal. The ultimate accessory! If you were told that you had just had your DNA tweaked so that you would not age henceforth, but would live forever at the same age as you are now, would you not jump for joy? Or might you, much against your will, recall some hoary old sci-fi story in which the last person on earth stands alone and remote among the ruins of civilisation? Such thoughts tend to diminish the pleasing notion of immortality. So one might not want to live too long, because eventually we are bound to destroy ourselves (we do seem rather to be heading in that direction), but, then, exactly how long should one live, given a choice? Another century, or two, perhaps? Think on this: all of your friends would be dead (unless they too could afford the millions it would cost for the Longevity Process©). How old would you have to be before you got tired of selecting a new mate every generation or so, or of having to make a new circle of friends again, because the old lot had all died off? But you wouldn’t want to be a hermit, would you, locked away with your reams of memories, your panoply of pains and pleasures?

And then consider this: your flesh might be dewy and supple, your breasts and buttocks ever taut and tempting—but what about your mind? How would you stop that from aging? (The boffins are conspicuously silent on the subject.) If your body remained youthful but your brain continued to age (in thought, if not in matter), until it had become a desiccated walnut, how could you stop yourself from becoming thoroughly disenchanted with the myriad assaults of daily life? I mean, some weeks are pretty unbearable now. Or, as Hamlet put it (although not quite in the context we are discussing),

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?

How much time would have to pass before life became unliveable, and the thought of just one more day made you reach into the kitchen drawer, pull out a knife (the bare bodkin, in Hamlet’s phrase) and plunge it into your own heart? Perhaps immortality is not so enticing, after all.

And look at how popular culture sees extended life. Vampires! Zombies! A curse, not a blessing. These horrible symbols of everlasting (half-) life suggest that if we are given eternal life, the trade-off will be eternal hunger—for other people’s lives. We might end up living forever, but never being able to live with ourselves. Some future.

If you practise meditation, you will know that what we are trying to achieve through its consistent application is itself a kind of eternity. Eternity in the now. Some call it a state of bliss. But bliss has become a word more often found nowadays in the description of spa treatments in women’s magazines. I don’t think bliss can really exist for us in today’s world; it is an idea that came and went with Romanticism. We are just too self-centred to be swept away for longer than a two-hour spa treatment. Another term is needed to describe what meditation can do for us, which is, specifically, to let us shed beliefs, expectations, and preconceptions. All the baggage that we have grown up with that foments conflict inside us, causing us to make the wrong decisions, limiting our capacity to grow, denying us the right to be our true selves. Meditation can draw us into the present moment and banish the dark dungeons of the past and the rose-tinted spectacles of the future. Oh, to live life free from expectations of how we thought (or how we were taught) life should be—and our oh-so inevitable disappointment when it does not turn out like that. Is that not devoutly to be wished? We cannot, must not blame ourselves if life seems unreasonable. Modern life is a continuous assault on our senses, our sense of self, and our sanity. But meditation does help. You do not need futuristic medicine. You do not need millions of dollars. You can do it for yourself now (with the help, initially, of a good meditation teacher).

What are those people who dream of an extended life span really saying about themselves? That they cannot find comfort in the present. To them I would advise: Meditate. Make the life you are living now the one you truly want to live. If you are looking for immortality, write a profound book, make some awe-inspiring art, become an astonishing vocalist (RIP, Freddie Mercury). If you do it well enough, the whole world and its future generations will benefit from your “immortality,” not just you.

The Story of Our Life

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

If we are fortunate, we start life with around 30,000 blank pages, and each day we fill in one of them and then turn to the next. We have begun to write the story of our life. There is, in the beginning, a galaxy of potential storylines, a glittering Milky Way of promises arcing across a distant horizon, and, as the years pass by, these multiple twinkling strands begin (slowly at first, faster later) to merge into a single, central, defined plot from which there seems at last to be no deviation, no surprises, and no licence to stray from the script. We are the protagonist of our story—the star, if you like—but we have every right to ask, as time goes on, whether we are still writing the story, or whether it is now writing us. We have a past (the distant part of which, our infancy, we had little say in or control over), and this past now merges with our present and dictates our future. As our story progresses, we gather up regrets, rhapsodies, disasters, triumphs, blunders, errors (innocent or otherwise), loves, and hates, and one day (perhaps every day, the older we get) we look back over our life and wish that such a thing had happened and another thing had not.

The profusion of possibilities at the beginning of life—a dazzling bouquet of delight that flowers most colourfully and brilliantly in our late teens and early twenties—is gradually whittled, winnowed, and wasted away, until there is only what is left at the end: our story.

But what if the story of our life no longer appeals to us? Is there a way to change the plot? One way is said to be psychoanalysis, which seeks to disrupt the patient’s own long-held view of herself; not so much to rewrite her story (psychoanalysis makes no claim to that), but to “retranslate” it into a form that is acceptable, or more palatable, to the analysand. But can psychoanalysis change the future? Is it enough to decipher the mystery of one’s past life for one to live the rest of it happily—or more constructively, at least? I just don’t know, but I do know that yoga can profoundly change a person’s outlook because it addresses the three parts of a person’s whole: the body, the mind, and the spirit. Through the repetition of the physical aspect of yoga, asana, we change our bodies, opening them up when they have become closed off by time and neglect, strengthening our core when we have been weakened internally (physically and mentally—yoga addresses mind and body simultaneously); through pranayama, the yogic art of breathing, we can even expunge harmful habits and self-destructive patterns (no need to think about it; the breath does the thinking for us); and through daily meditation we cut through the clutter of our lives, bypassing the obsolete views we have of ourselves, erasing the serpents of self-loathing, and re-envisioning ourselves as we have always wanted to be.

It is possible to change the story of our life. We can make a fresh start. Yoga cannot repair the past, but it can help us to move beyond its unhealthy, limiting grasp. Yoga cannot win the lottery for us or turn us into Olympic athletes—but it can bring such contentment into our lives that we no longer need to indulge in wishful thinking of the kind that features winning tickets and gold medals.

I have read that happiness is simply having control over one’s own life. I believe it, too. We can start on that project today—doing our yoga. And, with time, perhaps we can change the story of our life into the stories of our lives: many stories to write, many lives to live, and all equally fulfilling.

The ISHTA lineage

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

There are many systems of yoga and they have many different names, but what is learned today originates from a handful of important teachers who introduced their visions of yoga to the western world in the early to mid-20th Century.

A lineage is important in yoga (which in its earliest forms dates back to ancient India) because it gives credence to a system and credibility to its teachers, and that in turn reassures students that they are receiving an education with pedigree.

ISHTA Yoga was founded in the 1960s by a South African, Mani Finger, who by chance attended a talk that Paramahansa Yogananda (author of the influential book, Autobiography of a Yogi) was giving in Los Angeles; up to that moment, Mani had had no inkling that yoga was his future path. He was greatly excited by what Yogananda had to say and sought an audience with him-which changed his life. The yogi told Mani that both he and his son were destined to devote their lives to yoga.

Mani left his family business and went to India to study with Yogananda’s brother, Bishnu Ghosh, at the Sivananda ashram in Rishikesh. When he returned to South Africa, Mani began to teach his son, Alan, and soon their name had spread and they were welcoming famous yoga teachers from India to their home in Johannesburg. Among these visitors was Swami Venkatesananda, the “jewel student” of the Sivananda ashram, who had been a translator of many important Sanskrit texts; he was a powerful influence on Mani and Alan and was the teacher who initiated Alan into shaktipat and conferred on him the title of Yogiraj. Then came Swami Nisreyasananda, who was from the Rama Krishna lineage and had taught everything from yoga philosophy to mantra; he in turn introduced Mani and Alan to the Tantric Master, Bharati, who taught Tantra as a science that could lead toward liberation on this plane of consciousness. Alan and Mani also studied with B.K.S. Iyengar, from whom ISHTA derives its deep and comprehensive focus on physical alignment.

As soon as I began studying with Alan Finger, I realised that what he taught was worlds apart from what I had previously learned about yoga. I feel honoured to have had, and to continue to have, the opportunity to study with and learn from this great yogi, knowing that he too learned at the feet of other great yogis, and that his knowledge is deep, rich, and inextinguishable. I can never grow tired of learning from him, and I hope that my students will one day feel the same way about me.

I salute my teachers and the teachers who taught them. They are always with me, guiding me towards my higher self.

You can find more about the history of ISHTA at:

http://www.ishtayoga.com/yoga_history

The Making of ISHTA. A is for Ayurveda.

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Ayurveda (the A in ISHTA) is the traditional Indian system of medicine whose origins date back at least two thousand years. The objective of Ayurveda—the name comes from the Sanskrit words “ayu” (life) and “veda” (knowledge)—is to help a person live a long, healthy life by balancing the constitution (with the emphasis on prevention of disease rather than cure). The treatment involves diagnosis of the patient’s personality as well as body, the prescribing of herbal remedies, breathing exercises, and meditation. Every step in an Ayurvedic treatment is accompanied by observation, inquiry, direct examination, and knowledge derived from the ancient texts; it is a truly holistic discipline.

According to Ayurvedic theory, the universe is made up of the Five Great Elements (Pancha Maha Bhutas): Air (Vayu), Space (Akasha), Fire (Tejas), Water (Jala) and Earth (Prithvi). These elements are contained within each of us in different proportions, together making up the individual’s constitution, or prakriti, which in turn consists of three sub-elements called the doshas: Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (earth and water).

Once the Ayurvedic doctor has diagnosed a person’s prakriti, it is compared with that person’s vikriti (current condition), and recommendations can be made in order to bring the two states into balance (imbalances being conducive to ill health).

ISHTA uses the elements of Ayurvedic theory to arrive at the most suitable style of yoga for each student. Once the student has an understanding of her prakriti, the teacher can assist her in tailoring a physical and spiritual practice to address any imbalance in the doshas.  This may mean avoiding certain asanas or cultivating a deeper and slower practice that includes more meditation. On the other hand, it might mean speeding up the sequence and working harder! Everyone’s dosha is unique, and your ISHTA practice will reflect that.

The Making of ISHTA. T is for Tantra.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Tantra (the T in ISHTA) is a spiritual movement whose origins date back as far as medieval India. Tantra has taken multiple forms and been interpreted in numerous ways over the centuries: it has been a hermetic cult and a liberal credo, sometimes secretive, sometimes accessible. There is a whiff of the sulphurous occult about it, as well as the scent of a spring morning. Perhaps it is this very contrariness that attracts those of us seeking personal transformation, drawn, as we often are, to both the dark and the light. (That tantra has of late become associated in the public mind with advanced sexual practices has certainly not hurt its appeal to a modern audience.)

But what does tantra stand for? What is its philosophy? In general terms, tantra says that the Divine is everywhere around us, that we are a part of it, and that we can connect with it, if only we can liberate ourselves from the illusion (maya) of daily life and recognise the truth.

According to tantric lore, the universe was created out of two opposite but attracting forces: the god Shiva, who brings the male forms of intelligence and wisdom, and the goddess Shakti, who represents the creative, nurturing energy of the feminine. Shiva and Shakti were joined together in blissful harmony before time began, and when they were parted, the universe came into being. Tantra also says that Shiva and Shakti remain tethered by a subtle cord of energy, and the objective in ISHTA yoga is to reunite Shiva with Shakti through the physical body, and thereby return to wholeness and bliss.

The word tantra comprises the Sanskrit words “tanoti” (to expand), and “trayati” (to liberate), and ISHTA uses tantric techniques to expand the mind and liberate the consciousness: asana to purify the body and meditation to elevate the mind.

The asana practice stretches and strengthens the body in order to free blocked energy and build physical and psychic heat (tapas), thereby helping us to shed our wasteful habits and destructive tendencies and make way for new and positive development. After asana we meditate, using tantric visualisations to draw Shakti back to Shiva, in order to explore the subtler aspects of being and channel energy for personal transformation.

We try to sit in meditation for eighteen minutes each day; doing this regularly imbues us with a lasting sense of wholeness and peace.

The promise of inner bliss—not just on the mat but in the home and the workplace, not only during yoga practice but for every hour of the day, through all the myriad scenes and tableaux of life—is a very plausible explanation as to why tantra continues to exert a powerful attraction for people seeking a better way of being.

The Making of ISHTA. H is for Hatha.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

ISHTA Yoga is made up of three elements: Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda. Hatha is a system of purification and transformation often associated with the physical practice known as asana. In Sanskrit, Ha means solar energy and Tha means lunar energy; conjoined, they represent the balance of opposing forces in our bodies (e.g. strength and flexibility) which can be achieved through diligent practice.

Hatha Yoga is more than a physical discipline, however; exercising the body is only the first step towards exercising control of the mind. Asana should be accompanied by pranayama (breath control), which will soothe the fluctuations of the mind (vrtti); then the student can begin meditation. Through meditation comes the self realisation that leads to enlightenment (known as Samadhi, the state of bliss or oneness).

Yoga is all too often seen by the public as a physical sport, and the media tend to play along with this because yoga poses are photogenic, and the newfangled styles of yoga, such as Bikram (“hot” yoga) emphasise the cult of the body. It makes for attention-grabbing copy. But even if Bikram can tame the flesh, what about the spirit, which knows nothing of overheated rooms? For Patanjali, the author of the legendary Sutras (aphorisms), asana without the accompanying disciplines (moral observances, breathing, meditation, etc.) is not true yoga. In fact, in the entire book of Sutras, asana is only mentioned twice, reflecting the lack of emphasis that Patanjali placed on it. According to B.K.S. Iyengar, the author of the indispensable text, Light on Yoga, yoga is also more than body work: he says there must be “steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit.”

In order to yoke together the vital, contrary energies of the Sun and the Moon—the Ha and the Tha—an ideal yoga practice must embrace both the body and that which animates and transcends it. That is why ISHTA yoga emphasizes meditation and makes it a crucial element of class work.

What is ISHTA yoga?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The guiding tenet of ISHTA yoga is that the best yoga is the one tailored to an individual’s needs. In the Yoga Sutras (sayings) of the mythical sage Patanjali, the word ishta is found in a line translated as “self-study provides the individual with the path to enlightenment.” This concept is also found in Hindu culture, where a guru may assign a devotee her own ishta devata – an appropriately inspiring god (from the many available) who will look after her throughout her life and embody those qualities most helpful to the student’s goal of spiritual fulfilment. ISHTA yoga similarly believes that if we can find the right yoga practice for ourselves, we will, over time, discover our true being and the best way to express it in the world. In other words, how to live a happy, productive life.

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ISHTA also stands for the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda; understanding more about these three key sciences of yoga will assist us in developing and sculpting the best yoga practice for each of us.

Hatha relates to the physical body. In practising a sequence of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), we start to open the body’s channels so that energy can flow freely and we can begin to enjoy the feeling of bringing the body back into balance.

Tantra comes from the root words tanoti (”expansion”) and trayati (”liberation”). In ISHTA, tantra refers to the oneness between the individual and the universe (often likened to a drop of water in the ocean), and the ability to expand and liberate the individual consciousness in order to connect to our inherent divinity. We practice tantra by using breathing and meditative techniques that expand our awareness of the more subtle aspects of being.

Ayurveda is the science of life; specifically, what keeps us alive. Prana is the body’s life force and it is uniquely manifested in every individual. If we can understand how prana interacts with five key elements (air, space, fire, water, and earth), then we can begin to understand our body’s constitution. Knowing what makes us tick and, importantly, what doesn’t, is how ayurveda restores balance and ultimately brings us back to optimal health and well-being.

An ISHTA class brings together asana to stretch, strengthen, balance, and release the physical body; pranayama with visualization to still and quiet the mind; and meditation to expand our awareness, with the goal of releasing energy and liberating consciousness.

ISHTA yoga was founded in the 1960s by Mani Finger and his son Alan. Their intention was to integrate all the different systems and teachings from two decades of study with famed yogis such as B.K.S Iyengar and Swami Nishraisananda and to bring yoga into the modern world. Katrina is the head of ISHTA in Europe and only the second Yoga Master (Yogiraj) in the West to be initiated by Yogiraj Alan Finger.

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