ISHTA is a style of yogic practice that stands for Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda. The development of this yogic style is credited to Alan Finger and his father, and ISHTA is said to be rooted in the teachings of Paramahansa Yoganda. If you're interested in learning yoga and are looking up different styles to find one that suits you best, here are some key points about ISHTA Yoga.
Who Can Do ISHTA Yoga
This style of yoga is ideal for those who want to get a more holistic experience of yoga. Even though most other styles of yoga are also multi-faceted in nature (with physical, mental, and spiritual benefits), ISHTA goes beyond the typical physical fitness focus of modern yoga application to give students a balanced and integrated understanding of this ancient Indian tradition and practice.
Benefits of ISHTA Yoga
ISHTA is an acronym that stands for Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda. But it's also a Sanskrit word that means 'personal' or 'individual.' All ISHTA yogis get their own Ishta Sadhan (translation: individual practice) so they have a personalized mantra, routine, and even positions and poses to practice. This is one of the many benefits of ISHTA – you don't have to worry about "keeping up" with the class because your routine is tailored to suit your physical, mental, and spiritual needs and desires.
What You Should Know
Like other yoga styles, there are no distinct ISHTA Yoga poses to speak of because the poses used in ISHTA classes are pretty much similar to the ones you'll learn in other styles. What makes this style different from the others, however, is that it puts together different traditions and styles of yogic practice. So you learn the asanas or poses from Hatha; the principles, mantras, chakras, and tons more from Tantra; and techniques to find balance in your external and internal being from Ayurveda.
ISHTA Yoga is a very holistic approach that combines philosophy, asana, and lifestyle. It's something that you can develop gradually, as opposed to diving right into it. You grow as your practice grows, and you can monitor this progress as you become more exposed to the program. If you find that it is the practice most suited to you, you will most likely stick with it for a very long time, maybe even the rest of your life.