Book health & wellness appointments instantly

Ishta yoga

Ishta yoga involves a sequence of physically challenging poses called asanas that strengthen, stretch, and balance the body.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: April 19, 2018

ISHTA yoga - an acronym for Integrated Science of Hatha Tantra and Ayurveda - is a melting pot of various yoga forms. Ishta was imported to the U.S. from South Africa in the late 1960s by Yogi Mani Finger and his son, Alan Finger.

Their first American studio was established in Los Angeles, and there are currently many studios offering Ishta yoga throughout the United States. (The Finger South Africa family home has also been converted into an ashram.)

Benefits of Ishta yoga: Ishta yoga involves a sequence of physically challenging poses called asanas that strengthen, stretch and balance the body.

Who Ishta yoga is best for: Ishta yoga is open to all sorts of practitioners. Students of Ishta yoga are encouraged to build their own practice based on a blend of different yoga elements. Participants can choose from a range of beginner to expert classes depending on their skill level.

Getting ready: Classes begin with warm-up poses before transitioning into more challenging postures. To avoid muscle injury during vigorous stretches, do not skip the warm up.

Calories burned: While Ishta yoga can be fast-paced and challenging, the number of calories burned while practicing will nevertheless vary based on a number of factors, like weight, metabolism and the amount of time spent practicing.


Ishta classes run the gamut from rehabilitative to expert. Participants should not take classes that exceed their capabilities.

Who shouldn't do it: There are no contraindications so far. Ishta yoga offers several kinds of classes intended for practitioners of all levels. Women may practice Ishta yoga throughout pregnancy, though extra caution should be taken when down dogging for two.

Find expert fitness instructors near you