AfriShanti Yoga School

The origins of our lineage

The AfriShanti Yoga School draws upon two powerful lineages of Yoga: ISHTA & Kundalini (Kriya) Yoga.

ISHTA means that which resonates with the individual spirit. It is also an acronym for the "Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda." This is what we in the West would think of as "Classical" Yoga - and can be taught as vinyasa, yin, restorative, therapeutic etc.

Kundalini yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) is a system of kriya yoga combined with spiritual disciplines, ayurvedic lifestyle, mantra and Sikh philosophy.

ISHTA (Integrative Hatha) Yoga

Kavi Yogi Swarananda Mani Finger and his son, Yogiraj Alan Finger, created ISHTA Yoga in the late 1960’s in South Africa. Mani was first initiated into Kriya Yoga by Paramahansa 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.

ISHTA in the 21st Century

ISHTA is a truly eclectic, proudly South African blend of ancient teachings, gifted from lineaged yogic masters dating back to the time of the ancient Vedas. 

What better system of yoga could we hope for in our vibrant 21st century Rainbow Nation?

Both Durgana and Marina Contardo trained directly under Mani himself, and structured his teachings in such a way as to pass on the flame of ISHTA Yoga to the future generations.

One such student was Ryan Gary Edmonds (Chakrananda Nagshanti Sevak Hari Singh) whom, after certifying under Marina at the 500RYT level, taught full time for a further 10 years before being passed the torch from his mentor to train and certify internationally registered and accredited yoga teachers at both the 200 and advanced 300 hour level.

In order to ensure the continuation and radiant health of ISHTA Yoga for another generation,the ISHTA YOGA SCHOOL was formed in 2017 in Somerset West (South Africa).  Ryan now continues to facilitate annual Teacher Trainings, while still teaching daily classes, and facilitating workshops, lectures, and retreats all around the world.