katrina yoga position

Deepen your understanding and practice of yoga by enrolling in a teacher training course. Whether you wish to become a teacher or not, this is a great way to take your practice one step further.

Yoga Master Katrina Repka has been studying and teaching yoga since 1992. She has co-authored two books: Chakra Yoga: Balancing Energy for Physical, Spiritual, and Mental Well-being, and Breathing Space: 12 Lessons for the Modern Woman. She also writes for Yoga Magazine and has a weekly column in Metro newspapers worldwide. She is a board member of the Life Centre Teacher Training Programme and the head of ISHTA Teacher Trainings in Canada and Europe.

Note from Kathryn Brierley (a director at The Healthy Holiday Company which owns destination yoga)

I completed the ISHTA 200h training in July 2011 and, having loved the course, went on to study further with Katrina, completing the 500h training in July 2012. The courses were inspiring, exciting, challenging and above all incredibly rewarding and I would highly recommend the ISHTA training to anyone who is interested in deepening their own practice and understanding of yoga. For anyone wanting to go on to teach it is exceptionally thorough, incorporating lots of confidence-building teaching practice. The changes noticed in the group’s own yoga practice and teaching proficiency over the duration of the courses were profound. The course is also well structured so that those working full-time can fit it into their schedules. Please email me Kathryn@thehealthyholidaycompany if you’d like any more information.

Interview with Katrina Repka

How would you describe the ISHTA style of yoga that you teach?

ISHTA was founded more than four decades ago and is one of the pre-eminent yoga systems now taught in the West. ISHTA stands for the “Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda” and combines elements of these three ancient eastern disciplines to produce a modern yoga system that trains, instructs, and develops the body, mind, and spirit. The word ISHTA is also derived from the Sanskrit word “ishta,” and is interpreted as “that which resonates with the individual spirit,” which is also ISHTA’s mission: to provide a personal yoga system that is neither rigid nor dogmatic, and which allows the individual student, guided by the teacher, to create the practice best suited to his or her physical, mental, and spiritual needs.

What is your own yoga background and what has drawn you to the ISHTA style?

I have been studying yoga for more than twenty years and teaching for more than ten. My early training, in my hometown of Calgary, Canada, was in the Ashtanga style, but in 2001 I moved to New York and began studying ISHTA Yoga with Yogiraj Alan Finger. As soon as I began my studies with Alan, I realised that what he taught was worlds apart from what I had previously learned. Of all the yoga styles now taught in the West, I believe that ISHTA is the one most capable of transforming the student, inside and out. Some yoga systems concentrate almost exclusively on the body; the ISHTA philosophy is that yoga without the equivalent attention to mind and spirit is not true yoga. The combination of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda elements within the ISHTA system ensures that these three parts (body, mind, and spirit) receive equal consideration. ISHTA Yoga develops, nurtures, and strengthens the whole person through its unique system of asana (yogic poses), pranayama (yogic breathing), and meditation (the key to self-transformation).

Who would you recommend the teacher training course for?

ISHTA Yoga Teacher Training provides a complete foundation for every aspect of yoga: an all-inclusive, fully integrated, and individualized approach to this ancient science. The ISHTA trainee teacher can expect to receive the most comprehensive, well-rounded education available today, which has already been successfully taught to thousands of students.

ISHTA Teacher Training has been found to be especially effective for those individuals who are facing turning points or major decisions in their lives. We attract students who have high standards and expect much of themselves; however, even virtues such as intelligence, willpower, experience, and accomplishment cannot always provide the answers to pressing questions concerning a person’s choice of future direction. One of our maxims at ISHTA is that everything you need is inside you, waiting to be discovered. But sometimes the answers do not materialize, in spite of our efforts, and we find that the more we exert ourselves, the farther away the solution appears to be. The reason for this is that our body, mind, and spirit are not working together in unison. We are in conflict with ourselves. The integrated elements of asana, pranayama, and meditation within the ISHTA system, together with the intensive nature of the teacher training course, act in concert to bring the body, mind, and spirit into a unified whole. Many of our students have reported experiencing an epiphany during their training, which has resolved their internal conflict, enabling them to make the right decisions concerning their future.

The 200-hour Foundation Training Programme is open to anyone who has done yoga for at least six months. Many of our students enrol in order to deepen their knowledge and practice of yoga without necessarily going on to become teachers. The 300-hour Advanced Training Programme is for students who have already completed a 200-hour programme (ISHTA-certified or not). The ISHTA Advanced Training Programme is currently the only one of its kind in London.

Whether you want to become a yoga teacher, improve your practice, or expedite your transformation into the person you have always wanted to be, ISHTA Teacher Training will help you to accomplish your goal.

What do you think sets the ISHTA teacher training apart from other trainings available?

Five things come immediately to mind: knowledge, experience, lineage, materials, and method. Knowledge and experience are inextricable in the case of ISHTA Yoga, which was founded in 1968 by Param Yogiraj Alan Finger and his father, Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger. Alan has been teaching and mentoring students for almost fifty years and continues to lead daily classes in the ISHTA New York studio. All of his and his father’s vast knowledge of yogic theory and practice has gone into the curriculum for ISHTA Yoga Teacher Training, which has been refined and developed over decades.

In yoga, the importance of lineage (a yoga system’s history in terms of its teachers) is crucial, and ISHTA’s lineage is of the highest order. Some of the greatest yoga teachers of the 20th Century have been instrumental in the growth and development of ISHTA Yoga, teachers such as Paramahansa Yogananda (author of the influential book, Autobiography of a Yogi); the philosopher, Swami Nisreyasananda; the Tantric Master, Bharati; and B. K. S. Iyengar (author of the yoga “bible,” Light on Yoga). These illustrious gurus were both the tutors and friends of Mani and Alan Finger; their influence and individual areas of expertise formed the foundation of what became ISHTA Yoga and what makes ISHTA unique.

The materials of ISHTA Yoga’s Teacher Training Programmes are of a quality commensurate with the immense knowledge and experience that have gone into their production. Topics on the 200-hour programme include in-depth asana practice, posture labs, practicum, anatomy, and lectures on a wide variety of topics (including the Sutras, the Energetic Body, Inversions, the Chakras, Sequencing, the Art of Teaching, etc.). We provide exclusive, proprietary, and copyrighted training manuals (the 200-hour training manual is 400 pages long), which are continuously updated and improved as we see fit.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of a teacher training is the method (style of teaching). It is not enough to have a superior curriculum; this must be paired with superior tuition. To teach ISHTA is to join an elite group of yoga practitioners dedicated to their art and devoted to their students. On our London trainings I am personally responsible for the day-to-day running of each programme, as well as being the lead teacher on most of the curriculum. I am directly and personally involved with each student, which is why we hold the group to a maximum of fifteen students (some training programmes have thirty-five or more). On this life-changing journey which you begin when you embark on an ISHTA Teacher Training Programme, it is reassuring to know that you are going to be well looked after all the way.

If you would like to sign up for an ISHTA teacher training course with Katrina, please contact Kathryn Brierley by calling 020 8968 0501 or simply send us an email

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