The FacultyMeet our staff
Kavi Yogi/ Yogiraj Alan Finger
Alan Finger is often referred to as the Teacher’s teacher, since he is the teacher of many yogamasters today. He is also regarded as one of the most successful entrepreneurs on the yoga scene. You will meet Alan in the 300 hr program.
Finger’s ISHTA Yoga draws on Ashtanga, Viniyoga, and lyengar, as well as the purifying kriya practices of Paramahansa Yogananda. Finger learned yoga from his father, Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger, whose teachers were Yogananda and Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh. Finger emigrated from his native South Africa to the United States in 1976 and opened Yoga Works with Maty Ezraty in Los Angeles. In 1989 he moved to New York City and started Yoga Zone with his former wife Greta.
”While most practitioners of yoga still seek its benefits for their individual growth, many are beginning to experience the incredible power of a unified field of consciousness through the practice of yoga and meditation,” says Finger. ”As more people live and exist in a higher state of consciousness, this will help the planet to heal and evolve. We are at the beginning of a very exciting journey, in which we can all make a difference.”
Yogiraj Sarah Platt Finger
Sarah took her first yoga class in college as part of a Meditative Arts course. As a former competitive gymnast she was always comfortable being upside, down but it was the integration of the mind that led her to study the practice more deeply. Her fascination with Asian studies led her to Taiwan, where she pursued dance and taught English to children, but it was the yoga that gave her a deep sense of connection to herself and to all things. It wasn’t until she met her future husband and yoga Master Alan Finger in 2003 that she realized a connection that would transform her life. Sarah co-founded ISHTA Yoga with Alan and their partner Bruce Wilcox in May 2008.
As the Teacher Training Director, she helped to develop one of the most renowned Teacher Training programs in New York City and was instrumental in the creation of ISHTA Europe, which currently holds trainings in London and Stockholm. Her partnership with Alan has inspired her teachings on multiple levels and given her the opportunity to teach all over the world including Tokyo, Munich, Stockholm, and India. Sarah is now the Managing Director of ISHTA Yoga and aspires to create a home for everyone who walks into the doors of its two Manhattan locations. Sarah Teaches on the 300 hr level.
Yogiraj Katrina Repka
Yogiraj (Yoga Master) Katrina Repka has been studying yoga for twenty years and teaching for more than twelve. Her early training in Calgary, her hometown, was in the Astanga style, but in 2001 sh moved to New York and began studying ISHTA Yoga, the unique blend of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda that is the creation of renowned US-based teacher, Yogiraj Alan Finger. Katrina is now the head of ISHTA in Europe and is proud to be the first teacher to offer the ISHTA style in London. In 2009, Alan Finger conferred the title of Yogiraj on Katrina, signifying that she has attained the very highest level of knowledge and competency in the study and practice of ISHTA Yoga.
For five years Katrina taught classes at Yoga Works in New York City where she was a core faculty member. Since 2006 she has been based in London where she teaches at The Life Centre and is an associate board member and tutor on the Yogacampus teacher training programme. She also runs ISHTA retreats, teacher trainings, and workshops in the UK, Europe, and internationally.
Yogiraj Ulrica Norberg
Ulrica Norberg (E-RYT 500 +) is ISHTA Yoga’s Scandinavian Director and one of Alan Finger’s master students, now co-teaching with Alan on trainings and retreats. Ulrica’ s first encounter with yoga was through Zen Buddhist studies in 1994 when she lived in New York City. In 1997 she finished her first yoga training in Classical Hatha Yoga. That led to even deeper studies in yoga, alignment principles, anatomy and energetics through many yoga styles and teachers.
Ulrica is very intrigued by the mind-body connection and she followed her interest in the science of the subtle body to the teachings of ISHTA Yoga. She was one of the first pioneers of yoga in Scandinavia in the 90´s and since then she has trained over 400 teachers in Scandinavia. Ulrica has travelled around the world several times. She has made Yoga DVDs, written several books, articles and audiobooks on yoga, some of which which have been translated into 5 languages. Ulrica is known for her deep knowledge and inspirational and warm approach.
Ulrica Teaches on the 200 hr+300 hr level, the YinYoga Program and Specialty programs.
Sadhaka Michael Bartelle
A registered (RYT 500) teacher with Yoga Alliance UK. This accreditation demonstrates excellent standards as set by Yoga Alliance UK.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, I moved to New York City at the age of 18 to pursue a degree in Drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. As luck would have it, yoga was a part of the curriculum! From the very beginning, I wondered whether I might end up preferring the life of a yogi to a life in the theatre…
When I completed my studies at Tisch, I began a new course of study: to become a teacher in the Ishta Yoga lineage. Under the close guidance of Yogiraj Alan Finger, I learned not only about yoga poses (asana), but also about breathing techniques (pranayama), the energetic body (chakras, nadis, and marmas), and how to train my mind to experience a deep sense of stillness and oneness with the universe (samadhi). My life changed forever.
For the last several years, I have taught group classes and privates, lead Ishta teacher trainings, and traveled internationally to share the teachings that have so enriched my life. I aim to help students reclaim an attitude of play, embrace the gift of laughter, and brighten the light of their own awareness to illuminate a path back to their true selves.
You will meet Michael on the 200 hr level and at Workshops.
Sadhaka Kristin Leal
Soon after moving to New York City in 1993, Kristin was dragged by a friend to her first yoga class. While she had no idea what anyone was talking about, she immediately fell in love with the poetry of meditation in movement. She studied with her first teachers – Sharon Gannon, David Life, and Katchie Ananda – for many years, trying to discover and understand herself and this transformative practice.
In 1995, she graduated from the Swedish Institute for Massage Therapy and became a licensed massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. She holds additional certifications in Thai massage and neuromuscular and myofascial release. In 2005, Kristin created the Kaya Yoga 200- and 300-Hour teacher trainings to share her passion for the miracle of the human body and the liberating potential of movement. In 2006, her life changed yet again when she met her teacher Yogiraj Alan Finger. Kristin has since helped him further translate his teachings and co-create the ISHTA Marma Therapy Course. She is a co-author of the book The Yoga Fan, which has been reviewed as being “an indispensable guide for the serious yoga student.” Kristin is currently writing her second book with Alan Finger correlating the physical and energetic bodies.
Kristin teaches on the 300 hr level and on Specialty trainings.
Sadhaka Hillevi Borga
Hillevi is a ISHTA yoga teacher and Physical Therapist with over 20 years experience in her field. Hillevi has a unique ability to correlate asana and anatomy. She teaches workshops Yogaasana/anatomy together with Ulrica Norberg on a regular basis.
You will meet Hillevi on the 200 hr, 300 hr and on Specialty trainings.
Acharya Chungmei Lee
Chungmei started her yoga journey when her gym class was cancelled 14 years ago. She did her initial training in vinyasa yoga, but has also trained in therapeutic, chakra, and hatha yoga. These days she resonates with ISHTA’s practice of tailoring the yoga practice to oneself and connecting to both the physical and non-physical aspects of the practice in order to return the self to its natural state of balance and health.
You will meet Chungmei on the 200 hr program.
Yogiraj Peter Ferko
Peter Ferko is an author who draws on lifelong pursuits in yoga, art, and music. After living in California teaching for many years, he moved to New York City for art and yoga. Peter is a yoga master who teaches classes and teacher training at ISHTA Yoga, a well-known yoga studio in Manhattan and was co-director of The Table, a yoga and arts project in Brooklyn. Peter lives and works with fellow yogiraj, Wendy Newton. His specialty is the artfulness of yoga as well as Meditation, asana and philosophy.
You will meet Peter on the 200 hr level training and on Master workshops.
Yogiraj Mona Anand
Mona grew up in Mumbai, India where she was first introduced to yoga. She has been initiated into the ISHTA lineage as a Yogiraj or Yoga Master by her teacher Alan Finger and is also a Senior Trainer in ISHTA’s 500 Hour Teacher Trainings.
Mona has worked with Alan Finger to develop the Ayurveda and Asana material and Yoga Nidra material taught in ISHTA’S advanced trainings and has also developed the restorative material taught in ISHTA’s 200 hour trainings. She currently teaches group classes at ISHTA Yoga and leads yoga retreats around the world.
You will meet Mona on the 300 hr program and on the Restorative/yoga Nidra trainings.
Sadhaka Gina Menza
After close to 20 years practicing and teaching ISHTA yoga, Gina Menza has learned the importance of balancing the active side of one’s yoga practice and the quiet solitude of a restorative yoga sequence.
She has learned to balance the frenetic and exquisitely fun energy of living in New York City with the refueling and relaxing rest necessary to survive. She is a senior teacher at ISHTA and holds advanced certification as a Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga Trainer.
You will meet Gina on the Restorative yoga program as well as on the Pre/postnatal trainings.
Yogiraj Wendy Newton
E-RYT 500, RPP, is a senior teacher at ISHTA Yoga and a lead trainer in the ISHTA teacher training program. She has studied with Kavi Yogiraj Alan Finger since 2002, and was initiated by Alan into the ISHTA Yoga lineage as Yogiraj, or yoga master. Wendy is co-authoring a tantric interpretation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with Alan Finger, and she conducts workshops and trainings on this and other yoga and polarity-related topics. In her work with private clients, Wendy combines ISHTA Yoga with Polarity Therapy to provide a comprehensive and transformative path for people to bring their yoga off the mat and into their lives.
Her group master classes combine breath-based subtle body awareness, kriya techniques, and the philosophy of the Sutras to help inspire students to move with grace, no matter what their “condition,” and to gain perspective in their lives.
You will meet Wendy on the 200 hr level and on Master workshops.
Acharya Lotta Norberg
Teaches on the 200 hr training and masterclasses
Acharya Karin Hilmarch
Teaches on the 200 hr training and specialty in Pre/postnatal yoga