ISHTA Marma by Kristin Leal

Kristin Leal and the participants in the ISHTA Marma Workshop Series

Senior ISHTA Yoga instructor, Kristine Leal, came to to teach a workshop series on ISHTA Marma. She is a lovely teacher with both humor and knowledge. We enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere of her lectures each day. We were able to learn a lot, and also receive Marma point treatment – it was quality time well spent!

Kristin Leal teaching ISHTA Marma Workshop Series at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

We all know how it feels to be in tune with ourselves and the universe – to be “in the flow.” We are also familiar with the opposite feeling, to be out of synch with ourselves and the environment. Yoga practice makes us feel good in part because when we stretch our muscles and open our bodies, we release stress from our form helping us align with the universal intelligence. ISHTA Marma helps us go even deeper, addressing pitams or energetic points that asana alone can’t reach. This helps us release stress whether its origins were emotional, mental, chemical, or physical.

Marma points are like “little brains” that feed the organs, glands, nerves, and cells of the body with the intelligence they need to function efficiently. Most Marma points lie in the midst of soft tissue. When stress invades the body, Marma points can become strangled. Marma therapy frees strangled Marma points, cleansing stress from soft tissue and allowing the intelligence of the bodily systems to regain homeostasis. ISHTA Marma also restores one’s perspective on life to a point of clarity, insight and inspiration.

Distilled from the personal teachings of Swami Vekatasanada to Kavi Yogiraj Alan Finger, this transformative practice was codified into a teachable system with the help of Sadakas Kristin Leal and Kara Sekular in 2009.


Kristin Leal, a Senior Ishta yoga instructor & Marma point massage instructor
Senior ISHTA Yoga instructor, Kristin Leal

Kristin’s teachings are infused with the miracle of the human body and the liberating potential of movement. Her unique and dynamic voice makes her classes a powerful blend of strong anatomical alignment and luminous vinyasa flow. In 2005 she created the Kaya Yoga 200- and 300-hour teacher training and has helped to graduate over 1,000 students through trainings and workshops around the world. In 2013 Kristin created MetaAnatomy™, a series of classes, workshops and trainings that explore the dynamic beauty and poetry of who we are. Her hope is by combining the physical and energetic anatomies we help to form a rich view, experience and ultimately a celebration of our differences and an honoring of our connectedness.

Her teachers have included Sharon Gannon, David Life, Katchie Ananda, Adrienne Burke, Rodney Yee, Betsey Downing and Rod Stryker and their beautiful teachings, along with her students, continue to inspire her every day. Since 2006 she has been working with and studying under the teacher Yogiraj Alan Finger of ISHTA Yoga and has helped this yogi master translate his teachings to create his 300 hour and ISHTA Marma Point teacher training courses. A licensed massage therapist since 1995 (Swedish Institute of Massage), she also holds certifications in Reiki, Thai massage, neuromuscular and myofascial release, and is a co-author of the book “The Yoga Fan” (2003) and author of “MetaAnatomy, Anatomy of a Yogi” (2014) which was called a “luscious resource” by Rod Stryker, and “Smart and Sassy” by Elena Brower.

Please visit for more details and upcoming schedule.


Tomoko Kawahara, a senior yoga instructor & a English to Japanese interpreterTomoko Kawahara is an active freelance yoga class translator as well as a senior yoga instructor specializing in heart of yoga and restoration. Tomoko has also been active in the ‘’Breathe for Peace’’ charity during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. It has been her life’s work to encourage yoga in places that are still unfamiliar with as well as spreading the essence of yoga beyond its mat. She is currently building up a blog site『YOGAYOMU』that provides free yoga information.

Leave a Reply