World Renown Yogis Return To Glen Cove

Sarah Platt Finger led a yoga session at her book singing at Buddha James on Feb. 17. (Photo courtesy Diana Bassett Public Relations)

Celebrating a new book with signings, yoga and meditation sessions
Sarah Platt-Finger on Feb. 17 returned to her home-base in Glen Cove.
Platt-Finger is the director of yoga at Chopra Global and the co-founder of ISHTA Yoga with her husband Alan Finger. Recently, Platt-Finger co-authored a book with Dr. Deepak Chopra called Living in the Light, which is the #1 best selling yoga book on Amazon. Dr. Chopra is a well-known Indian American author and the founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, as well as Chopra Global, a modern-day health company that mixes science and spirituality.
On Feb. 17, Platt-Finger and Finger were at Buddha Jams, a relatively new yoga studio in Glen Cove founded by Jason Samel, to lead a yoga and meditation session. Platt-Finger signed copies of her new book, which were available for purchase at the event.
Samel said the event was so crowded, you could not fit much more yoga mats on the floor.
“It was so nice, it felt like coming home,” Platt-Finger said. “I went to North Shore Middle School and North Shore High School. I was very involved in the gymnastic team. I was actually there at what was called the Yoga Zone, which used to be in Old Brookville where I encountered this form of yoga that I now teach, that my husband started.”
That form is called ISHTA Yoga, and it’s practiced at a yoga studio in Manhattan. According to the ISHTA Yoga website, Kavi Yogi Swarananda Mani Finger and his son, Yogiraj Alan Finger created ISHTA Yoga in the late 1960s in South Africa. The ISHTA practice 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.
Platt-Finger said she had so much fun being at Buddha Jams, and that Samel is “infectious” with his passion, drive and enthusiasm for yoga.
“I think it’s great he’s bringing that to Glen Cove and Glen Head, where you can see there’s slowly a growth happening there,” Platt-Finger said.
Samel said he enjoyed having the opportunity of getting to learn with the Fingers. Platt-Finger led a 45-minute yoga class, and Finger led a 30-minute meditation.

Attendees of Sarah Platt-Finger’s book signing at Buddha Jams practiced yoga and meditation.
(Photo courtesy Diana Bassett Public Relations)

“Just in that 45-minute time period the things I learned for my own yoga practice was just amazing,” Samel said. “And I know a lot of my clients had the same experience. They were very thankful for a refreshing idea of yoga.”
There were also people at the event who were the Fingers’ former students.
“They were just so excited to see them, and that was a beautiful thing to see,” Samel said.
How Samel got to know Platt-Finger was actually through her father, a radio DJ for WFUV. He’s well known in the folk-music scene. And Samel, who worked in the music industry, and Platt used to work together on multiple projects, ultimately becoming friends. When he found out who his daughter was, he asked Platt to introduce them, which ultimately led to them talking and planning this event.
“I’m just following my dreams in so many different ways and how one thing just leads to another is beautiful and magical,” Samel said. “These guys are world famous yogis. I opened up a yoga studio nine months ago. I started yoga two years ago… I’m just so grateful for all these stars to align.”
Platt-Finger said she first discovered yoga when she was studying at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She was a dancing major, and yoga and meditative art was a subject she studied as part of her minor in Asian studies.
“I felt immediately connected to the way the practice is delivered,” Platt-Finger said.
Platt-Finger moved to Taiwan for three years after graduating college. It was there she delved more deeply into yoga. When she returned to the United States in 2003 she began the process of getting a yoga license.
“I had reverse culture shock when I returned to the U.S. and I didn’t know what was home to me, whether it was Taiwan or New York or where I went to college in Colorado,” Platt-Finger said. “But that form of yoga (ISHTA) took me right back to home with my body, which felt very nourishing.”
How Platt-Finger came to know Dr. Chopra stemmed from ISHTA as well. He moved three doors down from the ISHTA Yoga studio in Manhattan. He was looking for someone to teach him yoga and develop a regular practice, and Platt-Finger became his teacher.
“Over the course of the seven and eight years we came to know each other, we started doing projects together,” Platt-Finger said. “Online courses. I joined Chopra Global, which is his company, doing retreats. And then he decided he wanted to write a book and invited me to co-author it with him.”
The part of the book Platt-Finger focused on had to do with yoga poses. So for her it felt effortless, because it’s something she feels very connected to and is part of her daily life.
“It was really enjoyable to just delve more deeply and find ways to communicate how these poses help us to come home to our bodies,” Platt-Finger said.
Dr. Chopra, in the book, focused on the philosophy and how to bring the ideas for the light. It’s perfect for those who need a mainstream translation for some of the concepts, Platt-Finger said.
“I think what readers can get from this book is a deeper understanding of the whole spectrum of yoga,” Platt-Finger said. “Most of us know yoga through the yoga poses… which is like only knowing one color of the rainbow. You don’t really know the full color spectrum, which is the same as yoga. There’s many different ways to it, and so what they’ll get from this book is the understanding of the full, embodied practices. They’ll have interactive practices and guides to help them to bring the practice into action, so it’s not something they’ll just read about.”

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