Joumana was first introduced to yoga while attending university in Montreal, Canada. Her first experience was an Ashtanga Vinyasa class at Sattva Yoga Shala. She studied with senior Ashtanga Yoga teacher Mark Darby, one of the very few people worldwide to have attained the highest level of yoga teaching accreditation.
Joumana was initially attracted to the physical practice of Ashtanga yoga. As her fascination with this dynamic style grew, so did her curiosity for the philosophy of yoga. Joumana’s dedication to the method helped her realize that yoga is more than just a physical exercise, but a lifestyle practiced on and off the mat. After moving back to Dubai in 2010, Joumana completed her teacher training course and started teaching all over the city. In 2012, she took her first trip to Mysore, India, to practice at KPJAYI with R. Sharath Jois, grandson of the late master of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Earlier this year, Joumana founded the Yoga Room in JLT, home of Ashtanga Yoga in Dubai, where she teaches and continues to practice daily. Drawing from her travels, experiences and teachers, Joumana wishes to share her knowledge and passion for the true and traditional Ashtanga practice.
Jo is a 500-hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher from England. A dedicated student of yoga for 13 years and a teacher for 3, Jo has studied with teachers around the world. Most recently, Jo completed a month long teacher’s intensive with senior Ashtanga teacher Richard Freeman. She has also studied in Mysore with R. Sharath Jois and with Ashtanga senior teachers Nancy Gilgoff, Mark Darby, John Scott, Sarah Miles, Gingi Lee, Julie Martin and Sonja Appel.
Although fully rooted in an Ashtanga foundation, Jo has also studied Iyengar, Yin, Hatha, Swasthya, Kundalini, Jivamukti, Acro and Kids yoga, giving her a broad, non-dogmatic and open-minded approach. Jo believes that more important than the asana (posture) style itself is the ethical foundation and a practice of compassion, non-attachment and devotion. Yoga is a chance to truly reconnect in every possible sense of mind, body and spirit and is a lifetime tool of discovery. Jo is also a philosophy graduate, and aims to integrate her interest in the philosophical roots of yoga into every class. Recently relocated from Abu Dhabi, Jo taught at the Bodytree yoga studio for the last year and is privileged to be part of the growing yoga community in Dubai and the UAE.
Nea has practiced Ashtanga yoga daily for the last nine years and has been teaching for six. During this time she has made eight trips to Mysore, India to study with her teacher Sharath Jois. In 2010, she was blessed with the level 2 authorization and had the honor to assist Sharath at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute.
She has shared her love of Ashtanga yoga with students in Australia, China, Japan, Russia, Singapore and Turkey including working as a resident Mysore teacher at the Jois Yoga Shala in her hometown Sydney. She is currently the only authorized teacher in the Middle East and teaches the Mysore program at the Yoga Room.
Sonali was born in Rajasthan, India, moving to the UK when she was 5 years old. With yoga in the family, Sonali’s first guru was her mother who now 71 years old has been practicing yoga for the last 30 years. It was not until after the birth of Sonali’s first child in Malaysia, that her own yoga practice began to get more serious. That was 10 years ago and another child later, Sonali completed her RYT 200 hours Teacher Training in Ashtanga in 2010. In addition, she has had the great privilege of attending courses with great teachers such as Sharyn Galindo, Paul Dallagan, David Swenson, Matt Sweeney and Kathryn Budig.
Having taught for the last 3 years in Chicago, Cairo and now Dubai, she particularly enjoys Mysore style and the process of adjustments and modifications making Ashtanga accessible to all. Yoga is now a key part of her life, from the physical to the philosophical; the Ashtanga practice allows a total connection of body, mind and spirit. Both as a student and a teacher, for Sonali the yoga journey has only just begun and its one that in each day reveals something new and more meaningful.
Tonya has been a student of yoga for more than 10 years. Growing up dancing, the body awareness and movement of yoga felt natural and familiar. She studied many different styles of yoga until being introduced to Ashtanga yoga by David Garrigues at the Vibrant Living yoga teacher training program in Bali. She connected to the traditional form of yoga immediately and has been a dedicated student ever since.
Born in the US, she has spent a large part of the last ten years traveling, most recently coming from Seoul, South Korea where she has been living and teaching yoga. She is also an endurance athlete and has completed several marathons and ultramarathons. The link between the mind and body is what continues to inspire and challenge her to grow. She has made two trips to Mysore, India to study with R. Sharath Jois and frequents Richard Freeman's shala in Boulder, Colorado during visits to the US.