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.
Darby and Joanne are visiting the Yoga Room to lead a 2-week Ashtanga yoga immersion/teacher-training course from April 9th-23rd. They opened their school, Sattva Yoga Shala, in Montreal, Canada, with the ideal of teaching the original method of Ashtanga Yoga.
Darby and Joanne have been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for over 25 years. They began their practice with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the master of Ashtanga Yoga, in 1979 when they spent four years in Mysore, India. They are part of the few teachers worldwide who have attained the highest level of Ashtanga Yoga teaching accreditation and are certified by Pattabhi Jois to teach the original Ashtanga method.
Darby's teaching is dynamic and direct while giving students the essence of the energy of this yoga. His wisdom and warmth attract a vibrant community of students who are drawn to his humor, his attentive nature and his steadfast commitment to improving each student's physical alignment. Darby gives workshops all over Europe, Canada and the United States, and spends few months a year with his master in Mysore.
Joanne is a source of inspiration to many yoga students around the world. For her, yoga goes beyond the asana practice... it is a way of life. After so many years of practice, she truly believes in the power, benefits and the transformative effect of the ashtanga yoga method.
Saba has been on the path of yoga since 2003. Five years ago, she discovered the practice of Ashtanga yoga. The impact of the practice was so profound that she has dedicated herself to the study of yoga by travelling and connecting with senior teachers such as Sharath Jois, James Figueira, Kino MacGregor, and Suveer Balvi. They all have helped her to refine and deepen her own practice. She strongly believes that the science of Ashtanga yoga is an intellect system that suits everyone.
In addition to her asana practice, Saba has been a Reiki practitioner for the past four years. She is currently studying the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, and Sanskrit, and enjoys chanting. She is also certified to teach Classical Yoga of Patanjali from the Yoga Institute in Mumbai, India and travels every year to Mysore to practice with her teacher, Sharath. Saba has been teaching yoga for the past two years between Dubai and Mumbai, conducting group classes and workshops covering various topics.
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.