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 (originally from England) has practiced Ashtanga yoga since 2000 with authorized teachers and senior certified teachers worldwide. Jo's experience of the Ashtanga system is that of an invaluable tool to develop awareness, flexibility, strength and openness on every possible level. Jo has practiced at the Yoga Room since it opened and is committed to her yoga practice, which now includes taking care of her young son Caesar.
As well as teaching yoga classes at the Yoga Room, Jo is now a registered yoga teacher trainer (Yoga Alliance ERYR500() helping others on the journey to share the many benefits of yoga. This follows many years of formal training in Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin, Restorative, Prenatal and Kids yoga. Jo believes that more important than the asana style itself is the ethical foundation and a practice of devotion and non-attachment to the results.
Lizel is a dedicated yoga practitioner and teacher with 8 years experience. She studied in Parmarth Niketan Ashram in the Himalayas and at the world renowned yoga university of SVYASA in Bangalore. She left the corporate world and her developing career in the hospitality industry to spread yoga and become a link in transforming people’s lives. This has led her to teach in Abu Dhabi, Baku, and now Dubai.
After following Kino MacGregor's YouTube videos for two years, Lizel took interest in the practice of Ashtanga yoga and has been dedicated to the practice for a year. Lizel developed and maintained her self-practice through DVD's produced by KPJAYI certified teachers Kino MacGregor, Mark Darby and David Swenson. She felt the need to find a true Ashtanga yoga studio and her quest led her to the Yoga Room!
Lizel is also certified in swing yoga, therapeutic Yoga, GroovyKids Yoga and aroma yoga. Her other credentials include:
- Certified Personal Trainer, Mind Body Specialist, Group Exercise Instructor, CoreFit, Pilates for PTs, Pre-Post Natal Exercise Instructor from American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- Certified Metafit HIIT Coach
- Calisthenics Level 1 from World Calisthenics Organization
She considers herself a forever student of yoga and still continues to study extensively, take courses and workshops to gain more knowledge and to render her classes safe, professional, effective and at the same time fun. Lizel deepens her studies further by studying books of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, R. Sharath Jois and other leading Ashtanga practitioners. Lizel plans to make her first trip to Mysore to study with R. Sharath Jois in the fall of 2015.
Olivier David first discovered the practice of Ashtanga yoga in January 2004. He made his first trip to Mysore, India, in 2009 to deepen his practice at the source of Ashtanga Yoga and has since then made annual trips to continue his studies with his teacher R. Sharath Jois.
Olivier is a dedicated practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga Yoga after the examples and teachings of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and R. Sharath Jois. In 2009, Olivier had the blessing and opportunity to start travelling and teaching all over the world, sharing this amazing practice that has been passed down to him.
Olivier is a visiting teacher and will be teaching classes and workshops at the Yoga Room during his time in Dubai. In 2015, Olivier will be making Stockholm, Sweden, his base to run the Mysore program at Yogayama's southern location. Catch him at the Yoga Room from February 1st till March 2nd!
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.