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.
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.