About us

Ajith Shankara founded Lotus Holistic Yoga in Dubai in 2015 and from day one, people felt at home at the centre. It feels like a family-run place where students become a part of its yoga community. In a transient place like Dubai we feel creating community is an important part of our vision and mission besides 'simply' teaching yoga. We love it when people are getting involved, bringing their friends, telling us their ideas and of course doing yoga together. All our teachers have been authentically initiated and trained in India and carry this passion into their classes and workshops. Here's a little more information on each one of us:

Ajith Shankara

Yoga with Ajith is a balanced, grounded and intuitive fusion of philosophy, energetics and holism that evolved organically from Ajith's integral knowledge of life and Yogic science; the deepest understanding of the body and mind on earth. 

The best description of Yoga with Ajith Shankara is an organic integration of body and mind. Ajith brings to the Dubai Yoga community  his unique approach to postures (Asanas) to promote the most conducive state of body and mind for healing, optimizing physical fitness, building resilience to stress, nurturing integral awareness and experiencing happiness. 

He is internationally known for his unique style of teaching with humor, love and care for his students. He has been teaching since 2004 to a wide audience from around the world through the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and other cities in India. He moved to Canada, started teaching a variety of classes and workshops across the country for more than 5 years, and served as mentor/guide and inspiration to many yoga aspirants.   
    ​Ajith Shankara was born and raised in a beautiful village of the "God's own country" (Kerala ,India) and started the journey on Art of Yoga from very early in life, growing up in a spiritual & Holistic family. But began a serious practice at the age of 12. He has studied under the guidance of his uncle Swami Govindananda Saraswathi  at the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams in India, for 4 years. Later served as Director and Assistant Director for the Madurai Sivananda Centre and the associated Ashram.  Ajith completed his Teacher Training and Advanced Teacher Training at the International Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India. Ajith is also a Yoga Therapist and he learned Vedanta and Philosophy from the esteemed Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (Rishikesh, Himalayas). He has spent his life in different ashrams, studied under the guidance of many spiritual Gurus and experienced first hand the Art of Yoga, meditation and Vedic Philosophy.​

​With his interest in Holistic living Ajith has certified training in Thai Yoga Massage, Ayurvedic Therapy, Kalari (South Indian Martial Art) Massage and Reiki.


Praveen Rana

Praveen is from Netala, North of Rishikesh in India, in the foot hills of the Himalayas. Growing up as a farmer, he was already praticing yoga in his time off. After he graduated from school, he found his passion in cooking and joined Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peedam (a renowned yoga center, see teacher training page). From here he continued his Yoga practice whilst also making delicious food for other yogis at the ashram. He completed his Yoga Teachers training with Swami Govindananda Saraswathi at Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peedam. He has been teaching for a year in India before coming to Dubai in 2015. Students love his calm, steady, hands-on approach- guiding each student whatever their level, to their best. 

His simplicity, gentle yet profound classes are untouched by modern yoga and we are very grateful to have him here as part of Lotus Yoga center team. 


Irene van der Post 

Irene was born in the Netherlands and grew up in a rural part of the country that was largely untouched by yoga. From an early age she loved gymnastics and acrobatics, but when she came to India on her travels and tried a yoga class, gymnastics got instantly replaced by Yoga. "That's what I've been looking for all my life. Not just because what it did to my body, but I was finding soul answers I'd been longing for. It was like coming home to me, for the first time in my life."She then stayed at the international Brahmrishi Mission near Pinjore in the foothills of the Himalayas for several months, where she received incredible individual training and initiation from Swami Yogananda and H Lucy Guest. Travels ended, and she then continued her journey, staying in touch with her teachers in India, yet completing a formal western yoga training with renowned international yoga teacher and uncle Ron van der Post.

She has been teaching for 13 years now, attended several advanced teacher trainings back in India and has had her own succesfull yoga studio in France and the UK since 2008, where she stills conducts regular yoga retreats for her old students. And from Spring 2018, she'll be organising and teaching a bi-annual yoga retreat in India. 

​Besides the continuing yoga education, she's completed a two-year education in (energy) Healing in London, became a holistic massage therapist and has become a practitioner for emotional release therapies. 

Irene has only recently arrived in Dubai and when she came to yoga classes at Lotus Yoga for her personal practice, she immediately felt at home. She wanted to join our energies to grow this wonderful yoga community so she teaches workshops, community yoga classes and she'll be helping out managing the center and being part of our community. ​

Akshay Negi

      Akshay is originally from Rishikesh in India but grew up in Narendra Nagrar in Uttarakhand. He has a passion for cricket and has played at state level back in India. He also loves cooking and eating vegetarian dishes. He graduated with a BA in Commerce then worked in a bank before realising that his passion lay in teaching yoga. He completed his teacher training then joined Lotus Yoga in August 2018.  Yoga is a way of life for Akshay because he understands all the positive effects the practise has on the mind, the breath and the physical body. He especially loves Power and Hatha yoga. He enjoys teaching students of different levels and sharing the variations in each posture. He has a very calm and gentle manner and always makes sure that all his students are comfortable and satisfied.