Shadana Yoga - Founder Shadan Nassar

For centuries people have been searching for ways to achieve the ultimate sense of peace, calm, and tranquility. While that may manifest in different ways for different people, the ancient teachings of yoga have brought people together, bypassing race, religion, nationality, and self-identification. Yoga, in all its variations, has not only withstood the test of time but continues to impact the lives of millions around the world. 
 
And while many of us are on similar journeys of self-actualization and clarity, our paths, experiences, and backgrounds make our respective paths unique, and sometimes even profound. For Palestine based Shadan Nassar, her journey took her from the fast-paced and high-stress world of multinational corporations to South East Asia and into the heart of yoga’s origins, India. 

Shadan, now settled back in Palestine, has set-up shop and dedicates her time towards teaching yoga to local communities, as well as the greater MENA region. To date, Shadana Yoga has fast become the MENA region’s foremost online yoga platform available exclusively in Arabic.

During her travels, Shadan sought to take on the world at her own pace, and find a new path that veered away from the material corporate world, towards a sense of fulfillment that comes from within, “I had always felt somewhat trapped in the routine of my daily life, which is why I initially didn’t want to return to Palestine,” Shadan says. “But once I had the tools of meditation, for the first time, I could sense thin, and I realized that I wanted to share this with my community.”

Soon after Shadan returned to Palestine and taught yoga in a ten-week program which targeted marginalized communities in refugee camps, “I came back to share my training in therapeutic yoga and Ayurveda, to help people practice mental freedom. If we are feeling stuck with everything that is going on around us, then we can at least change that to achieve a sense of freedom, and start acting from a place of clarity and balance, rather than a place of anger and reaction.”

However, while the program was a resounding success, participants continued to reach out to Shadan to ask how they could keep up with their yoga practice online. Shadan was then confronted with the reality that there was a glaring lack of meditation and yoga content in Arabic. This ultimately became the driving force behind Shadana Yoga, which has since garnered a loyal following and newfound recognition in Palestine as well as across the Arab World.  

Shadana Yoga kicked off with an immersive YouTube channel, “At the start, the whole point was to give anybody the tools to practice at home. I designed the YouTube channel to share the tools that have helped me so much with Arabic speakers everywhere,” she says. “But then it grew a lot more than I ever thought it would, and organically we soon reached over a hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and around five million total views of our channel.”

Connecting with local organizations, and with a successful Indiegogo campaign to boost funds and awareness, Shadana Yoga is fast becoming a household name across the region. The platform will include tiered training opportunities, all exclusively in Arabic. 

Adopting a tiered approach to ensure that users will enjoy an array of content that meets their needs, “Tier one includes all our free videos, and tier two is where we offer more specialized content,” she explains. “Tier 3 on our subscription based website provides a lot of diverse and in-depth content that introduces a variety of yoga techniques.” For those who want to a more holistic experience, tier four includes a series of comprehensive courses that incorporates yoga, breathing and meditation techniques, and delves into the philosophy of yoga. Via the online platform, subscribers will also have the opportunity to participate in yoga retreats where they can connect on a personal level, and most importantly grow mind, body, and soul.   


“I want people to come out of my classes feeling more at ease, and more spacious within,” Shadan says. “But on a bigger scale, I want yoga to become more of a widespread movement across the region, to help people cope and find the inner peace and calm they need to make it through their day.” 

Without a doubt, Shadana Yoga has become the go-to online platform for alternative health across the MENA region, which includes immersive content that encompasses various schools of yoga, Ayurveda, as well as breathing and meditation techniques. 

And if you are still on the fence about joining, Shadan invites you to try it out and embark upon a journey of self-actualization and spiritual resonance awaits you because at the end of the day we are all looking for a little more peace and calm in our lives.

To learn more visit: http://www.shadanayoga.com 

To keep up with the latest from Shadana Yoga visit: @shadanayoga on Instagram 

and Shadana Yoga's dedicated YouTube page

Written by
Leila Farraj
- Palestine
Leila Farraj is MENACatalyst’s Digital Content Strategist. Since the launch of MENACatalyst, Leila has been integral in developing and managing content that strategically reflects the overall mi... Leila Profile
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