Sjana Elise

1. How do you feel about hosting the class on the helipad?

Sjana Elise
Image Credit:

Obviously, I was very excited. I think it was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience that has and will continue to boost awareness around the subject of yoga and wellbeing in a way that hasn’t been done before. We have seen the spike in conversation surrounding other events that have been promoted via stunts on the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah helipad thanks to previous unique sporting matches and spectacular stunts that have taken place there and captured the attention of audiences around the world. I believe this spectacular 60-minute yoga class session set up by Dubai Holding has really boosted awareness towards the XYoga Dubai Festival and wellbeing in general.

2. Are there any other out their kind of locations you have hosted sessions on?

Burj Al Arab Group Yoga
Image Credit:

I am very lucky to be able to do what I do and have had some amazing opportunities to host classes in some very exclusive locations, through retreats and events – be it the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, on an island in the Maldives, on surf boards in the middle of the ocean and some incredible locations in Bali. I do have to say though that the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Helipad at 210 meters above sea level is probably the most spectacular place I have ever practiced yoga!

3. What are your thoughts on the effects of yoga?

Yoga has been such an amazing addition to my life on a personal level – for both my physical and mental wellbeing. I am sure that anyone who really invests time into yoga as a way of life will feel the same. It has helped yogis across the world to feel strong and capable, grounded and calm. Given the connected nature of today’s world, it is one of the few activities that you can practice wherever you go. It also connects your breath and your body and really brings about a positive shift in lifestyle. As someone who travels regularly, I love that I can practice yoga anywhere I am in the world. Yoga is also an invaluable tool for the enrichment of life for people of all ages. Yoga helps me feel stronger, healthier and all round happier! And I want to encourage others to try it for themselves in the hopes they may feel and see similar benefits for themselves.

4. How has your experience been in Dubai so far? What do you think of the Yoga scene here?

I was invited by Dubai Holding, the presenting partner of the XYoga Dubai Festival, to lead this exclusive session resulting from the mega competition that the company launched to celebrate this year’s XYoga Festival. I love how the city, supported by companies such as Dubai Holding, actively encourages its residents, their families and the wider community to reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, which I believe is vital for the wellbeing of future generations.

I am also super impressed by all the work that Dubai Holding does around wellbeing. They have a dedicated Wellness Programme that includes events and initiatives to help create a healthy society, including the support of a diverse programme of large-scale and high-impact community events like XYoga Dubai that promote health and wellbeing. I was very happy to be here and be involved in this session as the Dubai Holding’s vision perfectly aligns with my won – that we should all join hands to help raise awareness among communities to live a healthy lifestyle and get involved sports and wellness initiatives.

5. What is your morning routine?

It changes every single day. Readying yourself in the right way is very important as it sets you up with the right mentality and physicality for the rest of the day. There are a couple of things I like to do every day, regardless of where I am. As someone who travels regularly, I love that I can practice yoga anywhere in the world, as well as enjoy morning meditation and a good sunrise. Connecting with people is also a very important part of my day; from smiling at the people around me to asking about how they are. I feel this helps you tune into how the people around you feel, which allows you to stay better in touch with how you feel.

6. What are five ingredients you eat every day?

I enjoy a well-rounded diet and choose to eat the rainbow through a mix of fresh fruit, vegetables and other plant-based sources. My diet focuses more on food out of the earth than food from a packet and my go to-s include avocados, acai – I love a good acai bowl – berries, watermelons and dragon fruit. I have found delicious dragon fruit in Dubai, so have been enjoying that. Rice, quinoa and tofu are other favorites of mine.

7. What is your favourite yoga pose?

Yoga poses completely depend on how my body is feeling on the day. I can get on the mat and feel either completely open or little bit more tired and sore, so my poses tend to change. Personally, I love inversions - headstands, handstands, forearm stands and anything upside down; but I also enjoy ‘Savasana’.

8. Do you have three big meals or more smaller ones throughout the day?

I prefer smaller spaced out meals, however, due to travelling so much, there isn’t as much control over what I get to eat. Small meals help keep me satisfied and energized for much longer.

9. Do you do any other exercise apart from yoga?

I love to live an active lifestyle and find that the more I do the better I feel. When you know the benefits on your body and mind, it makes it easy. I engage in anything from yoga to surfing as I live by the beach at home. Growing up I was involved in cheerleading, netball, swimming, tennis and aerobics – I tried pretty much everything. Nowadays I enjoy morning and evening walks to catch the sunrise and sunset, surfing, bike riding and running. I love anything that helps me get out in nature.

10. Have there been any stand-out restaurants you have wanted to try when here?

I have not had the chance to try out nearly as many restaurants as I would have liked during my time here in Dubai, but I have been enjoying the restaurants at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. So far, all of them have been so good. I have also been recommended venues like Fika by Chef Izu, which I’ve heard is amazing and would love to try if I can fit in to my schedule!