Elena Naassan

Authorized Teacher of Ashtanga Yoga
Elena Naassan

Elena Naassan was born and raised in Lviv. Graduated from Lviv Medical College (located at Doroshenko street). Then worked at Massage and Reflexology Department at Lviv Regional Committee Hospital.

In the early ‘80s began practicing yoga with like-minded enthusiasts using the manually re-written book of Indra Devi. At the same time, Elena got interested in non-traditional health improvement systems and was collecting by pieces information on yoga, using photocopies of books in English usually found at the USSR-India friendship exhibitions.

In the ‘90s Elena moved to Moscow and started practicing on her own following the instructions given in one of the first Russian-language yoga books published in USSR – “The origins of Hatha Yoga” by T. E. Vasiliev. 

In the late ’90s Elena began practicing Iyengar Yoga and other styles of yoga under the guidance of Eugenia Tamanova.

Since 2000, participated in workshops led by Andriy Siderskyi and Eduard Zharuk.

Since 2001, regularly attended classes and workshops by Denis Zayenchkovskyi, Olga Bulanova and Mikhail Konstantinov from Ashtanga Yoga Center (Moscow).

In 2004 in Rishikesh Elena received ‘diksha’ from Swami Shankarananda Ananda Giri in the tradition of Lahiri Mahasaya (Kriya Yoga). 

The Ganges river, India

In 2005 Elena received an international diploma from the European Association of Yoga.

Photo from the article in Yoga Journal about the Ashtanga Yoga teachers, 2009

In the same year she completed with honors the Yoga teacher training course (primary level) at the Ashtanga Yoga Center (Moscow) and began teaching there.

From 2006 to 2010 she worked as a yoga teacher also at World Class Romanov (www.worldclass.ru).

In 2007 Elena participated in the workshops by Dr. Madhavan Munusamy (Sivananda yoga) and Dr. Jitendra Das (Patanjali International Yoga Foundation), Reinhard Gammenthaler (Switzerland), as well as studied with Bal Mukund Singh in Delhi.

Jitendra Das, seminar at the Intersport convention in Moscow, 2008

In 2007 and 2009 Elena presented Ashtanga Yoga at the International World Class Conventions.

Presentation of Ashtanga Yoga at the International World Class Convention in Moscow, 2009
At the Iyengar’s workshop  in Moscow organized by Yoga Journal, 2009

In April 2009, she participated in Moscow seminars of B.K.S. Iyengar conducted as part of Yoga Journal Conference.

Since 2002 Elena has been practicing Traditional Ashtanga Yoga:

  • in 2002 she started practicing Ashtanga Yoga under the guidance of Mikhail Konstantinov and Leonid Lanin at the Moscow Ashtanga Yoga Centre;
  • began studying at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute (http://kpjayi.org) in Mysore at the time when Guruji Shri K. Pattabhi Jois was still alive; 

olena_naassan_pattabhi jois


  • studied Ashtanga yoga under the guidance of R. Saraswathi Jois; now continues her practice under the guidance of R. Sharath Jois.
  • In 2010, received authorization to teach Ashtanga yoga (http://kpjayi.org/teachers-directory/europe/);
Left photo: The first workshop of Guruji Sharath Jois in Moscow, 2011. Middle photo: Receiving the diploma from Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, 2013 (authorization received in 2010). Right  photo: With Sharath Jois in Mysore, India, 2008
Middle photo: with Lakshmish, a teacher of sanskrit and chanting at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute, Mysore, 2007. Right photo: the old yoga shala, where Shri K. Pattabhi Jois started teaching.
  • participated in workshops by Dominic Corigliano (USA), Gabriella Giubilaro (Italy), Lino Miele (Italy), Petri Räisänen (Finland), attended classes of Eddie Stern in New York (USA);


    Left photo: at the yoga shala of Eddie Stern in New York; right photo: with John Scott

  • regularly practices Ashtanga Yoga under the guidance of Mark Darby and Joanne Pelletier in Montreal (Canada). Elena was the one to organize their first seminar in Russia;

    With Mark Darby and Joanne Pelletier


  • completed the 40-hour course for Ashtanga Yoga teachers under the guidance of David Swenson;
  • taught yoga teacher training courses at the Moscow Ashtanga Yoga Center. Working there, Elena wrote an instruction manual on the Primary Series for those who make first steps in Ashtanga Yoga.

Elena Naassan is the first and only authorized instructor in Ukraine. At present she is teaching and giving workshops in Ukraine.

                                                                       Ashtanga Diploma Naassan

Currently resides and teaches in Lviv.