“Cancer was not a monster for me because I have a tool in my hands called yoga.”

Nouf Al Marwai, Health Entrepreneur, Founder & President of The Arab Yoga Foundation. She has grown up with the Mission to provide educational & training courses to the students of yoga who are interested in learning more about the ancient Indian science of yoga sports, with ease and flexibility. Nouf is one of the first Saudi professional ladies to visit India to study Yoga and Ayurveda. She is a Clinical psychologist, an influential Saudi entrepreneur, wellness & lifestyle consultant. Nouf has also pioneered the practice of Yoga and healthy lifestyle in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.

She has played a crucial role in making yoga legal in Saudi Arabia and finally got yoga recognized as a sports activity for which she was awarded by the President of India the 4th highest civilian award the Padmashri in 2018 for her efforts in fighting for yoga approval in Saudi. She was awarded as Yoga person of the year by Loving India foundation and Digital India Foundation, 2018. She got honored with Yoga Ratna Award by Asian Federation, 2018.

She is the director of Holistic Healthcare for health services, Jeddah since 2015. As a President, she has been working with Arab Yoga Foundation, India – KSA from 2010. In 2016 also she opened Nouf Academy for Sports & Wellness in India.

The journey of Nouf wasn’t an easy journey at all. Being born with an autoimmune disease Nouf had to suffer a lot. She was unable to lead a normal lifestyle. Then is when somebody told her about yoga and she started reading about it.

Her journey started from Australia where she also completed her studies. The reason she traveled to India was the lack of Ayurveda centers in Australia.  By then her illness had started to attack her kidneys. It was in Kerela where she found some Ayurveda doctors and her condition started to heal.

Apprehensions from the family did exist but her improving health is what helped her to gain support gradually. People who initially thought she is killing her career were also the ones who came to here training centers.

Saudis didn’t know anything about yoga. They had a belief that Yoga is a Buddhist practice like meditation. Saudi society is not an open society. It took a lot of awareness campaigns to change things, But things changed eventually. Nouf’s media presence helped her a lot in achieving the same.


Nouf has done her Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with High Honors KSU, Riyadh and she did her Clinical Training and gained Experience from 2004 – 2007 at King Khaled Hospital in Riyadh and volunteered in the Mental Health Hospital in Jeddah as a clinical psychologist. She also has to her credit, a dozen intensive diplomas related to Yoga, Ayurveda and Naturopathy from Australia and India with yoga teaching certifications.

Naturopathy and Ayurveda Qualifications

Year Place DEscription
2006 Diploma of Holistic weight loss certification
2006-2007 India
Lifestyle counselor diploma from Dr. David Frawley (Ayurveda and Natural medicine doctor)
2008 Kerela, India Nutritional and Natural health training from PVA college

Yoga Qualification

Year Place DEscription
Nov – Dec 2013 India Recertification for yoga teacher license 200hrs from yoga Yug International Yoga
Jan – July 2009
Diploma of Advanced yoga therapy and training with merit and high honors from the Institute of Yoga Sciences and Research
2010 International Yoga Federation Yoga teacher diploma
May 2009 500 hour yoga teacher training (YTT) and registry, yoga master with Swami Vidyananda Srima School and Sri Aurbindo Ashram
2008 Kerela, India Advanced yoga therapy from PVA college
April, 2004 USA 240hrs Hatha yoga teacher license USA,
Sydney, Australia 2007 Ashtanga and vinyasa yoga workshops certification
2007 Sydney, Australia Physiology and anatomy of Hatha yoga theory and practice private course

Year Description
2005 Saudi Arabia Yoga School Founder
Regional Director of Yoga Alliance Int.
2009 Yoga Alliance Gulf Founder
2010 Arab Yoga Foundation Founder
2010 Honorary Secretary of IYF Italy
2012 Advisor in Asian Yoga Federation
2015 Member on Advisory board of World Yoga Council Europe
2015 Member of Presidents Committee in International Yoga Federation Italy
2015 Head of Arab World Yoga committee in International Yoga Federation Italy