Kalyani (Cristina Paes) was born in Brazil in 1979. After experiencing an urge for enlightenment and truth as a child, Kalyani began studying yoga scriptures and became a devout practitioner of Hatha and Bhakti yoga. At age 18, she enrolled as a full time student at Swasthya Yoga School in Brazil and participated in a variety of workshops where she discovered her passion for Asana Choreography. Seeking experiential knowledge, Kalyani began her official yoga apprenticeship by traveling and living amongst yogic communities all over the world for the next four years. During that time she explored several lineages of yoga, encountering Kundalini yoga in Guatemala and spending a few months in a Vaishnava, “Hare Krishna” ashram in the mountains of Chile. Expressing a courageous passion for adventure and yoga, Kalyani participated in a pilgrimage by horse presenting Asana Choreography and introducing yoga to the poor people in the mountains of Peru.
Her quest for spiritual intelligence continued as she then traveled from her homeland in South America to India to observe the Hindu way of life and study the origins of yoga from Vedic masters. Flourishing both intellectually and spiritually, Kalyani focused her scope on strengthening her soul and her teaching ability. After long travels and extensive research and studies on yoga, Kalyani found a home on the shores of Mal Pais, Costa Rica. For the past 7 years Kalyani, who in Costa Rica is known as “Cris,” has been teaching yoga to the community, and for guests of hotels and resorts in the area. Her distinguished reputation as a teacher and mentor has attracted appointments for classes with celebrities like Gisele Bundchen and Jill Hennessy.
Kalyani recently journeyed to India for her second time where she finished 500 hours of advanced course study in classic Hatha yoga, Patanjali yoga sutras, Ayurvedic and Yogic lifestyle in Yoga Vidya Dham school from a direct disciple of Swami Satyananda of the esteemed Bihar School of Yoga.
In July of 2009, Kalyani fulfilled her dream of participating in a yoga seminar in England where she met and received diksha (spiritual initiation) by Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati from Bihar School of Yoga. Kalyani’s passion for discovering ultimate truths and ending suffering is gracefully woven into the yoga she shares with the world.
In Kalyani’s own words: “The study of yoga is important to the achievement of the goal. Without adopting the concepts of yoga we cannot fulfill the emptiness of our hearts and change our lives. Going to yoga classes and stretching is not enough. We must understand the concepts behind the practice. We must accept the transformation. We must accept the gift of love, the gift of union…when this love can be felt deep within the heart as sparkling light from the window of the eyes, everyone gets touched and remembers that in reality we are practicing not just for ourselves or for our own illumination, but for the entire cosmic evolution.“