It was in 1991 that Yoga teacher Sylta Divyajyoti Kalmbach invited Swami Satchidananda to southern Portugal in 1991 to conduct an Integral Yoga retreat at her center, Quinta de Calma. This was the beginning of what would become a beautiful relationship between Divyjyoti, Quinta, and Integral Yoga.
When, in 2005, the Integral Yoga centers and teachers in Europe began conducting an annual reunion, they opted to hold it at Quinta de Calma. These reunions would be like “mini-Zinals” where the Yoga teachers and their students could enjoy a Yoga retreat, have time to connect and network, and some of the Integral Yoga swamis and senior teachers were invited from America to teach and give satsangs.
Quinta de Calma also became the European headquarters for the Integral Yoga Teacher Training programs, hosting numerous trainings led by trainers from different European Integral Yoga centers, often joined by American teacher trainers. Divyajyoti was a pioneer in bringing Yoga and holistic practices to Portugal. Her dedication over the past 37 years to The School of Life at Quinta da Calma enabled so many Integral Yogis to meet and become a beautiful community. For many, our lives were transformed through all that she made possible, from Yoga trainings, to holistic workshops, and so much more.
Luckshmi Cannon, one of her close students and friends shared remembrances and about the Celebration of Life in Divyajyoti’s honor: “She will always be remembered in our hearts as a beautiful, elegant woman who was always ready to share her knowledge and expertise. So many of us in the Integral Yoga sangha have wonderful memories of the retreats we had at the Quinta—the music, the magical experiences, joy, laughter, learning and sharing. Her legacy will live on in all she touched, taught and shared. We will be eternally grateful for her dedication and what she created.”
“A Celebration of Life took place on Sunday 24th April, 2002 in the meeting house at Quinta da Calma—Divyajyoti’s home and the spiritual home of many. The meeting house (named, the School of Life ), with its ‘floating’ wooden roof (one of Divyajyoti’s visions come true) was filled with those whose lives and hearts she had touched in some way. Michael, who had known Divyjyoti all his life, opened the proceedings. Luckshmi Cannon (from the Portugal sangha, who organized the celebration) started off the sharing, followed by Nalanieji and Anand (from the Gibraltar/Spain Sangha), and Reverend Padma from the UK.
“There were tears, and lots of laughter too, as stories were shared (in English and Portuguese, thanks to the translators) of this extraordinary soul—of her generosity, her tenacity, her glamour, her sense of fun, her knowledge, her love, and her spirit. There were messages from Integral Yoga swamis, yogis, sangha members, and friends worldwide who couldn’t attend, but participated in spirit. The overwhelming message was one of gratitude for having known her.”
“A beautiful video montage [by Luckshmi] and music brought the celebration to an end, followed by healthy and delicious eats and drinks. Divyajyoti would have approved! She embodied the Integral Yoga principle of Live to Love, Love to Serve and the Ceremony of the Celebration of her life was a testament to that. She will be greatly missed. One of her favourite peace chants was: ”Fly like an eagle, fly so high , circling the universe of wings of pure light .” Jai to our dear Divyajyotiji! Fly high with wings of pure light!”
(Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Luckshmi Cannon for all she shared. Om Shanti.)