Carol Kalyani Neuman was brilliant, kind, and fun. She was the first woman to become an executive at the New York Times. Prior to moving to Yogaville, she served on the Board of the Integral Yoga Institute of New York and was selected by Swami Satchidananda to represent him on the board of the Temple of Understanding, one of the leading interfaith organizations in the world.
Kalyani was an Integral Yoga teacher and contributed to the organization over many decades. Kalyani left her body peacefully at age 91 on July 17, 2020 at her home in Yogaville in Central Virginia. A beloved member of the community, she will be missed by many, as tributes pour in ( a few of those can be read below). A deep bow to the many community members who provided so much loving care over the past years including Caroline, Jivada, Annamaria, Janaka, and Siva B. who was with her till the last breath…
A virtual memorial service will livestream at 2pm ET on Sunday, August 9th. Join us here.
“She loved her rich and full life and was a very interesting and knowledgeable conversationalist to talk to as we all did, enjoying her company for many years. We shall miss her dearly and although she will no longer be in our midst, we have many loving memories to cherish.” –Swami Hamsananda
“She was such a trailblazer, first as a woman on staff at the New York Times in her day, as well as in the interfaith movement.” –Stephen Sylvan Willig
“God bless a dear friend, Kalyani Neuman. I will always be grateful for her 40+ years of supporting my music, for sharing her NYC apartment and all the museums/ballet/choral concerts we went to throughout the city. There will never be another Kalyani!” –Radhika Miller
“I will miss her physical presence. I always loved hearing her stories of her experiences with Swami Satchidananda and her stories of the LOTUS and being a tour guide in sharing this beloved temple. May her spirit continue to soar.” –Amba Taye
“They broke the mold with Kalyani.” –Beth Coakley
“I always looked at her as an embodiment of true power and inner strength. She was real, wise and she embodied Swami Satchidananda’s teachings.” –Deepika Green
“She was a true courageous and inspiring pioneer in spreading peace and the teachings of Swami Satchidananda. A lifetime of fierce dedication. –Rev. Nora Vimala Pozzi
“She had the most beautiful heart, keen journalistic mind and gave so many years of dedicated service to Swami Satchidananda and his immense legacy of teachings.” –Nirmala Heriza
“She truly was a unique, inspiring, and kind person. A living embodiment of the teachings. I will miss her.” –Gabbie Olson Perez
“I had the most delightful lunch with her last summer at Yogaville. She was a force; full of wit and good grace. I considered her a mentor of sorts, even though our interactions were brief, her presence made an impact.” –Gita Catherine Martin
“I have so many great memories of having meals with her at Sivananda Hall (in Yogaville). Loved her stories, sense of humor, and tenacious spirit.” –Sam Desai
“May God and Guru be with her. Padma and I arrived in Yogaville in 1984, with Nandalal as a baby. Swamiji introduced Kalyani to us. Everything was new to us. Kalyani visited us often and offered her advice and help. She was such a lovely, helpful person. We pray that her soul rests in peace.” –Amma Rasiah and Padma Rasiah Cantu
“She is such a good soul. We loved her so much and she too loved us. Pray her soul rest in peace.” –V.P. & Shanta Dhananjaya
“When Asangan and I told people at the New York IYI that we planned on getting married, Kalyani surprised us with a celebratory brunch in her New York apartment. As always she made us feel so special and loved. It was a small group of friends and we were blessed with her kindness and joy. She made Asangan and I feel so special, and that we were family—we will always hold her in our hearts.” –Karuna and Asangan Binstock
“Kalyani was a dear friend and the best landlord we ever had. She was also a source of inspiration and we often marveled at her energy, engagement and unwillingness to let anything slow her down. Her intelligence and understanding of the issues of our world were the source of thoughtful conversation at which she thrived. She was a wonderful part of the fabric of the Yogaville community and will be deeply missed by many people. Om Shanti,Shanti, Shanti, dear Kalyani.” –Sarani and Alan Fedman
“Surely Sri Gurudev’s fullest blessings are now being felt by his great and dedicated devotee Kalayni. She will be missed by all of Yogaville and many more, of all the faiths and traditions she served in so many ways to bring together.” –Hari Barker
“I had the honor and pleasure of living with Kalyani for 2 years in her lovely, Mondrian-inspired home at Yogaville. Despite our large age difference, she and I became best buddies—as did Cooper (my dog) and Teddy (her dog). I have many fond memories that center around our mutual love of Yoga, good music, and dogs—such as our road trips (with dogs in the backseat) to the Lovingston Cafe and Trager Brother’s coffee roastery. What stands out most for me in hindsight is the high bar she set for herself and others. Her lofty standards manifested as Kalyani catching what seemed like every wrong note I hit while practicing the piano, pointing out my grammatical faux-pas, and fine-tuning the alignment of my headstands in her living room. Kalyani was an inspiring woman and devoted Integral Yogi, and the memory of her will remain firm and dear in my heart.”
–Matt Jivada Fritts
“Two wonderful things happened to us during our first visit to the Ashram, July 2002. We saw Swami Satchidanandaji in person for the first time as he gave one of his final satsangs, and we met this tall, stately woman, Kalyani Neuman. Kalyani invited us to stay with her as there there wasn’t any room at the Ashram. It was the beginning of a great friendship. Then, and over the following years, she often regaled us with the most wonderful stories about her life, including her times with Sri Gurudev and at the New York Times. Kalyani always conducted herself with such grace and selflessness. We loved her dry humor and midwestern straight talk. She walked the talk of selfless service, and remains a model for us of what an Integral Yogi should be. We were blessed to know Kalyani, our first friend in Yogaville, and will always treasure our time with her. Her laughter will remain in our hearts, and now we smile when we think of her saying, in the way only she could: ‘See you around, Kiddo!’” –Shireen Lewis and Shraddha Col
A Personal Story & Remembrance from Rev. Dhyani Simonini
Carol Kalyani Neuman was a real force during her early days—a newspaper woman with the New York Times, a member of the New York Integral Yoga Institute Board, a contributor to all the Integral Yoga and Yogaville projects, a woman with a sword sharp humor that left one startled and yet laughing frequently, a great lover of jazz, and for me personally a fine neighbor during my early days in Yogaville, living at the Mitra Manor Apartments. I fit my piano into a wide closet meant for storing china and cooking utensils. It just fit, and I was relieved and happy. Then I found out the duct work led straight upstairs to Kalyani’s living room, which meant she would be getting an amplified concert every time I played. That had me worried. She had a reputation for being pretty blunt if she didn’t like something.
The first time I played the piano, there were two sharp knocks on the floor above me. I rushed outside and up the stairs to apologize if I disturbed her. Sitting in her chair with queenly posture, she smiled greatly. “No, my dear. You have to know the code. Two knocks are for jazz or forties big band dance music. One knock is a ballad. Three knocks are show tunes, and anything over that is—well, mix it all up and devil take the hindmost!” I stared at her as if she couldn’t be serious, and she burst out into hearty laughter. Turned out she LOVED music—classical, jazz, show, standards, the whole panoply! We had a great time with her “code.” Many days I wasn’t even playing the piano, and knocks would come.
I tried to learn her favorites. She’d call down through the vent and give her approval. I often went upstairs to visit, and she would tell me great tall tales of the newspaper world…I played a whole bunch of songs this evening—a real mix up, a four knocks session. Just for you, Kalyani. Fly into the light, old friend.”