Nanthana (Tanamayi) Vaiyapuri
Tanamayi has brought her passion for the Tamil language, Indian culture, and folk/Bollywood dance to CALA since 2016.
She was born and raised in rural Tamil Nadu, a southeastern state in India. She earned her B.S. in visual communication and Advanced Diploma in non-linear editing from the G. R. Damodaran College of Science at Bharathiar University in Coimbatore, India. A native speaker of Tamil with advanced proficiency in English, Tanamayi has written songs and poems in both languages. Inspired by the great saints, sages, and scholars of her culture, her poetry has been published in The Hindu, India’s top-selling newspaper. Tanamayi is also a certified Classical Hatha Yoga instructor with more than 1,750 hours of training from the Isha School of Hatha Yoga in India, and she has over 25 years of experience in yoga and meditation. She was awarded first prize for female professional yoga teachers by the High Commissioner of India, Uganda, and the Ambassador of India, Burundi, at the 2020 International Day of Yoga.
From a farming family, Tanamayi has always had a passion for preserving and caring for the natural world. She has received formal education in nature awareness since her childhood, and she has been very active in Project GreenHands, an initiative of the Isha Foundation to increase the tree population and green cover in Tamil Nadu. Tanamayi also participates in various wildlife rescue and education programs where she teaches children how to appreciate and care for local flora and fauna.
Tanamayi’s education, experience, and travel have helped her develop skills in a number of areas. In addition to the environmental education already mentioned, she has taught Tamil, photography, videography, graphic design, traditional Indian dance, and gardening at the Isha Home School in Coimbatore, India. She also volunteers with her husband at the Sadghuru School in Uganda.