Shivani (Śivānī) Ray is a meditation teacher and multi-disciplinary artist, and the Founder of Living Sanskrit. Born both American and into the yogic tradition, her life has been devoted to learning how to properly steward and utilize ancient indigenous wisdom in modern times, especially in non-native contexts.
Shivani first heard Sanskrit in the womb, and has heard or sung it every day since! She grew up immersed in yogic teachings and practices under the guidance of her spiritual teacher and also her grandmother.
Her grandmother – also a dedicated practitioner – made it a point to teach her the language, culture, and wisdom of this tradition from a young age. Living Sanskrit is the culmination of a long-held dream to keep this tradition alive and share its magnificent gifts with the world.
She started teaching meditation in 2001 at the suggestion of her spiritual teacher. To date, she has taught thousands of people the art of meditation at venues that range from churches to hospitals to corporate boardrooms. From 2008-2014, Shivani also had a fellowship with the Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness and Law, leading retreats and weekly meditation sessions at Berkeley Law School.
Along with teaching, Shivani is also an actress, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur, and she offers her creative skills and managerial vision to Living Sanskrit. She is a graduate of the Waterfront Conservatory and Playhouse, a member of the California Bar, and has a J.D. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Rhetoric with minors in Theater, Business Administration, and South Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Shivani is known for teaching with directness, enthusiasm, and rigor, and has a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a comprehensible way. When she’s not working, she can be found resting in nature, learning something new, or laughing with loved ones.