Ray & Nina Crist
Ray Crist has spent the last three decades immersed in shamanism, various styles of yoga, Chinese medicine, martial arts, and Reiki. He has been offering workshops and trainings at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and around the globe for over 15 years. Ray’s trainings focus on how to use shamanic tools and yoga to live a balanced and empowered life.
Ray was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2003 and left his home country of Greece to begin his extensive travel through Peru and Mexico in search of indigenous healers. To his surprise, the shamans he met told him that they couldn’t heal him ... but that he could become a shaman and heal himself. Ray went on to become an apprentice of three shamans from lineages as old as the Inca civilization and the Amazon jungle shamans - spending several months of each year living with them as family, learning, studying, and healing. He received several initiations until he climbed to the top level of the Q'ero lineage and was eventually initiated by his teachers as a Kuraq Akulleq, an Elder of the tribe. This Quechua word translates to “seer” or “visionary” and comes with it a directive to share the Q'ero teachings to other nations as a planetary representative of the tribe. This has become the mission of Ray’s life, and he founded The Jaguar Path in 2007 as the home base for that work.
Ray is honored to share these teachings that he holds so close to his heart. He is known for focusing on affection and humor in his delivery, softening and opening the hearts of his students to receive the accelerated healing that these teachings can offer. Ray bows to the unfathomable power of this work and to the unlimited potential of each member of the ever-growing international Jaguar Path Tribe.
Nina Crist grew up close to nature in Maine and was called from a young age to live a spiritual path in service of uplifting and developing others. She always knew that her life would focus on offering nourishment and support to those around her. At 17 she began training extensively in the martial arts, drawn to a deeply traditional, non-competitive, nature-based delivery of these ancient teachings in which discussion of the virtues and on becoming your best self, was held side by side with the physical forms. The roots of this lineage reach directly to the Shaolin Temple itself.
For 20 years of her adulthood, Nina lived, breathed, studied, and taught the martial arts, learning the essence of each style: karate, aikido, jiu jitsu, Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Kung Fu, and more. She has earned the title of Young Master, and is a keeper of this ancient wisdom.
Nina went on to become a Core Faculty member and Luminary presenter at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she received further yoga training. As a teacher, Nina draws on her deep practice and study of pranayama, mudras, meridians, postures, alignment, and the subtle body. She is a graduate of the Jaguar Path training in yoga & shamanism and co-leads these programs with Ray while expanding the Jaguar Path’s Martial Arts offerings.
Nina is honored to utilize her decades of traditional training and her own deep practice, to make these ancient arts accessible to her students of all levels. It is her life’s work to peel back the layers of dogma and fear that surround this ancient wisdom so that people from all walks and all stages of life can benefit. She is known for her heart-centered, bright-eyed approach to teaching and connecting that focuses on bringing out the absolute best in every person she encounters.