Born in Riga to Vasili Peterson, a Swedish bank director and Alejandra Labunskaia, a Russian noble woman, Eugenie attended drama school in Moscow as a girl and escaped to Berlin with her mother as communists came to power in 1917. In Berlin, she became an actress and dancer. Her fascination with India began at 15, when she read a book by poet-philosopher Rabindranath Tagore and some yoga books later. In 1927, she sailed for India.
Upon moving to India she disguised her Baltic roots by adopting a stage name that would sound Hindi and spiritual (using "dev", the Hindi root for "god") and acted in Indian films. In 1930, she married Jan Strakaty, a commercial attache to the Czechoslovak consulate in Bombay.
In 1982 she moved to Argentina. In 1987 she was elected president of honor of the International Yoga Federation http://www.internationalyogafederation.net (former International Yoga Teachers Federation) and Latin American Union of Yoga under the presidenceship of Swami Maitreyananda at Montevideo, Uruguay. She died in Buenos Aires.