We had the good fortune of connecting with Gloria Baraquio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gloria, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I think most people think of yoga as a fitness class. Like if I say I’m a yoga teacher, most assume that I just teach stretchy acrobatics. Once people dig into what I actually do, they find out that I spend hours a day reading scriptures, chanting, meditating, studying nutrition, counseling students, and staying in a deep space of prayer. I also practice asana when my body needs it. When I prepare for the Yoga Teacher Trainings I offer, I have to prepare lesson plans and curriculum that include anatomy, physiology, teaching methodology, history, philosophy, business, community development and social activism. As yogis, we are called to do good/better in the world. So it’s not just all that stretchy arm balance stuff–which can be one gateway to joy and peace! Yoga is just so much more than the body!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My personal business is about spiritual transformation. Whether I’m coaching someone, facilitating a retreat, or leading a yoga certification program, my main aim is to help people find that God-space within them. I want every person to touch that fullness and peace that exists inside of them and all around us. I am most proud of being able to do what I love everyday, whether it’s chanting, doing yoga, coaching a client, or hosting a retreat. I love who I work with, and I love the frequency I can be in everyday, with the help of spiritual/wellness practices. When people ask me how I got here, I tell them I kept trusting myself and my heart every step of the way. There were crossroads where I had to make pivotal decisions, and my heart and body would always direct me to the right choice–even if it wasn’t easy. Even if it meant leaving the love of my life, or leaving my beautiful home of Hawaii, or putting out a lot of money. There’s always that inner voice that can tell me what’s best for the big picture. Even when things get challenging or emotional, I take refuge in my practice, whether it’s silence, prayer, singing, or yoga. I phone a friend or a sister. What I’ve learned along the way is to keep trusting Life and to keep giving thanks, in every moment. To know that every moment is all we have–so make each moment wondrous!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love taking my LA guests to: Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney, DTLA Arts District, Griffith Observatory, and the Getty/Villa! For eats: the Redondo Pier, Pine + Crane, Wurstkuche, Joy on York, Cafe Gratitude, Desano’s Pizza, Kitchen Mouse, and Lassen’s. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Major Shoutout to Serge Bandura, Founder of Shivakali Yoga–and Shoutout to Shivakali Yoga, which is a collective, a family, my spiritual tribe. Few things in life have been more fulfilling and nourishing than my time with Shivakali. And of course, the biggest Shoutout to my parents Rigolette and Claudio Baraquio, who raised me to be fierce and loving–and to my 9 siblings, who have loved me unconditionally.