Gloria Baraquio, E-RYT 500, Lead Teacher Trainer
Gloria came to yoga in 2003 after experiencing anxiety and depression, and she realized that the breath, body awareness, and mindfulness could relieve so much of her own suffering and the suffering of others. After years of self-study and independent practice, she began teaching vinyasa in 2006 in schools, colleges, gyms, and studios. Since then, she has continued to teach thousands of hours of yoga and meditation to various populations.
Gloria grew up in Honolulu as the youngest of 10 children, praying and singing in the Catholic Church. Intrigued with other spiritual traditions, she explored a multitude of philosophies and religions, connecting deeply with the teachings of Baha'i, Tibetan Buddhism, Kundalini Yoga, and Krishna Consciousness. She has practiced with spiritual communities around the world and lived off-grid on the Big Island to experience simple living and high thinking. Gloria was a Language Arts high school teacher for 7 years, and she wrote, produced and hosted a Hawaii TV show with her sisters called Living Local with the Baraquios. She also wrote a weekly column for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, produced a documentary with her charter school students, and performed in theatre companies and independent films in Hilo, Boulder, and Los Angeles. Gloria's passion for education, music, and the arts inspires her yoga teaching.
Gloria completed her 200-Hour Teacher Training at Yoga Hawaii with Rupali Embry and Tania Jo Ingrahm. She then completed kids yoga training and aerial yoga training. In 2012, she spent eight months at Naropa University, studying Contemporary Performance and Meditation. There in Boulder, she learned from close disciples of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In 2013, she discovered Kundalini Yoga in Los Angeles with Tej Kaur Khalsa and Gurmukh, tapping into the technology of kriya and naad yoga. In the same year, she began to study and chant regularly at the Los Angeles Bhakti House with Shastrakrit and Kumari Gopi and continued her studies with Tukaram Prabhu at the Long Beach Temple. In 2014, as Yoga & Wellness Director, she helped to open The Springs in Downtown LA, an urban oasis with a vegan restaurant, yoga studio, and a wellness center. She founded the Yoga Program there, taught free daily meditation, and managed the Wellness Center. In 2015, she co-led the first Shivakali Yoga Teacher Training with Serge Bandura and taught vocal movement at festivals like Lightning in a Bottle, Symbiosis, and Restival. In January 2016, she completed her 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training with Raghunath Cappo and Radhanath Swami in India at the Govardhan Eco Village. On this sustainable farm, she chanted everyday, analyzed Vedic scriptures, and listened to the pastimes of Krishna. She went on pilgrimage in Vrndavan, where she met other swamis, gurus, sages, and monks, and performed parikrama (a meditative circumambulation) around Govardhan Hill.
Her advanced studies include The Art of Sequencing with Annie Carpenter, Agnihotra (Fire Ceremony) with Panama Maharaj Baba, and Kirtan Training with Paramananda Das and Sankarshan Das.
Gloria has taught yoga retreats with Yogascapes in Nicaragua, Iceland, and Zion. She has also taught a bhakti retreat at New Vrindaban in West Virginia. She & Serge Bandura have taught twelve 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings in locations like the San Diego Desert, Los Angeles, Sonoma Redwoods, the Big Island, and Costa Rica. They graduated their first 300-hour class in Bali in August 2017. She has witnessed hundreds of her students blossom and transform into healers and leaders in their respective industries.
Gloria is a bhakti yogi living a life of devotion to the Highest through song, sangha, and service. She gives praise to her most beloved teachers: her parents, her siblings, her partners, her students, the land, Chogyam Trungpa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tarthang Tulku, Krishnamacharya, and Srila Prabhupad. Her greatest wish is for others to know their Highest Self and live with both courage and compassion.
She is currently a live-work volunteer at the Ratna Ling Retreat Center, where she is the Lead Teacher and the Director of Programs.