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B Yogis: Bala Yoga Founders, Mike & Gabriela Baiocchi

March 30 2017

 

Introducing B Yogis, a series where we get to know the inspiring instructors, practitioners, and students that make up our Bala Yoga community.

To kick off our new series, who better to feature than our fearless leaders. Michael & Gabriela Baioicchi founded Bala Yoga eight years ago, and today they guide us in all that we do. Each day, they inspire us to listen to our bodies and to become the healthiest, fullest versions of ourselves. They value community and human connection, and remind us to take life slowly, enjoying the finer pleasurable moments along the way. Today we sat down with them to find out what keeps them inspired and what the secrets are to their morning routine.

Name: Gabriela Baiocchi

Seattle Neighborhood: Currently in Kirkland, Grew up in South Seattle

Years Teaching Yoga:  4 Years – Been regularly teaching private sessions since completing my training with Les Leventhal in February of 2013. I love working one on one with yogis and watching my clients make huge strides in their practice – its so inspiring to see how yoga impacts their life.

Other Trainings or Services You Offer: H My family has been in the Italian Restaurant business in Seattle for over 60 years, I love food and wine, and of course Italy! After graduating from Seattle University I helped my dad grow his Italian tour business, my experience in that field is what inspired us to start hosting yoga retreats in Italy and other exciting destinations. I also grew up as a competitive equestrian and spent many years working with horses.

Zodiac Sign:  Libra

Why yoga? 
Yoga fills me up. I love the way yoga makes be feel and the beautiful community of souls that it attracts.

What does your morning routine look like?

Kiss Mike good morning, take my thyroid support supplement – wait 30 minutes, jump on my mini trampoline to get lymphatic system moving – Tony Robbins trick, drink 4 oz of warm lemon water – wait 30 mins, eat breakfast – typically bone broth and eggs or a protein smoothie, have a super short shot cappuccino made with organic milk and espresso made on our home espresso machine, head to meetings, work from home, or head to one of the studios.

What are you currently working on in your personal practice?

I am always working on my breath and finding more capacity for breath throughout my practice.

What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

I love half moon pose, I feel very strong and open in this pose. When I first started yoga I found this posture so challenging and now I find joy in it. I also love deer pose if I am looking for something more restorative.

What keeps you inspired, where do you look?

People. My husband – he is the opposite of me in so many ways and challenges me and inspires me to go out of my comfort zone. My parents – such a wonderful example of hardworking entrepreneurs with a beautiful, strong marriage. Tony Robbins – because he’s just the best.  The community at Bala, its so inspiring to see how much the community has grown together and how our students and teachers genuinely care about one another and are invested in each others lives, it feels like one big amazing family.

What do you do to unwind?

Spend time with family and friends, cook, thrift shop, and I definitely love to binge watch a mindless TV show from time to time.

If you had to eat your last meal on earth, what would it be?

This is extremely hard to choose but probably Spaghetti Vongole in Italy or made by my dad, or Cacio e Pepe in Rome.. or anything Pesto from my parents restaurants…or Gatto made by my mom..

Your life is a movie, what is the title song off the soundtrack?

September – Earth, Wind and Fire

If someone was entirely new to Seattle what three experiences or places would you point them to?

Food is probably one of the most important things in my life so I would definitely recommend some good restaurants. Pizzeria Pulcinella for some amazing authentic Neapolitan style pizza (one of my family’s restaurants), Joule for a delicious and unique brunch, and Frankie and Joe’s for awesome plant based ice-cream. I would recommend getting out on the water if the weather was nice – paddle boarding on Lake Washington, sailing/boating to a restaurant in Lake Union, wine tasting in Woodinville, and just strolling around different Seattle neighborhoods and checking out local coffee shops.

Name: Michael Baiocchi

Seattle Neighborhood: Kirkland

Years Teaching Yoga: 8 years

Other Trainings or Services You Offer: Holistic Health Coaching & Nutritional Services

Zodiac Sign: Aries

Why yoga?

Yoga found its way into my life through a competitive career as a martial arts fighter. I was over expending myself, injured and until yoga came into my life, I was not aware of the idea of working inwards. I was so stuck on working out hard. Yoga was the balance my life needed then and the balance my life will appreciate for the rest of my life.

What does your morning routine look like?

I try my best to have a routine in the morning but when traveling I can get thrown off. My typical morning routine will consist of drinking water right when I wake up to get the body and mind hydrated, I journal for a few minutes and then plan my day, always starting with the 3 most important task of the day first. I will set 10 minutes aside to meditate and then I will make a healthy breakfast, coffee or tea, then begin working.

What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

First thing that comes to mind, hero’s pose aka “virasana”. I say this because I am actually flexible where this pose requires me to be. However, its never easy. I feel a sense of achievement when I am in this pose and can be still, experiencing many different sensations. It’s a pose I can flow into a flow to slow things down or to meditate.

What keeps you inspired, where do you look?

Inspired in my practice, I look at our community. Our community is full of students that have daily practices and have been practicing with us since we opened 8 years ago. I see students everyday that are twice my age and stronger than ever, practicing daily sometimes multiple times a day. I am inspired by these students everyday and our community is supportive in my practice. My family inspires me to want to grow and be the best husband and father I can be. I am grateful for all those around me. In my business life, I look to my mentors and my father who have taught me so much about being a good leader, an honest man and to do good work.

What do you do to unwind?

Lately I love sitting in our infrared saunas. This is super relaxing and meditative for me. I have several other hobbies and passions that help me unwind and focus on nothing but the art of what im doing. This might be pulling a perfect espresso shot from my italian made espresso machine, practicing martial arts or in the summer going sailing on lake Washington.

If you had to eat your last meal on earth, what would it be?

I would choose a Sicilian dish. A pasta with pistacchio, glass of wine and finished with a cannoli for desert. I love pistacchio and Sicily!

Your life is a movie, what is the title song off the soundtrack?

Easy Like Sunday Morning by Lionel Richie

If someone was entirely new to Seattle what three experiences or places would you point them to?

I used to take people to Paseos in Fremont followed by the Theo chocolate factory for a free tasting. If its sunny and there is some wind, I will take them from Kirkland on my sailboat and sail across to lake union, docking the boat at Westward in Lake Union and having a great meal on the patio overlooking Seattle and the lake enjoying fresh northwest fare and oysters by the dozen! Then sailing back in the sunset, with a bottle of rose!

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