Hilaria Baldwin Talks Finding Herself, Yoga & Trump

Hilaria Baldwin was trying to get out of New York City with her three children, Carmen, Rafael and Leonardo, when I called her on a Friday afternoon. They planned to leave at noon—it was 1pm.

“Always give an hour when you have kids,” Baldwin laughed, not sounding remotely frazzled.

It all starts with perspective for this mom, co-founder of New York City studio Yoga Vida, EXTRA reporter and, most recently, author. In December, Rodale published Baldwin’s book Living Clearly Method: 5 Principles for a Fit Body, Healthy Mind & Joyful Life. Principle No. 1? Perspective.

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“Whether it’s a fitness goal or a life goal, if you get to that place where you get that perspective and realize you are worth it, then you’re off to a good start,” said Baldwin, adding that her other four principles are breathing, grounding, balance and letting go.

But it took years for Baldwin, who will be at Bloomingdale’s in Roosevelt Field Mall for a yoga class and book signing Saturday, May 13, to establish and live by these principles. She spoke with Pulse about her inner struggle to find happiness, how yoga changed her and why she’s getting a kick out of watching husband Alec Baldwin put politics into perspective.

Living Clearly cover FINAL

Baldwin will sign copies of her book after a yoga class at Bloomingdale’s Roosevelt Field Mall May 13

Why did you choose to write this book?
I really thought about it for a few years and then, just as all things just kind of come together in a moment, I had an idea and wrote a proposal really fast. It really felt very natural. My philosophy and way of teaching is very tangible and practical. One of the things that drove me a little crazy when I started yoga was that people were always like, “Just clear your mind.” That sounds really great but how do I do that? Through my experience with yoga and searching, searching, searching, I created the living clearly method.

When did you start to practice yoga more?
I was about 20. I was a dancer and I was trying to find something that was healthy for me. I really abused my body to the point where I broke my hip and was in a wheelchair. Yoga was such an incredible find because it didn’t matter so much what I looked like on the outside. It was all about how it felt on the inside and doing something good for my body.

Women may constantly feel burned out or focus on other people. Why is it so important, even if you have a hectic life, to carve out time for yourself?
A lot of people don’t talk about it, that inner struggle. My life looked just great. I was this little tiny yoga instructor and I wore super cute clothes. I had my hair and nails done. [But] I would go home alone and fall apart. I never wanted the outside world to see it. There’s a quote in my book, “I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in an empty moment.” I realized I didn’t like the company I kept. I always urge my students, “You have to focus on yourself in order to be strong enough for other people and you have to mean it.”

How were you able to figure this out?
I did a lot of therapy. In my journey, someone told me about active vs. passive therapy. Both are very good. I got really into this idea of active therapy because as wonderful as passive therapies are—and in many cases they are necessary—you have to get to a point where you’re going to take charge.

Mother’s Day is coming up. What’s your idea of the perfect way to celebrate?
It sounds so corny. I love when my kids make me cards. I remember the first time Carmen made me a card. It was the first time I ever experienced getting a card from a child. Alec moved her hand to write “Mommy.”

That is really cute. Speaking of Alec, the two of you tend to be Hamptons fixtures during the summer. What are you most looking forward to this year?
I’m excited because this is the first summer in a while that I’m not pregnant or having just had a child. I’m really excited to be able to to enjoy rosé. I’m excited about bikinis and not having a gigantic stomach. We love to spend time together once the kids go to sleep. We go out or we’ll all go have dinner at a friends house. We love to go to Fresno, Highway, Serafina and Nick & Toni’s.

Alec’s Donald Trump impersonation has even caught the eye of Trump.
People stop him on the street all the time just to say, “Thank you. This is helping us get through this…You’re doing such a service.” It’s been amazing to see how it’s touching people when he originally thought it was just something silly to do. He’s taking it more seriously than he did at the beginning.

"It sounds so corny. I love when my kids make me cards," Baldwin said.

“It sounds so corny. I love when my kids make me cards,” Baldwin said.

What’s your favorite sketch?
I don’t really have a favorite sketch. I think it’s just when it resonates with people and resonates with Alec. He likes to impersonate people who he likes. He likes to impersonate Sean Connery, Tony Bennett, De Niro and Al Pacino. He doesn’t like to impersonate someone who is so hated and I don’t think he would have done it for all this time if people weren’t coming up to him and saying they like it.

You will be at Bloomingdale’s on May 13. What can people expect?
We’ll have a really great time. It’s special because the proceeds go to Wellness in the Schools, which is near and dear to my heart, and I get to see people who might not be able to make it to my Manhattan class. We practice yoga and hang out afterwards. Recipes from my book are [often] served. We do a book signing and take pictures.

Why did you pick Wellness in the Schools as a cause?
As a mother, I’m very focused on the next generation. I believe being healthy can turn people into good people because they feel good. When people feel good, they tend to want to be happy people who want to help other people.

If You Go
What: Morning Yoga With Hilaria Baldwin
Where: Bloomingdale’s, Roosevelt Field Mall
When: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 8:30-10am More Info  

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.