The Yogini from Manila

Pio Baquiran (Vinyasa Yoga Center) – Updated Apr. 2011

| 23 Comments

(Update: Vinyasa Yoga Center is currently closed already but Pio continues to teach in a private location. For those interested in getting in touch with Pio, you may now reach him at 0905-2652688 or at pio_baquiran@yahoo.com).

I have long been planning to compile a Who’s Who of yoga instructors in the Philippines but never got around to starting. So let me begin close to home with none other than my own yoga teacher, Pio Baquiran.

In the classes that Pio conducts, breathing (or pranayama) is paramount as it is the soul of the Vinyasa Yoga Style. He begins by putting on calming and soothing music. The Vinyasa yoga style integrates breath and movement, awareness and alignment, strength and flexibility which connect poses (or asanas) through the breath to “stoke the fire” inside the body and achieve balance.

Pio’s classes progress from warm-up basic yoga poses, to sun salutations (asanas that stretch and heat up the body), to other yoga poses — all the while stressing the breathing rhythm that needs to be maintained throughout. The class ends with a relaxing prone pose and meditation in which one’s senses are brought to a subliminal stage in order for the body to gain the full benefits of the Vinyasa session.

Sessions can address the beginner practitioner as well as those ready for more advanced and challenging poses. Pio is very attentive to his students’ alignment and does not fail to correct and adjust whenever necessary. This attention and care, even while in a group class, makes his classes one of the most phenomenal and experiential within the metro.

With Pio’s permission, I am reprinting here (with some editing) the write-up about him that came out in the website of the upcoming Mind-Body Conference this Aug. 25-26, 2007 where he is one of the presenters.

As one of the rising yoga teachers here in Metro Manila, Pio Baquiran is a celebrated monk, yoga practitioner and member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) since 1986 He is likewise an Aikido Black Belter . Pio’s exposure to the yoga culture began as early as 13, thereby making his proponents and philosophical mastery of the yogic system both broad and deep.

Pio attained brahminical initiation or priesthood for the Bhakti Yoga Tradition within ISKCON in 1994 which gave him prime status and authority in the different branches of yoga which were part of his studies and training during his monk hood. He gained formal studies and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy – major in Vaisnava Theology and Philosophy at the ISKCON Vaisnava Institute of Higher Learning in India in 1992 and subsequently accepted his first initiation as member to the esteemed group.

In 1996, he was sent to India once more to further his studies and training. He completed his masters through the Bhaktivedanta College of South Africa (through correspondence) and received the degree MA Philosophy in Vaisnav Theology and Philosophy. During his stay in India, Pio immersed himself and graduated from several training programs and courses such as Ayurveda – under the mentorship of Prahladhananda Swami; Vedic and International Vegetarian Cooking by Internationally acclaimed Vegetarian Guru, Kurma Das; The Art of Deity Worship – under the training of head priest of the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir Temple, Mukunda Datta Prabhu; Bhagavad Gita Course – under the direction of Bhakti Chaitanya Swami.

During his life as a monk and discipleship under His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, Pio took up the reigns of becoming a strict practitioner of the yogic tradition as well as an ayurvedic vegetarian diet. His practice of both Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga styles have been a daily routine in the temple and eventually became his normal lifestyle.

He formally took up the teachers training degree for imparting the yogic tradition in August of 2001 under the mentor ship of renowned International Yoga Master – Charu Chandra Prabhu, from the International Yoga Institute and acquired his accreditation and license to teach.

Today, Pio Baquiran, or more respectably referred to as Gokula Chandra Prabhu, his initiated title, is the co-owner, director and head master of the Vinyasa Yoga Center, a foundation which was created to have a core community for yoga enthusiasts within the Ortigas-Makati and neighboring areas.

Gokula Chandra Prabhu received the prestigious Most Outstanding Yoga Teacher of the Year Award under the National Award Category of the Agora Awards last 2006 for his unparalleled dedication and unique spiritual foundation and lifestyle together with his unwavering mission to impart the age-old tradition of improving the quality of living in our society.

Today, he is considered one of the most authorized gurus in the Vinyasa Yoga Style in the Metro.

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23 Comments

  1. Pingback: Of Gym and Group Classes | Attached At The Hip

  2. Hi! I was wondering whether you can give me the address of Pio’s new studio? I really want to practice Vinyasa yoga. And how much are the rates? Thank you in advance!

  3. hello! i’m so happy i found this site! and will even be happier if you could please email me where i can attend Pio’s classes..thank you so much and more power!

  4. Hi! Could you pls email to me your yoga rates? Where do you conduct your sessions? I’ve tried yoga once but due to my schedule I had to stop after three months.

    @Ivy – Oh! I do not teach. I am just a passionate student of yoga. Do check my Studios tab on the homepage for a list of studios listed by area.

  5. hi! i was browsing for where can i find a good yoga class near ortigas and fortunately found this one but as i thougt it was closed, im a beginner and i want to practice and learn yoga, can you please help me.. thank you! =D

  6. Hi Ms. Jane, I used to attend Sir Pio’s class in Makati. I heard he has his new studion in Ortigas. Please email me the address and contact no. because we wanted to continue attending his class.

    Thanks!

    @Krissy – Will email you privately.

  7. Hi! I used to attend Pio’s class in Ortigas. Kindly email me also on his details? Thank You. πŸ™‚

    @Macy – I will email you directly.

  8. Hi! May I also know where Pio teaches yoga now? I’m also interested in enrolling yoga around ortigas area. Thanks!

    @Karen – I have responded to you by email. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  9. Hi! I was also a student of Pio’s at Vinyasa Yoga Center and would like to find out where he is now teaching. Am very interested to continue attending his classes. Kindly email me on the details. Thank you very much!

    @Pinky – I have responded to you by email.

  10. Hello! I was planning to enroll in a yoga class around Ortigas area and the one that’s easily accessible to my office is the Vinyasa Yoga Center in Emerald. But as I was reading the thread i just learned that it closed down the studio. May I know where they transferred or where Pio is teaching his yoga classes?

    Thank you very much!

    Jen πŸ™‚

    @Jen – Will email you privately. Namaste and thanks for dropping by.

  11. hi.where is your yoga class under him and the rates? πŸ™‚ i’m sooo interested. thanks!

    @Francine – Will email you privately his email address.

  12. Hi Jane,

    I was taking yoga under Pio at the Vinyasa center. Every since it closed down, I have not found a yoga place that I’m happy with. I guess none of the other intructors comes close to Pio! πŸ™‚ I’d just like to know if he still teaches anywhere in the ortigas area (or anywhere nearby) and if so, may I please have some info on that studio? Are you at liberty to give me Pio’s cellphone number? πŸ™‚ I would really like to get back into yoga. It has been a year already! πŸ™‚

    Thanks!

    Teret

    @Teret – Will email you privately to give Pio’s email address. Thanks for writing.

  13. hi, i am trying to contact the vinyasa yoga studio, seems the no isnt working anymore. can you help? thanks

    @Beth – I responded to you by email. Thanks for writing!

  14. insan musta na !
    bkit di ka man lng tumatawag !
    anu na blita ?
    twag ka nman minsan sa landline nmin
    808-06-82
    ge inggat lgi
    good luck

  15. GO tito Pio! πŸ™‚ i will be having that private lessons sooner of later.. lol! love yah!

  16. Hi Jane,

    Please ask Pio if I can have his email address. I was one of his students at vinyasa ortigas.

    Beth

  17. Hi! was just wondering about that Vinyasa Yoga place, i read the ad on the way to work and just discovered it’s right above the floor of our office. I saw the rates and find it kinda expensive. My salary isn’t that much so I was wondering if the classes are really worth investing on over other alternatives.. like Youtube?

  18. I am visiting manila on 12 april and would like to know if i can take some yoga instructions.

  19. Pingback: Tipping my hat to Yoga master, Pio Baquiran « AKOMISMO || by Sir MartZ

  20. hi jane, i too am one of the very loyal students of pio at gold’s in makati. although my interaction with him is purely yoga for fitness, through him, i am inspired to broaden my knowledge of yoga as a spiritual practice. Actually, i have started a daily yoga practice and have reaped physical benefits from it. After Pio, i have been quite critical of other yoga teachers at the gym, or even in yoga workout videos. Pio is just so good, he is a tough act to beat

    Jane: Hi Geraldine! Told Pio you made a comment here. Had class with him earlier. As for being a tough act to beat, I AGREE 200%! Drop by again. I would love to hear how your daily yoga practice is helping you. Namaste!

  21. Hi

    I am Pio’s long time friend living in Australia. Is it possible for you to give my email address to him?

    Thank you.

    Regards
    Devamrta Dasa (devamrta@yahoo.com.au)

    Jane:

    Hello! I am so happy you came across my blog through which you found Pio. I have already sent him an SMS with your email address. Best regards.

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