Because of her many misconceptions about yoga, Gloria Latham resisted the practice for years. “I didn’t see myself as a yogi,” she says. “And I couldn’t picture myself sitting around meditating. Nor was I interested in stretching.”
But stress changed all of that.
“When the amount of stress in my life had me teetering on the edge of burnout, I finally gave in and tried a hatha yoga video. That video affected me so profoundly,” she says, “that I walked right out my door and signed up for a one-on-one yoga teacher training with the only teacher I knew.” I was eager to understand how a simple 15-minute video could have such a powerful impact on me. That’s how my path into kundalini yoga began, and I know that it was the perfect one for me.”
Before discovering yoga and meditation, Gloria was a licensed pharmacist for almost a decade. Today she is the founder of Semperviva Yoga Studios based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the director of teacher training at Semperviva International College of Yoga, and a frequent presenter at yoga conferences and festivals around the world.
Gloria has trained thousands of students internationally, and is perhaps best known for developing week-long transformational programs that help students break through their emotional and physical barriers. She is also celebrated for her upbeat, inspirational yoga dance parties.
The student/teacher relationship is a topic Gloria is particularly passionate about. “I believe that a teacher fails if they turn their students into dependents,” she says. “The role of the teacher is to empower the student. And I am dedicated to serving that purpose in my life.”
To this end, Gloria frequently employs a mentoring tone in her classes on YI, offering inspirational words and guidance to set the mood for each practice. We connected with her to ask her the four questions we ask each of our featured teachers so that you can get to know her and learn more about what you can expect from her classes on YI.
What yoga style, tradition, and/or lineage are you a part of (if any)?
The style of yoga I practice and teach is based on the tradition of kundalini yoga and infused with elements from other styles. Although my passion is kundalini yoga, I’ve been blessed to have studied with many great teachers I’ve hosted at Semperviva Yoga. This has given me a real appreciation for the many different approaches that can deepen your experience with yoga. I’ve been lucky enough to study with Shiva Rea, Max Strom, Rod Stryker, Gurmukh, Nicki Doane, Michael Stone, Ana Forrest, Janet Stone, Seane Corn, and many others in North America and in India.
What can I expect from your classes on YI?
You can expect classes that will change how you feel almost instantly. The practices are designed to move your body in a way that can help free your mind—they are energizing, uplifting, and cathartic. They are an incredible way to release tension. The movements are simple to follow, but the benefits can be profound. One of the best things about these classes is that there are no poses to perfect or levels to achieve. You can simply lose yourself in the experience without falling into the trap of trying to force your body into a certain shape.
What’s on your mind these days yoga-wise?
Yoga is the ultimate in personal growth and development. Regardless of what style of yoga you practice or teach, the end goal is to unlock your kundalini energy, your untapped potential.
The simplicity of kundalini yoga allows you to do this quickly. My approach is an adapted style of kundalini yoga, combined with meditation and methods of self-inquiry—to bring you back home to yourself so that you can live your passion and your purpose.
While yoga is something to be shared in community, it is also a very private and personal experience. And I love that online classes help people bring yoga into their homes to create that personal experience. I use the term “kitchen kundalini” because I often teach live classes from my kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of your home, and bringing yoga into your home can change everything for you and your family.
What do you like to do outside of yoga?
On the top of the list is spending time with my family in our island home on the Greek Islands. For a short time each year, we settle into a very simple life in a tiny village by the sea. When I’m in Canada, I love to hike through trails on the Gulf Islands. I love to travel. I love the experience of getting lost in new places…losing myself so I can find myself. And I love to read. I always have several books on the go at once.
Find out more about Gloria and try one of her empowering classes on YI!