Hilaria Baldwin (born Hillary Lynn Hayward-Thomas; January 6, 1984) is an American yoga instructor, podcaster, and author. She was the co-founder of a chain of New York-based yoga studios called Yoga Vida, and has released an exercise DVD and a wellness-focused book.
Baldwin is of English, French-Canadian, German, Irish, and Slovak descent. Her paternal grandfather was David L. Thomas Sr. (1927/1928–2020), an "American with roots in the country that pre-dated the American Revolution", and her paternal grandmother Mary Lou (Artman) Thomas was from Nebraska. Her paternal grandfather, a native of Ames, Iowa, traveled extensively to Argentina as an auditor for General Electric and at one point lived there. He exposed his children to world cultures and raised them to be proficient in Spanish. Baldwin claims that she was raised in a Spanish-speaking household and traveled to Spain annually.
Baldwin started yoga around age 20. While attending New York University, Baldwin opened the yoga studio Yoga Vida in 2009 along with Michael "Mike" Patton in the West Village of New York City, which eventually opened three other locations in the Noho, DUMBO, and Tribeca neighborhoods. The Tribeca Citizen wrote in 2016 that their location had a range of classes, including "pre- and post-natal, restorative, and heated by infrared light". In 2013, Spencer Wolff, a former student in one of her classes, sued Baldwin in Manhattan Supreme Court for an injury he allegedly sustained in the class.
In 2012, after marrying Alec, Baldwin became a lifestyle correspondent for the entertainment show Extra.The New York Times wrote that Baldwin got the position because Alec was a friend of Steve Sunshine, a producer for the show. In 2014, she shared a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment News Program with her Extra colleagues. She periodically worked with Extra in that role through 2019.
In October 2013, Baldwin released an exercise DVD titled @ Home with Hilaria Baldwin: Fit Mommy-to-Be Prenatal Yoga. Alec appears during a five-minute "bonus section" on the DVD; Us Weekly stated, "Though the bonus section lasts only 5 minutes, it’s chock-full of classic Alec looks, familiar to anyone who’s seen his hilarious Saturday Night Live sketches."People gave the DVD a positive review, writing Baldwin was a "glowing mom-to-be". In June 2014, El País described Baldwin as the "Gwyneth Paltrow" of New York City in reference to being a working wealthy mother.
Baldwin wrote the book The Living Clearly Method, which was released December 2016. Vanity Fair stated: "In her one-on-one work with students to her life with Alec all the way up to publishing the book, she's created a space where making the most out of any situation is the default modus operandi."AM New York Metro stated Baldwin "dives into her own struggles with eating disorders, stress and injury, and it outlines five principles she's developed, teaches and lives by: perspective, breathing, grounding, balance and letting go. The book also features yoga sequences and healthy recipes geared toward busybodies like herself." When The Living Clearly Method released, Baldwin started an associated website under the same name to promote the book.
In 2017, Baldwin was awarded the Wellness Foundation's Illumination Award at that organization's summer benefit in the Hamptons, where she signed copies of her book.
In 2018, Baldwin partnered with podcaster Daphne Oz to create Mom Brain, a motherhood-focused podcast. Refinery29 described it as "a deep-dive into every single corner of motherhood, ranging from the serious moments to the hilarious ones, and everything in between". The two hosts went on the Today show in December 2018 to talk about the project, followed by The Rachael Ray Show in November of that year.
In February 2019, Baldwin and her husband spoke to a United Nations panel about food choices and a sustainable planet at the launch of the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Health and Planet initiative. Baldwin was identified as a "wellness expert" who stated she had been vegetarian since age five.
Baldwin has been on the cover of multiple magazines, including Hello! for July 2012 (with Alec);Mini Magazine for Spring 2013;Hello! for September 2013 (with Alec);Beach for Winter 2013;The Bump for January 2014;Fit Pregnancy for July 2016;Hola! for December 2016 (with Alec);WAG for April 2017;Parents for May 2017;Beach for May 2018;Hola! for October 2018 (with Alec);New York Family for May 2019;Westchester Family for August 2019; and Belgium's Télépro for May 2020.
Sometime around August 2011, she began dating American actor Alec Baldwin. They moved from the Upper West Side to Greenwich Village that August. The couple became engaged in April 2012 and married on June 30, 2012, in a Catholic ceremony at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in New York City. On their wedding bands, they had Somos un buen equipo engraved in Spanish (meaning "We're a great team") inscribed on the inside. The couple have six children together: daughter Carmen Gabriela (born August 23, 2013), and sons Rafael Thomas (born June 17, 2015), Leonardo Angel Charles (born September 12, 2016), Romeo Alejandro David (born May 17, 2018), Eduardo Pau Lucas (born September 8, 2020), and daughter María Lucía Victoria (born in 2021 via surrogate). She is also stepmother to Ireland Baldwin, daughter of Alec’s from previous marriage to American actress Kim Basinger. She additionally suffered two miscarriages.
Baldwin struggled with anorexia nervosa and bulimia in her high school years and early twenties. In her book, Baldwin recounted: "By the time I was 20 years old, my 5-foot-3 frame was at least 20 lbs. under a healthy weight. My nails were brittle, my hair was falling out, my period was MIA, and my energy had tanked. I was miserable and desperate to feel better." Baldwin stated she started getting better when she started "thinking of weight and health separately".
Buzzfeed writer Natasha Jokic wrote, "Looking through Hilaria's tweets, it does seem like she's gone to great lengths to never explicitly say that she's Spanish – but she has gotten pretty close." In an April 2020 podcast, Baldwin had stated, "I moved here [New York] when I was 19 to go to NYU"; when asked where from, she said, "My family lives in Spain; they live in Mallorca" (she later clarified that her parents moved to the heavily tourist-populated Spanish island in 2011); and that, "I came for school and I never, ever, ever left". An article from The Things mentioned that Baldwin's cousin stated that her visits to Spain were for vacations only and that she's "zero percent Spanish". Former classmates have alleged she had "much paler skin and blonde hair" before she changed her name from Hillary to Hilaria. Some Twitter users and members of the press compared Baldwin to Rachel Dolezal, an American woman who identifies as "black" despite having white parents.
Baldwin responded that she identifies as white, and her ethnic background includes "many, many, many things". She stated that she spent "some" of her childhood in Spain and "some" in Massachusetts, but had never been enrolled in school in Spain, only spending time there during family holidays. She stated she was born in Boston. Baldwin also asserted in a New York Times interview that her inability to remember the word "cucumber" on Today came from stage fright during one of her first television appearances, and that she is bilingual and her accent comes and goes depending on stress and other factors. After her marriage in 2012, Baldwin also stated in a Vanity Fair article her reluctance to answer certain questions to "safeguard her family's privacy".
In March 2021, The Atlantic listed Baldwin as an "identity hoaxer" along with Rachel Dolezal and Jessica Krug. The same month Martha Ross of The Mercury News wrote: "Hilaria Baldwin appears to be trying to put her Spanish heritage scandal behind her by feverishly posting photos of her six young children."