Students of all abilities are welcome at Yoga Bungalow, whose instructors emphasize not only the physical aspects of yoga but strive to help yogis also reap the mental benefits. Whether building muscle in intermediate classes or mastering the basic postures in a beginner-friendly stretch session, students will learn how to link deep breaths with their movement, syncing together their minds and bodies.
For more than a decade, physical therapist Amy Fischer helped clients recover from a range of orthopedic and sport injuries. These days, she blends her knowledge of the body with her passion for Pilates at her two Pure Pilates studios—one in Laguna Niguel and the other in Ladera Ranch—each of which host regular classes alongside specialized sessions for golfers, breast cancer survivors, and moms-to-be.
Surrounded by tranquil Asian-inspired décor, Amy and her team of instructors guide students of all levels through private and group Pilates classes, which aim to strengthen core muscles while improving flexibility and posture. After being divvied up into Level 1 or Level 2–3 sections, students learn a variety of exercises on a reformer machine built from adjustable ropes, pulleys, and springboards reclaimed from the days of vaudeville. Amy and her team also offer slower-paced courses for seniors as well as physical therapy sessions that speed healing with modified Pilates exercises paired with a personalized at-home exercise program.
Fitness Elite For Women of Laguna Niguel creates an environment where women can gather to improve their lives through exercise and healthy living. To add variety to exercises, more than 19 fitness classes supplement the center’s state-of-the-art workout machines. Spinning classes can burn an average of 400 calories during a 40-minute ride, turbo kick classes build energy with kickboxing moves and music, and hatha yoga classes promote balance and flexibility with stretches and breathing exercises. Childcare services and personal trainers help members focus on improving their bodies and minds, and a steam room detoxes and relaxes after a long workout. To ensure patrons have access to a full range of wellness services, the fitness center also offers nutrition and weight loss management, massages, and skin care treatments.
Just as the thermostat inside Beyond Hot Yoga’s studio fluctuates between 75 and 105 degrees, the classes themselves include a wide range of poses tailored to various levels of experience. Calories and inhibitions melt away with each successive pose in Bikram- and Vinyasa-style yoga classes that put students in touch with their bodies through continuous stretching. Aerobics offerings such as Zumba and boot camps suit different fitness tastes, favoring energetic movements instead of meditative poses.
Though the studio hosts a diverse slate of lessons, an undercurrent of camaraderie remains a constant. Instructors emphasize serenity and fellowship both inside and outside classes, making it easier to achieve inner peace by hosting rambunctious youngsters in a childcare room and holding donation-based sessions whose proceeds benefit South African orphanages.
Guests can also harness a sense of inner calm through the studio's various wellness treatments. Skincare services, massages, and custom nutritional tips refresh physiques, and a stop in the women-only steam room can help detoxify the body and shrink oversize yoga mats.
The friendly staff at OceanaFit tinkers with its patrons' postures and the studio's thermostat to achieve homeostatic relaxation. With a schedule of more than 40 classes a week, even people without pencils can find time to pencil in sessions. OceanaFit's class offerings include introductory sessions, which focus on the alignment, postures, and breathing central to Vinyasa-style yoga, and subsequent classes apply those skills in hotter environments. OceanaFit makes both yoga veterans malleable as warm wax and neophytes unable to touch their toes feel equally welcome.
TriYoga's classes guide students through traditional poses supported by rhythmic breathing and a deep, centered focus. The practice’s founder, Yogini Kaliji, travels the world to teach her signature style, with occasional stops into TriYoga Center of Santa Cruz to lead master classes. Yogini Kaliji designed her method and classes to shuttle beginners and experts alike toward deep relaxation, attainable elsewhere only by convincing a sea breeze to sing you "Happy Birthday." As students graduate through levels and master TriYoga’s wavelike movements, they often note boosted strength, flexibility, endurance, and breath control.