Better Living Yoga

Better Living Yoga, Aliso Viejo

Better Living Yoga fills a particularly unique niche in the yoga world as it is a studio that specializes in classes for the over 40 age group (although all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend too, of course).  The studio has a great community atmosphere and, I have to say, is probably the sweetest smelling yoga studio I’ve ever visited 😉

location  on a small mall off of Aliso Creek Rd in Alison Viejo  

parking  very easy.  shared with other businesses on the mall

welcome  excellent.  the welcome started when one of the studio’s regular students chatted to me outside the studio and kindly introduced me to one of the instructors.  I met two of the instructors and the owner who were all very friendly and welcoming.    The owner was particularly helpful and took the time to show me around the studio pointing out studios, restrooms and treatment room.  A few days after my first class I received a friendly, follow up call to check on my experience.

facility  2 yoga studios, 1 treatment room, restrooms.  water freely available in reception

studio environment  Light, bright and fresh, beautifully maintained and well organized.

props  Lots available.  blocks, blankets, straps & bolsters aplenty

schedule   morning classes 7 days a week.  late afternoon and evening classes every weekday.  class lengths range from  60 -75 minutes.

yoga styles and instructors  A mixture of gentle flow, restorative, yin yoga.  The studio also teach their own BLY signature yoga series, which is a set sequence of poses devised by instructors at the studio.  The foundations class offers Iyengar inspired hatha yoga instruction.

capacity  Two large studio spaces.  The classes I attended were not overcrowded and mat spacing was comfortable for the students.

other services offered   Mat pilates classes, and body treatments

workshops & trainings   A variety of great workshops across a range of topics including yoga, reiki healing, aromatherapy (at the time of my visit).  some workshops include a glass of wine – what’s not to like?

website    Very easy to use and understand.  lists links to some interesting yoga themed articles

retail  Retail area in reception

value  Single class $22 /  ten class package $180 / monthly auto renewal $148 autopay – $225 non autopay (Oct 2016)

deals   New student deal $49 unlimited month pass (Oct 2016) & $90 for a 10 class pass.  regular deals on groupon & similar deal websites.  you can also sign up online for a free class

Yoga Mind & Body

Yoga Mind & Body is a great book if you are interested in yoga and would like to learn a little more about the subject in an easily understandable way.

This is one of the first Yoga books I ever owned and I often refer back to it.

Despite the image on the front cover.  There is another more up to date copy which also shows an advanced pose on the cover but please don’t let it put you off!  This is a book for all levels of student offering something for beginners and advanced yogis alike.  As well as covering many poses there are also brief sections that describe some of the other aspects of yoga such as yogic breathing, relaxation, meditation and the origins of yoga.  There is also a section of recipes (all vegetarian) and some interesting nutritional information, again, small

Published by the Dorling Kindersley publishing house, more commonly known as DK, they have a reputation for publishing high quality, educational books and this one is no exception.


YogaWorks Costa Mesa

YogaWorks Costa Mesa

YogaWorks is the big cheese of yoga studios.  There are 5 branches in Orange County, many more in LA and beyond.  Lots of experienced instructors.  Lots of class choice.  If you prefer a larger brand to smaller scale independent then this could be the yoga studio for you. 

location   On a large, busy retail mall with easy access to the 55.   Steps up to the studio on the upper level but elevator available.

parking   Lots of it but time your arrival to dovetail with the end of the previous class – otherwise a longer walk across a busy parking lot 🙂

welcome    There are always one or two staff on reception to greet you.  With such a large number of students coming and going it is can be a little hectic and impersonal at busy times.  On my first visit I was given friendly verbal directions for the studio but not a guided tour.

  • 3 yoga studios & 1 pilates studio
  • varied schedule with lots of choice
  • lots of great instructors

facility  3 yoga studios, 1 pilates studio.  Changing cubicles available and large restroom.  Herbal tea & water freely available in reception

studio environment  Of the three yoga studios, 2 are very big rooms and the 3rd is smaller but works well for a smaller group.  All have windows with lots of light but due to it’s central location there is some traffic noise. The studios all share the same corridor which can get a little snug at class changeover time and if you are arriving directly after a hot, sweaty class the air can be a little, well let’s say, heavy!

props  Lots available.  More blocks, blankets, straps & bolsters than you can shake a stick at.

schedule   Very big and varied.  Lots of choice from a 6.30am  to 7.30pm, 7 days a week.  Class lengths from 60 minutes – 90 minutes

yoga styles and instructors  Lots of YogaWorks method classes (a style of yoga devised by YogaWorks) as well as vinyasa (flow style, fast moving), gentle, restorative and prenatal.  Other styles include Iyengar yoga, Yoga Tune Up, Kundalini yoga and Yin yoga.   Lots of choice for instructors.

capacity   The two large studios are big spaces that can accommodate many students.  I’ve attended classes with large numbers of students and the room is filled to capacity which may, or may not, appeal!

other services offered  Mat pilates, pilates with equipment, barworks & sculpt works (other body workouts – pilates, ballet and fitness based, not yoga)

workshops & trainings   A variety of great workshops and several teacher trainings annually (across the YogaWorks studios)

website    Very polished.  Lots of information all on one site.  Can be tricky to navigate initially simply because there is so much material there

retail  Large retail area in reception offering mats, props, clothing, books, jewellery & skincare among other things.  Regular sales and occasional pop up shops

  • single class $25  /  ten class package $190
  • intro deal 2 weeks unlimited $25 (Sept 16)
  • regular Groupon deals

value  Single class $25 /  ten class package $190 / monthly auto renewal $100 – $135 month (Sept 2016)

deals   intro deal 2 weeks unlimited $25 (Sept 2016)  & regular deals on groupon & similar deal websites

loyalty scheme  Offers a loyalty scheme.  Points based on attendance.  Redeem for merchandise discounts or private lessons (Sept 2016)