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San Clemente Journal

EPIC Yoga Empowering People Inspiring Change

Dec 11, 2019 12:07PM ● By Rebecca Parsons
by Rebecca Parsons

Kristin Shively’s journey with yoga began some fifteen-years-ago. She initially began the age-old practice solely for the physical benefits, and the relationship was one of on again, off again. Years later, Shively finally experienced an ‘aha moment’ that profoundly changed her mindset towards the practice and she began to experience the deep mind body connection that yoga is famous for. 

After that experience, Shively began practicing regularly and one morning, found herself with her eyes closed, in a seated twist, when a vivid image flashed through her mind: a wedding ring, family, people shaking hands and a California sunset. She didn’t know it at the time, but that vision would soon become a glorious reality.

In 2006, Shively moved to San Clemente and quickly found herself in yoga studios, making new friends and finding a new place to call home. Over the years, she fell deeper in love with yoga and the local community, and in 2016 decided it was time to give back to the place that had given her so much. 

She was post-partum with her daughter and desperately missing her practice but couldn’t fathom paying for a class and childcare. That’s when it came to her: San Clemente needed a place where families could go for yoga that was reasonably priced.

In 2016, Shively enrolled in Jaime Hanson’s Empowered Yoga Teacher training. The experience was life changing. Her eyes were opened to yoga’s ability to transform lives and soon after, EPIC Yoga was born.

EPIC stands for Empowering People Inspiring Change. Their mission: empowering people to live a life of service and inspiring individuals to change the world around them by offering a safe space to get to the root of you. 

“Yoga is a deep dive into self-exploration,” Shively says. “It’s a safe place I can always go back to when things go wrong, get heavy, or turn stale. It cracks me wide open and connects me to a higher power.”
Located on the north end of town, EPIC Yoga is a safe place that welcomes everybody, no matter where they are in their life journey or their practice. The class schedule includes 42 classes, offered seven days a week. Classes included gentle flow for beginners, vinvasa for advanced students, yoga sculpt, sound healing, meditation, restorative yoga, prenatal yoga, yoga barre, and yin. Although each class is unique, all classes focus on safe sequencing, conscious alignment, breath awareness, meditation, and relaxation.  

“Whether fit or frail, tall or small, first timer or seasoned guru, when you walk through the door, you are immediately treated like family,” says Shively.

To ensure that all participants are in good hands, all instructors are insured, CPR certified, and certified with a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200-hour). But many have 300- and 500-hour certs in specific yoga styles and meditation as well.

While there are many yoga studios in southern California, EPIC Yoga is unique in the fact that it offers an on-site kids play zone. When Shively founded the studio, she was recovering from giving birth to her daughter and recognized the need for a safe space that catered to mothers, fathers, and families. So, she created the ‘Om School,’ a children’s play area where kids could play while their parents practiced.

In addition to offering a kids play zone, something else that sets EPIC Yoga apart from other studios is that fact that there are no mirrors in the studio. The decision was an intentional one, as Shively felt that mirrors greatly change a person’s practice. 

“In Southern California, we can be too easily overwhelmed by desires to project outward appearances, or derailed by perceived judgments from yourself or others,” says Shively. “We try to reduce any extra pressure that gets you out of your head and keeps you tethered down to the root of you. There is no pretension at EPIC Yoga, no correct dress code, no competitive postures-we really work hard to make yoga as accessible as possible.”

At EPIC Yoga, they’re all about giving back and making yoga accessible to as many people as possible. They have a 1-for-1 Community Program that follows a buy-one, give-one model: for every memberships sold, they provide 30 days of yoga to someone in need. Whether the need is financial, or simply a need for yoga, they simply want to share the joy of yoga with others and have proudly witnessed a ripple effect throughout the program. 

“After every class, you emerge a slightly clear, calmer and better version of yourself,” says Shively. “By getting on your mat and simply breathing, you are letting yourself slow down, accept, feel into and adjust to what is right for you.”

Shively is proud of her studio and the community she’s built. While she has hopes of expanding someday, she’s content with the North Beach location and the family that she’s found there. Namaste. 

Contact EPIC Yoga at (949)558-5111or

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