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Santa Monica Pier
Published Wednesday Feb 05, 2020 by Mindbody Team

The Definitive Wellness Guide: Los Angeles, CA

Expert Advice

Ahh, Los Angeles. Home of Hollywood, Los Angeles is known as the place to be for those trying to make it in show-biz or live glamorous lives of palm trees, designer shopping, and Instagram-worthy food. It's been dubbed “playground to the stars,” so the chance of seeing someone famous (IRL or as a Walk of Fame star) is highly likely. This sprawling SoCal city is always popping—that's why it's so fun to live or visit there. Fashion designer Isabel Marant famously said it best: “In Los Angeles, you can have the city life and feel like you’re on holiday at the same time.”  

With so much glitz and glamour, it’s no secret that LA is one of the top places to go for beauty and wellness! But it isn’t all about being runway-ready; Los Angeles has so many diverse options to fit your unique lifestyle and definition of wellness. 

So what is wellness in Los Angeles? 

Located in the heart of sunny SoCal, LA is booming with opportunities for fitness and wellness lovers. Whether you want to grab a healthy bite after your morning cycling class, get celebrity-grade beauty services before your big event, or catch a sunset on the beautiful beaches in Malibu, you can find just about anything to fit your wellness routine in this famous city. 

LA Infographic

Fitness in Los Angeles 

If you’ve seen the Mindbody Wellness Index, you probably know that Los Angeles residents work out the most compared to other major US cities. 87% of people who live there work out at least once a week! This might be because they have tons of great studios to choose from. From calming yoga to heart-pumping dance fitness, LA’s got it all when it comes to fitness. 



PLATEFIT combines cardiovascular and strength moves with vibration technology to increase metabolic burn and create lean, sculpted muscles. It’s 27 minutes of (good) vibrations to activate and transform your body! 



Half Stairmaster, half targeted resistance training, Bünda is designed to bring you your best body ever. They're all about efficiency and effectiveness—that’s why their workouts are built for the butt and legs, and the results will have you never looking back (except for selfies). 


Y7 Studio 

Y7 Studio is sweat drippin', beat bumpin', candlelit yoga. All studios are heated to 80-90 degrees using state-of-the-art infrared technology, which helps create a detoxifying sweat that stimulates blood circulation. In this music-driven practice, you will flow along to tracks ranging from A Tribe Called Quest to Cardi B. Classes are held in a dark, candlelit room with no mirrors to encourage you to turn your focus inward and explore your practice. 


Training Mate 

Classes at Training Mate are fun and fast-paced, designed to help keep you fit and motivated. You'll love this place from the minute you walk in! Their unique 45-minute circuit of high-intensity interval training combines intense training programs and cheeky humor to get you in the best shape of your life before you know it. 



Hype is multiple studios in one location: Spin, HIIT, LIT Strength Training, Cardio Pilates, Barre, Cardio Kickboxing, and Yoga. Their classes break the mold of LA's image-driven fitness culture to provide the ass-kicking you expect without the pretense. No cheating you with a fad or plateauing with the same routine every week. With their wide variety of cutting-edge classes, Hype is the perfect place to build a workout regimen that fits your body—and Hype's supportive community will help you stick with it! 


Body by Simone 

Body By Simone is a boutique dance fitness studio where you can get your sweat on and build that oh-so-desirable dancer's body. Celebrity trainer Simone De La Rue has created an exclusive boutique environment where clients can feel comfortable and at ease while achieving the best possible results! 



Modo Yoga 

There are three socially and environmentally conscious hot yoga studios that are part of the Modo Yoga family. We aim to collectively change the world one sweaty yoga class at a time. Modo Yoga is a form of hot yoga that combines the precision of therapeutic yoga and the foundations of traditional yoga in a specially heated room. The series is a cardiovascular workout that strengthens, tones and loosens the muscles, while calming the mind and reducing stress. 



Beauty in Los Angeles 

It’s where we’ve seen some of the biggest beauty trends take off—from hydra and LED facials to IV drips, lash lifts, and microneedling. It’s home to the Kardashians—the beauty trendsetters themselves—and pretty much any celebrity you can think of. If it’s related to beauty, you can find it in LA.  


Gamine Beauty 

Gamine Beauty is a salon located on the famous Sunset Boulevard. They offer many services, including hair cutting, coloring and styling, makeup, brow shaping, and more–anything to help you leave feeling more beautiful than ever. They also carry an assortment of products carefully curated to help meet your needs (while remaining mindful of toxicity, performance, and value). 




You may have heard of sugaring, an all-natural hair removal technique using sugar, lemon, and water rather than wax or laser treatments. SugaringLA promises to be clean and organic in every aspect of their business, from the formulas they use to what they clean their studios with. If you have sensitive skin, sugaringLA is the place to go for all your hair removal needs. They have three LA locations (and one in Carlsbad), so you have plenty to choose from! 



Blink Bar 

According to the MINDBODY Wellness Index, 45% of women and 24% of men want to try lash extensions. If you’re in that group, check out Blink Bar, an eyelash salon that exists to unapologetically uplift and empower women (or men!). They believe beauty is a feeling, not a look, and they want to help you achieve that feeling. Many celebs frequent their five locations across LA, so you know you're getting professional service. 




If you’re looking for a mani/pedi, bellacures is the place to go. They offer a variety of nail services in six LA locations, including a Wake up! Coffee Manicure and Pedicure, including an Epsom salt soak, cooling eucalyptus gel, a minty clay mask, and more. They prioritize cleanliness in all their salons, cleansing all tools in a hospital-grade sterilization machine before each and every service. According to US Weekly, its clients include Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Cameron Diaz, and Demi Moore—we can all look camera-ready! 



Doctor Refresh 

Doctor Refresh is a mobile IV hydration company, providing in-home infusions with essential fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants. They offer Hair of the Dog hangover cures, Rocket Fuel energy boosts, Make Me Over beauty blends, and more to keep you healthy and hydrated. They’re a mobile service, which means they come to you in the Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills areas. You might have also seen them at Coachella 2019, preventing dehydration in the desert with their Coachella Recovery Infusion! 



Vida Organic Wellness 

For anything else wellness-related, Vida Organic Wellness is your best bet. An organic boutique spa and herbal store in Seal Beach, Vida offers massage therapy, skincare, hair removal, airbrush spray tanning, and tone + sculpt therapies. Their specialties? Sculpt detox and lymphatic drainage techniques to reduce swelling and inflammation. Their herbal store carries beauty supplements, organic teas, healthy cooking items, and more. In short, if you want to try something new in wellness, this is the place to go! 



Best of LA


Healthy Eating in Los Angeles 

While Angelenos tend to work out the most, it's only natural that their city serves up some of the best healthy meals. Whether you eat vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or balanced, you’ll be sure to find plenty of delicious options in LA. 



Botanica is all about color and flavor, serving up vibrant, tasty meals with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, and grains. It’s a restaurant and market, so you can spend hours shopping and eating delicious food. They serve sustainably raised meat, but you won’t find any refined sugars or processed foods on the menu. 



The Butcher’s Daughter 

Owners of The Butcher’s Daughter refer to it as a “vegetable slaughterhouse," a plant-based restaurant, café, and juice bar on the famous Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with a 100% vegetarian menu that changes daily based on what’s in season, with produce from local and organic farms. For a quicker meal, you can also visit their food truck on Venice Blvd, or book it for your next event! 



Flower Child 

Channel your inner flower child at this local eatery. Serving up healthy food made from fresh ingredients in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, Flower Child is the perfect place to grab a bite after a day of shopping at the Third Street Promenade or riding the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. They promise to nourish your mind, body, and soul, offering yoga mat parking, a beautiful interior, and sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free options. 



Tocaya Organica 

If you like fresh Mexican food, Tocaya Organica is the place for you. They offer a variety of healthy tacos, burritos, salads, bowls, and quesadillas in their own “modern Mexican” style. Of course, they offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options and don’t compromise on taste. With pure, natural, and locally sourced ingredients, they serve only the freshest meals in their eleven Los Angeles locations. 




A hip, minimalist café, Sqirl serves up global-inspired breakfast and lunch. They also make and sell their own delicious fruit jams to take home after your meal. From fancy breakfast toasts to seasonal lunch bowls, Sqirl is a unique eating experience you won’t want to miss. There’s only one location in East Hollywood, and it's definitely worth the trip.  



M Café  

M Café serves Contemporary Macrobiotic Cuisine, “a plant-focused way of eating and living emphasizes balance and joy, and celebrates the health of the body, the mind, and the planet.” They offer creative and nutritious dishes with Japanese flair and inspiration from cuisines around the world, using local, organic, and sustainably sourced ingredients. Their menu is completely vegan with many gluten-free options. 



Café Gratitude 

You may have seen Café Gratitude in our San Diego Wellness Guide, but its original location is in Venice Beach (and they have two other LA spots, too!). They say their food is prepared with love and is meant to make you feel grateful when you eat it. They provide high quality, nutrient-dense food from local farmers and celebrate Meatless Mondays to help reduce carbon emissions by offering half off select menu items. They’re all about health and wellness, and we’re all about them! 




Plant-based and dairy-free, SunCafe is a vegan paradise. It’s located in Studio City, just down the block from Hollywood, so you can see the sights and grab a bite after. They make almost everything from scratch, including their yummy vegan cheeses. And on Saturday mornings, they offer vegan cooking classes with the chef, so you can learn how to prepare and enjoy delicious, vegan meals at home.  



Practicing Wellness in Los Angeles 

Wellness is not just about eating healthy and working out in fitness classes—it’s all-encompassing. You can contribute to your overall wellness in many ways, whether it’s watching a sunset, hearing some live music, or going for a beach run. Here are some ways you can practice wellness in LA! 


Hike the Hollywood Sign or Runyon Canyon 

If you’re in LA, this one’s a given—hike up to the Hollywood sign for a view of the city. If you’d like an even better photo-op, though, try Runyon Canyon, a nearby hike that’ll give you a full view of the sign rather than placing you right behind it. 

Check it out 


Run or bike ‘The Strand’ 

The famous Marvin Braude Bike Path, aka “The Strand,” runs all the way from Torrance to Pacific Palisades. It’s 22 miles long, and most of it is along the coast, so you’ll have stunning beach views as you get your sweat on. If you bike the entire route, you’ll see nine beaches, a harbor, and a marina—including the famous Redondo, Hermosa, Manhattan, Venice, and Santa Monica beaches.  

Choose your path 


See the stars at Griffith Observatory 

You’ve probably heard of this famous observatory or seen it in some Hollywood films—hello La La Land! Channel your inner Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and dance your way to the top to see some *stellar* views. 

Learn more 


See a free concert at the Santa Monica Pier 

If you’re in LA in the summertime, you can’t miss Twilight on the Pier. Every Wednesday night from 7-10 pm at the Santa Monica Pier, you can find art, comedy, games, food and drinks, and a free concert to celebrate emerging artists!  

Check the lineup 


Catch a wave in Malibu 

If you like to surf, it’s no secret that LA has some incredible beaches. Malibu, specifically, is home to the famous Zuma, Surfrider, and Topanga beaches. Whether you’re a surfing pro or want a beginner’s lesson, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for on the shores of Malibu. 

Find some more 


Bike the Palos Verdes Donut Loop 

If you’re a biker, you’ll love the Palos Verdes Donut Loop. With steep, winding inclines, this 24-mile ride isn’t for everyone, so if you’re not an experienced biker, stick to The Strand. But if you think you have what it takes, the views are totally worth the pain. You’ll ride through upscale neighborhoods and rolling hills with breathtaking ocean views, giving you the full picture of what LA has to offer. 

What you’ll see


Shop the Hollywood Farmer’s Market  

If you’re in LA on a Sunday morning, check out the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. Here you can shop for fruits and veggies and enjoy street performances, delicious treats, book signings, art, and more. Since 1991, this market has been serving the people of LA with fresh produce and smiles. From 8 am-1 pm rain or shine, you’ll want to check this out! 
Meet the vendors 


Go for a dip in the Malibu Creek Rock Pools 

A somewhat hidden gem in LA county, Malibu State Park is an oasis in the hills. Pack your sunscreen, towels, and snacks, and take the well-worth-it hike from the main parking lot to the rock pools. Get there early to avoid crowds, and don’t try any cliff jumping (you’ll get a ticket).

How to get there


Walk the Venice Canals 

If you want to experience Italy in SoCal, you’ve come to the right place. The Venice Canal Historical District was created in 1905, so you can do just that. Park your car and stroll through the neighborhoods, crossing footbridges, and watching canoers go by. It’s peaceful, beautiful, and really cool. And if you want to get some exercise or watch some serious talent, hit the famous Venice Beach Skate Park after! 

What to expect 

We know we didn’t cover it all... because how could we? Whether you’re a weekend visitor or a lifetime resident, you’ll always have more to discover in this sprawling city. With tons of fitness studios, celebrity favorite beauty salons, and endless outdoor activities, LA is the perfect destination for all things wellness. And if this guide just isn’t enough for you, browse the Mindbody app for more studios, salons, and spas. Bet you can’t hit them all! 

Now get out there and start checking things off your list (because you clearly have lots to do now), and use #MBLosAngelesWellness on social while you’re at it!  

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Written by
Mindbody Team
Editors & Educators
About the author
We're here to provide you with the latest and greatest, tried and true wellness experiences and advice to help you live life to the fullest. From nourishing recipes and travel tips to finding the perfect sweat routine or wellness regimen—we cover it all. And if we haven't yet, it's definitely on the way.
what is wellness
Published Wednesday Oct 06, 2021 by Denise Prichard

What is Wellness?

Expert Advice

To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.

Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.

If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.

Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.

Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.

Here’s what you all had to say.

Wellness is more important to you than ever

According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.

I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.

What wellness means to the pros

Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.

Here’s what they had to say.

“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights

“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center

“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio

“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates

Putting wellness into action

I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.

Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.