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Meet Aileen Pham of Spectra Yoga in Costa Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aileen Pham.

Aileen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Orange County, California early 1984. As a child, I suffered from allergies, asthma and eczema, which prevented me from participating in many of the outdoor activities that my friends enjoyed. Instead, I was forced to find other means to exert my abundant energy creatively, doing so through drawing, music, and martial arts. As my strength began to improve, I became more active, participating in swimming, track and field, and tennis.

I started my yoga practice in May 2003 initially to lose weight. I soon came to find that the benefits of yoga surpassed weight loss when the challenges from my youth became more manageable. The severe eczema and allergies diminished and my breathing improved from extensive pranayama (yogic breathing) practice. But it was not until my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer that I realized the power of yoga. During her battle, I relied on my practice to relieve my mind from upset and stress. Through my time on the mat, I developed a sense of self, clarity, and compassion that was critical during this time of my life.

As the Universe would have it, I had never intended on becoming a yoga teacher. I just happened to be in a class one day when the teacher was running late and I was asked to stand in until she arrived. This was the moment that started it all.

Not only do I love the teaching aspects of yoga, but I love the business and managerial aspects of the industry. Entrepreneurship runs in the blood of my family and my degree is in Business Administration.

Therefore, opening a studio was the perfect marriage of my DNA and passion. For me, running a business is all about successfully managing people and one of the best gifts that I receive from teaching yoga are the numerous relationships that I have cultivated with students, mentors, and fellow teachers.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road towards opening Spectra Yoga was far from smooth. Prior to the birth of Spectra Yoga, I was at a cross roads where I wasn’t sure if opening another studio was the right choice. Spectra Yoga was not the first yoga studio that I had opened.

The first one was developed with business partners and that partnership fell apart. So once I left the first studio, I had to really ask myself- “Do I want to open up another business? Do I want to start over? Do I find my career in another industry?”

Thank the Universe that I had the time to think about all of these important questions. Ultimately, teaching yoga is what I love and so the journey began to develop my next yoga studio. I had to find inspiration for the name, what I wanted it to look like, how I wanted to brand it, and how I wanted to manage it all?

Here is the story behind the name:

spec·tra /spektrə/: a broad range of varied but related ideas or objects; plural for spectrum

The word Spectra is plural for spectrum, as in spectrums of light, energy or vibration.

I’ve named the studio Spectra because I love the idea that a spectrum is a range and can vary infinitely within a continuum. I liken this to our journeys through life, that we all take steps that make up the ranges within our lives. All of my steps along my yoga journey have been small ones, necessary ones, sometimes scary ones to lead me here today. I hope Spectra Yoga is where you might choose to take a small step onto your mat.

Please tell us about Spectra Yoga.
Spectra Yoga is Costa Mesa’s urban oasis to calm down, unwind, expand your horizons, and uncover community. My intention is that you’ll find yourself in a warm, luxurious, and loving space, surrounded by beautiful lush greenery and vibrant colors inspired by my trip to Bali. Whether you are looking for a group or private lesson, every class at Spectra Yoga is designed to invite students to Reveal Your Radiance and unleash your inner selves. Anyone is welcome to join the Spectra community in the open and non-judgmental studio space. In the spirit of exploration and variety from the studio name, Spectra offers a wide range of classes accessible to everyone.

I wholeheartedly welcome and invite you to join the community of like-minded people all exploring how yoga can uplift, transform, and benefit you physically, mentally and if relevant spiritually.

The studio specializes in its diverse offerings of yoga, fitness, and meditation classes. There are about 10 different styles of yoga classes, with a daily class offering of 15 classes. Some of the various classes include: Hatha Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yogalates (Yoga + Pilates), Yoga Lift (Yoga + Weight Lifting), Kids Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Yin Yoga, Pre-Natal Yoga, Full Body Fitness, & Meditation. Spectra also offers our own Run Club, where a few runners have qualified for the Boston Marathon. All of these diverse classes under the same roof is the number 1 selling point that sets Spectra Yoga apart from the other studios in the area.

I am most proud about the studio has been likened to “Cheers” the place where everyone knows your name.

Over the past 2 years, the studio’s community has grown tremendously. Not only are people coming to class with friends, but we have husbands/wives, moms/daughters, neighbors, and other yoga teachers coming to take class together. The front desk staff is very friendly and they always greet students with a smile and great service. I really hope that the uplifting atmosphere and great staff keeps students coming back again and again.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
This is quite a tough question to answer because I had a pretty fun childhood growing up with my younger sister and 2 other cousins who were the same ages as my sister and I. Essentially, the 4 of us girls grew up together and shared many memories. We were known as the “Little and Big Kids.”

However, if I had to choose, I would say that I loved our summers off. The 4 of us would spend each day and most nights together either having sleep overs at my house or my cousins’ house. We lived in the same neighborhood for almost 8 years so our moms hired 1 sitter to take care of the 4 of us. During carefree summer days, we would ride bikes, roller blade through the neighborhood, climb trees with our roller blades on, hide from the babysitter, and just tried to get in trouble without being caught. There’s nothing like the innocence of childhood and I am lucky to be able to experience many summers with my family by my side.

Pricing:

  • Intro Offer: Free Week of Yoga for all new students who reside in OC
  • Intro Offer: $40 for 2 weeks of Unlimited Yoga
  • $150 for 10 Class Pack
  • $99/month for Unlimited Monthly Membership

Contact Info:

  • Address: 2701 Harbor Blvd.,
    Ste E-1
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626
  • Website: www.spectrayoga.com
  • Phone: 714-436-0576
  • Email: info@spectrayoga.com
  • Instagram: @SpectraYoga
  • Facebook: /SpectraYoga
  • Twitter: @SpectraYoga
  • Yelp: Spectra Yoga


Image Credit:
Lauren Nabers
John Hsiang

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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