Mind, Body and Soul

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ESO Live Well 1_Denise Bovee
Eso Live Well offers physical therapy and other services. | Photo by Denise Bovee

Eso Live Well creates a one-stop shop to address holistic health.

By Tanya A. Yacina


The options and paths one can take in today’s world of wellness are seemingly endless, which can actually hinder a person’s healing journey simply by adding confusion. So, a one-stop shop for healing and wellness is an ideal option. Eso Live Well, a collective located on the Balboa Peninsula, is such a place, complete with knowledgeable health practitioners, group classes, one-on-one sessions and guidance on movement, nutrition and mental health.

Eso Live Well owner Vas Priebe says that the Eso facility houses the resources and network needed to support clients as they journey onward in their wellness, whether it be in-house or within the local community. Priebe is also a certified yoga and Pilates teacher, as well as a certified holistic health coach.

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Pilates is also offered at Eso Live Well. | Photo by Denise Bovee

In-house, Eso Live Well provides physical therapy, yoga, meditation, Pilates, nutrition, sound healing, infrared sauna and a variety of wellness workshops and specialty classes to help educate the community. The group has also sponsored wellness retreats to local areas, like Desert Hot Springs, as well as international retreats to Greece and Nicaragua.

“The ability to collaborate with like-minded individuals that have knowledge and expertise in a variety of different areas of wellness gives us a better opportunity to deliver the quality care that our clients deserve,” Priebe says. “It also makes it so much more fun as a practitioner with a private client base to have a sense of community. … It helps us grow as practitioners when we can learn from one another.”


A Mindful Mission

When Priebe was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in her mid-20s, she made a complete lifestyle change to manage her health. While running between therapies with different practitioners, she envisioned a co-op focusing on holistic health all in one place where a person could have access to all the services needed to help them live well.

In 2015, Priebe started Eso Live Well, choosing the name to complement her Greek heritage and also encompass the idea of holistic health. She says “eso” is an ancient Greek word that means “within.” At first, she was working at several studios, driving to clients’ homes and meeting with clients in coffee shops and juice bars for health coaching. The business evolved in 2017 when she hosted her first retreat and started renting space from a local studio, where she held weekly group yoga classes and workshops. Priebe opened the Eso Live Well facility in its current location in August 2018, bringing multiple services under one roof.

“At Eso, we strive to inspire and encourage people to care for their mind, body and spirit while supporting them on their own unique path to living well,” Priebe explains.

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Eso Live Well owner Vas Priebe teaches a private Pilates session. | Photo by Vinny Estrada

In fact, the studio’s mission is “to live well,” says Megan Kelly, who has a doctorate in physical therapy and a master’s degree in holistic nutrition as well as being a Pilates and yoga instructor at Eso.

“As a practitioner at the studio, I want to help support you live well however I can, whether that means to improve your core strength to perform a better pop-up [when] surfing, or treat your aching back so you can play with your kids, or get you on a nutrition protocol to clear up chronic fatigue and brain fog,” Kelly says. “Everyone is unique and has different goals to how they would like to live well. I love being a guide and feel grateful that I get to do it in such a beautiful space.”

Eso even has a licensed psychologist, Dr. Elleni Koulos, who hosts workshops and events, participates in retreats, consults with team members when needed and can host Zoom sessions for clients.

Kelly says holistic wellness is important because, in a world where there are so many gimmicks and quick fixes to feeling better with short-lived results, holistic wellness is a unique treatment approach that everyone can utilize to change their well-being with long-term results.

“Getting Americans off pain pills and into meditation, breathwork and therapeutic Pilates can significantly change lives and we need more practitioners treating this way,” she says. “I truly believe that the body has the innate ability to heal itself, too.

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A small group yoga class at Eso Live Well | Photo by Denise Bovee

“Moving with intention, breathing properly, eating healthy, being mindful, getting out in the sun and finding joy are all things one needs and can do to make themselves feel better. I am just a guide along that path to feeling better again.”


Taking a Team Approach

Priebe says, from a client standpoint, having many modalities under one roof makes things easier all around. She says health and wellness can be a sensitive and tricky topic for many and it can be a challenge to find a network of practitioners that you can trust.

“Having multiple practitioners that clients can get to know over time in an organic way allows clients to feel safe. We all work together and communicate as one big network of support—it’s a win-win from both ends,” she explains. “We meet the client where they are. For example, if they come into ESO in search of physical therapy, I refer to Dr. Kelly. From that point Dr. Kelly will treat the client. If, in that time, she feels that the client can benefit from one of our other practitioners and services, she recommends it. We don’t apply pressure; we simply share the benefits and how it can complement what they are already doing.”

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Megan Kelly leads a mat Pilates class for pre- and post-natal women. | Photo by Denise Bovee

Kelly adds that having all the practitioners under one roof allows them to talk in real time and work together as much as possible.

“We can ask each other questions, collaborate on a treatment session, and better treat complex cases all while being in the beautiful studio,” Kelly says. “We learn a lot from each other, and it sometimes takes a team approach to best care for our clients and patients.”


Tips for Meditating at Home

Meditation can provide a sense of calm and balance in a chaotic world, which provides benefits emotionally and mentally, as well as to your overall health.


Start small: If you’re new to meditating, try three to five minutes to begin. Once you feel comfortable with that, add more time in five-minute increments.

Try an app: There are so many great apps these days that have guided meditations. Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are also great resources for meditations.

Incorporate a breath practice: Keeping your mind busy with a simple task can help focus your mind. A simple four-count breath in with a little pause and then a four-count breath out with a little pause is a great place to start. You can also try using a mantra or mala beads as a tool for support.

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