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Meet Jeneth Rundle of Ventura Yoga Studio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeneth Rundle.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am the owner/director of Ventura Yoga Studio in Ventura, California. This journey started when I first began practicing the yoga of Indra Devi in 1970 while attending San Bernardino Valley College. I found a path to emotional stability and physical strength through yoga. In 1995 I became devoted to the yoga of B.K.S. Iyengar and traveled to India in 1998 to study under him. While there for his 80th birthday celebration, I was fortunate to study with Geeta and Preshant Iyengar as well. I began teaching in 1996 in the Pasadena/ Eagle Rock area and opened my first yoga school, Open Your Heart…Yoga in the Eagle Rock Cultural Center that same year. I studied regularly at the Iyengar Institute of LA and was invited to participate in a private teacher’s group led by renowned Iyengar Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer Bonnie Anthony, this continued for several years until I moved to the Ventura area with my husband in 2001.

2001 was a big year! That day in 2001 affected my husband, Donovan, and I in profound ways. We had always wanted to live at the beach, but the beaches of Southern California were not within our reach financially. Then we discovered Oxnard! Our daughters, Emma Ruth & Sarah Ray had grown up and were succeeding on their own. (I am so proud of them and what they are doing with their lives!) Our spiritual teacher/guide, Gregory Grover, that we studied Spinoza and Gurdjieff work with had died. We looked at each other and said to ourselves “If not now, when? Live as though there is no tomorrow! “So we sold our house, bought a house in Oxnard at the beach and moved within 8 weeks.

To make a long story short, after commuting for 18 months to Glendale by train twice a week to my “day job” managing a business in Pasadena (running it remotely the rest of the week) and continuing to teach my two yoga classes at the Cultural Center I decided to quit and make the move complete. I turned my yoga classes over to Linda Nishio, a fabulous local teacher, and decided to try to become a self-supporting yoga teacher in the Ventura area.

It all worked out. The first classes I taught were right here at Ventura Yoga Studio, previously owned by Certified Iyengar Teacher Bryan Legere. I also taught just about everywhere else in town that offered yoga at the time. At my peak I was teaching 19 classes a week!

So, September 13th, 2013 I became the new owner/director of Ventura Yoga Studio. Bryan married, and he and his bride wanted to move to Oregon. As the Labor Day weekend approached he suggested that if I wouldn’t or couldn’t buy the studio from him that he would have no choice but to close its doors. He gave me the weekend to decide. This was very difficult for me because I had finally semi-retired and was teaching only 3 classes a week. I went home and raised the prospect to my husband. Immediately he said “You’ve got to do it. You cannot let it close. Think of the community and all the students who depend on this studio as their source to learn Iyengar Yoga. Think of all it has given you. It’s time for you to give back no matter the sacrifice it may be for us.” I love my husband. He has always been there to help me see clearly whenever I have doubt! So I said yes four years ago and here we are! Ventura Yoga Studio is the oldest and most respected yoga studio in Ventura County. It opened in 1990 and remains at its original location – 110 N. Olive St in Ventura.

B.K.S. Iyengar died on August 20, 2014 at the age of 95. I was deeply affected by his passing. I felt challenged by the fact that I had never gone up for Certification in the Iyengar system and I also became strongly protective of his name and his standards. Now that I was the studio owner and wanted to inspire others to devote themselves to Iyengar yoga I felt a deep sense of responsibility to get Certified. I was mentored by Christine Stein and Scott Hobbs (to whom I remain very grateful) and went for testing in November of 2015. It had been a rigorous sometimes grueling year of study and practice, but I made it! I became a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher after 20 years of practice and teaching!

I also practice and teach T’ai Chi Chih®, a moving meditation practice originated by Justin Stone, which I fell in love with the first time I did the practice. It is also known as Joy Thru Movement, and I can say it truly brings me joy! I am Accredited to teach both T’ai Chi Chih and the advanced practice of Seijaku (Serenity in the Midst of Activity.) I was fortunate to have studied with Justin before his passing at age 95 in 2012. I continue my studies with Carmen Brocklehurst of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am forever grateful to my first TCC teacher and mentor Lisa Otero, for not only introducing me to Justin and Carmen, but for creating the vibrant Ventura County community of T’ai Chi Chih Accredited Teachers and devoted practitioners that is now an integral part of my life. T’ai Chi Chih is offered at the studio in addition to yoga.

So what’s next? The support by the wonderful teachers at the studio have made my job pretty simple and enjoyable. We have several Iyengar Certified Teachers on the staff now with more to come soon! There is an explosion of enthusiasm in the community! I am now 66 and hope one day to turn the studio over to another inspired teacher with clear motives and a vision for the spreading of these enriching practices.

Has it been a smooth road?
Life is never a smooth road and yet I feel blessed. Most of my challenges have been in my own nature. Otherwise I can say I’ve been dealt a fine hand in life. Inferiority certainly got in my way. I never did figure out the root of it, but I have been able to overcome it. Sometimes the bar looked too high for me, for example when I would think about applying for Iyengar Certification. I tried 3 times in earlier years but could not send in that application. An expression shared with me by a teacher/guide helped inspire me: “Jump higher than your bellybutton” and I guess you could say I did! Another one he shared “I help myself, I force myself, I lift myself up!” And one more “Don’t try to cut down the bamboo with a dull machete!” So, I’ve spent years sharpening that blade, practicing Svadhyaya, self-study. Upon accomplishing my first ever headstand on my 40th birthday, my first Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Barbara Kaufman, knelt down and whispered in my ear “Don’t limit yourself!” What a beautiful thing to hear at that grand moment of overcoming!! And, now I share these jewels with my students.

Pride also got in the way – causing injuries, sometimes the same ones over and over, until the “lesson” was learned.

But these struggles are what gave me that touch of what I would call essential humility so that I could be a student of life and a student of my heart.

My favorite quote that keeps me striving is by Spinoza: “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Ventura Yoga Studio – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Founded in 1990, Ventura Yoga Studio is the oldest and most respected studio in the area. Our teachers are exceptionally well trained and teach from the heart. Several are Iyengar Certified and there is the promise of more to come. All of our staff teachers study, practice and are devoted to the teaching of B.K.S. Iyengar. Classes range from quietly restorative to challenging and vigorous. We offer Specialty Classes (e.g. Senior’s), Community Classes for a donation and special events.

Considered to be one of the best equipped studios in the country, we provide all of the necessary props such as blankets, belts, blocks, chairs, bolsters and wall ropes.

Every wall in the studio is outfitted with the Great Yoga Wall® system. The use of these props, as developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, allows for students to gain safe and productive access to poses.

Ventura Yoga Studio has hosted Workshops, Weekend Immersions and Teaching Intensives with renowned Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers from around the country including Marla Apt, Eddy Marks, Mary Obendorfer, Christine Stein, Scott Hobbs, Anna Delury, Linda DiCarlo and Lisa Walford.

We also offer classes in T’ai Chi Chih®, Joy Thru Movement taught by Accredited Teachers.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like best about LA these days is the seriousness of the students that make the drive to this studio to attend classes or workshops. It is always a pleasure to greet Angelenos at our door.

Just a short drive south for us Venturans and we get the vast array of cultural events available and, of course, the great Iyengar Yoga Institute of LA on La Cienega where many of us attend workshops with some of the teachers that cannot make it to our town or just because we want to study with them more often.

The downside for LA is just the traffic…but, sometimes it’s not so bad. 😉

In terms of Ventura….well…it’s all good. Come for a visit and check it out!

Pricing:

  • Single Yoga Class $18 Single Senior’s Class $10 Single T’ai Chi Chih® $10
  • 3 month Yoga Class packages available 15 pack $150 10 pack $110
  • Senior’s Yoga 5 pack $40
  • T’ai Chi Chih® 8 pack $64
  • 6 month Yoga Class 10 pack $160
  • Unlimited Monthly $170
  • Annual Pass Unlimited $1350

Contact Info:

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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