Upon the third floor of The Mandel on S. Olive St, a marvelous vivication is in motion for the people of downtown. The high beam ceilings, cement floors and open concept kitchen all with an abundance of natural light from an oversized picture window may not sound unlike any other DTLA loft space by its mere depiction.
It certainly doesn’t fit the common portrait of the modern yoga studio to which some have grown all too accustomed. But Jamuna Yoga is anything but typical yoga studio. In fact, to call it a studio may be a bit misleading. That is because the founders and owners of Jamuna, Jenna Faith and Vallabh (Val) Das, have given DTLA its very own yoga home: a notion they felt DTLA desperately needed. Making traditional yoga accessible and acceptable to the growing professional DTLA demographic is something Jenna and Val are consistently striving to achieve. That translates to not merely a space to hold a class, but an urban retreat where ancient traditions are explored while building community, trust, and a holistic lifestyle.
Founders and owners of Jamuna, Jenna Faith and Vallabh (Val) Das, have given DTLA its very own yoga home: a notion they felt DTLA desperately needed. Making traditional yoga accessible and acceptable to the growing professional DTLA demographic is something Jenna and Val are consistently striving to achieve. That translates to not merely a space to hold a class, but an urban retreat where ancient traditions are explored while building community, trust, and a holistic lifestyle.
Downtown Weekly had the pleasure of spending quality time with Jenna and Val on a cloudy and atypically chilly Friday afternoon, which meant we got the honor to sit down in the only chair in the studio, and chat awhile with this truly delightful couple. The short amount of time we spent with them convinced us that their passions run deep and devotion to their craft runs high. Very high.
Jenna and Val’s yoga journey has taken them around the globe, but a bullseye leads them to settle on DTLA’s historic core. A native New Yorker with an animated and expressive persona, Jenna loves the hustle and bustle of downtown reminiscent of New York, yet the profane visibility of the less fortunate side of humanity resembles the startling culture clash that is so much a part of India where the couple was most recently stationed. In fact, this merging of the spiritual and physical worlds is at the core of Jenna and Val’s practice and teaching.
Struggles with chronic pain and fibromyalgia were a catalyst to the teenaged Jenna’s pursuit of yoga, but the inability to find the right teacher and format led her away from the trendy, flavor-of-the-month variety found in New York to a more focused and spiritually fulfilling path of Jivamukti Yoga, Under the tutelage of the most esteemed teachers and mentors of this most demanding of yoga practices, Jenna has completed a comprehensive 800-hour certification.
Meanwhile, husband Val’s soft-spoken demeanor is in stark contrast to Jenna’s exuberance, is an accomplished yogi in the Bhakti tradition, in addition to holding an MA in Asian Languages & Literature. He’s helped write, translate, and edit books by numerous yoga masters. Val will often open the class with call and response chanting or singing while playing the harmonium. You’ll feel noticeably calmer after the languid serenade.
So how does that oversized picture window fit into all this? Imagine greeting the rising sun in all its glory. That alone is a good enough reason to show up for a 6:15 am class. That doesn’t mean things don’t ever depart from the celestial. Jenna is a modern city girl and welcomes you to rock out Jivamukti style with classic rock, hip-hop, or club beats. If a short lunch break is all the time you can spare, the 45-minute Recharge class should be on your calendar. The same goes for their very popular weekend brunch when asana yoga is followed by a vegan brunch amongst friends. In fact, there is a full class schedule for every level from early morning until late night weekdays and all day until early evening on the weekends.
Jenna and Val chose DTLA because they knew the single city dwellers needed a space they could call their own. Where they could come and be welcomed to a community of instructors and friends join them on a spiritual, emotional and physical journey amongst an atmosphere of challenge and compassion. Jamuna Yoga. 711 S. Olive St. Los Angeles, CA 90014. @jamunayoga
711 S. Olive St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014