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South Coast Yoga Studio Fully Reopens After 15 Month Covid-19 Shutdown, Only To Face Loss Of Home

(KCLU photo)
Ventura Hot Yoga has fully reopened for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but is now facing the loss of its home with the landlord refusing to renew the lease.

Studio must leave in August

More than two dozen people are bending, and twisting, and stretching on mats in a Downtown Ventura yoga studio.

After 15 months of COVID-19 shutdowns, and restrictions, Ventura Hot Yoga is once again fully open.

Like many businesses, the pandemic hit the yoga business hard. Shannon Engelhardt has owned the health and wellness business since 2016. She says they went through two shutdowns. The studio offered virtual classes, but it was hard to keep paid members when many videos were being offered online for free.

At one point, the regular membership of about 200 dipped to about 25.

Englehardt says the numbers have since rebounded and are now topping pre-pandemic levels. Regulars say the reason is there is a sense of community, and family at the studio.

But, just as the COVID-19 crisis was ending for the yoga studio, it’s been hit by another one.

Engelhardt says the Los Angeles based company which owns the complex wants them out in August. She says they said they didn't want a tenant which might be susceptible to the impacts of a future pandemic. Engelhardt says it’s frustrating after investing in upgrades for the studio and paying the rent that the studio is facing this crisis.

Regulars at the studio are outraged.

The mom and pop business survived the pandemic, only to find itself on the brink of being left homeless. And, finding a new home isn’t easy. Hot yoga studios require special heating systems to get, and keep them hot enough for the classes. Supporters are now trying to rally the community to help save the business.