“Oh my gosh,” is the phrase that Jenni Rawlings repeats several times whenever you’re around her. And when she utters those words, she means them and embraces them.

She’s one of the most positive-thinking persons you will ever meet, and I dare you not be disarmed by her optimism. Eventually, you realize that she’s centered and living in the moment. She sees and experiences the world with a sense of wonder, and it’s “darn” infectious.

That quality — plus her vast knowledge of yoga — have made her without question one of the most popular instructors in Santa Barbara. (Her classes at Yoga Soup are usually at capacity.) She is also the owner of a home-grown business, Drishti on East Canon Perdido Street, which has been catering to yogis way before the corporate world caught on to this healthy lifestyle.

Resistance is futile — just breathe and reap the benefits.

Jenni Rawlings at Yoga Soup (July 11, 2013)
Paul Wellman

Why did you decide to open your own business in Santa Barbara?

At the time (2002), the only places for people to buy yoga clothing and supplies were mail-order catalogs or sporting goods stores. This town seemed ripe for a stand-alone yoga boutique that could meet the needs of the growing yoga community here.

What is your idea of perfect happiness in this city?

An early evening beach walk at low tide, preferably with a dog.

What would be your greatest misfortune?

To not appreciate the amazing aspects of life which are right in front of me.

What is the fault you do not tolerate about yourself?

The failure to be present in all of the relationships that I want to.

What is the fault you do not tolerate in others?


What is the greatest extravagance you’ve experienced in Santa Barbara?

For my birthday this year, my friend Geri made a delicious and involved meal for me and a few friends in her beautiful Santa Barbara home. She designed the multi-course menu herself and worked on elements of the meal for days beforehand, including a printed menu of all of the courses and a dining table outside on her back deck overlooking a green canyon. It was a work of art and definitely felt extravagant.

What is your favorite quality in people?


What do you appreciate the most in your friends?


What is your chief characteristic?


What is your motto?

You always have child’s pose in your back pocket.


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