Warmth offers bikram yoga, inferno Pilates in new space in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Warmth offers bikram yoga, inferno Pilates in new space in Grass Valley

Warmth Yoga participants conduct specific yoga poses in the 96-degree heat of the Spring Hill Drive studio Wednesday afternoon.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com |

Know & Go

What: Warmth Hot Yoga & Pilates

Where: 155 Spring Hill Drive, Ste. 206, Grass Valley

For info: Call 530-273-2030 or go online at warmthstudios.com

It took a little longer than expected, but Warmth yoga studio is up and running in a new space — just the latest in a series of changes and updates for the hot yoga and Pilates studio formerly known as Bikram Yoga Grass Valley Nevada City.

Kelly Callender sold the studio — founded by Helen Neff in 2003 — in September to teacher Mariah Sunrae, who initially started there as a student in 2013.

Sunrae took her first yoga class in seventh grade, at Pleasant Valley Elementary School.

“I got lucky enough that they were offering yoga as an elective,” she said, adding she was “hooked” from the get-go.

Yoga was instantly appealing because it was both a physical and a mental workout that improved her focus and her mental stability, Sunrae said.

“It helped me navigate that life transition from girl to woman,” she said. “I’m a very empathic person and yoga helps me see the difference between myself and others, to separate my feelings from those of others.”

Sunrae moved to San Francisco, then returned to Nevada County and attended California College of Ayurveda, graduating in 2014; she then went to India to study yoga.

“The first time I tried bikram yoga, I didn’t think I was going to love it, to be honest,” Sunrae said. “I didn’t think it would be right for me.”

But that first class at Bikram Yoga Grass Valley Nevada City with Callender made her a convert.

“It is so intense,” Sunrae said. “The poses are hard, the sequences are hard. You have no choice other than to be present, to be focused. It’s a forced meditation. I needed that, at that time. I was 21 and there are shifts going on (at that age); it helped me navigate that time in my life as well.”

Sunrae said she always knew she wanted to be involved with yoga for the rest of her life and hoped to someday open her own studio — but thought she would have to leave Nevada County to do so.

Last year, Callender had made plans to move the studio, but those plans fell through due to financial constraints, Sunrae said. After discussions with Sunrae and her husband, Isaiah, Callender opted to sell her the studio, which had been re-named Warmth in 2016.

Sunrae said that it was stressful negotiating the ins and outs of running a new business while simultaneously looking for, renovating, and moving into a new space, on Spring Hill Drive.

“It was a lot, but things are going really well,” she said.

Sunrae had hoped to open earlier in January, but had a few hiccups. The studio officially opened Jan. 19.

Warmth currently offers a number of bikram yoga classes as well as Inferno Pilates, which combines car­dio and muscle toning in a room heated to 95 degrees.

The addition of the Inferno Pilates class in 2016 caused business to boom, Sunrae said, adding that it brought in a “whole new crowd.”

The studio has a temporary occupancy permit and the locker rooms are still being worked on, Sunrae said. She estimated they would be done within 10 days. While the square footage of the yoga studio has not changed, the locker rooms will feature more showers and the new studio has a communal space with a tea station and mini library.

“We’re definitely building a foundation,” Sunrae said. “Not just for the yoga community, but for our life and our family.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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