Dear WARMTH Community,
Since October of last year our studio has been through the wringer. I have dug my heels in, fought hard, worked side-by-side with contractors, lawyers, and right alongside many of you that have stepped up to support me in your expertise in deciding how I wanted to grow and change and what was possible for us. Along the way I was not able to move to the location I thought we were moving to and I moved right along, to the next location, working out the kinks and keeping the studio going all the while. Nevertheless, I persisted.
It was during this time that one of our teachers, quietly and kindly, grounded and sweet, started to talk to me about buying our studio. While I was not in the mind-frame to do so, we engaged in conversations about her dreams and values and where she wanted to take the studio. It was through these conversations that I began to realize it was time to pass the torch. It was a lunch-time conversation when we talked about what I wanted for Warmth and what the studio meant to me when she reached across the table, held my hand and said, “You have built a brand and a community that I would be honored to lead moving forward.” Ladies and gentlemen, yogis and yoginis, I present to you, the new leader of Warmth, Mariah Sunrae.
I first met Mariah as a yoga student, four years ago, when she began to practice at Warmth. She has an incredible practice and a presence in the yoga room that is stunning. She went on to manage the desk, became a karma cleaner along the way, and for the past year has been on staff as a teacher in our Vinyasa, Yin and Nidra Classes. While she managed the desk over 3 years ago, I have always left a key in her possession because I knew I could count on her if I was in a pinch and her honest and trustworthy ways have shown up for me time and time again. We have spent countless hours, evenings, mornings, chats and trainings together as I pass on what I know to her. She has simultaneously been building out a new location for Warmth that will open in January.
The life of a studio owner is unique and challenging and beautiful and feeds me. It is an intense life path to choose and I am better because I walked this path and I walked it with each of you. When I purchased the studio there was a strong student presence and a love for the 26&2. Our community has grown in love for one another, by 48% since 2010, and both the schedule and modalities offered have expanded. I am proud of what has been created and what I am passing on. I have loved, sweat and led our phenomenal staff and the best little community on the planet for seven years and now it is time for me to step back to love and spend quality time with my family and life long friends that I miss, and yes, even myself. I’ll be teaching on Sunday and Monday evenings, subbing when needed, and practicing right along with you for as long as I can see into the future.
When I think of Warmth and describe my favorite parts of our studio and community, I am touched by the sense of acceptance and beauty our community possesses. I am continually inspired by the strength, flexibility and balance it takes to show up for yourself and to cultivate self-love. I have done my very best to show up for YOU, for our staff, and to always be in your corner letting you know, YOU CAN. You can do anything your heart desires and it starts with showing yourself more self-love, on a regular basis, every, single, day. I will continue to be your cheerleader, to support you, and I will always believe in you. I have Mariah’s best interest at heart and I have her back. The two of us are working together to create a smooth transition and peaceful space for you to be you. Please keep it up and continue to grow. Our studio community needs you, I need you, your family needs you, Nevada County needs you. We ALL need the best YOU.
The self love you cultivate for yourself on your mat is medicine for the earth.
yogini, lover, inferno enthusiast, supporter
Hello Warmth community, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Mariah Sunrae. I am honored to be taking on this new role as the owner of Warmth and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it! I love this community deeply and it is my privilege to be able to give back in this way, to hold the space which we all use to come back to our true selves.
I want to start by reassuring you that we will continue to offer the same classes we always have. The schedule and the staff will remain the same as well. I am here for you… we are here for you! We will continue to serve the Grass Valley and Nevada City area as a space for people to come experience different types of movement and sweat, as a way to heal themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I took my first yoga class in 7th grade, yoga was offered as an elective at Pleasant Valley Elementary school. I’m not sure what drew me into that class, but whatever it was it was a strong force. From there I continued to practice at home, pouring over whatever yoga books I could get my hands on, recording yoga classes on my DVR and following along after school, sometimes with my sisters and sometimes alone. The first time I led a group yoga session was for my basketball team when I was about 14. I remember passionately sharing all the benefits of yoga with them while they humored me and followed along. Honestly, even after leading the basketball team in a yoga session, I didn’t feel a strong desire to teach. I just wanted to practice and learn. I was fascinated by how much I could learn from simply being aware of my body and paying attention, listening to the messages my body was sending me. So I continued to practice and learn. Somewhere along the line, after moving from Penn Valley to San Francisco and back, I found my way to Warmth, or Bikram Yoga GVNC at the time. I was instantly hooked on the Bikram practice. The heat, the discipline, the way the teachers communicated clearly and with humor & compassion, all of it was exactly what I needed. It wasn’t until I graduated from the California College of Ayurveda in 2014 that I felt ready to teach. I’m not sure what shifted in me, but something did, and I was ready. So, I got on a plane with Isaiah (my boyfriend at the time) and we headed to India to go study yoga. I have been teaching ever since and I could not be happier. I have known that yoga would forever be a part of my life since I took my first class in 7th grade, and now I feel like I’m living my dream.
My greatest wish for Warmth is that each person that walks in through our doors, walks out feeling a little bit more like themselves. Over the past 4 1/2 years, Warmth has supported me as a 21 year old woman seeking to find her way, to becoming a dedicated student of Ayurveda – finally accepting that I am a strong Pitta and I will continue to practice in the heat, to getting married & becoming pregnant and practicing daily up until the day before I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Kali. Now it is my job to hold the space for others to have their positive experiences and I will do everything in my power to make sure that is the case. Since the first time I walked through the front door and took the intro class with Kelly, my life has changed dramatically for the better. My hope is to be able to provide that same sense of love and support that I received, to each and every one of you.
Mariah Sunrae, owner, yogini