Help Sweet Heat Hot Yoga Survive Covid-19!

A Message from Leslie:

Becoming the owner of Sweet Heat Hot Yoga almost four years ago was the culmination of my 25+ year pursuit to help people preserve good health and vitality.  When our yoga studio first opened over 20 years ago, hot yoga was still a new phenomenon. The studio was not an immediate success. “Why,” people would ask, “would I want to go into a 105-degree room and sweat for an hour-and-a-half?!” But once they gave it a try, miracles began to occur: Injuries healed. Physical and emotional pain subsided. Liars found the truth. Anger turned to joy, and sadness became happiness! Our individual experiences are different, but the transformations are REAL!  Our students, and there have now been thousands over the years, can provide testament to the power of the Bikram method of hot yoga.

Fast forward to 2020, and although much has changed in our town and our world, Sweet Heat Hot Yoga is still a vital and beloved place to find friendship, to stay grounded and to care for ourselves. It makes me so happy that that a low-tech place like Sweet Heat Hot Yoga can still exist in a high-tech world. It works, because we are driven by the potential for human transformation through determination and resilience. We are willing to do the hard work (as a matter of fact, we MUST do the hard work) to stay sane and to better our lives and the lives of those around us.

A steady flame, it has never once seemed possible that our momentum could falter and our studio could fail, but we’re in unknown territory now.

Covid-19 comes to California:

Sweet Heat Hot Yoga is faced with formidable challenges right now: our studio has been closed to the public since March 13th, with the exception of a one-month period, and must remain closed for an indefinite period of time. At the beginning of the closure we were in a solid financial position with plenty of cash reserves. But going into 7th month of closure, we are now in debt.

I want to reassure you that we’re exploring every possible means of financial support.  We have received a federal EIDL loan which has been propping us up, but these funds must be repaid with interest. Carrying this level of debt while the status of indoor fitness is unknown is very risky. Our landlady has given us a token amount of rent relief, which we are grateful for, but our lease expires on November 31st  and we will be at her mercy.  Will she forgive (or greatly reduce) our rent and allow the studio to stay intact?  If so, for how long? Will she demand full rent? Will we be forced to vacate and incur the expense of moving to another location? We just don’t know right now.

We have already accomplished our first objective which was to repay debt and secure our space until November 31st. Thank you!!

To secure our future while preparing for the unknown, we must continue to ask for your financial support. Ongoing donations to this campaign will be used to address the future and create the framework that will take Sweet Heat Hot Yoga to the next generation of hot yogis.

$11,700 (estimated) to maintain our current location, pay utilities, and keep the business intact for an additional 6 months beyond November 31st.

$5,000 working capital to reopen, hopefully at a minimum of 50% capacity, by spring, 2021.

If our landlady requests that Sweet Heat vacate the premises, the money will be used instead to cover the cost of relocating.

We intend to succeed!

We know what a difficult and uncertain time this is for everyone, and we understand that there are many individuals and organizations in need. If you’re in a position to support us we’d be extremely grateful. My husband Mike and I, along with our incredible staff, are committed to our roles as keepers of the heat!  

Please be sure to stay in touch with us and keep an eye out for various email and newsletter updates. If you are not already a member, please sign up for our newsletters by downloading our app and creating an account at

Thank you for your messages of love and support - they are priceless! And if you could let others know about this campaign, we’d appreciate that, too!  If you’d like to make a donation without going through a website, please mail a check to Sweet Heat Hot Yoga, 170 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA, 93950.




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    • $100 
    • 3 d
  • Winona Stewart 
    • $100 
    • 4 d
  • Sandy Voegeli 
    • $100 
    • 6 d
  • Matthew Ferrante 
    • $18 
    • 7 d
  • Ghislaine Guez 
    • $250 
    • 7 d
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Leslie Gallo 
Pacific Grove, CA
Ashley Chalfant 
Team member
Janie Lundy 
Team member
Mike Fitzgerald 
Team member
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