THE first occupants have taken on a unit in a multi-million pound development off Taunton town centre.

Pete Howe and Erin O'Keefe have been busy fitting out Nourish, a hot yoga and boutique fitness studio in the Coal Orchard.

They aim for a soft launch in December on the site of the former St James Pool before opening in January.

Erin said: "We were inspired to open the studio after visiting some high-end yoga facilities in New York and other US cities, where Pete has been working for the past couple of years.

"We noticed a distinct lack of purpose-built yoga facilities in the South West and wanted to build something of our own, replicating some of the beautiful studios we had visited in the States but adding our own touches.

"It is very uninspiring to practice yoga in a breezy, old village hall or huge, glaring sports hall – particularly in the colder, darker winter months. Yoga originates in cultures that have a warm climate after all.

"It is certainly a widely-accepted fact that stretching is more comfortable when muscles are warm. Moreover, a beautiful, warm, and tranquil environment is much more conducive to relaxation."

The Nourish studio will be heated by state-of-the-art infrared heat lamps to boost the immune system, improve cardiovascular health and reduce joint pain and allergies, as well as having adjustable ambient lighting to suit the type of class being conducted.

There will be a treatment room offering massage and beauty treatments from skilled and successful independent practitioners.

Erin added: "We will be offering a diverse range of yoga classes to suit every taste, from challenging vinyasa flows to candlelight yin, led by talented and passionate teachers, who will have creative freedom over their classes, rather than having to stick to a set format.

"However, what will remain uniform is the special touches, which we hope will enhance every customer experience."

The studio temperature will range from a comfortable 28 degrees to a balmy 37 degrees for the more traditional ‘hot yoga’ experience.

Erin will run Yoga Sculpt classes, the latest trend in the US, a unique fusion of power yoga, strength training and cardio - think HIIT and yoga rolled into one.

There will be group HIIT classes targeting specific areas of the body as well as private and semi-private personal training.

Pete will offer body transformation packages, utilising the most advanced 3D body composition scanning for bespoke nutritional and exercise plans.

Erin added: "We are excited to be offering what we think is a holistic service, integrating fitness, yoga, and wellness and building a one-stop shop to nourish mind, body, and soul."

Pete and Erin are a 'fitness couple' he is an ex-Royal Marine physical training instructor, a GB athlete who represented the military in multiple sports, an international standard CrossFit competitor and elite trainer to celebrities and military personnel, as well as a certified nutritionist and sports massage therapist; she is a qualified fitness trainer, CrossFit coach and yoga instructor who has competed in a range of fitness events and on the bodybuilding stage since the birth of her third son who has degrees in psychology and ran a family cleaning business.

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