Meet Your Merchant | Providing a community of warmth and wellness |

Meet Your Merchant | Providing a community of warmth and wellness

The girls at The Sanctuary incorporate balls, props and laughs into their fitness classes. From left: Julie Morrison, Naomi Friedus, Bonnie Flynn and Jazmin Zila.
Courtesy Stephanie Birch-Molina |

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What: The Sanctuary: pilates • yoga • wellness

Location: 205 Stateline Road, Crystal Bay

Phone: 530-546-6005


CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — The definition of sanctuary is “a place of refuge or safety,” and business owners Julie Morrison and Kristine DeBerg aim to create that sacred feeling at their wellness center in Crystal Bay.

“What we really love about this place is the people that come here,” Julie said. “I feel like what we’re really able to establish here is this community of warm, awesome people.”

Many businesses operate in The Sanctuary, including acupuncturists, massage therapists, and a fitness studio with yoga, Pilates and The Bar Effect.

Kristine said she believes the atmosphere of The Sanctuary draws a lot of similar people. She said her daughter creates yoga classes that feel inviting and accepting, classes not based on competition or skill level.

“Here, I’ve learned the softer side of life.”
Julie Morrison
owner and instructor at The Sanctuary

“Julie is really really good at yoga but she doesn’t get up there and show off, even though she could,” Kristine said.


Morrison’s yoga practice began about eight years ago, when Julie took one Vinyasa yoga class and became hooked instantly. The instructor said yoga has been the grounding force in her life.

Before The Sanctuary, Julie worked as a real estate agent in San Francisco.

“Yoga is the only single solitary reason that I survived,” she said of her previous job. “I would say myself and three fourths of San Francisco are surviving because of yoga.”

The different skills of each woman combine with their similar beliefs in alternative health and wellness to create successful businesses within The Sanctuary.

Julie owns the fitness aspect, which is a separate business in itself. Kristine does therapeutic massage and rents out space for other massage therapists.

“Even though we are separate we are as one in many things,” Kristine said.

“We work really well together,” Julie added. “We like to spend time together, we talk incessantly and we really enjoy the creative process.”


Since joining her mother in business one year ago and finally making the move to Lake Tahoe this November, Julie said the transition from the city to The Sanctuary has been a much-needed one.

Sharing her love for yoga while also using the business skills she perfected in real estate, Julie said she’s glad to be in the area.

“Here, I’ve learned the softer side of life,” she said. “I was trying to push myself to be a tougher person in the city. How to be soft and patient and at the same time keep things going — I’m learning how to balance those two things.”

Kristine said she is happy to have her daughter nearby again. And considering the mother and daughter live on the very same street, they are closer than ever before.

“We walk, we hike together — we’ve always been very close,” Kristine said. “We always kind of know what each other is thinking.”

As for a sanctuary outside of their one of business, Kristine said her home, with her partner, near Donner Lake is her sanctuary.

Julie admits that with a recent move and a husband who travels frequently, her yoga mat has been sacred, a safe place she’s always come back to.

Jenny Luna is a freelance reporter for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Sun newspapers. She may be reached at

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