We all experience grief at a certain point in our lives. Nowadays, the severity of our individual and collective grief has increased – Covid-19 changed our world, the energy of the collective movements brought everything to the surface – the pain, sorrow, anger, injustices, depth and understanding – the socio-economic instability forced unwanted changes, and we busted our personal bubbles. If anyone had underestimated the impact of the external world on us, well, now we all know it feels heavy and overwhelming. Discovering oneself especially in times of struggle is not an easy journey, considering all of the limitations that we are faced with as well. The journey to self-discovery is an animated voyage – powerful, enriching and yet it can be so brutal. Sometimes, giant things happen to us, and we don’t have any say in it, let alone control. The philosophers in us would say “yes,” look at the cup half full, not half empty. When we feel weak, betrayed, angry, confused, sad or fearful, cold, broken and sometimes out of breath it is most often extremely difficult to find even the small amount of inspiration, motivation, or hope. However, that place of stillness can be very dangerous, as it can lead to severe and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental health problems.

Know that it is ok for our tears to build an ocean, regardless of the why, but be kind to yourself, loving and compassionate. Try to inhale and exhale with gratitude and see the “empty part of your cup” as an opportunity to fill it with something instrumentally different from before. Remember that change and evolution do not take place in the moments of comfort. Use this moment, to let go, shift, and grow.

Finding the time to reconnect with our hearts, minds, and spirit in a safe way right now is at utmost importance. Neglecting to look within can hurt our personal growth, environment and evolution. Our hearts and minds are way deeper than what we know, and if we forget to look within, just like anything else, we will collect dust, get rusty, and function at a slower speed. If you are experiencing exhaustion, pressure, tension…it’s time to take some time off for yourself.

We discovered Sanctuary, a Seattle, Wash., based studio that offers a one of a kind immersive wellness experience with a leading-edge cinematic experience that brings world experts and scenery to your mat – the perfect escape, particularly in times of Covid-19.

Robert Martin, the founder of Sanctuary, wanted to create transformative, immersive experiences by utilizing unique spaces that carry a charm of their own, a combination that Martin knew would form something truly meaningful – providing individuals with access to profound cinematic healing experiences. That idea turned into Sanctuary. Currently, Sanctuary offers more than 60 virtual classes in their private studios, from flow, balances and inversions sessions to yoga Nidra, sound healing and meditation sessions. Whether you book your mini-micro retreat for yourself or with others, based on your choice, I know you’d have the best-in-class virtual well-being experience. We did!

How does it work? Through the Sanctuary app or website, you can pick and build your own personal experience to nourish your body and mind, from the level and choice of practice to the instructor and effect you’d like. The seamless booking experience is followed by even more customization options to make your experience even more so elevated – yes, you can even select the temperature, aromatherapy and soundtrack.

  • The Sanctuary Studios10

The Studio Experience

Your virtual class, scent, and proper temperature will be ready for you. Blocks and mats are placed in the studio prior to your arrival. You have your own bathroom (showers currently are not allowed because of Covid-19). And the best part – you can take your time like in no other studio around town. You can enjoy a 30 minutes session to continue your practice, unwind or mediate. Because the studios are totally private, there’s zero judgment. Sanctuary even opted not to have mirrors in the room so you can’t judge yourself. Sanctuary is the optimal place to let your guard down, let yourself go, and sink into your practice, and they offer classes that encourage that. On your way in or out, you can have a cup of tea that unwinds you for your practice or prepares you for the re-entry into the outside world.

About The Teachers

Sanctuary works with experts around the world, bringing to you diversified practices, which in addition to working with beloved local teachers, was a purposeful decision for the Sanctuary team, encouraging inclusion by embracing the authenticity in each and every one of us. As Sanctuary continues to expand into new geographic and local areas, their approach would be one of inclusion. Quality, excellence and deep belief in Sanctuary’s values [need the values] are some of the most important factors when choosing teachers and experts to join the team. Currently, all of their content features teachers and experts with at least 10 years of experience.

What’s in The Pipeline?

Sanctuary produces new classes on a seasonal basis, four times a year. The newest addition to the catalog is the Energetic Flow Vinyasa Series at the end of the month. Beyond yoga, meditation, and sound healing, Sanctuary is exploring qigong, somatic and ecstatic dance practices, and digital art collaborations, among many others.

Why is Sanctuary Best During Covid-19?

The one-to-none nature of the studios allows Sanctuary to be extremely cautious about Covid-19 safety. They are equipped to offer single-person and, in general, group sessions for up to six people. However, currently they are offering only individual sessions and up to two-person group sessions. Session times are spaced such that there is never more than one or two guests checking in at once so there is limited physical interaction. Studios are sanitized to CDC standards between every session—including a full refresh cycle of the air in the studio. While Sanctuary offers mats and props for each session (each set being thoroughly sanitized after use and held for a minimum of 24 hours) guests are welcome to bring their own.

It’s our collaborative effort to bridge personal and collective healing, right here in our community.

Our concept was designed to provide a serene environment to center one’s mind to allow focus on the present moment. The current environment has created an even more pressing need for people to do so, however also in a safe space, protected from the outside world and the rapid fire changes happening daily.” – R. Martin

At Sanctuary the opportunities for self-discovery and introspection are endless. You just need to step a foot in their space, and you’d feel as you entered a different universe. I had a transformative experience, and I know you will too.

[for the prices check out current offerings and specials on the website]