Ali Duncan is the founder of Urban Sanctuary, a Denver yoga studio with a mission to support the ever-evolving growth of the wellness community through purpose, education and love. We are honored to have Duncan and some of the Urban Sanctuary on the cover of this HARMONY issue.
ALI, WHAT DOES HARMONY MEAN TO YOU AND URBAN SANCTUARY?
Harmony is balancing the mind, body and spirit so that it supports our healing both personally and collectively. At Urban Sanctuary, we offer meditation classes, workout classes and yoga practices that support healing and self-care, and by doing so, we feel this helps bring harmony within ourselves and our surroundings.
HOW IS URBAN SANCTUARY ACTIVE AND INSPIRING IN DENVER AND IN THE COLORADO WELLNESS COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE?
Urban Sanctuary is one of the only Black-owned, woman-run yoga studios in Colorado. We invite our community to arrive as they are to be supported. We offer breathwork and movement classes that support healing for marginalized communities. Our operations are non-traditional and out-ofthe- box, with classes like aerial yoga, Cannabis- supported yoga, meditation classes that focus on mindfulness, flow-based yoga with tarot card readings and free weekly classes for the BIPOC community. We also recently debuted Kemetic movement, a slower-paced practice that has origins dating back to ancient Africa. Urban Sanctuary is the first of its kind in Colorado to be offering this movement philosophy, which supports decolonizing the westernized culture of yoga and letting go of old standards that no longer serve us.
PLEASE SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT THE URBAN SANCTUARY BUILDING AND WHAT YOU AND YOUR COMMUNITY ARE DOING TO PRESERVE IT AND TO USE IT AS A GATHERING SPACE?
The building we are in is a historical building called The Douglass Building. Fredrick Douglasses family ran a mortuary out of it in the 1800s. We have the opportunity to buy the building by July 2022 and I am raising money to make this happen! The neighborhood our building is in is a historical Black district called Five Points. It is exciting to have the building stay in the black community where we can support the community with health and wellness through our classes.
FOR THE HARMONY ISSUE OF CO YOGA + LIFE, PLEASE SHARE WITH US HOW URBAN SANCTUARY WOULD LIKE TO CONNECT AND COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS IN THE STATE IN 2022.
At Urban Sanctuary we are all about connection and collaboration, which is why we’ll be hosting community yoga and meditations throughout the year to support inclusivity, healing and community. We’ll be working with the Heart of Five Points Neighborhood Association so that the Five Points community has the necessary tools for wellness and self-care. We’ll also be launching our second year of yoga teacher training, which will be non-traditional but soulful and engaging, for future yogis looking to deepen their practice and expand their awareness.
Photos by Jimena Peck.
Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2021-22 issue.
Jaunt Media Collective
YOGA + Life® OWNER + EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
YOGA + Life® OWNER + DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS
YOGA + Life® MAGAZINES FOUNDER
Cover art by Jimena Peck
Purple – Davida Wright Galvin
Green – Aysia Nealey
Yellow – James J Sander
White – Shanté Lamping
Orange – Soraya Latiff
White – Ali Duncan