Feb 18, 2024 - News

Urban Sanctuary, Denver's only Black-owned yoga studio, is getting a makeover

A black and white photo of a woman stretching on her yoga mat surrounded by plants.

Tap into your inner peace at Urban Sanctuary in Denver. Photo: Courtesy of Samantha Hines Photography

Urban Sanctuary, a nonprofit yoga studio in Denver, will celebrate its eighth anniversary this year by undergoing a major, much-needed renovation.

Why it matters: After nearly a decade in business, the space remains the city's first and only Black, woman-owned yoga studio, owner and teacher Ali Duncan tells us.

Details: Nestled along Welton Street in Denver's historic Five Points, a neighborhood rich with Black history, the studio is located in the Douglass Undertaking Building, once operated in the early 1900s by the sons of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Context: Duncan, who was also the first Black female officer hired to the Fort Collins Police Services in 2003, opened the yoga space in 2016 with a mission in mind.

  • The point of Urban Sanctuary is "so everyone — no matter how they show up — has a safe space to connect … in a way that feels good to them with their body and with others," Duncan tells us.

Driving the news: The studio is preparing to kick off a series of remodeling projects this summer using $250,000 in grants from Colorado History and the State Historical Fund.

  • The money will support a complete "redo" of the building from the windows to the roof, which will mean temporarily moving some classes outside into the nearby courtyard as needed.

If you go: The studio offers more than 40 classes a week — from 6am to 8:30pm — including free yoga classes for communities of color, which sell out every week.

  • Some of the more unique yoga classes are cannabis-friendly (21+), clothing-optional (you read that right) and aerial-enhanced.

💭 My thought bubble: Do yourself a favor and pop in — the space literally feels like a warm hug.

  • Also, try to take a class with Ali if you can. I recently tried her Mars Body Weight Workout class, and even though it kicked my butt, I can't wait to return.
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