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Pioneering wellness practices through technology and human centered sensory design

by Robert Martin on 11/29/2021

When Sanctuary opened its first concept location in Seattle in 2018, we really had no idea what the reaction would be to what we knew was a fundamental shift in how people seek out and experience embodied wellness practices of all kinds, including yoga, meditation, breathwork, sound healing and yoga nidra (rest). But we believed we were fulfilling an unmet need in wellness, especially in dense urban environments—a private, safe, sensory-based physical space to just bend, breathe and be.

Our entire concept—and the innovative tech platform that enables it—is about delivering a completely customizable and automated wellness experience that helps our guests replenish the energy and humanity we often lose from the hyperactive, always on digital demands of the world today.

Technology for human connection

While we are proud of our proprietary technology platform built for significant scale without the heavy overhead costs for wellness and service-based businesses, our technology is not center stage; the needs and experiences of our guests are. Our platform delivers an enhanced sensory environment that meets guests where they are.

We see the role of technology, especially in wellness, as enabling a more robust real-life experience and human connection.

Inventing a new category of physical space design

We are quite certain that we are onto the next level of physical space sensory design and technology, or what we like to call AEE (Activated Experiential Environments). Our use of a screen is to convey a sense of place, simulating incredible destinations around the world (and the universe, as is the case with some of our galaxy images). The software we have built activates the temperature, aromatherapy, and general temperament conditions in our studios, allowing a guest’s choice to match these beautiful environments on the screen, enthralling our guests via the ambient conditions of the place and activity unfolding before their eyes. Acoustic treatment of our studios furthers the experience, simulating the spoken word and the sounds of nature, offering vibrational resonance and music to accompany any given session.

The modulation and placement of lighting, accompanied by the physical design of the Sanctuary space, enables the guest to move from the place they came from earlier in their day to the place we are sending them. All of this is wrapped in an automated software system we have designed and built, allowing the guest to make choices in advance through our Sanctuary app. They can customize scenery, vibrational or ambient sounds, temperature, or aromatherapy to support their practice intentions, be it a 60-minute meditation, sound healing, yoga or breathwork session, followed by 30-minutes of “free time” to rejuvenate in an extended savasana or luxuriate in the en-suite rainfall shower stocked with sustainable Sangre de Fruta botanical products.

Taking guest services to a whole new level

Since the guest makes their choices through the Sanctuary app before arriving, once they pass through the Sanctuary gates, they are instantly transported and invited to just be. There are no transactions and no fussing to get your mat down in the right place or coat hung up in a hurry. Instead, dim lights, lush textures, serene hues and an inviting scent meet the senses.

A friendly docent (with direct access to the centralized dashboard) is ready to greet each guest by name, checking in to confirm or update their session preferences. Then, the docent invites the guest to enjoy some Miro tea (centering, calming or energizing blends) before escorting them to their private yoga sanctuary. At Sanctuary, each private studio is a luxurious and serene space, already set up by the docent with all the props a guest might need to return to their life energized or relaxed, depending on what kind of sanctuary (or yoga class) they are seeking.

This, we believe, is the true benefit of the system we have built—seamless centralized technology built for real human-to-human conversations around the intent of our guests and their private sanctuary. After closing the door to their private sanctuary each guest can experience their choices playing out without the need for any further interaction with technology of any sort. They are left in blissful solitude to just bend, breathe or be.

A Special “Thank You” from Sanctuary

We are so grateful to those guests who continue to arrive at this safe harbor, seeking us out as an essential part of their self-care. We hope you enjoy reading the reviews as much as we have enjoyed talking to each guest about their experiences. Your feedback has been honest and invitational.

We look forward to taking the next steps in our journey together. You can join our email community or to receive texts about new offers, yoga classes, wellness programs and new openings.

If you live near Seattle and have not had a chance to visit us yet, please do! Please think about what you might need to sustain your presence and connection throughout the holiday season or share with a loved one. Our friendly and wise docents are ready to welcome you whenever you are.

With gratitude,

Robert Martin

Founder & CEO, Sanctuary

Sanctuary is the most personal, immersive wellness studio experience in the universe.