Asheville, N.C., is full of Southern charm, but there’s one place that made a bigger impression on us than anything else. Established in 2012, OM Sanctuary is a non-profit organization where guests go to get away, embrace sustainable living, and reduce stress. The mission of the sanctuary is to inspire healthy lifestyle practices through holistic education and connection with nature.
”For us, it’s not just about mind, body, and spirit. It’s also about nature. That’s an integral tentpole of what we do," Executive Director Jonathan Frappier told the Live Be Yoga team.
The property was a privately owned mansion in the 1800s, and was turned into a bed and breakfast in the 1980s. Since the change of ownership, OM Sanctuary founder Shelli Stanback has gathered a capable team to transform the property into a peaceful place for the community. OM Sanctuary is a great place for renowned yoga and meditation teachers to come teach, experience a getaway of their own, and create relationships with the community. Jonathan and Shelli are also passionate about the land itself -- OM Sanctuary is composed of 54 acres of land, and 40 of those acres are protected as a conservation easement. “We want to retain that conservation easement, so that there will always be an urban forest here, even though we’re only a 5-minute drive from downtown," Jonathan explained.
Jonathan and Shelli both aspire to build OM Sanctuary into an easily accessible meditative place for all. They bring in organizations from the Asheville community to teach their guests everything from massage therapy to painting. The Board of Directors aims to create a fully sustainable organization and because of the high demand, they are drawing up plans to create another 1,600 square feet of program space. Currently, the dining hall is a multi-purpose room for yoga classes, meditation, as well as any other class offered. "We are at a place of great opportunity in that we are beginning to build the programs we have in mind that we have been wanting to do. To either produce ourselves or bring in other people to co-produce," Jonathan said.
OM Sanctuary is also deeply focused on the nourishment of their guests, so they've partnered with Asheville's Green Sage Cafe, a fully sustainable, non-GMO health food restaurant located in downtown Asheville. Jonathan expressed great joy in this partnership because of the restaurant's alignment with OM Sanctuary's care for sustainability and wellness.
The future is bright for OM Sanctuary. For those who desire a true getaway, this place is surely to rejuvenate and reconnect you with yourself and the planet.
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