Yoga Pearl + a local yoga studio’s winding growth

Alia Sebben renames her local studio and expands to Portland

By Jess Mordacq Oct 8 2021

Credit: Yoga Pearl

After a few months settling into her yoga company’s new brand and location at 900 W. Pearl Street, Alia Sebben fields questions from participants in the weekly noon vinyasa flow class she teaches on Wednesdays.

As we chat at the front of the studio, a woman inquires about a more-challenging course, another for soothing skin cream on one of a few small tables next to the front desk.

A first-time student says the bird of paradise pose was trickier than expected, before adding that he’ll return. A man who works down the block wanders in, asking about the studio’s $22 drop-in price, and Alia hands him a few free class cards for his co-workers.

Alia launched Amana Yoga in 2014 and, after two location changes and the opportunity to acquire her foundational studio in Portland, Oregon, she started Yoga Pearl in March. The name fits Boulder’s iconic street full of other local businesses, where the studio relocated after Alia held classes at various temporary locations for six months before opening for in-person sessions in May.

As indoor businesses reopen, Yoga Pearl sees 8-20 people per class. Credit: Yoga Pearl
Yoga after a moderate hike in the front range. Credit: Yoga Pearl

Yoga Pearl offers 38 classes every week — eight of which Alia teaches herself — ranging from fitness-oriented vinyasa to slow-moving and meditative hatha. Yoga Pearl’s sound bath event incorporates drums, flutes, gongs, bells, chimes, Tibetan bowls and vocals to calm still, meditating students. Membership starts at $49 for unlimited classes with $108-per-month subsequent payments.

Though the studio holds socially distanced and masked indoor classes, last spring, Alia started organizing regular sessions at North Boulder Park or after a full-moon hike, where participants meet at a trailhead for a walk before practicing slow flow yoga, sometimes with candles and live music.

Expanding West 

Alia Sebben. Credit: Yoga Pearl

Late last year, Alia acquired Portland, Oregon, studio Yoga Pearl with the help of local investor Canard Ventures. This was a homecoming of sorts for Alia, who fell in love with yoga a decade ago while living in Portland and taking classes from her first mentor at Yoga Pearl. When the owner told her she was selling the studio during the pandemic, Alia jumped on the opportunity.

With a previous lease ended, Alia is currently hunting for a home for Yoga Pearl in Portland. She plans to operate in temporary locations, like she did starting out in Boulder, and operating classes online and outdoors with local instructors in Oregon.

In both states, Alia plans to collaborate with local licensed medicine practitioners and massage therapists to offer yoga-adjacent services. For example, she’s bringing in an acupuncturist on October 17 to the Boulder location in which participants will receive acupuncture while in various restful yoga poses. free, seasonal wellness talks about healthy eating and work-life balance to decrease stress for the modern person.