Insider's Guide to Spas
Modrn Sanctuary

wellness centers

Modrn Sanctuary

Paulina Kajankova

As busy city dwellers our personal journeys to spiritual health and restful escape are filled with roadblocks and challenges. Whatever your special path to self-discovery and healing involves, it’s hard to get there alone. Modrn Sanctuary is a welcoming respite located just in the heart of the Nomad area of New York City. This wellness center offers classes and workshops in hypnotherapy, mindfulness, acupuncture, yoga, stress relief, shamanism, reiki and energy work, nutrition, and more.

Alexandra Janelli, the owner of Modrn Sanctuary, is a well-recognized hypnotherapist and life coach. I knew about Modrn Sanctuary for some time and looked forward to meeting Alexandra, as well as taking a tour of the space she created. We met when I signed up for one of her stress-management workshops. She is a wise sage who instantly made me feel like I could open up. The first thing I noticed upon entering the space was how carefully curated it was to provide a sense of calm and purpose. As an artist, what impressed me was Alexandra’s care for using every inch of her space for good. The walls are dressed up in art from established and up-and-coming artists. This is an exciting place for personal growth.

Modrn Sanctuary is a welcoming respite, offering workshops in mindfulness, acupuncture, yoga, stress relief, shamanism, reiki, energy work, and more.

I enjoyed speaking with Alexandra, who shared her thoughts and vision.


What sort of a background do you bring to the healing space that is Modrn Sanctuary?

I have a degree in Conservation Biology and have worked as an environmental consultant for three years. It was in 2007, when I first saw a hypnotherapist myself for something that I was going through. Within three sessions, I felt such a breakthrough that I felt I could live my life with a much clearer and fulfilling passion. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago, and started a start-up, when I realized my passion for creativity and the desire to help people. This led me to go back to school for hypnotherapy at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute out of California. I moved back to New York in 2012, where I started my practice at the Longevity Health Center. I loved environmental sciences but it wasn’t until I moved into this whole wellness place that I started to realize I wanted more.

How was the idea of Modrn Sanctuary born?

The idea of Modrn Sanctuary started around a Himalayan salt room. I was out in Montauk with my ex-boyfriend at the time in 2015, laying in a Himalayan salt room, listening to a recording of the ocean and some recorded meditation. My boyfriend and I both laughed and said, ‘Wow we can do that so much better.’ I said, ‘Well maybe we want to do a salt room.’

At the time, the lease at this existing wellness center where I was working was up.  The owner was not going to renew the lease, so I took it over. I decided to create a Himalayan salt room here, along with an incredible team of practitioners. I wanted to solidify the sanctuary space first and then put in a Himalayan salt room called Modrn Salt this May.

Did you always want to be in the business of helping people achieve their best selves?

No, that was not my original plan coming out of college. My original plan was to help the environment and do my due diligence to the world in that way. I will say growing up I wanted to be a veterinarian, so I guess that desire to help was always within me. People would always told me that I am really good at giving advice. My therapist in college asked me why I didn’t go into psychology. I really did like taking a couple of psychology classes in college, however I looked at her and said I wouldn’t want her job.  Funny enough, it turns out I do her job but a little differently. I do it through hypnosis and life coaching, which I think really helps people move forward by understanding the pattern of their past.

Now that I’ve started on this pathway I will say that, yes, my desire is to help people achieve their best selves and help them move through stress—which does come through my own personal path of self development.

What is the most challenging part of your workday?

Great question! I would say the most challenging part of my work day is balancing the different hats that I wear. When I wake up, the first thing in the morning I am is a mom to an Australian Shepherd, so my first job is to make sure he is well exercised and taken care of. This starts with a walk in the park. No complaints, it is the best way to start your day, unless there is bad weather.

My next job is managing what my day will look like. There are times I am out of the office doing work for the office and there are times I am in the office seeing clients. Then there are times that I am doing marketing, promoting, social media, networking. A lot of my day is really figuring out how to move between the different roles, which is not easy because at the end of the day you are exhausted. Although when I am exhausted, I realize I am working way too hard and I need to take myself less seriously and have more fun. When I can do that, it really makes the day go much more more smoothly. Managing people, managing expectations is also challenging. With clients you want to jump in the puddle and help them because you’ve been there, but you have to make sure you help them do their work and not do their work for them.

As a business owner, what is your managerial style, and the best way to motivate/inspire employees? 

I like to come at it from the idea of treating people so well that they don’t want to leave, and teach them so much that they can. I am here to inspire. I am here to ask questions. I am here to lead from a place of compassion by also understanding peoples’ strengths and shortcomings in order to build them up and support them. As a manager, it’s really beginning to understand what people need and how can we find a solution that is a win-win for everybody. So, it is not that I never get stressed, I certainly do, but there is always a solution somewhere in between the different fine lines. My motivation comes from holding the light and inspiring people to think differently and finding a different perspective.

What is the most popular treatment/workshop at Modrn Sanctuary right now?

We do get a lot of clients coming in for chiropractic services and acupuncture and hypnotherapy. I think people are really looking for a ways to de-stress. One thing we learned from all the different wellness events is that people are looking for different ways to manage stress.

In your work as a life coach, what type of client are you trying to reach, and why?

I am looking for your stressed-out, high-functioning executives, leaders, and managers. Why? Because their job is so important. Learning how to deal with the human component and the human element is so imperative. We can be so misunderstood, and listening is such a powerful skill. Learning how to listen is important in order to manage people better. I deal with stress management, fear, and anxiety. Those are really the clients I am trying to reach and help.

Would you like to reveal any new upcoming plans?

Our Himalayan salt will be here this Spring, in May. We are also going to be getting some new practitioners, which is very exciting. I think cranial sacral might be on the books, maybe more reiki and shamans. The other thing we are most likely doing is getting a crystal therapy treatment room going.



Paulina Kajankova

Paulina Kajankova

A beauty and fashion blogger since 2006, Paulina Kajankova is a nature-loving country girl at heart. She is a firm believer in chemical-free products and green living and is the Associate Editor of After creating and successfully running the fashion blog le la Moda, which lead to a three-year stint as the fashion and beauty blogger at Organic Spa Magazine, Paulina turned to jewelry design. This editor, designer, and stylist has a knack for finding environmentally friendly yet posh products.