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Meet David and Leah Warder of Zen Sanctuary in Kensington

Today we’d like to introduce you to David and Leah Warder.

Thanks for sharing your story with us David and Leah. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Our story could be a long one and quite romantic if you ask us. We met in high school as neighbors, we were best friends for years through college and relationships, traveling and living in different places. We were both introduced to massage at a young age. We have family friends who own Healing Hands School. In 2010 when we both ended up in southern California, we decided to get certified in massage together. It was in our first course that we started getting the tingles and jingles for each other. From there everything just fell into place. We graduated and began developing our private practice, Warder Bodywork, at a studio called Zen Sanctuary. Eventually we purchased Zen Sanctuary from the previous owner and that was almost 4 years ago. We now have an amazing team of 8 other therapists, two estheticians and an Acupuncturist.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The main challenges we had could be chalked up to growing pains. When we started we were essentially just renting a single room. We were motivated to increase our branding and marketing which by nature created friction because we were working alongside Zen Sanctuary’s previous owner who had his own agenda and ideas. We were in the process of looking for our own location and sad that we’d have to leave, when he decided he was ready to retire and move on to new things. Thankfully, he gave us the opportunity to take over the business and we jumped.

Taking one step at a time continues to be our struggle. We have so many ideas and inspiration for the directions we want to grow and for community outreach. We have two young girls and are in the process of remodeling our home so we just have to remind ourselves that we are doing great. Enjoying the present moment is a constant practice.

Zen Sanctuary – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Often times, new clients say they feel calm and relaxed just walking in the front door. We believe that there is an essence and respect for a space that has been used for healing for more than 12 years. It truly is a sanctuary of healing. At Zen we offer full spectrum and holistic skin care, bodywork, traditional oriental healing namely acupuncture, as well as many specialty massages like cranio sacral therapy, prenatal care, energy healing, and Asian influenced mat massage. We specialize in therapeutics healing. We often joke that we are not a fluff and buff, meaning we don’t just approach our treatments as superficial pampering. We cater to individuals who are looking to heal pain and maintain their optimal body. While we do host the occasional spa party, our regular clientele consists of people recovering from injuries or looking to maintain their active lifestyle. Our team is highly knowledgeable and the majority of us have been working together for many years. We aim to be active members in the community and develop meaning full relationships with our clients.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Our definition of success is having the freedom to set your own schedule, but loving your career so much that you enjoy working. It’s all about balance. We love being able to be home with our girls and then also love that we leave them to go to such a serene and quiet place where people are happy to see us.


  • $95 for 60 min Massage
  • Skin Care services vary with a 50 min Zen Facial starting at $90
  • An initial 90 min Acupuncture exam is $140 and follow up hours are $108

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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