Open Space Founder
Over the years, people have asked what ‘kind’ of yoga I teach. My response: I teach what I know and in every class, I learn.
“There is a lifetime of learning in yoga and no deadlines,” I wrote in a 2004 article for a grassroots paper, The Local, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I was enjoying one last season there after falling under the spell of Alaska. After re-reading that piece, which intended to dispel some of the mystery and confusion surrounding a very full field of Yoga interpretations, I found that phrase spoke the loudest to me today.
Over 25 years into my yoga exploration, I find myself still scraping the surface and I am humbled daily by all the great teachings, teachers, and practices yet unexplored. Since I began practicing Yoga, I graduated college, had the privilege to roam as a shoe-string traveler in distant lands (the real university), wandered up to Alaska intrigued and challenged by the world of “bush flying”, co-created and ran Laughing Lotus for 6 years, became a Mom (twice) and founded Open Space, which I truly believe is a center for community. Throughout that adventurous half of my life, yoga in her many forms, has been a constant and grounding force. My curious nature and years of living a gypsy lifestyle exposed me to a diversity of trainings over the years.
By chance, the exacting alignment principles and therapeutic applications of Iyengar Yoga set a good foundation early on in my education. The focus on body in those classes was perfect for my gymnastic background and college mindset. After graduation from CU Boulder in 1994, my love of yoga and mountains took me to the Himalayas and India. At the Bihar School of Yoga, I quickly realized that the body was just one layer, level or sheath of yogic focus. In ashram life, asana (physical postures) were practiced in the sunrise hours only and the rest of the day was dedicated to other profound and spirited yoga practices. From Karma (selfless service) to bhakti (the yoga of devotion) to Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation) and meditation, a veil was lifted and there was no turning back. I knew that Yoga offered many “lifetimes of learning” opportunities. For years to follow I continued my exploration, attending workshops, seminars, and trainings every chance I got. I thrived on the diversity of offerings out there and learned from each and every teacher (even those I did not resonate with). Every practice teaches me something new about ‘me’ if I pay attention. From heat building and fluid styles of Ashtanga Vinyasa and “flow” to grounding and restorative Yin yoga to the cleansing Kriyas, breath-work and meditations of Kundalini, I feel blessed to have such a vast and eclectic trove from which to practice and teach.
In February, 2009 I attended the Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with renowned Kundalini teacher Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa in Hollywood, CA. One year later, I experienced the greatest lessons of all when I gave birth to my beautiful daughter and daily guru, Stella Pilar. Four and a half years on and a huge shift in lifestyle (moving from individual to parent), we invited another little teacher into our lives, Evan Zev. It is with great love and respect for all women that I teach both Prenatal Yoga and Baby & You classes.
More recently, I have turned my sights on the enriching poetry of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Discussion and chanting of the Sutras brings them to life in a very personal way. This led me to the Level 5 Maya Yoga training in the summer of 2010. Through a traditional and multi-layered practice, Maya has developed the “un-system” of yoga where the “practice is the teacher” and the individual is encouraged to connect with spirit through self exploration. For more than 15 years I have trained and hosted Nicki Doane, co-founder of Maya yoga in Huelo, Maui.
I have come to realize that yoga coupled with conscious touch (adjustments) brings a certain amrit or nectar to our practice. Five years ago, I finally had the opportunity to open a door to the wonders and yumminess of Thai Bodywork, which happens to be the perfect complement to a life of yoga practice and teaching. So far, I have completed 3 levels of training with my dear friend and co-teacher, Lindsey Britt and 45 hours with Sukha Wong, director of the renowned Lotus Palm school of Thai in Montreal, Quebec.
You can find me at Open Space teaching drop-in Yoga classes, immersions and trainings, progressive workshops, private yoga and, of course, giving Thai Bodywork. Please feel free to call or email with your questions or to book a session.
One breath at a time,
I found my way to yoga in 1999 after graduating from college. Staying at my family’s home for the summer, I remember feeling bored and looking for something to do, a way to stay in shape. I remembered my mom practicing yoga when I was very young, remembered her talking about her classes and her teacher. I pulled out one of her old yoga books and got started. That was the moment my life changed, and I have been practicing ever since. I started with Hatha Yoga, and began practicing Kundalini Yoga in 2006. I obtained my 200 hour certification as a Level One Instructor of Kundalini Yoga, through the Kundalini Research Institute in New Mexico, in 2008. I obtained my 200 hour Hatha Yoga certification in 2011. The journey, into student, into student and teacher, has been amazing! As a teacher, what I want is to help you wake up to who you truly are, to what you truly are, to help you experience the beauty of your soul and the potential of your life.
I am imaginative and intuitive with a strong desire to challenge myself. I love the heat of the sun, coconut ice cream, and living near the mountains! I believe in the power of good and believe everything happens for a reason. I participated in a yoga immersion with Open Space in 2013; a teacher training in 2014 and 2016. Since 2014, I dove deeper into the 8-limb path, studying the yamas and niyamas. To keep my inner yogi fed, I recently completed a Thai yoga bodywork training and continue to sign up for workshops and retreats. I've been teaching Power Yoga at Open Space since 2015. Power yoga combines my love of vinyasa flow and the freedom to play! My classes are layered to increase heat but modifications for poses make it perfect for all levels. Whether boogying to fun playlists or creating space for silence and focusing on our breath, our inner goddess or inner warrior - when practiced with intention, our yoga can move mountains. Resilience is born when we stay in the fire. Yoga is about the journey within and we all have our own stories to explore. Join me with an open mind. Take what speaks to you and leave the rest.
I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and my parents named me Dietrich after “Dietrich, Alaska” where they met. (Dietrich is pronounced Dee-Trick.) I love Alaska and enjoy camping, hiking, swimming, bowling, dancing, and of course, YOGA! Our family has two five-year-old girls, a six-year-old boy and an eleven-year-old boy that all attend school in Anchorage. We have two dogs, a big silly Labrador named Deshka (another Alaskan name!) and a very old Chihuahua named Pixie. We do a lot of Kidding Around!
“How do you learn to be a mom?” asked Pooh. “You just follow your heart,” answered Kanga. The quote above reflects that the knowledge to be a mother is intuitive inside us if we just listen. Yoga is one tool to help us tune in and listen to what our heart is telling us. I became a mother in 2013 and thus began the most amazing adventure of my life. Even with the experience of guiding vinyasa yoga, kid yoga, and prenatal yoga and interning as a doula, motherhood is a wild ride that is hard to prepare for or fully understand until you take that rite of passage. I love being a mom and look forward to sharing the joys and trials of motherhood with mothers and mothers to be. Come breathe, follow your heart, and move with me!
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Chemical Dependency Counselor II, Substance Abuse Professional, and retired Navy SEAL.
I began practicing Hatha Yoga in October 2010 and after completing a 200 hour yoga teacher training in May 2014, I began learning about iRest Yoga Nidra (Guided Meditation) and am now an iRest Level I Teacher (in training), completing Level I in April 2016.
I believe Hatha Yoga is great for the body and iRest great for the heart/mind. The combination of the physical postures with the Yoga Nidra is perfect for our total well-being. It is vital that we are able to be in touch with our feelings and emotions and appreciate the idea of experiencing them as messengers on our journey. I find the combination of iRest guidance and physical postures a healthy and effective mix in the classes I teach for People in Recovery. The population who gravitate to these classes all share a common challenge: addiction (whether to drugs, alcohol, food, other people or anything else one might use to distract them from their uncomfortable feelings and emotions). If you feel like this is your community and want to experience a Yoga practice specifically catered for people in recovery, please do not hesitate to join us.
Practicing and teaching yoga for 16 years and I’m only starting. Every day I start again and fail in a thousand ways, but less with every passing year and more and more things are making sense. I’ve studied dance, Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga, Acroyoga Yoga, Shadow Yoga, and Thai massage and they are all different, yet same-same. My classes are a melty nourishing soup; spicy asana and decadent meditation. Currently I’m most inspired by my baby boy and my deep need for authentic rest and playful release. I teach yoga teacher trainings, series, workshops and retreats in Alaska and Hawaii.
I was attracted to yoga because of its vigorous physical expression yet calming and meditative qualities. After practicing for 7 years I decided I wanted to share the gift of yoga with others so enrolled in a 2 year teacher training program at Inner Dance Yoga Studio. I have been teaching for over 6 years, with over 500 hours of teaching experienceI combine different disciplines that offer an eclectic experience to my students. I am fascinated by the body and continue to learn through self-study and attending workshops offered by master teachersBy integrating the most current research on body mechanics with the traditional teachings I try to keep my classes constantly evolving. Specializing in teaching students over 50, I offer vigorous classes yet am mindful of the challenges that aging brings to our bodies. Overall I emphasize proper positioning, deep stretches and moving with the breath to connect, hopefully bringing my students to an outwardly exerted but inwardly blissful state by the end of class.
I found yoga (or yoga found me) when I was still in high school. Finding respite from my busy life, this practice challenged me both physically and mentally. I continued my practice throughout college and beyond studying Meditation, Hatha, Yin, Vinyasa, Ashtanga and even Aerial yoga. In college, I connected with other yogis to co-found a yoga club that provided free and collaborative yoga to all students. I lived in a handful of places – Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Barcelona, New York, Texas – before moving to Alaska, but yoga was a constant throughout, a grounding presence when life changed. After 10 years of practicing yoga and occasionally teaching friends, I decided it was time to be properly trained as a yoga teacher and began a year-long journey with Svia and Lindsey through their yoga immersion and teaching program. While I don’t believe we are ever finished learning, I am excited to share my knowledge of yoga with others. I enjoy helping students find their own unique relationship with yoga to serve their needs on the mat and in their life generally.
My first introduction to yoga was a Kundalini class over 27 years ago at the University of Oregon. After that, I was hooked. For the next 10+ years I continued to practice Kundalini whenever and where ever I could. During the same time, Hatha yoga began to gain in popularity, and I started taking classes in gyms and yoga studios. I consider myself a universalist, studying and enjoying many styles, of yoga. I have taken training in an array of styles and fuse together the elements of these styles into my classes. My philosophy is that yoga can be playful yet powerful and through an in-depth exploration of the physical body we can experience the philosophy of yoga in a visceral way.
My journey began in college with a hobby of distance skiing and outdoor adventuring. Hours of training on and off the trails sent me seeking for a softer and more delicate practice: yoga. After completing my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2013, I’ve learned to ride my edge, not just push past it. I learned to give my body the movement it needs for balance and ease. I’ve learned how to feel good in my body again. I can’t wait to share my practice with you, to help you explore your body and practice through intentions and mindful movement, one breath at a time.
My journey with yoga started as a young athlete in the wilderness of Alaska. I was a runner, cross-country skier, and competitive figure skater for 13 years, so stretching was naturally part of my routine. After awhile of participating in classes and slowly learning more, I decided to delve deep into my own yogic practice. I completed my 200 hour Teacher Training at Open Space Alaska with Svia Rothstein and Lindsey Britt. My practice grew steadily and my soul yearned to learn more about myself and of the world around me. I most recently went off on my own to travel the world in Central America, Israel, and Europe and teach my practice. I had the great opportunity to teach at the Yoga Forest in San Marcos, Guatemala and live amongst the great volcanos of Lago Atitlan. I am grateful that I can bring my practice back home where I can continue to learn from others in this heartfelt community and teach my passion.
Iris has been practicing asana off and on since childhood. She is originally from Vermont, but has been in Anchorage for the past 9 years. Now deeply in love with Alaska's land, sea, and sky, Iris loves playing outside. She started sharing her yoga practice in March of 2016, after finishing her 200hr Ayurveda-Yoga Teacher Training through Alaska Pacific University. Currently, Iris is following a path of Jnana yoga (of wisdom and knowledge) as an undergraduate psychology student at UAA. Some of Iris’ favorite things about yoga practice and classes are the adaptability of the practice to meet people where they are, the connection it fosters between practitioners, and the noticeable transformational powers of the practice on the whole self. Iris hopes to share these experiences in her classes, which focus on balance, alignment, breath, and awareness of the whole self. Her practice ranges from a creative Vinyasa flow, to longer powerful holds, all the way to a restorative Yin practice.
April Rochford, RYT
The practice. The love, the hate. The joy, the grief. The confidence, the doubt. The practice.
April’s practice embraces all aspects of being a thriving and vibrant speck of stardust in this timeless universe.
Trained in Hatha yoga of Iyengar lineage under Margi Clifford and Margo Sorum, April brings the ancient knowledge of asana practice to her students, skillfully intertwining it with Western anatomical information, therapeutic applications, philosophy, mythology, and humor. Her own practice began in 2001 after graduating high school, and has since grown with her through college, career, motherhood and marriage.
April draws on her scientific background (B.S. Biological Sciences) to describe key principles of alignment and breath work. She has a strong interest in the science of meditation, as well as yoga’s potential to compliment professional mental health treatment. Having relied heavily on yoga to navigate the realms of anxiety and depression, she empathetically shares these techniques with others. April also provides a philosophical and spiritual context for the asana practice, offering depth and insight into the physical postures of yoga.
April is authentic and light-hearted, creating an atmosphere of acceptance and accessibility for yogis of all levels. Her love for and devotion to the practice of yoga radiate from her teaching. She cherishes her practice, and gladly shares it with her students.
Yoga has been a central part of my life for almost two years, and my practice has helped me grow stronger, more flexible, and fearless, both on and off the mat. Yoga inspires me to live each moment more mindfully. For the last couple years I have been a sponge, and now I have grown a passion for passing on the freedom I have found through yoga. I am completing my 200 hour Vinyasa Flow training with Anchorage Yoga and Cycle by the end of 2017. I shall always be a student of yoga and am deeply grateful for the loving wisdom my mentors have shared with me. In my classes, I combine creative flow sequencing, with a spirit of playfulness, and a dose of inspiration to help you deepen your practice. I seek to help others thrive in life by nurturing body, mind and soul with yoga. My hope is that you step off the mat feeling refreshed, nourished and balanced.
I found yoga after a knee injury forced me to stop mountain running and I decided I needed another form of torture, so I signed up for a bikram yoga class. I was pleasantly surprised that yoga was challenging for me, so I continued. After about 3 years of practicing I decided to immerse myself in yoga and completed my 200 hour teacher training at Anchorage Yoga. Afterwards, I wasn't sure I would teach but found that I loved sharing how yoga transformed my body, mind, and more importantly my spirit. I found a need for yoga within my profession and started a self care group for mental health practitioners. As a community, we come together to practice letting go of our unwanted and unneeded stress, collectively share our energy, and most importantly to laugh and smile. My classes are based in the fundamentals and focus on breathing, connecting breath and movement, and relaxing and restoring the body and mind. I am continually amazed at what this practices teaches me and believe that I am on this journey with those I teach. So, if you are in a caring profession or just in need of some self-care, join us! All are invited!
Movement is my passion and Pilates is my tool of choice for empowering people to reach their movement goals.
My love for exercise and the outdoors was instilled in me while growing up running and hiking with my family in the mountains of Buena Vista, Colorado. This passion led me to earn a B.S in Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Regis University in 2010. Throughout college and graduate school, I competed competitively in triathlons and ultra-distances trail running, and finished Ironman Wisconsin and the Boston Marathon. I have lived and worked as a physical therapist in Anchorage since 2012 and was first introduced to Pilates while recovering from a series of knee surgeries that sidelined me from all the physical activities I loved. I discovered a new way of thinking about movement and found a new respect for the gentle and precise exercises of Pilates. Because of the way Pilates helped me recover from my injuries, I knew I had to share this new-found passion with others recovering from injury or dealing with chronic pain.
I received training from Melanie Byford Young at Pacific Northwest Pilates in Portland, Oregon, and in 2016 I earned my STOTT Pilates Rehabilitation Pilates certification. I continue to refine my skills as a Pilates instructor, and enjoy the challenge and creativity required for effectively teaching clients of all abilities. Physio Pilates & Wellness was founded in 2017 as a way to continue to inspire and promote physical activity and total-body wellness. I continue to love getting outside everyday with my husband and dogs, and enjoy competing in local mountain bike and ski races.