Blossom House is a collective of artists, teachers, facilitators, practitioners, and folks with a keen eye on social justice and a passion for cultivating healthy and resilient communities.
Amanda Bent is a Registered Yoga Teacher, RYT-200, in Tantra Yoga. She also loves Core, Power, New Yoga, Kundalini, Moving Meditation, Vinyasa Flow, and Hatha Yoga. Amanda teaches Yoga Variations which is a class for exploring different branches and concepts in yoga. While her classes will always have roots in tradition, they will also be approached creatively. Students are encouraged to bring concepts and practices to the mat. Expect either a traditional class with sequences and approaches from various branches blended together, or a workshop style class where subjects such as modifications or inversions are discussed at length. All levels of yoga experience are welcome.
Kendra Calhoun, MS, RYT 200
Kendra Calhoun is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. Kendra began studying Thai Bodywork (Norat Boran) in 2012. She began practicing yoga seriously in 2009 and received her 200 RYT certification in 2013 from Yandara Yoga Institute (RYS). She’s been teaching yoga to children in after school programs in Alaska and has also taught and assisted adult yoga classes in and around the Fairbanks area (Infinite Yoga, UAF Yoga Club, Lathrop High School, Tanana) for the last couple of years. She’s also completed workshops with Lynne Minton and Sara Joy Marsh.
Kendra enjoys working with individuals who are new to yoga or who may have a specific yoga goal in mind that they can work toward together. She does her best to provide information and movement that is best suited to her students needs incorporating Thai body techniques into her yoga practice and teaching.
Jessica Christenson, RYT 200, PT
Jessica Christenson was first introduced to yoga while studying theatre during college where yoga was used as a tool to help understand the characters portrayed on stage more fully. She continued her practice of yoga through her journey from Colorado to Alaska. She studied Capoiera, a Brazilian martial art, and yoga helped her body to remain fluid during the long training periods.
The mind body relationship that developed through her yoga practice was most helpful during both of her pregnancies and labor. Feeling the desire to train women to give birth in a physically and mentally empowering way led Jessica to become certified as a PT aid, a Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist, a Birth Doula, and a 200 hr RYT Parana Vinyasa Flow teacher.
Jessica believes having a strong pelvic basket creates a strong individual, capable of utilizing their body to its fullest potential. Her website can be found here: Parvati Birth and Wellness.
Jody Hassel, M.F.A., E-RYT, TCTSY-F
Jody Hassel is a third generation Alaskan and was raised in Fairbanks. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing which she has put to use as a teacher in Alaska since 1995. Miss Hassel taught English and Drama for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for ten years at Ryan Middle School and Effie Kokrine Charter School.
Through her writing and work, Jody shares an understanding of personal and community struggles and the ways in which yoga and the arts create access to healing and shared power. Jody is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) and is certified as a Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator (TCTSY-F) by the Justice Resource Institute’s Center for Trauma and Embodiment in Boston. She currently teaches both English and Yoga classes at UAF and is the founder and Executive Director of Blossom House, a nonprofit service organization providing accessible, trauma-informed interventions to isolated communities in Fairbanks.
Jody is part of a collective of artists and yogis who practice at Fairbanks Correctional Center, Fairbanks Youth Facility, and Family Centered Services Residential Treatment Center (formerly the Boys and Girls Home). She and her colleagues at Blossom House work with people to create healthy strategies fostering effective action toward community wellness and resilience.
Misty Nickoli is a social advocate whose primary focus is on Indigenous peoples of Alaska. She uses her gifts as an organizer, strategist, artist, poet, actor, writer and motivational speaker to bring awareness to inequities that marginalized people are subject to as well as to inspire and activate allies in positive social change.
Misty received a B.A. in psychology from University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2015. She became a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2011. She uses her educational background to address social inequities from a multidimensional perspective. She was a founding core group member and strategist of the Free the Fairbanks Four social movement. She is a founding member of Breadcrumbs Theater, which seeks to give voice to marginalized populations especially to youth.
Misty has been speaking publicly for 23 years addressing topics such as the cycle of substance abuse in family systems, socio-economic inequities of the prison industrial complex, Alaska Native empowerment, strengthening cross cultural collaboration and communication, suicide awareness and childhood abuse.
In February of 2016 Misty spoke on how the wrongful imprisonment of the Fairbanks Four affected her experience as a mother to Indigenous sons for TEDx. In April of 2016 she acted in a leading role in The Winter Bear, a play addressing suicide awareness and the need for developing safety networks within Indigenous Alaskan communities.
Misty is currently working on designing a cross cultural communication class for Explore Fairbanks. In her spare time she is engaged in the ongoing project of writing an autobiography to bring awareness to the challenges adults face when processing severe childhood trauma.
Solveig Pedersen, M.A., CPC
Solveig Pedersen was born and raised in Fairbanks. She is a Certified Professional Coach and holds a master’s degree in Professional Communication. Solveig has been teaching university-level communication courses (public speaking, small group communication, interpersonal communication) since 2006 and became a Certified Professional Coach in 2013. She has a background in nonprofit work - and has worked professionally with issues of peace and nonviolence, literacy, empowerment, women’s wellness, social justice, and youth development. As a coach, Solveig specializes in supporting changemakers and creatives to live, love, and lead with open hearts. She is committed to creating a more peaceful and loving world through her work as a teacher and coach. Solveig resides in Anchorage, but provides life, love, and leadership coaching via distance, and facilitates in person workshops in Fairbanks at the Blossom House throughout the year. You can connect with Solveig via email at email@example.com.
Tristan Wagner Klug BS, RN, CPD
Tristan Wagner Klug was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. Tristan began practicing yoga in 2004 after graduating with a degree in Environmental Biology. As a result of her studies in environmental science she became acutely aware of the complex and fragile state of earth’s ecosystems. Through yoga, Tristan discovered a method to integrate scientific understanding into a larger universal context, allowing her to carry the weight of this knowledge.
In 2005/06 Tristan travelled to India on a Yatra, a journey toward self-discovery. During her stay at bhakti yoga ashrams throughout India, Tristan developed a deep love for the bhakti path and was inspired to share the practice of kirtan with others after returning home. Tristan was blessed to receive bhakti teachings from the ashrams of ISCON Vrindavan of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada, Amritapuri Ashram of Ammachi, Kainchi Ashram of Neem Karoli Baba, Anand Ashram of Swami Ram Das and Shivananda Ashram in Rishikesh of Swami Shivananda.
Tristan has attended workshops with Amy Weintraub on Yoga for depression and anxiety at Mt Madonna Center led by guru Sri Baba Hari Dass in Santa Cruz, CA. She is currently working toward her yoga therapy certification through Amy Weintraub’s Lifeforce Yoga Program.
Tristan hopes to bring a greater sense of connection to others and a deeper understanding of consciousness and sound healing through the sharing of kirtan and yogic chanting.
I do not negate the world; I see it appearing in consciousness, which is the totality of the known in the immensity of the unknown.
― Nisargadatta Maharaj