Ironworks Yoga Teacher Alok Rocheleau

Berkeley Ironworks has a new yoga teacher for Friday evenings. Alok Rocheleau, will be joining the staff of amazing yoga instructors at the gym.

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 From a young age Alok Rocheleau has been interested in this  union, finding it in nature and the arts.  Alok started his journey with asanas 12 years ago with a background as a personal trainer and athlete. In 2004, he took the 200-hour yoga teacher training at Mount Madonna Center, which focuses on classical Ashtanga yoga through the teachings of Baba Hari Das. Hari Das is a master yogi whose silent example and emphasis on karma yoga inspired Alok to stay at the community and teach yoga for a year. Since then he has been back to MMC three times to assist the yoga teacher training.  In the last 5 years he traveled extensively, studying a variety of yoga styles including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Shadow, Acroyoga, and Hatha. He likes to creatively blend all styles, emphasizing the union of breath, body and mind infused with a sense of play.   Alok has also taught regularpranayama (breathing practices) and meditation classes.

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Pringle Presentation

Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle has been getting after it. In the past year, he has traveled across the world climbing some of the best routes and boulder problems. In between his ninja assassin ascents, Pringle managed to get great footage of the climbing he's done.

On Saturay, June 16th, Pringle will hosting a dyno clinic at Ironworks.  Pringle will be showing 15 climbers the techniques necessary to make enormous moves.  Afterwards, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pringle will be showing a number of climbing movies.  There will be footage from his trip to Red Rocks with former Touchstone setter Mark Heal, there will be a bit about the first ascent of a new 5.14d he completed at Mount Charleston, and footage from Huecos Rancheros, a video featuring some of the best bouldering in Hueco.

There is no maximum number for the presentation but folks need to pre-register as there will be beer and pizza.

Member Interview: Lisa Feather Knee

Recently, long time Touchstone Member Lisa Feather Knee climbed her first 5.12a at the Berkeley Ironworks lead cave.  Knee, who hails from Santa Fe, New Mexico, works as an artist painting large colorful oils and making serigraphs with acrylic paint.  The Touchstone blog got a hold of the rock crushing artist shortly after he send. 

Knee began climbing 12 years ago when a friend took her out to a local crag.  “All was going well until the point when I realized I would have to let go and trust the rope to get me back on ground. That's when the screaming started. After that I was hooked.” Knee started a membership at Mission Cliffs shortly afterwards.


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Yoga For Beginners

Want some strenghth and flexibility? Need an active way to stay fit and healthy? Berkeley Ironworks is offering a 4 weeks series of classes called Yoga for Beginners.  The class will be taught by Eleni Gekas.

The Yoga for Beginners Series is perfect for people who are new to the practice of yoga as well as more seasoned students who want to review the basics. The classes will build on each other and will include basic postures, alignment, breathing and meditation techniques.  Yoga is an ancient tool for self-awareness, strength, and flexibility; it is a way to explore, open, and calm bodies and minds

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Michael Reynolds at Ironworks

Michael Reynolds, a bay area born and raised photographer has a series of fantastic photographs adorning the walls of Berkeley Ironworks currently.  The east bay gym's artist of the month, Reynolds began hiking and climbing in Yosemite and the Sierra as a teenager.  “My photography was an out-growth of going the mountains and exploring.  I was also a bit of a photography geek in high school.  I was the kid with the camera, taking pictures for the high school yearbook, fussing around in the darkroom, etc.  It really started as a vehicle for sharing my vision of the outdoors.”

Reynolds photography includes images from the Southwest, the mountains of the western United States and the Pacific coastal areas.

Half Dome Moon

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Warming Up The Community

Winter finally arrived in the Bay area.  The cold wet weather will be around for a few weeks.  There are numerous people in the Bay who have a hard time staying warm through these periods of rain and sleet.  Brittini Tanebaum, an AmeriCorps Program Coordinator and Ironworks member, is conducting a winter clothing drive to benefit the underprivileged youth of Berkeley.   

The clothing drive is being run through an organization called Playworks ( by a group of AmeriCorps members.  AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to serving communities that are in need.



Clothing donations


From Thursday January 19th until Friday, February 3rd, bins will be located inside Berkeley Ironworks for clothing donations.  The drive has a number of different sites.  When everything is collected, the clothing will be distributed to different elementary schools throughout the East Bay and anything that is left over will be donated to charity.

Take the time to donate some of your warm garments to kids who need them.

Ironworks Desk Staffer Firing Off Tablelands Problems

The volcanic tablelands of Bishop California are a huge area of steep, juggy climbing. Off the radar from the normal Happy and Sads area are a dozen other locations that require a little bit of exploring to find. Becky Trafecanty made a recent video of gun toting hardman and Ironworks desk staffer, Justin Alarcon, firing off a couple more obscure classic tablelands problems. The weather is great in Bishop right now.

A recent storm dropped the temperatures. There's no snow and there's no crowds. Come out to Bishop!

Eric Ahnmark "Wonder of Rock"


An exhibit of fourteen photos depicting landscape photography across the United States, "Wonder of Rock: Images of the West" will be displayed on the walls of Berkeley Ironworks for the month of January. The exhibit is Eric Ahnmark's second showing at the gym.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Ahnmark became obsessed with the western United States taking many spring and summer trips to the desert southwest. Ahnmark spent two years working for the National Park Service in Tuscon, where his passion for the desert mixed with a new found desire to photograph. Ahnmark worked to capture the silhouettes of Saguaro cacti, the colors of the rock, and the beauty of the Grand Canyon State.


Stop by Berkeley Ironworks to see Ahnmark's wonderful pictures.
To see more of his work, check out Ahnmark's website.

Guide Tennies at Ironworks


Getting to the crag can be a chore. Hiking down the North Dome Gully, descending the East Ledges, or even trying to stumble out of the boulders after a long day of pebble crushing can be a laborious task. It's important to treat your feet well as they care you to and from your next rad rock climb. One of the best things you can do for your feet is get some solid approach shoes. Stop stubbing your toes in flip flops, and don't be burdened with enormous boots.


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Cal Prep at Ironworks

Cal Prep Heads to Ironworks

On October 12th, fifteen students from Cal Prep headed to Berkeley Ironworks to check out the climbing gym. The students were completely new to rock climbing but the Ironworks staff helped the kids climb for the first time. “The instructors were incredibly conscientious, patient, enthusiastic and skilled, which made the whole experience all the more enjoyable,” said Rachel Niederman, a faculty member at Cal Prep. “The gear check-out/check-in was easy, and the gym was so impressive and exciting for our students to see.”

Read more: Cal Prep at Ironworks

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