Meet Your Neighbor: Dharmic Spruce Studio & Spa

Homer woman creates community space for wellness and well being

Dharmic Spruce Studio & Spa is a boutique studio offering wellness and well-being to community members through body and skin care services.

A movements and yoga studio for sports-based to workout to yoga practice, studio classes are offered per class, by punch card, and by membership, and one day a week, by donation. Class sizes are limited to 12 people in order to be safe and to provide individualized attention. Yoga classes include Vinyasa, where poses are synchronized with the breath to create a continuous rhythmic flow; Community Flow, suitable for those new to yoga as well as all levels; Ashtanga, which incorporates a series of six poses taught in order; Midday Movements, a shorter, lunchtime class intended for all levels; Hatha, a slow paced approach to breathing and stretching; and Deep Stretch, which provides slow, deep movements.

Private yoga instruction is also available, as are workout classes including High Intensity Interval Training, which incorporates high intensity movements and short periods of lower intensity movements.

Spa services are available to men, women and youth and include hair care, such as cut, color, and blowout, and skin care, such as facials, waxing, acne treatment, and brow, lip, and lash tinting and waxing.

“Our clients are everyone from teens battling skin eruptions to men getting facials to women getting waxed,” owner Branden Elde said. “I might treat a mom for skin care and lashes and her teenager for acne help and her husband for body waxing, for example.”

In the wellness boutique are crystals, yoga equipment and clothing, jewelry, lash and skin care, shower steamers, candles, bath bombs, body lotions, salves, travel mugs, lip balms, cleansing creams, gift items, and more.

Elde and her team offer a boutique setting with everything included.

“We’re multi-faceted within one little spot here, offering healing for the body and spirit,” Elde said. “We’re here for the everyone in the community, not just the yogi or the spa goer. Some people come for the spiritual energy of healing sessions with skin care, and others come for the yoga workout. We are a community studio and our doors are open to everyone.”

Operating from the Many Rivers building out East End Road, Elde provides the skin care services and she and her team of six others teach the classes. Some of the instructors are new to the community and some are longstanding residents and have taught at the cabin before.

Raised in Seward, Elde spent 20 years living in Anchorage and Girdwood. A licensed hairdresser in Alaska since 2004 and a licensed medical esthetician focusing on plant-based treatments since 2015, she completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in Mexico in 2017. While she dreamed of offering yoga and fitness classes online so that she could travel the world and bring people together in wellness at the same time, she made plans to open a studio in Anchorage. Having ordered all of her studio equipment and securing a space, the pandemic closed everything and she put her dream on hold, her items in storage and moved to Homer to be closer to the ocean and her partner, Jonathan Adams.

Unsure of what she wanted to do in Homer, Elde began offering small online classes until she felt the online yoga class market was exhausted, leaving people feeling overwhelmed, and she didn’t want to add to that. Hopeful that businesses would reopen, she shared with friends and community members her desire to open a studio and spa.

“The pandemic was very hindering,” she said. “I saw this beautiful offering for the community and walked the delicate line of being new to the community and honoring the safety of the community.”

In early 2021, the owners of Many Rivers offered her use of their space.

“My situation fell apart to pull together,” Elde said. “All of a sudden, everything came together. This cabin has been a staple within the local yogic and meditation community for 20 years and I was excited at the opportunity to breathe new life into it while also upholding that history.”

With the name Dharmic Spruce, Elde melds yoga’s history in India with her own Alaska Aleut heritage — “Dharma,” Indian for inner truth, truer self and trusting one’s self, and “Spruce,” as in Alaska’s Sitka Spruce trees, along with the Native cultural philosophy of offering traditional practices within the community and honoring nature.

Elde’s short-term goals include expanding her classes to include more sports-based opportunities for athletes and expanding her marketing outreach. Her long-term goals include building a retreat center within the community where food can be grown and clients can stay and enjoy services on site.

“I grew up hearing that change is inevitable and I love that,” she said. “I love when things evolve and come to fruition. I’m a very driven person and constantly evolving and I enjoy watching other people and business owners in the community evolving too.”

Find Dharmic Spruce Studio & Spa at 1044 East End Road in the Many Rivers building. For more information on services and specials and to sign up for classes and treatments, visit

Photos by Joshua Veldstra
Dharmic Spruce yoga instructors (from left to right) Allie Setterquist, Rachael Schmoker, Branden Elde, Marin Lee, Sonya Fry, Britt Huffman, are photographed together in April at Dharmic Spruce.

Photos by Joshua Veldstra Dharmic Spruce yoga instructors (from left to right) Allie Setterquist, Rachael Schmoker, Branden Elde, Marin Lee, Sonya Fry, Britt Huffman, are photographed together in April at Dharmic Spruce.