I’m off to Portland Oregon and will be exploring some yoga there ~ excited to see what I find!
Will add to this post with some options and info about the Portland Yoga scene
Getting Lost and Food: So… my first day in Portland, I got lost. Fortunately, Portland has an amazing public transportation system, so I was able to find my help with the help of many strangers… also, went to an amazing restaurant called Habibi that serves Lebanese (Greek like) food… the owner knew that I had been lost and was hungry, so kindly offered me some free hummus and pita ~ WOW! I ordered a gin and tonic and some awesome spinach and lentil soup (came with MORE pita) ~ YUM! Most of the menu is old family recipes… top secret! So definetely one to try when you come to Portland!
I’ve found there are some similarities with Portland and Sacramento… there is much cultural diversity,various ethnicities, sexual orientation, etc. And for that, it feels like home. I just stumbled into “Public Domain” coffee house (on my way to a restaurant where I left my Visa card on accident!) and saw a friendly face with long dread locks. We talked for a bit as he was making my Soy Vanilla Latte (no extra charge for the Soy and rice milk also offered as an option!). It came up that I am from Sacramento and turns out that he is originally from Sacramento, too ~ we remember each other from the coffee houses he used to work at (Tupelo and Naked)… Out of all the coffee houses I could have stumbled in to ~ How cool is that? *Update to #2: Looks like all independent coffee shops here offer rice in addition to soy ~ cool!
One thing I have noticed here in Portland is that being a healthy vegetarian here is a breeze! TONS of veg only restaurants and food carts. Even the “meat serving” places have great veg options (lots of vegetables, beans, tofu options, etc.). Yah! There is even a mini vegan mall consisting of the following spots: Clothing Company: www.herbivoreclothing.com, Bakery: www.sweetpeabaking.com, Grocery Store: www.foodfightgrocery.com, Tattoo Shop: www.scapegoattattoo.com
Travel Tip: Lesson learned: Do not buy new shoes for a trip. It’s imperative that they be broken in and/or you are ABSOLUTELY SURE they will be fabulously comfortable and supportive! It’s the worst when your feet hurt (especially if you’ll be walking around, exploring a lot) and the pain takes over the joy of your environment. I made the mistake of bringing brand new shoes on my trip and my feeties are paying for it ~ Argh! HAPPILY, I happened to find the most amazing, comfy shoes (bonus: found out they were Vegan after doing a search online for this blog!). Expensive, but well worth it: Jambu Water Divas (much cuter in person, by the way). I’ve been wearing them for a day and a half now and, surprisingly there has been no “break in” needed… they have been comfy, cushy, and suppportive with long days of walks and uphill climbs
Yoga: Took my first yoga class here at a place called “Sprouts“. They offer all classes on a donation only basis and are VERY warm and friendly on your arrival (and departure). The class I took was a beginning Vinyasa style. The teacher, Tess, was very experienced and offered great guidance for proper alignment and for getting deeper in to poses. Skylor, the founder, has an obvious enthusiasm for her work and for making each being feel valued. Sprouts also offers cooking classes and health coaching.
Took another class at a place called “Yoga Union“. Nice place with a little boutique and a locker room and shower (separate areas for men and women). I took a really cool restorative yoga class with Carisa ~ loved it! The next day I took a “Core” class with Angelina. This was an amazing, deep class with long held poses and lots of inner focus and breathing. They have drop in classes for $15 or $25 for a 2 week unlimited class pass (new students to Union).
Lastly, and right before I left for Seattle, I took a meditation class with hypnotherapist Scott Duvall. Scott is extremely welcoming and it is obvious that he great values each person that walks through his doors. He goes out of his way to genuinely make people feel special. In addition to all that, he is a gifted meditation leader integrating breath with visualization, chakra focus, as well as time to simply focus on breath. He offers a free meditation class Sundays from 10-11:30am.
Portland Sites: Had a trip to Multnomah Falls (described as “a 611-foot-tall roaring, awe-inspiring cascade of icy water, lets you experience the power and beauty of nature up close and with ease” on the website: www.oregon.com/attractions/multnomah_falls), which is about a half hour from downtown Portland, today ~ beautiful! You can take a very short walk (hike?) to the bridge and feel amazing “Sprinkles” of water on your skin from the falls or you can hike up about a mile or so (steep, so a nice workout!) and see some gorgeous streams. The weather has been ideal since I’ve been in Porland… many days of sun (in the seventies), a couple of days of skies filled with dark clouds, and one day of rain. I like diversity!