It’s the Great American YogaDork Road Trip. We made it to the West Coast! First stop: Portland, Oregon. Thoughts? Super! Portland welcomed us yanks with open arms and espresso (these northwesterners are serious about their espresso. more on that later)
Our first yoga stop was the lovely Bhaktishop in Portland’s southeast quarter. We took class with co-owner Uma (Diana) who reminded us we practice yoga not only to “feel it” during the sweet spot in class, but to keep our centering even when our world seems to fall apart, or you know, when the green matcha tea tastes like it has dairy in it when we specifically asked for soy (or did we. too busy trying to figure out what X-Files actor the barista reminds me of to remember! #spoiledveganbrats)
In any case, if you’re ever in the Portland area you’ve got to try The Bhaktishop for the loveliest of yoga classes and the friendliest of teachers. Also, for its proximity to probably the coolest food cart pods on the Pacfiic Northwest. See Uma above in her element, behind the harmonium.
With just under 24 hours in Portland we were headed north towards Seattle; this is the YD gypsy tour, not the lollygag brigade!
First, a detour to Astoria, OR through some of the most fantastic foliage we’ve ever seen. These trees (Douglas-firs is it?) are just about the most majestic sights to behold in national forest.
But a trip to Astoria wouldn’t be complete without a litte yoga dance in front of The Goonies house “heyyy youuu guyyyyys!”
The beautiful west coast sunset capped off our Oregon trail as we hit the road to the land of Kurt Cobain, Pearl Jam and espresso. Boy do these North Westerners LOVE their espresso. There are little espresso “huts” all along the highways, right in the middle of nowhere, between two pines. Not regular schmo coffee, ESPRESSO.
We didn’t get to yoga at Yoga Pearl, but the studio but the open airy space has us marking it off as a stop on our way back through Portland. We did, however, enjoy the most delicious lunch at the adjoining cafe called Prasad. Salads, soups and sweet treats to savasana for. YUM.
We made it to Seattle just late enough to catch the most amazing crescent moon! (click to enlarge if you wish)
And just early enough to enjoy a tasty glass of wine from Wente Vineyards in Livermore, CA (remember Karl, the yogi inemaker?). We’re fortunate enough to have Wente co-sponsoring our crazy road trip and providing us with, yes, amazing wines! For our first taste of the vino we had the Tamas Estates Double Decker Red, 2008. It’s a combo of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Barbera, which, in our world, means the most delicious end to our first day full of yoga rambling. Cheers.
Oh Seattle, we came, we saw, we yogad in the sunshine. Then it started to rain and we got sad, wrote a song about it and left. Just kidding! Mostly. We were certainly lucky enough to take in one of the sunniest, summery-est days Seattle’s seen as of late, or so we gathered from the locals who were all smiles about the above 75 degree weather.
Sunday afternoon practice at 8 Limbs Yoga on Capitol Hill with Jessica Jobaris was a real treat. If you don’t know about hasta bandha and pada bandha on your hands and feet we highly recommend you invest in a set of tennis balls stat. Energy people! On your palms and soles! Speaking of, shout out to Yusef at the front desk who was the coolest old soul, and overall nice guy. Seattle was full of old souls, and kind souls, eccentric souls and souls who weren’t quite sure which planet they had arrived from, but came in peace nonetheless.
Like Portland, which has a bountiful yoga scene, Seattle was brimming with yoga options, just not around midday. (seriously, 2-4pm does not exist to Seattle-ites, what gives? a minor gripe). We’re bummed we missed Seattle Yoga Arts, but we did not miss out on Healeo, the yummy vegan cafe at the end of the block. Even the local officials were into the hemp soft serve!
That’s just what seems to be expected in Seattle, where coffeehouses are as varied and prevalent as the grunge references, and they’re not all Starbucks.
Next stop: San Francisco! By way of the Oregon Coast… time to break out the Hugger Mugger travel mat and meditation cushion for deep ruminations gazing pensively out onto the horizon.
Shout out to 97.1 Charlie radio for keeping us rockin’ on the road, Trabant Cafe on St for keeping us chai’d and Papa at Motel 6, for your friendly, yet efficient late-night service.
Check out more photos from the trip at JT Liss Photography on facebook.