The pandemic has been catastrophic for the yoga industry, but these diverse and inclusive studios have re-opened for live classes that will work for all experience levels.
When the pandemic hit and businesses were forced to close, many of us mourned our regular yoga classes. Sure, most studios pivoted to online classes, but it's not the same practicing yoga in your extra bedroom squinting at the zoom images and trying to tune out your screaming children or barking dogs.
Yoga classes are not just about the poses, it's about the community. Chatting with folks before class, being inspired by someone on a mat near you, having the help of your teacher when you struggle with a pose, just getting out of the house and having some "me" time...all that was lost during the pandemic.
Although many studios have closed altogether or moved to a permanent online model, some local Portland studios survived. Despite rapidly changing state regulations, these studios have adapted to offer in-person yoga to those who want to practice in a community. If you're itching to get out and take a class that doesn't remind you that it's time to vacuum your house, check out these great options.
Each of the studios listed below are overtly welcoming to beginners, people in larger bodies, older adults, marginalized communities, and anyone who needs a little extra help with their practice.
The mission of Yoga NW is "to create a self-affirming, inclusive, and welcoming environment where yoga is accessible to all," and this serene Northwest Portland studio lives up to its promise. This studio offers a mix of both in-person and live-stream classes to offer students the option that works best for them. They offer a variety of classes besides the traditional "flow" classes you find at most studios, including yin, katonah, face yoga, gentle, slow flow, and yoga nidra. They also have classes for BIPOC students, LGBTQ, and those in recovery. The teachers are diverse in background and appearance. Drop-in classes cost $18. Click here to learn more.
Southeast Portland's Sellwood Yoga states that they "have a non-dogmatic approach and believe that there are many valuable traditions, styles, and practices of yoga". The studio is currently offering a mix of in-person and live-stream classes and on nicer days students can practice out on the patio attached to the studio. In addition to a variety of flow classes, they have restorative, yoga for athletes, pilates, and yin yoga. Drop-in classes are $20. For more information, click here.
The People's Yoga
With locations in both Northeast and Southeast Portland, The People's Yoga offers "yoga without barriers -- all people, paths, and peculiarities welcome." The studio has an extremely diverse group of teachers who offer a large number of classes every day, including various types of flow classes, yin, restorative, and yoga for bigger bodies. Offerings are available in one of two studios or live-stream, depending on the class. Drop-in classes are $14. Check out their website for more information.
At their lovely studio in the Montavilla neighborhood, Yoga Refuge states: "We strive to be “a retreat inside the city”, where people can experience relief from the stress of modern life." They have instructors of all body types and genders, and in addition to flow class options offer gentle, yin, and "sound gong" classes. Drop-in classes are $18 and both in-person and online classes are offered. Click here for more information.