I entered the Hoyt Street studio under the lively green sign to be greeted warmly by the studio owners. After a short new-yogi form was filled out I was given a brief tour. The downstairs of the historic Portland building consists of the greeting area and retail space. Through the far doors is a lovely changing and waiting area with ample cubbies for your non-essentials.
The two studios are upstairs – on the way, you’ll pass the door to the bike garage. So very Portland. One studio is for hot yoga and the other for unheated classes.
There were no mirrors in the delightful-smelling, intimate space. Instead, the class faced a wall of built-in shelves, lightly lined with baubles and books.
I chose an open spot in the back of the room which would give the best vantage point to follow along in this only occasionally visited territory. As I lay on the floor in the semi-lit room, I couldn’t help but enjoy the wonderful wood beams and steel bracing that I imagine has been supporting this building before anyone currently in it was alive.
The class grew silent as we awaited instruction. I had noticed a drum on the floor earlier and had hoped it wasn’t a prop. To my delight, it was not.
Our Yogi began the class by sharing his voice with us and leading a sung chant, accompanied by his own drum beats. Afterwards we listened to a short reading from a book to focus our thoughts on the day’s idea of ‘no self-harm’.
We then slowly worked our way through a strength-challenging series of poses which would be used in our practice today, being rewarded at the end of each flow with a more comfortable stretch.
The music was contemporary – an unexpected and interesting change from a traditional soundtrack. Each song had been specifically chosen for it’s message, as was illustrated through the words of our Yogi in a delightfully subtle way.
His teachings were spiritual, centered, and scientific. I found this blend to be especially helpful to understanding the movements and the methodology.
After the warmup, the pace increased and more challenging elements were introduced. We were tasked to do what we were able, accepting where we were, challenging ourselves if we were able, but most importantly to not compare ourselves to others.
Upon completion of the class we joined in a harmonious breath of Ohmmmm, and were graciously dismissed to enjoy our day in a wonderfully found new headspace.
I have never left a yoga class before feeling the way you are supposed to feel after leaving a yoga studio. Perhaps I have never been to a good yoga class before, or maybe this was truly a remarkable class and remarkable studio. I was certainly impressed and affected.
YoYo Yogi has multiple classes every day from 16 different instructors, so you can explore many different styles and find the one that tickles your soul the most!
Discover YoYo Yogi for yourself:
1306 NW Hoyt Street, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97209