by Adriane Jones, student and Karma Yogi
When I moved to Portland nearly three years ago, I did what every money-conscious yogi would do, I tried nearly every yoga studio’s new student special. Some new student specials got me a freebie class, while others offered two to four weeks of classes for 20 or 30 bucks. While all of the studios I tried offered good deals for new students, discounted classes were not enough to draw me to the studio as a member, and my search continued. This search of mine went on for nearly two years until one day last spring, tucked along cute shops and popular eateries on SE Division Street, I found The Grinning Yogi, where I’ve been grinning… err, I mean practicing... ever since. As I approach my one year anniversary as a grinning yogi, I thought now would be a good time to capture some of my top reasons why I love this studio so much.
1. The teachers are real.
When was the last time your yoga instructor shared a personal journey of recovery, triumphs, struggles, and self-reflection? Yoga teachers at The Grinning Yogi not only pour their heart into what they do, they share a piece of it in every class. Not a class goes by that doesn’t offer a personal sentiment by one of the instructors. This authenticity is a great reminder of our humanity and the importance of carving out time for ourselves on our mat.
2. The classes are on point.
I love the different types of classes The Grinning Yogi offers. As a current mama-to-be my current favorites are the Chillin’ Flow classes, which offer a medium-paced vinyasa sequence followed by slow, restorative stretching, and usually wrap up with a lengthy savasana. These classes offer me just the right amount of challenge for my changing body while also getting me a wonderful stretch. Pre-pregnancy, I enjoyed the faster paced Grinning Flow and Grinning FLY, where I often got my heartrate slightly elevated and had an opportunity to practice more challenging poses and inversions. I’m looking forward to returning to these classes once Baby arrives but in the meantime I’ve been checking out the monthly prenatal classes in addition to my normal routine.
3. The studio is beautiful.
From the outside, The Grinning Yogi appears to resemble just another storefront along the trendy southeast Portland street, but once inside the door, it is obvious that the studio offers so much more. Inside, the studio is flooded with tons of natural light that pours in through the wall of windows facing Division Street. Two additional walls are painted a beautiful turquoise and a fourth wall has a colorful graffiti-style mural with the word “Love” plastered in the center of all of the vibrant blue, purple, and pink designs. While yoga teaches us to look inside ourselves, The Grinning Yogi has showed me that pretty yoga studios do matter. I can’t help but find my breath flowing a little smoother when I’m practicing in this well designed, beautifully lit space.
I could go on and on about reasons I love The Grinning Yogi, but some things must be left to experience. So, if you’re new to Portland, or just new to yoga, and still trying to find your place to find your flow, I encourage you to press pause on your search and head over to The Grinning Yogi this week and get your grin on.