Portland Oregon for Yoga and Coffee

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It’s no secret that one of the many great things about Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga is the global tribe of Ashtanga practitioners. Visit nearly any place in the world and you can likely scare up at least a couple Ashtangis with whom to share practice.

I’ve found practice groups everywhere from living rooms in Santa Cruz found by word-of-mouth to the most bustling urban capitals. Portland is no different, with at least two established Mysore groups.

When I visit Portland, I call up a local I met in India in 2008 to set me in the right direction. This go Karen graciously shepherded me to Near East Yoga, a Northeast Portland studio led by Casey Palmer, which has been going strong for a good number of years. On-point instruction, good vibe, friendly community…what else does an Ashtangi need?

Well… food. We found post practice eats at Bijou Cafe which knows how to make a kick-ass, authentically French omelet. Plus they’ll serve with a salad.  Très bon. (Yogis know better than to enter the Voodoo Donuts outpost up the street from Bijou, but I can’t tell you how many Portland residents told me about Voodo so I’d be remiss not to mention it.
Voodoo is renowned both for wacky flavor combinations as well as anatomically correct donuts. The actual Voodo donut features a pretzel stick stake through it’s doughy heart.) Back to Bijou, the cafe not only serves great food but hosts a weekly Supper Jazz series on Friday’s. Next time…
Visiting on the front end of a week, we missed a whole slew of Portland’s musical scene (other than the visiting guitar in the hotel room). Fortunately, Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club, in the Pearl District, hosts an interesting program of resident and touring artists nearly every night of the week. We enjoyed an early show by a young Portland ensemble on Tuesday in its cozy dinner club listening room. Yes, life is good in Portland.
Deborah Crooks
Deborah Crooks (www.DeborahCrooks.com) is a writer, performing songwriter and recording artist based in San Francisco whose lyric driven and soul-wise music has drawn comparison to Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde and Natalie Merchant.

Singing about faith, love and loss, her lyrics are honed by a lifetime of writing and world travel while her music draws on folk, rock, Americana and the blues. She released her first EP "5 Acres" in 2003 produced by Roberta Donnay, which caught the attention of Rocker Girl Magazine, selecting it for the RockerGirl Discoveries Cd. In 2007, she teamed up with local producer Ben Bernstein to complete "Turn It All Red" Ep, followed by 2008's "Adding Water to the Ashes" CD, and a second full-length CD "2010. She's currently working on a third CD to be released in 2013.

Deborah's many performance credits include an appearance at the 2006 Millennium Music Conference, the RockerGirl Magazine Music Convention, IndieGrrl, at several of the Annual Invasion of the GoGirls at SXSW in Austin, TX, the Harmony Festival and 2009's California Music Fest, MacWorld 2010, Far West Fest and many other venues and events. She toured the Northwest as part "Indie Abundance Music, Money & Mindfulness" (2009) with two other Bay Area artists, and followed up with "The Great Idea Tour of the Southwest in March 2010 with Jean Mazzei.
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