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Takin' it to the street


Wellness businesses welcome public to flash mob yoga event at First Friday

Kylee Stein suspects those who've considered trying yoga but never committed to roll out a mat in a studio or class may have a reason to change their minds on Friday evening.

That's when a flash mob yoga session is expected to materialize in downtown Beaverton right in front of the new Holistic Health Clinic at 4670 S.W. Washington Avenue. In conjunction with Hot Yoga For Life, the clinic is sponsoring the free hot yoga session on Friday at 5:15 p.m. as part of downtown Beaverton's First Friday event.

Stein, studio manager for Hot Yoga For Life, 4021 S.W. 117th Ave., finds something about a public, open-air yoga session — as with Portland's Yoga Rocks the Park series this summer — makes the meditative breathing-and-body movement practice more accessible to the uninitiated.

"It seems like when it's outdoors with a significant amount of people participating, it really boosts the energy levels," she says. "You really get to support your peers and their practice when you're sharing that energy and practicing outside in the elements."

Led by Dell, a Hot Yoga For Life instructor, the hot yoga flash mob session is open to anyone from beginner to experienced yoga practitioner. Extra mats will be available for those without for the session, which will take place on a blocked-off, plastic-covered Washington Avenue between First and Second streets. Leslie Ellis of Heartsong Yoga will lend her expertise as a hands-on assistant to offer participants guidance with their practice.

"She's good at helping you at any level," says Holistic Health Clinic Director Marcella Box.

Box came up with the concept to contribute something special to the monthly First Friday event. Street yoga fits her notion of a flash mob as a seemingly random public event that comes together through thoughtful planning.

"Flash mobs are always preplanned," she observes. "People don't (necessarily) know it's going to happen. It's planned, it's on the schedule, but there will be a bunch of people in the neighborhood going 'What the ...? What's going on here? How come all these people are doing yoga in the middle of Washington Avenue?'"

A longtime certified chiropractor, Box, 59, founded the Holistic Health Clinic on Southwest Allen Boulevard with fellow practitioner Andy Cruz in 1988. Outgrowing that space, the wellness partners moved the clinic to the Washington Avenue location, where Dr. Andrew Lee practiced until his retirement, and held a grand opening on July 28.

The clinic provides holistic wellness services including chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, and most recently, naturopathy.

"This brought us twice as much square footage," Box says. "I wanted to bring in a naturopath, and now we have space for that. I thought it would be a wonderful rounding out of our services."

Stein manages about 32 employees at Hot Yoga For Life, which specializes in hatha-style yoga, in which moist heat is used to loosen up muscle and connective tissue — and create toxin-shedding sweat. While it will be an experiment to see how late summer evening temperatures and sun-drenched pavement will replicate the heat of a studio session, she is confident the event will be a community-building experience.

"One of our primary tenets is the development of community at Hot Yoga for Life," Stein says. "To be part of this event is a way to extend our community and feel more tied to the Beaverton community."

And then there's the dogs. As part of First Friday, the city of Beaverton is sponsoring Doggie Dress-Up Day. For her part, Box plans to dress the Holistic Health Clinic's therapy dogs, Dylan and Grace, as M&M candies.

"So we're going to be doing yoga in the street," she says, "and all these people are going to be walking around with dressed-up dogs. It should be something."

Check out more Beaverton First Friday highlights

The Beaverton Downtown Association invites folks to bring their pooches to a “Doggie Dress-Up” event on Friday as part of the Beaverton First Friday series. The contest will be held on Washington Avenue between Second and Third streets.

The event is free and will have several contests with prize ribbons for Beaverton’s four-legged winners.

“We’re partnering with the city to make this a two-day event,” said Donna Sanson, Beaverton Downtown Association’s promotions committee chair. “Winners and their owners will be featured guests in the annual Beaverton Celebration Pooch Parade the following day on Saturday.”

Judging will begin at 6:30 p.m. First-, second- and third-place rosette ribbons will be awarded for the best dressed small, medium and large pooches. In addition, a special prize sponsored by Unleashed at Progress Ridge will be given to the dog with the best trick. Nature’s Pet will also provide goodie bags for the runner-up contestants.

Participation ribbons will also be given to each dog while supplies last.

During First Friday, there will be performances by The Bodacious Trio at Lanphere Enterprises, the Skip Farmer Duet at Beaverton Bakery and Graceless Lady Trio at Verbena Botanicals.

Regular First Friday activities for participating businesses, including art galleries, specialty shops, restaurants, coffee shops, a costume shop, dance studio, healing center and Farmers Market vendors will continue as normal from 5 to 8 p.m. in the area of Southwest Broadway and Fourth Street, between Watson and Lombard avenues.