Published Apr 6, 08 AM
By Shawn Radcliffe
It’s been over six months since I left Portland — the Holy Land of yoga teachers — for self-imposed isolation among the wilds of Canada. For recovering yogis like myself, Canada is hard-core rehab.
To prevent myself from relapsing, and to keep me from compulsively overdosing on coconut water and 95-degree Baron Baptiste Power Yoga, I have cut myself off from all the things that threaten to stoke my prana and align my chakras.
I miss many things about the yoga world — or kula, if you’re into sexual improprieties — but here are the ones that I’d still gladly sell my Manduka for:
- The intoxicating mixture of patchouli, body odor, farts and mat cleaner in my old yoga studio in Portland. It reminded me of the time in college chemistry when I stuck my head in the hood to adjust the beaker. I still don’t remember my coming-of-age semester, or how my yoga pants ended up backwards during one particular yoga class.
- Being paid for classes I taught in homemade food, organically grown beef, or macramé yoga block covers.
- Free samples at the yoga studio. What better way to celebrate your yogic connection to the environment than with tiny packets of chemically laden conditioner? My luscious curls haven’t looked good in the months since I left town.
- MC Yogi’s latest hits mixed in with a recap of all the music I listened to while driving around in high school.
- The woman who meows, growls and yips throughout the entire yoga class, and then gives me a big hug and thanks me for breathing next to her.
- Two-hour detox yoga classes followed by three-hour retox partying with other yoga teachers at the margarita bar across the street.
- Everything Lululemon… ’nuff said.
About Shawn Radcliffe
Shawn Radcliffe became a yoga teacher for the same reason as most: “I liked doing yoga and, um, well, it seemed like something fun to do.” After eight weeks of intense memorization of one yoga sequence (and occasional back stroking by his teacher), he added the 200-hour yoga teacher certification to his already-long-list of Exciting Degrees That Still Leave You Hungry (also includes Music, Creative Writing, and Clown). He also writes creatively, spewing forth his true divine nature on The Lost River of My Consciousness.