by Diane Englert, Woodlawn Neighbor

On the corner of Northeast Dekum Street and 8th Avenue sits the Woodlawn Wellness Center. The gray and sage building houses an acupuncturist, chiropractor and a yoga studio. I live in Woodlawn and always wanted yoga classes within walking distance. When the studio opened three years ago, I checked it out. 

“Come as you are. All are welcome.”

Sunlight streams through plate glass windows giving the wood floor a warm glow. The instructor greets students at the door. I bring my yoga mat, but you can borrow one — no charge. Music plays softly, sometimes accompanied by the neighborhood sounds of chickens clucking and children laughing.

At the end of class, feeling rejuvenated and somehow taller, I stay to drink the complimentary tea or kombucha and chat with my classmates. This is the most inviting and affordable studio I’ve found in 22 years in Portland.

That’s just what Woodlawn Yoga owner/teacher Crystal Covelle wants, “Come as you are–all are welcome!” A Portland native and neighborhood resident, Covelle and teacher Avery Lewis started the studio with a mission to offer everyone the opportunity to practice yoga everyday.

To meet this goal, the studio offers 35 classes a week, including a daily pay-what-you-can class. The schedule for these donation classes changes quarterly to accommodate different work schedules. This fall, pay-what-you-can classes are weekdays at 9 a.m. and weekends at 4:15 p.m. 

Formerly named Drishti (Sanskrit for “focused gaze”), the studio recently changed names to reflect its identity as Woodlawn’s community gathering space. The center hosts events such as family movie nights (catch a Halloween film on Oct. 26), clothing swaps and a December craft faire featuring teacher and student artisans. “I wanted to make things I love available to everyone,” says Covelle, who also makes candles. 

Most teachers and students live in the neighborhood. Students range from babies coming with a parent for the Tiny Tots yoga and music class to seniors who appreciate the gentle flow and body alignment classes, plus everyone in between. 

Along with several styles of yoga, Woodlawn Yoga offers classes in core strengthening, breath work and yoga-lates–a yoga/Pilates combination. Wellness workshops explore diet, essential oils and meditation. Covelle hopes to revive the bilingual yoga class, on hold since the Spanish instructor had a baby. The studio is also available to rent. 

Come join your neighbors. 

You can find out more information at