In April, naturopathic physician and yoga instructor Laura Washington opened Luminance Yoga & Naturopathy in the former Amenity Shoes space in Beaumont Village, bringing her naturopathic medicine practice and yoga classes under one roof at 3430 N.E. 41st Ave.
Washington started teaching yoga in 1990 and has been a naturopath since 1998. Before taking up yoga professionally, she worked as a performing artist singing, dancing and acting.
“I had my practice and my yoga classes in the same space for ten years at Yoga Pearl. Then I moved my practice over to Northwest 23rd for the last four years,” said Washington. “The idea of putting them back together wasn’t really at the forefront of my brain until I was riding home one day and saw a sign that this space was available.”
Washington’s husband Richard Meadows has been teaching language arts at Grant High School for six years, and the couple lives nearby in the Rose City Park neighborhood.
“We bought our house in 2007 and my work was in the Pearl,” said Washington. “It was great, but I began fantasizing about walking down the street. This is naturally the neighborhood that I walk to and these are all my favorite spots. I’m not really a car person and I’d been riding my bike downtown for a long time. The idea of being able to walk down the street, working in my own neighborhood was really a dream. So when this space opened up, it just felt like it was meant to be. I’ve been a customer of Amenity Shoes for years, and of Gazelle’s, so I’ve known this little spot forever. I knew what flowers were going to pop up in the garden. I knew there was echinacea. I knew there were lilies. I knew there were poppies. I sit here and look out this window and I’m kind of pinching myself on a regular basis.”
Washington made a few changes to the former shoe store, to convert it for her purposes.
“We took out the carpet and laid down a cork floor – which I’m thrilled with,” said Washington. “To me it feels clean and light and fresh and natural. We put some pine baseboards around the edge and we painted and that’s about it.”
Randy Cunningham of Cunningham Floor Covering installed the floor. Washington’s friend Sam Yoder, who lives in Laurelhurst, served as de facto contractor for the project and designed and built a custom kiosk in front of the property for distributing literature and medicines.
“I am interested in supporting people in feeling great and living their lives fully,” said Washington. “So, anyone who wants that should poke their head in my door. So many people think they can’t do yoga or that yoga isn’t for them or that it’s difficult. The yoga that I teach is incredibly accessible and that’s what I want people to know. You can feel a lot, lot better. My movement classes are designed to gently free up areas of restriction in the body and liberate natural energy and vitality. The classes are very accessible and do not require you to be ‘in shape’ or flexible. They’re perfect for people who are ‘too tired to go to a yoga class.’ They provide an opportunity to pause and turn the attention, interest, caring and love that you pour out into those around you everyday back into yourself. The experience is relaxing, rejuvenating and restorative.”
“I graduated from the National College of Natural Medicine in 1998 and have practiced as a licensed physician ever since,” said Washington. “This training allows me to support the physical body with herbs, nutritional supplementation and gentle physical medicine. My yoga work supports the unfolding of each person’s fullest personal expression through alignment of the physical body, mind, and heart to the whole.”
For more information about Luminance or to sign up for a class, visit www.luminanceportland.com or call (503) 349-8188.