The rooftop deck at The Independence Hotel provides views of the river rippling past, birds flying above, and cool breezes dancing by, softening those warmer sunny days. But this year, there’s a new way to experience the rooftop deck. Lorissa Addabbo, founder and teacher of Common People Yoga, will be hosting a series of classes on our deck named (as if it could get better) “Rooftop Series and Mimosas.” Start the day with a gentle practice and fresh mimosa celebrating Oregon Wine Country. (Don’t drink Mimosas? No worries, green smoothies are also available.) Read our interview with Lorissa to learn about her studio and collaborations with The Independence, including the rooftop series and a fall yoga retreat. But be forewarned, her classes might make you want to Nama-STAY a few extra days.
Yoga and mimosa’s – now that’s finding synchronicity!
These warriors are ready for the day!
Independence Hotel (IH): Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What brought you to yoga and eventually owning your own studio?
Lorissa Addabbo (LA): I was a serial overachiever, working mom, and busiest person you know. Until one day I took a yoga class. I didn’t know how to settle in. I was checking the time to see how long until it was over. Until something clicked. I let go. And since then, I have realized that the more I let go, surrender to the quiet, and stop trying to measure up, the happier I am. So, I put my energy into yoga and started to gain a new spark of joy after each class. On a family vacation a few years ago, I practiced yoga every single day. I realized then that this was something that I not only benefited from but wanted to be a part of in a bigger way. Fast forward to last year when through a series of conversations, what is now Common People Yoga came to be. As we approach our one-year anniversary in August, I feel like we are just getting started.
Lorissa founded Common People Yoga to be a space for people to connect. Connect with themselves, connect with their collective community, and disconnect from the outside world.
The connection to mind, body, and soul continues to amaze Lorissa in every single class.
IH: What about teaching yoga brings you the most joy?
LA: When people stay after class and say, “Wow I needed that.” It brings me to tears every time.
IH: How has your yoga practice helped you in your life?
LA: Like many people I have shaped my life around being busy and achieving things, but never feeling done. Yoga has helped me to focus on clearing space for quiet, for calm, and for being present.
IH: What is the story behind the name of your studio, “Common People Yoga”?
LA: My family and I were tossing around names for weeks, but everything seemed stuffy, snobby, or too much like something else. The only name that stuck was Common People. Really with an intent to say that we are all common people and we are all just people. Yoga is not reserved for people that look a certain way or can get into a beautiful pose (although it is awesome if you can!). I wanted to create a place that everyone feels welcome to be present and to let go of the outside world.
Common People Yoga’s goal is that everyone can find a class that feels like home. They offer varied types of classes from hot yoga to meditation and teachers with diverse backgrounds and teaching styles.
Dedicated to providing a place for collaboration, and kindness, Common People Yoga is a safe space for all levels of yogis, from beginners to advanced yoga practitioners.
IH: Do you believe that yoga is for any age and physical ability?
LA: ABSOLUTELY! My parents just started yoga this year and are exploring different styles.
IH: Do you have any advice for those who might feel timid starting a yoga practice (whether that be at home or in the studio)?
LA: My advice is just to try it. I’ve never met anyone that said they felt worse after a yoga class. And there is no pressure to do anything in class. All of our teachers encourage every student to listen to their body and do what feels right. That means that you may come to a yoga class and just lay on your mat some days. Sometimes those are the best days. We celebrate people for coming to class, not what they do once they get here. Yoga should be a gift to yourself. We are just hoping to help you select the right gift for you.
IH: What is one thing you wish more people knew about yoga, and what is one myth about yoga you’d like to debunk?
LA: Most people that I talk to tell me they’d like to try yoga, but they just aren’t flexible enough. I have heard that hundreds of times. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga. One consequence of a regular yoga practice is that your flexibility can increase over time. Many students find that yoga helps them keep their joints moving and that their balance, strength, and overall mobility improves over time. You CAN do yoga, no matter your flexibility and without forcing your body into any shape that doesn’t feel good.
In 2022, Common People Yoga was voted best yoga studio for the “Best of the Willamette Valley”, an indication of the strength of their community.
Mat in tow and ready to go! Practice by the river in Independence!
IH: This summer you are offering a summer series “Rooftop and Mimosas” at The Independence Hotel. Does one need to sign up ahead of time? Can students come to individual classes or do they need to sign up for the full series?
LA: Yes! They can sign up on our website. One class at a time or all of them are an option.
IH: Are mimosas (or green smoothies) one per series or one per class? (I have to ask…)
LA: One per class.
IH: Are the rooftop classes geared towards any particular level or style?
LA: The rooftop classes will be a gentle morning class to start your Saturday with a little movement in the fresh summer air, suitable for all levels of yogis.
IH: What must students bring? (For ex. Do you provide mats/props or should students bring their own?)
LA: They should bring a mat or a beach towel to practice on.
IH: How long are the classes?
LA: 1 hour
Start your Saturday with gentle movement in the fresh summer air!
Celebrate with a post-class mimosa, or green juice!
IH: Do the teachers differ week to week?
LA: Just myself and Rayne will be teaching the first ones, and depending on popularity we may add more.
IH: Aside from doing a rooftop series, you are also offering a Yoga Retreat on September 9th that includes a two-night stay at the hotel. Can you tell us a little about what that entails?
LA: This is an incredibly special weekend that we have curated in partnership with the hotel. We have daily yoga on the rooftop, mediation, a Sitar concert by the river, wine tasting, and all meals included.
Common People Yoga’s teachers represent over 75 years of collective experience, all with diverse backgrounds, all with a passion for what they do.
IH: Are other activities involved in addition to yoga (for ex. I saw something about kayaking and wine tasting)?
LA: Yes, every event is optional and included in the total cost. On Saturday we have a “choose your own adventure” time that offers either a kayak trip down the river, a winery tour and tasting, or an afternoon bike ride.
IH: What do you think are the benefits of a Yoga Retreat as opposed to a regular practice at home?
LA: Part of what makes practicing yoga in the studio so special is the community of people. The retreat is an opportunity to connect for an entire weekend instead of just one class.
* Check out Common People Yoga’s website for more details, and make sure to reserve your spot ahead of time for the rooftop series and upcoming fall retreat. We hope to see you there!