Treat Yourself on Mississippi Ave: Spotlight on Wellness & Self-Care

As one of the hippest streets in Portland, Mississippi Ave has a lot going on. We’re brimming with virtually every kind of cuisine you can imagine, microbreweries, craft cocktails, rare vintage finds, leather goods, crystals and so much more. We’ve got chic boutiques, acclaimed nurseries and some of the hottest brunch spots in town. Some of our businesses, like Sunlan Lighting, have been here since long before North Mississippi became such a trendy destination. You could live in Portland for decades and never quite discover all of our secrets and treasures.

Most of us Portlanders love our weather patterns, happy to take month after month of rain in exchange for stunning sunny summers, but even we have to admit that March can get a little gloomy. It’s that in-between time of winter and spring, when we’re feeling the effects of the long cold and wet season without the rewards of tender new growth. That’s why we’re focusing on an extra fun treasure hunt this month: wellness and self care! Here are five stress-relieving ways to treat yourself on Mississippi Ave.

Tame Your Tension at Flex & Flow Yoga (1461 N. Skidmore St)

Restore your body with massage and movement at Flex & Flow, a Mississippi Ave Business District outpost tucked away on Skidmore and Interstate Ave. This community-centered studio is here to challenge you to release your inner athlete, or help you stretch right into deep relaxation.

Our bodies are powerful machines; they endure so much day to day and just like any good machine, they require regular maintenance and restoration. At Flex & Flow Yoga, we believe that one of the best ways to take care of our bodies is through massage and movement, using both body rolling techniques and yoga as a way to loosen our overworked muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in our muscles (you know, that feeling when all of your muscles seem to say ahhhhh).

Want to experience that feeling of ahhhhhhh in your own body? Join Flex & Flow every third Sunday of the month for a special Myofascial Release class, from 7:15-8:15pm. This special class includes one hour of slow, juicy flow and body rolling, and will leave you feeling lighter, looser, and more free to move.

Fix Your Seasonal Affective Disorder at Sunlan Lighting (3901 N. Mississippi Ave)

You’ve passed this storefront and admired the creative seasonal window displays, but have you popped in? Locals and visitors alike love Sunlan Lighting’s proprietor, Kay Newell, who truly lights up our world with her seemingly bottomless knowledge of lighting hardware. She’s a real gem, and she’s ready to help you beat the winter blahs with a line of full spectrum lights, also known as ‘Happy Lights.’ Learn more about Kay and Sunlan in a profile over at Portland Interview Magazine.

Find Your Happy Place at Flutter (3948 N. Mississippi Ave)

Some shops are just special in a way that’s hard to put into words. Entering Flutter, a boutique that bills itself as “a delightful disarray of found objects and vintage goods,” is like finding yourself in a dream in which all of the magical objects you’ve never even thought to wish for are at your fingertips. Once you’re there, it’s easy to see why a recent Google reviewer called it “possibly the g-spot of Gaia herself.” It’s a feast for the senses, with displays packed so densely with candles, perfume, jewelry, decorative paper, tarot cards and sweet treats, you’ll want to spend hours inside just to make sure you don’t miss anything.

The truly special items made by local artists and craftspeople are what make Flutter shine so brightly. Some examples include Messina Bitters, the first legally recognized cannabis-infused bitters company with an array of tempting concoctions handmade in Portland (recipes here!), as well as 100% pure beeswax candles from Eugene, Oregon by the Casper Candle Company. Align your chakras with Cosmophilia’s line of planetary sprays and teas, like ‘Plants Against the Patriarchy Vibrational Essence’ and so many tasty-looking brews. Curious about your future? Stop in on Thursdays between 3pm and 7pm to have your tarot cards read by local enchantress Ann Heideman!
Get Your Flow Under Control at She Bop the Shop (909 N. Beech St)

Anybody who really knows Portland knows about She Bop. This adult boutique specializes in non-toxic body-safe toys, female- and queer-friendly DVDs and a high quality array of sensuality products, not to mention awesome classes like ‘How to be a Sex-Positive Medical Provider.’ Check out their Fun Cup Explore Kit, a comfortable, eco-friendly and cost-effective way to catch your monthly flow.

Never make a late-night tampon run again. Never go fishing frantically in your purse for the pad you could swear you put in there earlier. Save time, money, and mental energy with a Fun Factory’s Fun Cups! The silicone Fun Cup sits in your vagina comfortably and unnoticeably, catching your flow and leaving you free to go about your life, for up to 12 hours of period protection at a time. When you’re ready, just empty it, wash it out, and put it back in.

The Explore Kit comes with two cups — Size A and Size B — making it perfect for folks who don’t know what size they should choose or want one cup for lighter days and one for heavier days. Size A is a smaller cup which measures 2.1″ x 1.56″ and is made of firmer silicone for greater control when placing and adjusting. Size B is a larger cup measuring 2.29″ x 1.7″ and is made of softer silicone for a comfortable fit that holds a heavy flow without feeling intrusive. Rather than a stem on the base for retrieval, the Fun Cups feature a firm, lightly-textured tip.

Reusable and sturdy, the Fun Cups are both eco-friendly and cost-effective. Not only do they pay for themselves in a few months, but you can keep using them safely for years. This kit comes with a sturdy antimicrobial bag, which keeps your cups clean and ready to use. 

Care For Your Body Naturally at The Herb Shoppe (3912 N. Mississippi Ave.)

There’s something so comforting about shelves full of traditional plant-based medicine, striking a chord with our deep-seated ancestral knowledge of caring for ourselves and others. The Herb Shoppe is a modern apothecary packed with natural treatments for virtually any ailment, as well as kombucha on tap and healthy snacks.

But this sweet shop full of healing draughts and intriguing jars is also a center of learning, offering educational events and interactive demonstrations nearly every week. Check out their event calendar and make sure not to miss classes like ‘Embracing the Wheel of the Year – Living by the Elements in Springtime,’ ‘Fortify: The Art of Crafting a Mineral-Rich Syrup’ and ‘Plant Identification: Poisonous & Toxic Plants’ led by local experts.

Indulge in the Power of Aromatherapy at Gumbo Gifts & Gallery (3900 N. Mississippi Ave)

photo by Jason Quigley

This fun gift shop is so cheerful, you can’t help but smile as you take in its collection of crafts and artwork from artists in Portland and beyond. Novelty socks, jewelry, hats and toys cover Gumbo Gifts & Gallery’s sunny yellow walls, but don’t get so distracted by the front room that you don’t even notice the additional rooms in the back! Tucked among all the excitement, you’ll find a selection of products from RareEarth Naturals, which makes 100% all natural therapeutic products in the United States.

Gumbo Gifts & Gallery agrees with RareEarth that real scents make sense.  Experience the power of aromatherapy on the go with RareEssence natural inhalers, roll-ons, travel candles and room mists.  Receive 10% off of Rare Earth purchases with mention of this Listicle!

Mississippi Ave