As part of its mission to trumpet the joys of natural living and community-fueled sustainability, Common Circle Education conducts a Sustainability in Motion tour, teaming bicyclists up with a like-minded biker gang of 20–40 riders for a scenic week of riding, eating, camping, and learning. Each tour begins with a guide leading the group through bike safety and mechanical fundamentals before escorting them out onto scenic, low-traffic farm roads. Pedal pushers spend the week eating healthy, organic vegan fare, visiting organic farms, and biking anywhere from two to six hours (20–60 miles) every other day. During nonbiking days, the group absorbs the productive philosophies of permaculture, sustainability, and regenerative design via hands-on activities—providing a productive respite from mind-numbing TV shows such as News, Sport, and Louder News.
Staffed entirely by DMV–certified instructors, Oregon Driver Education Center has been filling potholes in the knowledge of novice and experienced drivers since 1987. The center's masters of the open road send teens and adults on the path to earning their driver's licenses and maintaining clean driving records with comprehensive DMV drive test prep courses and defense driving classes. With an intimate understanding of the unique challenges facing Oregonian motorists, ODEC also offers an Xtreme Driver Control course that focuses on navigating vehicles through rain, ice, and throngs of rabid snowmen. Additionally, the center's specialty courses teach precautionary practices to medically at-risk drivers.
For 10 years, New Era Computers has taught students to bend computers to their will with software-wrangling classes that congregate in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings. Instructors employ individual attention and hands-on learning to unveil the mysteries behind Microsoft Word (a $180 value), Excel (a $225¬–$275 value), PowerPoint (a $180 value), Access (a $225–$275 value), or the accounting prowess of QuickBooks (a $225 value). Beginning courses impart basic skills, while intermediate courses delve into more complex studies and allow students to build their own scale model of the Internet. Classes meet in two-hour sessions, either twice a week for three weeks or three times a week for two weeks. New Era Computers' schedule lets prospective students peruse a convenient timeslot and teaches them how to introduce themselves in binary.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
Certified regular and guest instructors at Bikram Yoga Greater Portland's three studios guide groups through yoga poses and breathing exercises inside rooms heated to a temperature of 105 degrees or higher. Flow through up to 26 postures of varying difficulty in each 90-minute session, taking slow breaths through the nose and focusing on stillness so as not to disturb temperamental motion sensors. By encouraging perspiration, the practice of Bikram yoga may help to facilitate weight loss, lower high blood pressure and stress, and reduce pain from physical injuries.
Bikram Yoga Greater Portland threw open the doors of their newest location, in Tigard, in May 2013; the spacious studio floods with natural light from a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows on one side of the space. The sleek confines of the Beaverton location are home to a 4,000-square-foot studio and a lobby decorated with custom-built benches. The Portland studio's 2,500-square-foot space is guarded by a lobby decorated with subtle colors and natural light from large windows. All locations are equipped with showers for men and women, each stocked with robes to keep post-workout skin from huddling up under the hair upon encountering cooler temps.
Some people never use their brain to its full potential, whereas others stretch their brain far beyond its potential—and try to take over the world. At Power Brain Training Center, certified brain-education trainers fuse traditional Asian mind-body practices with the principles of neuroscience to create a curriculum that teaches adults and children how to properly manage the power of their brains. The center utilizes its own five steps of brain education to help people reduce stress, improve concentration, lose weight, and have those long-awaited telepathic conversations with their pets. The trainers use a combination of physical exercise to amp up blood circulation and mental-fitness exercises to help the brain become more adaptable. Mindful breathing and confidence-building exercises work to release negative emotions and refresh the brain. Finally, the trainers teach their pupils to implement the principles of their training in daily life to help students master and control their brain's potential for good.