As we approach the dog days of summer, everyone is looking for new ways to mix up the usual workout routine. Y7 Studio offers a hip-hop spin on classic vinyasa yoga making for one hot, heart pumping and sweat-inducing workout. Sarah Levey, co-founder and co-owner, shared the inspiration behind her NYC studio and shared a playlist so you can get hyped up to try out a class for yourself.

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The Experience

The founders of the Y7 Studio promise “beat bumping, sweat dripping, candlelit yoga” and that’s exactly what you get. There are three locations in NYC (Flatiron, Soho, and Williamsburg) but the Flatiron studio has the only infrared heated studio in NYC. As you walk up the four flights of stairs to the studio, there are some Drake lyrics that inspire you to get to the top and also set the hip hop tone of the whole studio:

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With songs like Snoop Dog’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” quietly jamming on the lobby’s speaker system as you sign in and get a mat and Yogitoe towel (you can rent one for $2 and $3 respectively), you enter an almost pitch black studio space that’s lit only by flickering candles and heated around 90 degrees.

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In the “Hip Hop Wednesday” class the other week featuring the music of Busta Rhymes (a “Busta Flow” class), the fusion of hip hop music beats and classic vinyasa flow sequences in the dark and steamy studio space provided an intense and challenging workout for 60 minutes. The instructor provided helpful cues as songs like “What’s It Gonna Be” pumped from the speaker system. What stood out the most were the parts during the class when after going through the sequences together for a few times, everyone was instructed to freestyle flow through the sequence on their own. The overall experience was an intense vinyasa sweat-fest leaving everyone feeling a lot more hip hop before they started.

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The Origins

Sarah Levey had been working in the fashion industry as an account executive at a multiline showroom before she started Y7 with her husband, Mason Levey. She explained that they started the studio out of a personal need. She had always left yoga feeling unfulfilled and frustrated and they wanted a yoga practice that would be fun and challenging. They realized that “what way to make it more fun than to practice to a music genre that is upbeat and playful”.

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The Beats

What sets this studio apart from all the other studios is the hip-hop music. The beats of the class playlist dictate the yoga movements as they practice one breath to one movement in the classes. In the “Hip Hop Wednesday” and “Hip Hop Sunday” classes have a weekly hip-hop theme every week and they promote it on their Instagram: @y7studio. This week’s theme is Pharrell Williams! There’s also the “WeFlowHard Vinyasa Yoga” class that carefully choreographs the yoga sequence to music that ranges from The Weeknd to Stevie Wonder. Levey’s favorite songs are from the 2000’s since they take her back to high school and she shared her own personal favorites for yoga with us here:

  1. All of the Lights – Kanye West featuring Rihanna
  2. Started from the Bottom – Drake
  3. A Milli – Lil Wayne
  4. Only – Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown
  5. Clique – Kanye West and Jay-Z
  6. I Know What You Want – Busta Rhymes & Maria Carey
  7. Drunk in Love – Beyonce & Jay-Z
  8. Brooklyn We Go Hard – Jay-Z
  9. Whatever You Like – T.I.
  10. Country Grammar – Nelly

 

So download these tracks or stream them on the Spotify app or the new Apple Music app and get into a hip hop yoga flow mode. Then sign up for a Y7 yoga class so you can experience it for yourself.

Check out the class schedule and more details about Y7 Studio here.

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