Y7: Yoga For The Hip Hop Lover
Y7 is one of those yoga studios that makes me wish I had come up with the idea. It combines my two passions, music and fitness. So duh, why didn’t I think of that? For those who don’t know, my grown-up job is working in the music business.
Y7 is candle-lit, hot vinyasa yoga choreographed to hip hop. The studio was first established in 2013 and since then has expanded to six locations primarily in NYC and one in West Hollywood. Although not scientifically proven, I believe that word about the studio is spreading thanks to Instagram.
I learned about Y7 on Instagram. I saw some chick doing forearm stands in front of a mural inked with JAY Z lyrics and I just felt that…
This. Place. Gets. Me.
Hip hop lyrics with a yogi twist don the walls, and each studio features a different lyric. If you’re an Instagram junkie like I am, you probably will play “Collect All To Win” and visit each location, if only for the sake of getting a great IG photo.
I have to admit that I was disappointed the first time I tried Y7. This was one of the first times I didn’t do research about the studio beforehand, so I had a certain ideal in my head. There was very little hip hop, the class was crowded (I went during weekday rush hour), the studio smelled (I was not anticipating hot yoga), and I thought the instructor moved too fast (I didn’t understand their method).
But I went back and tried different locations, instructors, and classes thanks to the two-week unlimited pass. I’m SO glad I did. Each class got better because my personal practice got better, the hip hop curation was stronger in some classes than others, and the Upper East Side location by far is the nicest.
Y7 creates an environment that allows you to do you. Classes are taught by candlelight and it’s hard to see. You’re less likely to worry about your fat jiggling or look around and compare yourself to the skinny chick doing handstands.
And because it’s hot yoga, everyone sweats. It’s not Bikram yoga hot, but it’s hot enough to lead this girl to take off her shirt. I’m usually not comfortable working out in a sports bra, but I found myself letting my guard down. Y7 creates a comfortable and safe space. And by safe, I mean dark, so no one is looking and if they are you can’t see.
Darkness leads us to look within ourselves for light.
The class is guided in three flows, or sequences, three times. The first flow you practice together as a group, the second goes a little faster, and then the third you’re left to do you. So if you want to venture off and do that back bend, you’re given the freedom to do so at you own pace.
Y7 is about YOU.
Whether it’s because of the music, or the trendy factor, Y7 has got me practicing yoga regularly again. I truly believe that practicing in the dark allowed me to lower my inhibitions, look inward, and push myself to nail my first crow pose.
Y7 is about what your practice and your journey. How far you go is up to you. For me, I feel empowered and encouraged to keep practicing and take my practice to the next level. Stay tuned.