Y7 Studios convinced me candlelit hip hop hot yoga is the only way to exercise
If you think you know everything about yoga, think again. Y7 studio offers a fresh interpretation of your traditional yoga class. This hip hop studio has changed the way yogis get in their zone.
Sarah Levey and her husband Mason Levey created a ultra peaceful environment for those who care about their personal growth and taking care of themselves inside out. These two have opened up multiple studios all self-funded in just the last two years. If you’ve never been to a class, you definitely have to try it ASAP. You’ll walk out completely rejuvenated and motivated to kick ass.
Who doesn’t want to have fun working out to their own beat and feeling really amazing? I visited their new Williamsburg location and was super pleased with my experience. The establishment is super chic and minimalistic and the class I took was one of the best hot yoga experiences I’ve had so far. I sat down with the lovely Sarah at her new flagship to chat about her success at Y7, beauty tips, and exciting news coming up.
I’m always intrigued about the start up of such unique businesses. This woman is definitely making moves and I was dying to know the purpose behind it.
“It really started out being about finding a class for me, somewhere I felt comfortable,” Sarah said. “I wanted a space I felt at home. I’ve never been a big workout person. I just work out so I can eat more.”
“I love yoga and everything it stands for,” Sarah told us. “I think it’s a lovely thing for your life overall. When we moved to New York, I was struggling to find a place to work out. I would go to these studios that were beautiful, brightly lit, mirrors everywhere and everyone was really skinny and I was like ooooo uh uh.”
Who hasn’t felt insecure in an NYC workout class?
“In reality, I’ll never look like [the people in workout classes],” Sarah said. “I felt it took the focus away from myself and I feel the practice should be about you. You should never leave a class feeling bad about yourself.”
I think Y7 really created a space for people to be comfortable with themselves in, I told Sarah. Something they can feel good about all around.
“Yes and I love that,” she responded. “My favorite thing is that we’ve been able to attract a really great male clientele and those guys are in there with their shirts off trying real hard. They’re not self conscious or worried about not being as flexible.”
Because as we now know, you can get the hang of yoga without any flexibility.
“Sometimes I hear people say they can’t do yoga because they’re not as flexible,” she said. “But here we help you get over your fears. It’s fine here. No one is looking at you. It’s great to me that people are comfortable to explore their own practice.”
I was starting my second flow during class when Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” started blasting and I knew I had found my type of yoga class. This altogether answered my question of why the use of hip hop in Y7’s classes. Sarah claimed in the past classes were so boring and quiet, she needed something to motivate her.
“With hip hop that’s just, what I like to move to and what gets me going,” Sarah said. “We use the beat of the music to drive the pace of the class. As you build that’s what you match your breath to. Usually by the third flow, I’m like dead, but then that one song come on and it motivates you to push yourself. Hip hop is such an amazing culture and community. It’s really resonated with my clients and that’s the music I work out to so why wouldn’t [ we use it in classes]?”
Another cool thing Y7 Studios added to their classes is the use of infrared technology, which from experience I believe does really amazing things for the body. Hot yoga classes can be difficult but this form of heated yoga has made it easier to push through.
“It was so problematic doing other hot yoga classes because it was just hot air pumping into the room and I would be so humid and sticky I couldn’t breathe,” Sarah said. “Infrared heat is dry heat and heats the molecules in the air versus blowing hot air into the room… Think Arizona vs. Miami. Infrared goes into the cellular level and heats you from the inside out. You would have to do way more traditional hot classes to get the benefit of just one infrared class. It improves circulation, rids toxins, refreshes nutrients and it allows your body to recover quicker.”
So other than the new flagship opening in Williamsburg, what’s next for Y7? They’re opening in Tribeca early January, and Silver Lake in Los Angeles soon, too. They’re also looking at other cities between the coasts.
“I’m a midwest girl so we have an eye on Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, and Austin,” Sarah said. “Expansion in the works!”
Of course, we had to ask Sarah for some beauty tips too.
“My dear husband always wakes up before me and get my coffee, that’s our special thing,” she said. “I can count on him for that. My morning always starts with coffee, I can’t do the tea. I like to get a workout done in the a.m. when I’m not heading to meetings. I always wash my face with a Cetaphil skin cleansing bar, not the gel. I follow with a witch hazel toner and a Glossier moisturizer, that’s it.”
Her skin can attest to that. She truly looks amazing and so healthy. Sarah had to run to a shoot with an adoption agency for her new collection which features animals in all the yoga poses. 10% of all October purchases go to Social Tees Animal Rescue. You can check that out in her online shop and also sign up for classes/search for a location near you here.