The antidote for your workout fatigue: this NYC studio seamlessly fuses hip hop music with classic vinyasa. Y7’s co-founder Sarah Levey explains the hype behind the method.
How did you and the other owners meet?
My co-founder is my husband—we've actually known each other since we were 18.
How did you all get into yoga?
My husband is really the yogi, he used to have me come with him all over the city to try different studios. I've always been interested in practicing yoga and the benefits of it provides but could never really get into it and was confused by all the different types of classes. Out of that personal need came Y7!
Yoga and hip hop are definitely on opposite sides of the spectrum. How does Y7 combine the two harmoniously?
We use the beat of the music to guide the sequencing. We work very closely with our instructors to make sure the music matches the poses and flow of the class.
How does Y7 differ from the usual yoga class?
Heat, music, darkness. We practice in a dark room only lit by candles, there are no mirrors, and the playlists and class sequencing are different every time. I can say with confidence that you will never take the same class twice. In addition, we only offer two styles of vinyasa: in our “We Flow Hard” vinyasa class we practice one breath to one movement with a portion of class we call "flow on your own”—it’s pretty fast-paced. Slowburn is more of a traditional class but equally challenging, where you hold the poses for a longer period of time, which really allows your body to sink into the position.
Why hip hop music?
Why not?! Hip hop is fun, it is a genre of music that is so prevalent in our society... why not be able to do Warrior One to 50 Cent?
Who are some of your favorite hip hop artists?
Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and I die for Big Sean. I love him.
Where did the name Y7 come from?
Y stands for Yoga and the 7 represents the seven chakra points throughout the body.
Which class do you recommend for beginners?
Slowburn. There is no flow on your own in this class and you are holding the postures a little big longer which gives your body and muscles time to recognize where they are going. There is also a little more verbal instruction.
What other workouts do you like to do?
I have recently started boxing, which I love. There are a ton of awesome boxing studios opening in NYC that I am excited to try. Also, SoulCycle... I know, but I'm addicted!
Is Y7 hosting any events/workshops this summer?
We will be starting special Summer Friday classes at our Flatiron location after Memorial Day weekend—the music will be really energetic, sort of a pregame to your weekend. We also host live DJ classes in collaboration with The Fader on a monthly basis.
How do you hope to expand the brand?
We are just getting started… so look out!