If you haven’t heard of Y7 (aka “the original hip hop yoga studio”), you’ve been missing out. Y7 is like no other hot yoga studio. First of all, it’s vinyasa flow vs. bikram (a 90-minute series of 26 postures in a steamy 105 degree room), which is what most people instinctively think of when they hear hot yoga. Y7 is different. And by that, I mean better. Prepare to work it out, sweat it out and zen it out for 60 minutes in a dark, candlelit, 80-90 degree room that’s heated with health-boosting infrared. Don’t worry you won’t miss the extra 15 degrees and you will for sure SWEAT! A single class will set you back $25—not including a $2 mat rental and $3 skidless towel rental, which is an absolute must, unless you like the idea of sliding clear off your mat, which will be drenched with your sweat. And it’s totally worth it.
Get pumped for 60 minutes of sweaty vinyasa flow, known at Y7 as WeFlowHardTM Vinyasa, with some dope music. Here’s how it works: First, the instructor took us through a few warms ups, e.g., cat/cows. Then, she lead us through a series of postures—first on our right side, then our left. Next, we repeated the series, but this time it was one breath for one movement. The third time through the sequence, it was our turn to flow on our own. She turned up the music and we just went for it. This repeated a total of three times—with each sequence increasing in length and difficulty. After we’d completed our last flow, our instructor took us through few more postures—fondly referred to as the last push—before we cooled down with some stretches and then Savasana.
For anyone who thinks they don’t like hot yoga, we dare you to go to Beth Cooke’s “Hip Hop Wednesday” class and not leave a convert. She just freakin’ gets it. Her energy is uplifting, empowering and legit contagious. She encourages rather than pushes. And her music is always on point! Expect to shake out all your tension and anxiety as you move through carefully crafted sequences that are truly a thing of beauty. She’s also been known to begin and/or end her class by reading an inspiring poem or quote—helping your mind, body and spirit find harmony. The bottom line: Beth is amazing and everyone loves her, which means her classes fill up lightning fast. So do yourself a favor and book a week early.
When you walk up the stairs (c’mon, it’s only two flights) into the Union Square studio, you’ll notice that the space is pretty open. To your left, there’s the door to the practice room, a small seating area, and the check-in desk. Past that is a station to freshen up and charge your phone as well as two changing rooms. To the right are racks of Y7 merch (think: “a sweat called tribe” hats, sports bras and muscle tanks) and a single restroom. In the back, there’s a room to drop your stuff, hang your coat and grab a mat. There aren’t any showers, which is kind of a bummer after a sweaty session, but they have some pre/post-class products (a saving grace for your hair and skin), like Thayers Toner, Simple Makeup Removing Wipes, hair elastics and bobby pins. Plus, they’re stocked with plastic bags. So at least you can change and pack up your sweat-drenched clothes before heading out.
58 East 11th St, New York, NY 10003 Union Square Yoga $$$
Y7 Studio Union Square
Union Square Yoga, $$$
58 East 11th St, New York, NY 10003
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