There was no doubt in my mind that I had found my new happy place the minute I walked into yoga haven Y7 Studio‘s recently opened Bryant Park location in New York. With a huge prayer hands emoji lit up by the entrance and a cursive decal that read “A Tribe Called Sweat,” all signs pointed to what would undoubtedly be my new favorite pastime: hip-hop yoga.
Whenever I’m in need of an ultra sweat session, I tap open my ClassPass app with the quickness to book a Y7 yoga class. I’ve gone a handful of times, taking a We Flow Hard class on Hip Hop Wednesdays to themed ones soundtracked by Rihanna, Pharrell vs. Janelle Monáe and Kendrick Lamar vs. Jorja Smith (as of this writing, Sweat Fest — a month-long yoga extravaganza with themed classes is in full effect).
While some may consider Hip Hop a turn-up soundtrack for more high-octane workouts, there’s a certain calmness that washes over me when I’m going through my flow and hitting my asanas to the sounds of Rap&B. Whether it’s the RiRi and Future collaboration “Loveeeeee Song” or Jorja Smith and K.Dot’s Black Panther Soundtrack gem “I Am,” aligning my chakras with my usual playlists made these classes an automatic [insert Jay Rock voice] WIN WIN WIN for me.
Like most yoga classes, the instructors soothingly iterate Instagram-ready mantras about listening to your body and leaving all your struggles on the mat. After building the flow (teaching the routine) and then speeding up the tempo for the second round, the instructor lets you freestyle for round three. All levels are welcome as the instructors offer modifications depending on your experience and also any one-on-one assistance if you’re yoga-ing with injuries.
Did I mention that the sweatiness is real? It’s mandatory for me to grab the towel and mat combo (if you’re a ClassPass-er, you’ll have to pay $5 for this, which includes a towel and another to cover your yoga mat; yoga mat rental is free) because my entire body is drenched with perspiration by the time the 60-minute sesh wraps. Pro-tip: grab a her sweat. towel if you come through drippin’ in sweat. If you get Asian flush like yours truly, don’t be surprised if your face is blushing post-class. No matter if you’re a newbie yogi or a Bikram vet, Y7 will have you shining — to your favorite jams — all four seasons.