Workout Class Review: Y7 Yoga

My mom has always told me that I should start doing yoga. I did it here and there in high school as my dance instructor lead us through flows every few weeks before or after rehearsal. Yoga was never for me because I think there’s too much “zen” involved. Staying calm and focusing on my breath has always been difficult, my mind can’t sit still. I wanted a yoga class that would keep me entertained. When I heard about Y7 Yoga, I knew I found just that.

What is Y7 Yoga?

Y7 yoga is an hour-long Vinyasa yoga class held in a dark, candle-lit room heated between 80 and 90 degrees with infrared technology. It’s not quite hot yoga, but it's enough to make you sweat. A lot. The class consists of three flows, each of which you do three times. The first round is alignment-focused, led by the instructor, and you hold each position for several breaths. The second round is also lead by the instructor, but a more fast-paced flow with up-beat music. You connect everything with one breath per movement. The third time is on your own, you are given a few minutes to flow through the sequence by yourself, or do whatever your body needs. The music is loud and upbeat, often Hip-Hop, R&B, or Pop songs. They also have a handful of other classes available, all variations of this 60-minute Vinyasa class.   

What is it actually like your first time?

Before - There’s 11 locations in New York City, so you decide the time and place. You can reserve your mat online very easily. Make sure to drink lots of water before you get there, you’ll sweat it all out. They also sell water bottles there, as well as Dirty Lemon beverages. Once you arrive, you sign in at the front desk and are given a non-slip towel for your mat (you need this, trust me). You place your things in a locker, and head into the classroom barefoot. You grab a mat on the wall right next to the classroom door. The floors have tape that show you where to place your mat and in what direction. You are also given a towel to wipe off sweat throughout, which you will most likely need at least a few times. You place your non-slip towel on the mat, lay down, and wait for class to begin.

During - You get warm really quickly, which helps loosen your muscles. The hardest of the flows is always the first round, when you hold positions for longer. It can be a little tiring, but it is easy to adjust your position to make you more comfortable. The instructor gives different versions for people with different levels of experience. If you don’t recognize the name of a position, you can easily look next to you and figure it out from your neighbor. It is really fun to have the flow on your own portion, so you can do just what your body needs. My favorite thing about these classes is that they always feel like more of a workout than I first expect.  

What do you do after class?

Right after - You’re drenched in sweat and feel super loose. You probably have a song that was played during class stuck in your head. It feels super weird walking out into a regular-temperature room. You drop off your towels into a basket and place your mat back on the wall, or hand it to an employee waiting to collect. You can shower if you want, though double check if they have them at your location, as three studios don’t have them. If you know you want to shower ahead of time, ask for a shower towel when you check in. Before you leave you’ll probably want a picture of the neon signs, or a selfie in the mirrors that have little mantras written on them.

The next day - You’ll be sore in weird places that you didn’t expect, like your forearms and hips. There's a lot of secondary muscles used and stretched in yoga that you either don't know or forgot you had.

What sets Y7 apart from other workout classes?

The music! It is the best part. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the strange earthy music they usually play during yoga, but want to experience all the benefits of the practice, it is definitely the place to go. Oh, and they have #hiphopwednesdays and #hiphopsundays, which feature hip-hop playlists from a wide range of artists. You can check out their Instagram to see the chosen artist for the week. They also occasionally have artist-themed classes on random days. The gear is super cool and often features fun plays on popular artists or songs, like their main slogan used to describe the community: A Tribe Called Sweat. The studios are also super cool, and it has one of those environments that makes you wanna come back. Go check them out!