Last Wednesday I went to a Hip Hop Hot Yoga class at Y7 Studio in Williamsburg with my “work wife”, Katie. Each week they have a different theme and hip hop artist that yogis sweat it out and flow to.  I went to a class where Jeremih and Rick Ross were featured.  It was a great time had by all, however I think I’ll have to go back when there is an artist/artists I know a little better (I’ll never complain about ending the class to “Birthday Sex” though!).  

Upon entering the studio, it’s clear that the owners and the instructors have set out to create a unique experience for their patrons.  They’ve taken the time, effort and money to open not just any other yoga studio, but have created a place for the everyday New Yorker to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.   By introducing new playlists in a new genre,  they’ve transformed the previous construct that was “yoga”.   Not only that, but they have all kinds of provisions at the front desk including mints, makeup remover wipes and hair ties for emergencies.  For an extra $5, they also offer mats and hot yoga towel rentals, making everything super convenient.

The studio is candlelit with no mirrors or windows, making it an oasis where you can forget about the world outside and just begin to “handle it”, one gangster rap song at a time.

Another interesting and unique characteristic of these classes are the sections where you have the “freedom to flow”.  The instructor goes through a set of movements at a slow speed on each side of the body and then again at a one breath per movement pace. This way, you get to know the routine.  After the second set, the song is changed and you have the freedom to do the sets at your own pace and make modifications as you need.  This is what they call freedom to flow.   Having this allows both beginner and advanced yogis to add (or subtract) movements and make it the best experience for themselves.

Another characteristic that sets this studio apart is that they use infrared lights, set to 90 degrees.   Some health advantages that have been linked to using infrared over traditional heat are that it eliminates toxins more efficiently, promotes better sleep habits,  clears skin issues, improves circulation, speeds metabolism and is better at reducing stress and depression.  Holy cow!  Why wouldn’t you want to give this a try?

Overall, I loved the class and walked out of there drenched in sweat (the proof is in the pudding – check out that picture).  I was able to flow through the tunes and felt lighter as I walked up the stairs to exit, not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well.  As I mentioned earlier, I’ll have to go back when there is an artist that I relate to a little bit more, but will definitely be back!

Happy Running (and cross training)!