Y7 Yoga Studio offers a seriously unique experience adding hip hop and infrared heating into their classes.

When most people think of yoga they imagine quietly meditating while stretching and bending into different positions. That isn’t really my thing. I can’t even lay on the beach for too long without getting bored of the silence. The soft tinkle of chimes and bells is great while you’re getting a massage, but working out? No, thanks. I honestly cannot take a regular yoga session seriously. I find myself giggling while teachers and students release loud om‘s and exchange “namastes.” The whole experience just leaves me unmoved.

So when I heard about Y7 Yoga Studio’s Hip Hop Wednesday classes, I was immediately intrigued. I like hip hop. I like getting through hump day with a nice sweat sesh. And when I found out that the Wednesday class I was attending would be Nicki Minaj day? Sold. Doing downward dog while jamming to “Super Bass” sounded like the only way that I could have fun during a yoga class.

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But, hip hop music isn’t the only unique experience that Y7 delivers. It’s also a hot yoga studio. Better yet, they recently opened their Flatiron location, which is the first yoga studio in New York City to use infrared heating. Forget those scorching fans that blow on you in a regular hot yoga session. This is the warm, detoxifying heat that you get in a sauna.

Since this was my first experience with hot yoga, I had no idea what to expect. I hate being hot. I don’t have air conditioning in my apartment, which to me is downright torture. So, I fully expected to head into Y7 and be completely annoyed with how balmy it was. Regardless, I put on a brave face, got to my class 15 minutes early, and ascended the stairs into the studio. These are the coolest stairs I have ever seen and immediately introduce you to the unique, exciting adventure you’re about to have. Plus, they fit the theme so well…an inspiring Drake quote while you walk into a hip hop yoga class? Genius.

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After I settled in and grabbed a yoga mat towel, I headed into the studio. It was extremely dark, the only light coming from candles staggered throughout the room. I found a spot in the corner next to a fabulous exposed brick wall. Our cool yogi instructor strolled in, and class started as she turned on a Nicki Minaj playlist. We moved through stretches and flows, as the inspiring beats of each Nicki song helped me push myself through every pose. Am I saying that “The Night is Still Young” changed my yoga experience? Why, yes. Yes I am.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “But what about this new infrared heating technology? Were you dying? Unable to breath?” Believe me, I didn’t even know it was possible for my head to sweat that much. So much so that I was extremely grateful for the dark lighting that prevented anyone from watching me struggling to hold Warrior III as sweat poured down my face. But did I feel super hot? Not really.

The infrared heating at the Y7 Flatiron studio was completely different from the balmy, heavy air that I was expecting. I was hot, yes, but I was sweating way more than I actually felt I would be. It wasn’t the kind of heat that takes your breath away. The best way that I can describe it is if you imagine an iguana under a sun lamp. I was that iguana, happily soaking up the hot air while gulping down a bottle of water to rehydrate myself. Plus, it didn’t hurt having the cool, hip vibes of Nicki Minaj helping me to relax my mind.

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I also had the opportunity to chat with Mason, the owner of Y7 Yoga Studio. He was a very cool guy who didn’t judge me when I emerged from the class looking like a sweaty drowned rat, so I immediately liked him. We talked all things Y7, hot yoga, and more. Check it out below!

Why did you decide to open the 1st infrared heated studio in NYC?
We are the first yoga studio to offer full spectrum infrared heating, including near, mid and far infrared heat. We knew there had to be a better heating system, and Y7 is always looking to offer the best experience possible for our clients.

Have you noticed a difference after doing hot yoga at the Flatiron location and your other locations?
We have noticed an immediate and major difference. Infrared heats the body from the inside out and does not blow hot air on you. You feel refreshed and detoxified. We plan on rolling out full spectrum infrared heating to all of our studios.

What made you decide to combine yoga and hip hop music?
Why not? Who doesn’t love a good Warrior One to Jay-Z? Hip hop is a great genre and heavily influential today. People love hip hop music and yoga, so why not infuse them together? We also combine deep house and other beats at Y7.

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What’s the science behind infrared heat and its benefits? 
Infrared light heats the body, which activates water molecules, which increases blood flow and vitality.

Note: Here are some of the benefits attributed to infrared heat:

  • Increases flow of oxygen to the brain resulting in higher alertness and decreased drowsiness
  • Cleanses and purifies air
  • Grounding and balancing of nervous system
  • Protects against germs and environmental stressors
  • Speeds up oxidation of serotonin (5-hydroxtryptamine) in the blood. This is well known to have far reaching effects on mood, pain relief and sexual drive.
  • Acts on our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen. Negative ions in the bloodstream accelerate the delivery of oxygen to our cells and tissues
  • Reinforces collagen
  • Strengthens the body’s immune system
  • Improves metabolism

How do people usually feel after a hot yoga class? Is it a relaxing experience or more energizing? 
I think the combination of Y7‘s challenging yoga classes and infrared heating technology leaves our clients feeling energized and detoxified. It’s a very refreshing experience.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t do hot yoga?
Doctors have recommended that women during pregnancy should not practice hot yoga.

Want to flow with Nicki, Drake, Busta Rhymes, and more? Book a sweat session at Y7 Yoga Studio here.

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