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This young woman turned the classic yoga class model upside down and people love it

There is no question that yoga can be super beneficial to your career. It can help you focus better, improve the way you interact with your coworkers, improve your work-life balance (and actual balance) and just make you a more enlightened person overall.

But you know what? No matter how fun my yoga leggings are, sometimes it is just so boring after a long day at work to go sit in a silent or quiet room and try to put your foot behind your neck (and watch yourself fail at it in a giant mirror.) But Y7 Studio co-founder Sarah Larson Levey wanted to change the stereotypical image of yoga.

After moving to New York at 22 to work in fashion she had been frustrated by the yoga classes available and feeling like they weren’t fun or challenging enough. Starting with a small pop-up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn she and husband Mason Levey turned the idea of what a yoga class should be on its head. “I love music and movement. Yoga was something I was always drawn to but was turned off by the exclusivity of the classes I was attending. Y7 is a combination of all the things I wanted to experience in a class,” Larson Levey told Ladders.

There are no mirrors or bright lights or weird airy, flowy music in a Y7 class. It is just you, your sweat (from the infrared heat blast) and some truly bumpin’ beats (any workout class that includes Snoop Dog’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” is good in my book.) Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Beyonce are regularly in the music rotation. You’ll never be able to go back to regular yoga class again once you do crow position to Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey’s “I Know What You Want.”

Clearly, people appreciated this new kind of yoga as after launching in only 2015 with the pop-up the brand will have 11+ studios by the end of 2018 (five studios opened this year alone) including two locations in LA and they are looking for a new President/COO. We spoke with the young founder about growing her brand and why yoga should be integrated into everyone’s daily routine.

On launching her own company, which she self-funded

Totally! I continued working at my corporate job for the first two years of Y7 — I always want to make sure I am able to take care of my people first and foremost.

On building the brand

We would love to continue to grow in New York and LA as well as enter into new markets such as Chicago, San Francisco, Philly, and DC.

On incorporating yoga into her work stream, especially on stressful days

Oh gosh. My days are all so different. Lately, things have been really crazy and when I feel overwhelmed I always try to bring my focus back to my breath.

Why everyone needs yoga in their life

Everyone should! It not only strengthens your physical body but the practice truly builds a connection with the mind as well — giving healthy habits to take on and off the mat.

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