Sleuth was expecting a quiet, chilled studio having woken up early to take class at Y7, a chain of hot “hip hop inspired” yoga studios (other locations in Soho and Williamsburg), but instead was met with a huge crowd of yogis leaving the early bird and another crowd entering for the 8:15am class. Class was crowded, but mats weren’t quite bumper to bumper. The studio room had blackout curtains and the room was lit with candles. This actually made the morning class feel more as though I was being eased into the day; sometimes, sunlit yoga rooms can be too much in the morning. The scent of eucalyptus wafted in the air and hip hop music blasted from our teacher Caitlyn Casson’s iPod. The slogan of the studio is “a tribe called sweat” and the temperature in the studio is heated to 80-90 degrees, but it feels like a reasonable temperature to practice in, considering other hot studios heat to around 99 degrees. Either way, it’s a welcome escape from the January cold. Caitlyn teaches a no-nonsense, lively sequence, starting off early with raising the leg and bringing the knee to nose several times, high lunge, high lunge twists, from high lunge bringing the back knee up to the chest and back to high lunge again, warrior two, peaceful warrior, extended side angle, flying crow prep, half moon, and twisted half moon. One memorable sequence had us squatting at the top of the mats then coming up to standing, rapidly up and down about ten times.
There were about seven rounds of vinyasas on each side, and during two of them, Caitlyn did not call out the poses, but rather allowed us to go through the sequence on our own at our own speed and with our own variations. Arm balances included a crow and vasisthasana with variations of raising one leg or going into tree pose. Earlier in the class, a rock star pose was put into the mix. Caitlyn walked around the room offering minor adjustments. “Put more weight into your big toe,” she advised me during a high lunge twist, which made my pose more stable. As class cooled down, we melted into a child’s pose followed by paschimottanasana or seated forward fold. Lying on our backs, we then took a couple of twists followed by a happy baby and a deep ten-minute savasana. During that time, Caitlyn scented the room with lavender. She ended class by thanking us for coming and we wiped down our mats with the scented wipes before making our way out of the room. While the Flatiron branch of Y7 doesn’t have showers, it does have many amenities, including hair dryers, hair brushes, face wipes, and even plastic bags to put your sweaty clothes in. I left this class feeling enlivened and ready to start the day more optimistically. —Marie Carter for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $25 with $2 mat and towel rental. Word to the wise—sign up early, the evening classes are often waitlisted.
Thursday 8:15-9:15am Intermediate
Y7 Studio 25 W. 23 St., 3rd Fl New York, NY 10010 646-820-0781