Mindbody

Download the app

The MINDBODY app

Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.

Install
Sarah Larson Headshot
Wellness
Published Thursday Mar 05, 2020 by Mindbody Team

#WomeninWellness: Sarah Larson Levey, Y7 Founder

Fitness
Motivation
Personal Growth

Y7 Studio is a community on a mission to make yoga more accessible and inclusive to all. “One family formed by sweat,” they welcome anyone and everyone willing to give it their all. We love this idea of embracing yoga, sweat, and each other with open arms, so we reached out to Sarah Larson Levey, founder of Y7, to share her story. 

You started Y7 from a pop-up in New York, and it now has over 14 locations and is still growing. What inspired you to start Y7? 

I was inspired by what I thought was missing in the yoga space. I couldn't find the things I was craving in an experience. It was my now husband Mason who really got things moving when it came to making my frustrations into a reality.  
 

What started as a workout has blossomed into a full-blown movement made up of people focused on inclusivity and empowerment. How has Y7 shaped what success in fitness means?   

I never felt like I belonged in any yoga class that I went to before we started Y7. In fact, I felt that way in a lot of fitness classes—I would put myself in the back or make myself as scarce as possible. I never want anyone to feel that way in a Y7 class—we work really hard to use inclusive language, to offer a ton of modifications and give people a chance to make the practice their own by having the opportunity to flow on your own. The darkness and lack of mirrors are also critical to creating a space where you don't feel like you have to perform for anyone, especially yourself.    
  

If someone has never been to a Y7 class, what should they expect?  

First and foremost—don't stress about it! Everyone has been to a first class.  You will sweat, you will be confused at first! Flow on your own gets a lot of people in the beginning—but it’s an opportunity to let go of expectations of what your practice should look like. The room is hot, so definitely hydrate!  

Sarah Larson Founder  

You’ve been featured on Inc., Forbes, and our Mindbody BOLD events, and you regularly speak on entrepreneurship and starting your own business. What’s next for you?   

I’m super focused on growing the business and making Y7 the leader within the yoga space—not just physically but as a lifestyle brand.  
  

With all the demands of running a company (and being a soon-to-be mom!), how do you have time to practice self-care and wellness yourself?  What’s your go-to wellness routine while pregnant?  

It's definitely hard! I have always put myself on the back burner when it comes to self-care—now that I'm pregnant, it has really forced me to slow down and be more mindful. Our bodies are so incredible, and we only get one—we have to make it a priority to take care of ourselves. I try to do something active every day. I walk to and from work, try to get to classes, and make sure I’m getting enough rest—which traditionally has been the toughest for me.  
 

What does wellness mean to you? How can we (the public) start on our own wellness journeys? 

To me, wellness means doing the things that make me feel good. Feeding myself good food and treating my body right. I truly believe the only way to start a wellness journey is to do just that...start. Once you do, you'll be able to figure out what works best for you.

 

Wanna try it for yourself? If you're in New York, LA, or Chicago, find Y7 classes near you!

Mindbody team logo
Written by
Mindbody Team
Editors & Educators
About the author
We're here to provide you with the latest and greatest, tried and true wellness experiences and advice to help you live life to the fullest. From nourishing recipes and travel tips to finding the perfect sweat routine or wellness regimen—we cover it all. And if we haven't yet, it's definitely on the way.
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.

To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.

1. Go at your own pace

Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you.  And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!  

3. Nourish your body

Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.

5. Bring the right equipment

Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.

So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.

Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you

While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!