5 Things We Learned at Our Gathering With The Co-Founder of Y7 Studio
On August 22, a group of ladies from the void community gathered at y7 lab in the bowery neighborhood of manhattan to meet sarah larson levey. If you don’t know sarah, allow us to introduce you: she is the 28-year-old who has disrupted the yoga industry with her beat-bumping, sweat-dripping, candle lit yoga classes at y7 studio. Not only has sarah grown her unique concept into 11 successful studios in both nyc and la, but she was also featured on the cover of inc magazine's september 2018 issue… are you fangirling yet?!
we got the chance to chat with sarah about everything from her journey through building y7 studio to the challenges she faced along the way and the women she continues to keep by her side. Turns out, she is not only a badass ‘non-yogi’ yogi, but she also has some incredible advice for our tribe of women.
1. the practice of yoga isn’t about others, it’s about you
“I actually hated yoga [when i first tried it]. I love what it stands for and i really wanted to get into it, but i found myself in every single class i was in wanting to scratch out my eyeballs from boredom or frustration. i couldn’t get to that place of zen or clear my mind. The other half of the time, [i would be] staring at myself in the mirror in an awkward pose and start comparing myself to everyone else around me. I left every single class feeling terrible about myself. I never felt good enough - i just wasn’t happy. And that’s kind of where the idea for y7 studio came from.
This class was created for me, for the clients, and came out of what I felt was lacking in the yoga industry. It’s a dark, candlelit room. We took out the mirrors. We created this really safe environment that is just you and your mat. It’s your body. It’s your practice.”
2. positive vibes only
“Every once in a while, we get a scathing ClassPass review [and it’s hard], but we also get some really amazing emails or letters from clients about the hardships they are going through—whether it’s a break up, an illness, a jam-packed schedule—and how they really needed the class to help them get through a difficult time. To me, that is exactly the intention, for people to come and not have any contact with me or know the story behind y7, and for it to have a real effect on them; that means everything to me. Anytime things get really, really difficult, i try to remember those moments to keep me going. I want everyone to leave class feeling a little bit unburdened.”
3. believe in yourself and be consistent about it
“[in the beginning], there were several times we had class and nobody showed up, but that was ok. I really believe if you believe in something, there is nothing else that can stop you. I think one of the reasons y7 has been so successful is because we’ve stayed really, really consistent on our path of what we believe in.”
4. find your tribe and love them hard
“I’ve always worked in women-dominated industries. i’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by groups of women who really support each other and are willing to make connections, share their contacts and just help to uplift each other. You learn to trust your instincts and realize that you have to surround yourself with likeminded people. It’s figuring that out and also learning who your biggest supporters are and having expectations of your friends too.”
5. keep moving forward
“I’m a complainer by nature, but that’s something I am working to change. one day, I was complaining to one of my friends, who is also an instructor at y7, about something that I had no control over. She responded to me by saying: “it’s like this now and that’s just how it is.” It made me realize that, at that moment, things may be different now than they were 10 minutes ago and things are always going to keep changing. You can only move forward with the information you have at hand and do your best.”