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How Hip-Hop Hot Yoga Makes You Sweat For All The Right Reasons

Culture
Photo via instagram @y7studio

Follow your flow

When my co-workers and I were initially approached about doing a team-wide exercise experiment for a month for a story, I jumped at the opportunity to participate. Finally, I would have the motivation needed to achieve the level of fitness that I desired.

I was paired with Y7 Studio, which is famous for being "the original hip-hop yoga studio." With five locations in New York (and one in West Hollywood), I soon became a regular at the SoHo and Flatiron studios, attending class three times a week when possible.

Going into this, I didn't have high expectations. I have taken yoga classes in the past, but never hot yoga. I sweat A LOT and have always been super self-conscious about it, so the idea of doing it non-stop seemed unbearable. At least with these hot yoga classes, I had the incentive of listening to hip-hop music the entire time. But something about that bugged me too: Would any of my instructors be people of color? (Based on my personal experience at Y7, the answer is no.) Western yoga has become extremely white-washed to the point where instructors constantly speaking of the third eye and ending sessions with "namaste" can drive some POC up the wall. So, the fact that this studio relies on hip-hop music to drive in customers rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed slightly ridiculous that so many people willingly pay $99 a month for this type of experience. Add on the fees for a mat and a microfiber towel, and you could be spending even more. But all this negativity was not going to get me anywhere, so I brushed these thoughts aside so I could do the deed.

It was hard at the beginning. I was fresh from a bad illness, so my whole body was weaker than usual. My first week was almost like going on a bunch of blind dates as I tried to figure out which instructors I connected with most. The cool thing about hip-hop yoga is that the vinyasa flow is in sync with the music, but this doesn't mean that every instructor has the same taste, and the music varied from instructor to instructor. For classes held on HipHopWednesdays and WeFlowHard, each instructor would pick their own theme which could be anything from "Old Kanye vs. New Kanye" and "Drake vs. Justin Bieber" to "Beyoncé's Lemonade Album." (NB: My favorite teachers were Casey and Stephanie at SoHo and Beth at Flatiron.)

Nothing can prepare your body for the heat in the Y7 studios, though. Taking these classes during the summer was torturous because it was hot as hell outside, and I had to voluntarily confine myself in a heated, dark, candle-lit room with a bunch of other sweaty people for almost an hour. During my last class, it was so hot that many of us had to pack up and leave early because we physically couldn't take the heat.

I will say, though, that this is another great thing about Y7; if you ever feel like something is too much for your body to handle, the instructors encourage you to feel empowered to stop. Throughout the sessions, they preach about how grateful they are for you taking the time to make it to class and how just being here is more than enough. Sometimes, I would go through two cycles of a flow and then stop so I could rehydrate and then go into child's pose for a few minutes. In the darkness, you flow at your own pace and ignore everything and everyone else around you. 

On a practical level, working out this frequently was hard for me for other reasons besides the actual classes. As someone who takes great pride in their hair, having to wash it every other day was a major hurdle, but I learned to adjust. The biggest obstacle for me to overcome was the actual sweating, though. I hate to sweat—always have, always will. I know that it's healthy, but I still feel super gross when it happens. Wearing leggings and a sports bra was the best option so I wouldn't drip all over my mat, but it was still a messy process if I didn't rent one of the slipless and absorbent towels. While I never felt confident enough to be in the first row, I always opted for the second one in the end. (I liked having the wall to use as support when needed.) The key to survival is bringing a bottle of water, multiple towels, and a positive attitude. 

Eventually, I sort of started to enjoy this form of yoga, though. By excessively sweating, I was pouring (or oozing) loads of toxins out of my body and that felt weirdly good. That said, I do not recommend taking a class immediately after a night of heavy drinking. If you're hungover, you're going to have a rough session.

After every class, I looked forward to going home to rinse off and take a long bath. Despite all the struggles, I always felt brand-new and recharged. Hot yoga was an amazing resource for gaining new levels of energy. By the end of my trial, I felt like my mind, body, and core were stronger. I became more flexible and even looked leaner in some areas, which definitely doesn't hurt my ego. While I'm not rushing back to class to become a true yogi anytime soon, Y7 makes me want to continue my practice on my own terms.

For more information about Y7 Yoga Studio, visit Y7-Studio.com

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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