Yoga 213: Hip Hop Yoga

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Yoga doesn’t typically lend itself to someone with the attention span of a goldfish and the flexibility of a steel rod. Or does it? Phoebe Rothfield explores.

Yes, I have heard of the benefits, which include improved sleep, improved sexual performance and the ability to fight food cravings (damn you, cheddar shapes), but sitting in a room with twenty others listening to my exercise-induced asthma for an hour was not my cup of chai tea.

Now, most of us would think that all those mind and body benefits would probably appear after watching a few episodes of Sex and the City (at least I sure as hell did), but those thoughts quickly dissolved when I heard about the latest and greatest movement, hip-hip yoga. I thought to myself, “Yo, I could totes be down with that.”

Now some would think that combining two polar opposite movements, the calm and relaxing practice that is yoga and the heavy and sometimes hasty hip-hop could result in an angry catastrophe, but fear no more. Why? Because yoga was originally practiced to both old and new-school beats. That is why hip-hop yoga devotees believe there are incredible benefits when you combine the two seemingly contradictory movements.

One firm believer in the modern day practice is Sammy Veall who instantly fell in love with hip-hop yoga whilst living in LA. The instant attraction led to a dream that finally became a reality when Yoga 213 was born in South Yarra last year, the first of its kind in Melbourne. Not only has she opened studios in South Yarra and recently Bondi Junction, but also exclusively revealed that there are plans for a studio to be established in Bali over the next few years.

*Fun fact: 213 are the digits from LA’s original area code

“It is a great introduction to yoga for those that may have been reluctant to try it in the first place as the music adds a fun element that people our age (20s) can relate to.”

After my interview with Sammy, I thought it was probably time to book myself into a class and see what it was all about. Entering the studio, I almost thought I was in Venice Beach, California with the walls decked out in natural timbers and surfboards leaning casually against exposed brick.

As the beginning of the 6:30pm class run by the yoga guru herself crept closer, groups of long and lean yoga fanatics decked out in their Lululemon gear began to float through the door. (Cue mild panic-attack). Why did I choose the more advanced class? The beginner friendly “Chill” class would have been a much wiser choice; nice one Pheebs.

Surprisingly, as soon as the music began to play and we were given our first set of poses, I became completely enthralled in the class. After what seemed like only 20 minutes, the hour-long class was over and I was actually disappointed that I would not hear another pre mid-life music crisis from Eminem for one whole week. It is safe to say I have a new Monday night activity that does not include watching Cupcake Wars and eating take-away. Or at least not until 7:30.

Yoga 213
12 Garden St, South Yarra
Monday-Sunday, 6:30am-5pm

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