Q+A w/ Founder + CEO of Y7 Studio
Sarah Larson Levey is the Co-Founder and CEO of the cult favorite, Y7 Studio. Y7 Studio was born out of Sarah’s personal desire for something other than the (very) traditional yoga classes offered. Sarah took her dissatisfaction and decided to create a different yoga experience where the room is dark and candlelit, there isn’t a mirror, and hip-hop music plays. The first Y7 class was in a recording studio in Brooklyn, and now the studio has grown to be a bicoastal business, with thirteen locations.
As part of Beyond Mother’s Day, Sarah and Y7 instructor Lizzy Brownie hosted an intimate discussion on fertility, followed by a self-reflective vinyasa flow. Sarah has recently opened up about experiencing two miscarriages, and Lizzy shares her ongoing fertility journey on her Instagram account, Fertility Positive.
Read on for our Q+A w/ Sarah to learn more about Y7 and why she wanted to be part of Beyond Mother’s Day.
by CHLOE.: Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself.
Sarah Levey: Hi hiii! Thank you so much for having me! My name is Sarah Larson Levey and I am the Founder and CEO of Y7 Studio.
bC: Tell us how it all started. What inspired you and your husband, Mason, to open your own yoga studio?
SL: I was inspired by the lack of yoga experiences that I was looking for. I wanted somewhere to be able to move my body how I wanted to, to sweat and to have fun.
bC: With it’s “sweat-dripping, beat-bumping, candlelit practice,” Y7 does yoga differently than other studios. Why do you think these qualities resonate with your students so much?
SL: Yoga truly is a practice for everyone but what I noticed is that there was a barrier to really feel integrated with the practice when you don’t know sanskirt or every yoga term. What we did was make the experience accessible for people.
bC: What does “wellness” mean to you, and how does it play into your day-to-day life? Do you have any self-care rituals?
SL: Wellness to me means being happy. We are told so many things to do in order to achieve wellness – get enough sleep, take vitamins, workout, have a routine etc…but I don’t think that works for everyone. I believe that you need to do what makes you feel your best. I wish I had some cool rituals to share! But I don’t do anything that would be considered a ritual.
bC: You recently opened up about experiencing two miscarriages. What made you decide to share your story, and how have people reacted?
SL: I was really tired of pretending to be okay. To make up an excuse for why I didn’t want to go out or why I was sad. I wanted to be open and honest about what I’m going through. People have been amazing – so supportive and even sharing their own stories with me – I can’t tell you how incredible it feels to know that I’m not alone.
bC: What has been the hardest part? What do you wish more people understood about everyone’s unique journey to parenthood?
SL: The hardest part has been dealing with the ups and downs – some days I’m totally fine and then I’ll find out someone I know is pregnant and have a meltdown. I wish people understood that its not that I am not happy for them, but rather it is so hard to see a reminder on a daily basis of what I have not been able to have and the losses that I’ve suffered. And that it truly is a journey – there is never an end to the feeling of loss, only a sense of being able to react to it in a more positive way.
bC: Why is Beyond Mother’s Day important to you?
SL: It’s important that we recognize all women no matter where they are on their journey. Someone could have lost a mother, is one, had a traumatic journey to becoming one. I love being able to shift the focus onto how we act and support one another as a community rather than just the singular label of “mother”.
Favorite place on earth? MY COUCH.
Biggest pet peeve? Socks on the floor.
Secret superhero power? I’m a really good food orderer – one of my girls is in Barcelona right now and I ordered for her off a menu picture lol.
Three objects you can’t live without? My headphones, wine, chapstick.
Whatcha readin’? Cemetary Road (hi I love mystery/crime novels).
Dream dinner guest? Michelle Obama duh.
Current fave podcast? My Favorite Murder (again hi I love crime).