If you live in a city like NYC, it can be hard to find time to work on yourself. Between having meetings up the wazoo, trying to meet deadlines, and attempting to have a social life, it’s nearly impossible to find time to live a healthy lifestyle. But thankfully, that’s where today’s Boss Babe comes in. Not only did she co-found a stellar workout studio, but she made sure to provide a killer experience that’s worth your time.
Sarah Larson Levey and her husband, Mason Levey, took matters into their own hands by creating a one-of-a-kind yoga studio to fill the void they were feeling in the NYC fitness scene. But instead of going the traditional route of doing just a tried-and-true yoga studio, this fitness Boss Babe created a hip-hip-themed oasis. Y7 is not like any other yoga studio: there are no mirrors, the room is filled with candles, and hip-hop music is blasted through the speakers. Levey believes that no one should compare themselves or feel ashamed when they work out; it should empower them. Preach it, girl! With that mentality and her love for Drake, it was a no-brainer to feature Sarah as a Boss Babe.
We got to hang with Sarah in her lovely Williamsburg home where we chatted about Y7, her favorite hip-hop album, and what’s it like working with her hubby. Meet this kick-ass Boss Babe, Sarah Larson Levey.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Describe the perfect yoga-to-drinks outfit:
Black leggings, my rosche fly knits, stappy sports bra and black tank
NYC spot for a healthy meal:
Ultimate travel destination:
Currently I am dying to go to the Fairy Pools in Ireland
Emoji that represents you:
The one with one eye winked and tongue out.
Hip-hop album that should be on everyone’s radar:
G-Eazy, These Things Happen
Go-to morning yoga pose:
Standing forward fold
You co-founded Y7 with your husband, Mason Levey. How did you both come up with the idea to create a hip-hop yoga studio?
My husband is actually the real yogi! When we moved to the city six years ago, he used to drag me to classes with him all over NYC, but no matter where I went I just couldn’t find my spot. After a while we were both feeling this frustration and decided to create what we were seeking.
How did you come up with the name for Y7?
The Y is for yoga and the 7 represents the seven chakras. 🙂
You also decided to steer away from having mirrors in the studio. Why did you decide to get rid of that specific feature?
When I would practice in bright mirror-filled rooms I was always comparing myself to everyone else around me instead of focusing on myself and my body. I always left class feeling like I wasn’t good enough and ashamed of my body. We wanted to create a safe space where everyone — no matter what their level of practice — feels comfortable and confident to give it their all.
Opening up your own business isn’t easy. Did you learn anything about yourself while creating Y7?
I have changed so much in the last three years. I have learned patience, have become quick to admit when I am wrong, and have learned to focus on solutions not problems. I’ve also learned that I can handle a lot more pressure and stress than I thought.
You have a night off in NYC. What do you do, who do you hang with, and where do you go?
I have two moods when I have a night off: 1) Stay in, put on sweatpants, order pizza (pepperoni, mushroom and onion — in case anyone is wondering or reads this and wants to send me a pizza) drink wine, and binge-watch a show while coloring with my husband (he doesn’t color. ) 2) Ready to go out. We live in Williamsburg and are surrounded by amazing spots, my go-to’s are Loosie Rouge (Olivier is an insanely talented chef), OTB, and Freehold (I know, everyone’s fave.) I am very fortunate that my girls also live within a couple blocks of me and are always ready for hangs.
While starting Y7, you also had a job as an account executive at L’Atelier Group. Was there a specific moment that you can remember that made you decide to make your side hustle into a full-time job?
One of my favorite parts of working at L’Atelier was the people and getting to travel. In March 2015, it just became too much, I was up at 5:30am every morning opening a studio before having to be at work at 9am and then when I got off at 6pm, I would go straight to another location to close. I was constantly run down and sick — it became apparent that I had to take a chance and give Y7 my all.
Do you have a personal mantra that you like to follow?
“It’s like this now.” One of my friends Kristin actually said this to me when I was going through my teacher training and I was feeling so unsure of myself and my abilities, I was second-guessing everything. This mantra reminds me that the past is just that and whatever happened is no more — its like this now.
Creating a business with your SO can be stressful. What was it like working with your SO? And could you give any advice to couples who are thinking of creating a business together?
Haha. This is something I get asked often. Let me first say that I ADORE my husband; however, we have very different working styles and we easily get frustrated with each other. It’s definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Sometimes I want to punch him. But the closeness we have also has its advantages — he is never afraid to question me, to say the hard things that I need to hear. Set boundaries. The most important thing is separating out things you handle within business and relationships.
Where do you hope to see Y7 in five years?
Any advice for future boss babes, especially those wanting to enter the fitness industry?
Follow your gut and stick to your vision. Everyone will have advice and opinions — it sounds really cheesy but you have to stay true to who you are.
Photography via Vanessa Granda