I have a confession to make – I’m the worst Yogi in the world. I have tried to enjoy the proven benefits of a class here and there, but I just always feel so guilty when all the other participants are looking so peaceful and I’m wishing that there was a little less ‘Zen’ and a little more Jay-Z. So when I heard that Australia’s first hip hop yoga studio, Yoga 213, was opening in my new ‘burb Richmond, I had to find out more.
Studio Owner, Sammy Veall, promises that Yoga 213 is unlike any yoga studio you’ve visited before. Yoga 213 combines hip hop with vinyasa yoga to deliver a truly unique workout!
So what is Hip Hop Yoga? Hip hop yoga originated in LA in 2013, and Sammy introduced it to Australia in 2013 after falling in love with it after suffering third degree burns to 35% of her body in an accident.
“Hip hop yoga made me realise that everything was going to be okay – it helped my recover from my accident by improving my strength and flexibility” said Sammy,
I was also lucky enough to sit down with Sammy for an exclusive Q&A below…
Melbourne Girl: Congratulations on your amazing new Richmond studio! What inspired you to choose Richmond as Yoga 213’s location?
Sammy Veall: Thank you very much! We love it over in Richmond, it feels like home already. The space we found was too good to be true, high wood ceilings, large arch windows that bring in amazing natural light, and an open plan space that was really easy to work with. The location is incredible as well, it’s right in the bustling centre of Swan Street but because we are up high, it’s very quiet and relaxing.
MG: Tell us a little about what’s inside the new Richmond studio?
SV: Our interiors were designed by myself and The Wildhen Boys. Out front you’ll find a pastel blue door with a bright pineapple neon hanging above it. Once inside there’s a large wooden yellow staircase, surrounded by colourful pots and greenery that leads you up to the reception area. A large oil painting of Biggie (notorious BIG) greets you as you walk up the stairs, and natural light floods through the studio via three large arch windows.
Our studio room can hold around 60 people, and we only work with black LED strip wall lighting throughout the space to subtly illuminate the space and bring about a relaxing environment. Our bathrooms and showers are my favourite, it’s completely tiled from head to toe and makes you feel like you’re at the coast.
A few surfboards lean against the walls, and bare feet is necessary throughout. Every time I walk in, I feel like dragging a bed in and living there forever.
MG: We also love the new 213 Apparel collection that has just launched in studio and online. What inspired you to create the range, and what can we expect from 213 Apparel?
SV: I’d always wanted to start my own Yoga Clothing label, but it wasn’t until I met up with business partner Charlotte Grigg, that it really started to come to life. We started 213 Apparel together as a joint venture in December 2014. Charlotte is amazing, having worked at Sportsgirl as a buyer of 7 years she has so much knowledge in the industry and really keeps me on my toes! We are the perfect match! I am yoga and she is fashion. We are heading off to New York in February to be a part of tradeshow AXIS which we are really excited about. Over the next few years we are planning on branching out into accessories, homewares and more.
MG: Having heard your story, we are so inspired about how your accident inspired a new path and an amazing career. What or who were your sources of inspiration along the journey?
SV: My family was incredible. They were there for in their own different ways, through out the whole process. My sister would nurse me in the hospital so much so that the other nurses weren’t needed. She has actually just completed her nursing degree now, so thats something positive that came out of it. My mum is a warrior, she was there for me every step, and still is. We are best friends and spend every minute together. The laughing never stops. My dad is the man behind the motto ‘To Be Happy’ and he teaches me life lessons every day. In hospital it would only take a word or two and I would know that I was going to be okay.
MG: Can you share with us some of your top tips for staying healthy over the upcoming party season?
SV: Drink lots and lots of water, eat lots and stay away from processed foods. Do yoga and keep the mind happy!
MG: We know it must be hard to choose, but what are your Top 3 fave workout tracks?
SV: Mase – All I ever Wanted, Jay Z – BBC, and for a quieter option check out Petite Biscuit – Sunset Lover.
97 Swan Street