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by Dana Meltzer Zepeda
Matthew Reyes isn’t exactly your typical yoga teacher. Then again, YogaHop, the Santa Monica studio he’s co-owned and run since 2006, isn’t your typical yoga space. There are no deity statues here, no complimentary herbal tea. There is, of course, a state of the art sound system. As the name implies, YogaHop marries Reyes’ passion for both yoga and hip-hop and pop music. And the tiny two-room loft is perpetually packed with yogis who want both: peace of mind and a kickass workout—all in little over an hour.
“Most studios want Western people to embrace the Eastern way,” says Reyes. “We decided, ‘Let’s take what Western people want and make yoga for them.” The result is a fast-paced flow designed to burn calories, build strength, increase flexibility, and tone up. “We try to be so efficient,” Reyes says. “We created yoga where you can totally access all of these things at once.”
In LA, yoga studios are a dime a dozen, as ubiquitous as Starbucks. But Reyes has a secret weapon that keeps stars like Reese Witherspoon and Chris O’Donnell coming back to YogaHop week after week: the intricate playlists he prepares for every class. “I know a lot of people play music but I don’t know anyone else who is thinking about matching every rhythm to every class. That’s what’s really different about us.”
Here are his picks for a yoga playlist to get your flow on:
Counting Stars by onerepublic
Burn by Ellie Goulding
Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo
Best Day of My Life by American Authors
Animals by Martin Garrix
Take Me Home by Cash Cash
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Drunk In Love by Beyonce
The A Team by Ed Sheer
Timber by Pit bull & Kesha