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How To Do Hip Hop Yoga

Introduced into Australia by Sammy, Hip Hop Yoga, as Amy discovers, is not only one of the best full body workouts you can do, but also one of the most fun! In this power-packed routine, Sammy takes you through the Downward Dog, Crow & Warrior poses for both beginners and advances yogis.

Watch this video to get hooked on Hip Hop Yoga too!

Sammy Veall Yoga Picture Taken In Bali by Photographer Neal Harrison
Sammy Veall Yoga Picture Taken In Bali by Photographer Neal Harrison

Amy: There is a new health and fitness craze sweeping the world and it’s called Hip- Hop Yoga, Sammy Veall brought it to Australia from where else but LA. So Sammy what is Hip-Hop Yoga?

Sammy: Hip-Hop yoga is a really happy, fun free flowing class set to really loud, old and new Hip- Hop music 

Amy: And how did you discover it, it’s never been here before? 

Sammy: Yeah I discovered it over there [in LA] when I went over for acting and I went to my first Hip-Hop yoga class where I met Steve Ross he is an ex band member of Men at Work who toured with the beach boys and who has a really musical background. I met him and absolutely fell in love with it and quit my acting the next day and brought it back to Australia. 

Amy: And what’s the difference between a normal yoga class and a Hip-hop Yoga class?

Sammy: Well it still has all the same benefits as a normal yoga class but it’s way less serious and a lot more fun!

Amy: So it’s kind of like a mixture of a yoga class and a dance party?

Sammy: Yes, exactly 

Amy: Sounds like fun, lets give it a go! 

Sammy: Our first position is the Downward Dog so we are going to take the hands down, step the feet back, the feet are at hip width and the hands are at shoulder width, spreading fingers wide so your going to grip onto the matt and lift up through the belly so switching on your core then pushing the heels down, lifting the hips up high.

This is a great resting position and really rejuvenates the nervous system and now we are going to roll forward into our high plank. You have to keep the body in a straight line. We want those heels stacked above the toes – this is really good strengthening for our arms and also for our wrists.

Keep those fingers spreading wide and the belly lifting up and going down through your Chaturanga hugging the elbows in and up into your Upward Dog. This is great for depression and fatigue as we are opening up our chest and keep rolling the shoulders back making sure the knees are up off the floor and you’re pushing up into the tops of your feet and flowing back into your Downward Dog.

It’s like a flow sequence so you can do that a couple of times, which happens in each Hip-Hop class. Now we will come into our Crescent Pose putting our foot up in between our hands, the front knee wants to stay in line with the ankle so you really want to lunge deeply forward. See the heel again here is like the high plank is stuck above the toes. You want to tuck the pelvis under sticking the bum out.

So pull the belly in switching on the core. Arms are up, shoulders are back down into the back. Now we just drop the back heel down and this is our Warrior One and is much the same as our Crescent Pose. The key with this pose is to really to really push out from the side of the pinky toe side of your foot otherwise if you’re lifting it up it creates problems in your knee joints so opening up to your Warrior Two and here it’s nice when you get into your Warrior Two, to lift the shoulders up and to roll them down the back fixing up your alignment.

You have gone into your Reverse Warrior so flip the park and reaching and gaining up and push down in the front heel and reach through the finger tips getting this nice stretch through the front side of the body and then stepping back and then go back down into your flow and then you switch sides and peek back into our Downward Dog.

Amy: So I survived my first Yoga Hip -Hop class 

Sammy Veall Yoga Picture Taken In Bali by Photographer Neal Harrison
Sammy Veall Yoga Picture Taken In Bali by Photographer Neal Harrison

Sammy: What did you think?

Amy: I loved it; it was definitely tougher than a normal Hip-hop class but definitely a lot more fun as well! Thanks for joining us.

Sammy Veall owns and runs Yoga 213

Written by Sammy Veall

Sammy Veall is The Carousel’s resident Yoga Teacher and owner of Yoga 213 studios in Melbourne and Bondi, which specialise in hip hop yoga, a technique Sammy proudly introduced into Australia. Sammy is trained in Vinyasa, Hatha and Niyama hot yoga and is a regular authority on all things yoga related, appearing in Women’s Health magazine, Yoga Journal and The Age newspaper. Sammy is also the Ambassador for Diabetes Australia and The Carousel is thrilled to welcome Sammy Veall as our resident Yoga Teacher, bringing fun, technique and a host of healthy mind, body and soul benefits to fans every week.


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