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I am a self-admitted, recently-converted Vinyasa yoga fanatic. After discovering the personal benefits of hot yoga (gotta get those muscles loose), and loving the feeling of flowing to loud music, I was beyond psyched when the Ace Hotel announced a new rooftop, poolside workout series, cheekily entitled "NamasDrake." The premise? 75 minutes of Vinyasa flow at the notoriously hip DTLA hotel to the music of — you guessed it — Drake, churned out by DJ Tronstamos. Oh right, and followed by a pool party and free champagne with ticket purchase.
For a gal like me, this was a great reason to get up (relatively) early on a Sunday for the 10am class and join some other Drizzy and Vinyasa die-hards downtown — it's worth mentioning that the class is listed as accessible for all levels and that was absolutely the case. Since this was the opening installment of what the Ace tells me is the first of many to come, they weren't offering mats, so definitely bring your own (although there was plenty of cold water to go around).
Up to the rooftop I go, Alo leggings on over a bathing suit, mat in hand and ready to let the stylings of Drizzy and the sick setting take me to next level zen. Yoga teacher Paul Schneider led the class, and the boy is not only long, lean, and totally capable, but he actually managed to get me into a steady crow pose, which I've been trying to do (unsuccessfully) for months. Paul opened our practice with some inspiration from Drake as he stood proudly on the pool platform and pronounced, "Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination," a line the hip-hop master delivered at a high school commencement. For a yogi, that means, "For the love of all things holy, don't freaking forget to breathe." Drizzy, you get us.
The class was fabulous, fun, and not as tiring as I'd expected, peppered with Drake classics and ending with Hotline Bling (yep, I flipped out and attempted to twerk in down dog). I'll absolutely become a regular at this workout, but let this serve as a warning to you and a reminder to myself: it's impossible to wear too much sunscreen to this. I hadn't realized that "poolside" yoga meant direct, blaring, rooftop sunlight and my back now looks like a Speedo ad. The post-workout dip in the pool was a welcome relief from the heat, and I'm pretty sure that all the sunbathers who watched the class were majorly impressed by my crow pose (right?). #NamasDrake.