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Photo Courtesy: Saman Kouretchian
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The Six is Seattle's first Hip-Hop Fitness Studio

The Six may look unassuming from the outside, but inside the beat is bumping and the energy is infectious. It makes sense, since this is billed as Seattle's first hip-hop fitness studio.

"We created a space where people can be themselves. Every single class we say 'you be you'. If you need to bump a little bit, you bump a little bit. If you want to stay still, you can stay still. It's up to you to do you in this space," explained Karen Terrado, who co-founded The Six with her husband, Saman Kouretchian.

One of the main reasons people love this place is the vibe. Part work, part party. That starts with the hip-hop soundtrack.

"Hip-hop is what we listen to, it's what we grew up with and also it's just fun. It brings that excitement - it brings something new and fresh," said Kouretchian.

Of course, we wondered, do yoga and hip-hop really go together? So Refined's workout warrior, Gena Wynkoop and I decided to find out.

"I never knew that hip-hop and yoga could be a thing together, and I'm pretty down to try. That sounds amazing," Gena told me before we walked into The Six.

We came for the yoga, but The Six offers another popular class, HIIT (high intensity interval training), so naturally we had to try that too.

"Let's get sweaty," Terrado exclaimed as we headed into the studio.

She wasn't joking. At The Six the studio is heated to 85 degrees. That's a real x-factor, especially during one of Kouretchian's HIIT classes.

"So [our] HIIT classes are to the music. When that beat drops we speed it up. We use weights. We use [resistance] bands. We do partner work. We get loud, we get crazy. People are often yelling, screaming. Sometimes we turn the lights off. So, it's fun and then you come out of it shaking a little bit, but you're going to be feeling good too," said Kouretchian.

It was an accurate description.

"It was hotter than heck in there. And the workout was very difficult. I'm not going to lie. I didn't think it was going to be that hard," Gena told me as we stepped outside for a break.

I agreed. The workout was tough, in a good way. The heat was the real game-changer. I wasn't expecting to sweat that much, and I was legitimately dripping.

After a quick cool down we headed back into the studio for power flow yoga with Terrado.

"I have a background in dance, so [the yoga] is very dancy and flowy,"she explained. "I really encourage people to express themselves. So if that means you are in still that could be you. If that means you get a little deep into your pulse through little waves and movement, then that would be you in the space."

The yoga class was fast-paced, almost rhythmic. The hip-hop playing in the background energizing without being too distracting.

"The yoga portion was really cool. It was different with the music, but I liked it because I felt like it was more of a workout and (less like) stretching," said Gena after class.

My feelings were similar. I'm not a yogi, so there were moments I got lost during the sequences, but that comes with anything new. Often, it's the difficult things that are the most worthwhile.

The final verdict? Hip-hop and yoga are meant for each other.



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