Stirling Ackroyd interviews the Managing Director of Hotpod Yoga

Stirling Ackroyd got in touch with the Managing Director of Hotpod Yoga, Max Henderson, to discover more about their innovative yoga concept and how they are taking over not only London but internationally with this fitness craze.

Hotpod Yoga was launched in 2013 by Yoga teacher Nick and strategy consultant Max. They have a simple mission: to make the benefits of hot yoga accessible in as many ways (and places) as they can think of. 
What makes their concept unique to your usual hot yoga classes are the pods. Award winning designers Inflate and Nick Elias did battle with physics to come up with a portable, practical and hygienic studio that’s also simply a sublime yoga environment. With pods perfected and popping up all over and a franchising operation in place, it’s now all about the yoga. 
The business continues to grow, but remains strongly anchored to its founding purpose – really accessible hot vinyasa yoga in the perfect studio environment.

What was your inspiration to start the Hotpod Yoga concept?

There were three things really that inspired us to create Hotpod Yoga:

  1. The lack of mobility in the yoga industry - there are thousands of teachers around the country plying their trade, often for very little financial return, working incredibly hard - we wanted to address that through a genuinely empowering franchise model
  2. The inaccessibility and haughtiness of much of the yoga world - we wanted to create something grounded in real life, for everyone and anyone
  3. High studio costs - we didn’t want to spend £100k on turning a basic room into a hot yoga studio. We wanted to create unique, portable hot yoga studios that were a genuinely beautiful space to practice yoga in.

What is it that you’re looking for in an area when searching for your next Hotpod location?
We’ve launched in 25 locations around the world that range from non-affluent, rural towns all the way up to major European and African capitals. So, we’re pretty open. But we ideally want big residential populations and a strong sense of community. We also love diversity - it adds to the challenge and suits our approach!

Does the retail space need any specific requirement to set up your pods?
Not really - that’s part of the beauty of it. We can transform any space, very quickly and cheaply into a fantastic yoga facility. We need 9m x 7m of space and 2.7m of height, a reasonable power source and then we’re there!

What exciting things are in the pipeline for Hotpod Yoga?
We’ve got a huge amount going on. We’re now in 5 countries (soon to be 7), we’re working with pro-sports teams, top corporates and even schools. Our franchise network continues to grow and we’ve got exciting plans for London too (where we run everything ourselves, rather than with franchisees) - we’re looking at 15+ studios across the city in the next 3 years.

How did you find working with Stirling Ackroyd?
Really great. I would say that, given that this is the Stirling Ackroyd blog, but sincerely it’s been a great help. Real experience to advise us, a good understanding of young but ambitious businesses and a great work ethic. So, we’re looking forward to doing more together in the future.

Whether you’re looking for exciting new office space or a studio in which to carry out design and creative work, here at Stirling Ackroyd we have a diverse selection of commercial properties to choose from.