In the second of our Gathered Experiences feature we catch up with Nick Higgins, founder of the amazing Hotpod Yoga. Here Nick tells us about how Hotpod came about and the wider benefits of yoga. Check out his inspiring story and try out a class near you!
Please explain what Hotpod is all about?
We are Hotpod Yoga and we provide hot yoga classes in our portable, cocoon hot yoga studios. Our mission is to be able to give the benefits of yoga to all, and to break down any preconceptions to those who have never tried yoga, allowing for everyone to have a healthier body and calmer mind.
Accessibility on all fronts is our goal, with our pods (portable studios) being able to pop up in any space creating a beautiful warm and immersive space to hold a class. Accessible in the way in which we teach the classes, down to earth and logical whilst respecting wholeheartedly its thousands of years of history and tradition. The classes are 1 hour of dynamic postures (exercises) at 37 degrees C to work up a good sweat, whilst having an incredible effect of easing and calming our busy minds.
How did you set up the business?
My old school friend Max and I came up with Hotpod Yoga around 3 years ago. I was teaching yoga and Max, a management consultant. Together we saw that there are massive preconceptions about yoga held by most - and we wanted to be able to tackle this and give people its incredible physical and mental benefits.
We started looking at the most highly stressed area, that being offices and corporates in the city.
How could we create a portable hot yoga studio that could pop up and down very quickly be immersive and insulative to hold a good hot environment to give these stressed tense office bound people an amazing yoga experience?? We tried and tested and eventually we came to our perfect structure.
We started working with LinkedIn, City Bank, Harrods and Coca Cola. From there we moved to holding permanent studios for the public around london the UK and now Internationally.
It's been a lot of blood sweat and tears, but it's the most satisfying and enjoyable thing in the world.
What challenges have you faced?
Emotional, Logistical, Personal, Financial, Physical, Mental. They never stop but you learn how to deal with them better.
What is the best part of running your own business?
I count myself incredibly lucky, doing the thing I love most - yoga - and running a business with one of my best friends. In the future we look forward to being able to give more and more people a happy healthier lifestyle.
What are the benefits of doing yoga?
Physically you stretch and strengthen allowing your body to become strong and nimble. You start to feel and hold your body more, less aching joints, better flexibility. A better feeling you basically!
Mentally you feel calmer and clearer, because of 1) the physical exertion 2) learning to focus on your breathing whilst doing the exercises which is a meditation, in effect a mind exercise!
Do you think yoga is has a great affect on our mental health?
From a historic philosophy this is why yoga was developed, to control and help the mind.
From a scientific and medicinal point there are countless studies showing how it works and helps the mind.
From a personal point of view - it is the thing that completely eases my mind.
What has yoga taught you about life?
Everything contracts and gets difficult, and then releases and it all eases a little bit. Its never static or the same. Its how you observe it which dictates your mood.
When and where do your classes take place?
In London: Brixton, Notting Hill and London Fields.
Outside of london - Nottingham, Swansea, Milton Keynes, Solihull, Bucarest (Romania), Johanesburg, Pretoria (South Africa) and soon to be Lisbon and Cardiff.