Interview with Katie Robertson, Hotpod Yoga franchisee

Since first discovering it 18 months ago, we’ve become huge fans of Hotpod Yoga, and attend classes every week.

Our Hotpod is run by mum of two Katie Robertson. We decided to find out why she launched her Hotpod business, and how she makes it work with raising a family.

What’s your career background?

I worked in media after graduating where I met my husband Ross across a desk at Capital Radio in London. He was my boss for two years.

I worked for another media company also in London during which time I completed my Personal Training diploma and also took a sabbatical to go on my yoga teacher training.

When did you first discover yoga?

Two years after we met, Ross went travelling for nine months. While he was away I decided to finally try yoga, specifically hot yoga, and I was hooked.

I had always loved the endorphin rush of high intensity exercise and never really liked slow paced yoga , and so I found that the heat added that bit of extra something I needed to really LOVE it.

What is Hotpod Yoga?

Hotpod Yoga is based on the idea that yoga should be for everyone, and it aims to make yoga accessible.

We use normal, everyday language and teach classes in our immersive, otherworldly purple womb-like pods that provide a completely immersive experience when combined with the music (all from unsigned artists), the aromatherapy and the low level lighting.

Classes are based on vinyasa flow and the pod is heated to a toasty 37 degrees. 

What are the benefits of Hotpod Yoga over ‘normal’ yoga?

There are loads! The heat really enables your body to stretch further, sweat more (releasing toxins) and simply MELT into it. The heat is humbling, too, and helps us to break down any expectations we may have, so that we are really left at the end clearer, calmer and nicer versions of ourselves more ready for daily life. 

What attracted you to start your own Hotpod Yoga business?

I have always wanted to do this for life – I was teaching yoga, teaching spinning and taking on private wellness clients around my day job for the last two years in London and when I fell pregnant with Rex (now three) we new we needed to put the wheels in motion for our “escape the rat race of London” plan.

We were disillusioned with the media industry feeling that it did no good in the world and we did no good in the world and we really wanted to do something that felt good. 

Who is your ideal Hot Pod Yoga customer? 

Our ideal customer is anyone really! I really couldn’t say a particular person. If I had to choose, I’d say someone who thinks they dont need or like yoga, as we love to break down the misconceptions. I love it when I see a new person after class who arrived sceptical.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

We use facebook and instagram and flyer about town but the best way is through word of mouth when our customers recommend us. Were trying to do more now though and have a few partnerships coming up this summer with Worthing 10K run and also Worthing Pride.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in launching your business?

I could literally give you endless ones! The single biggest one though was when we discovered, a month before leaving London and five months before opening the pod, that I was pregnant with our daughter Bonnie who is now 17 months old.

I remember that day like it was yesterday and I cannot tell you how hard and how terrifying it was as we knew that it would be a financial strain already and then adding the fact that I would be out of action and we would have a newborn baby just was insane.

I went back to teach when bonnie was seven weeks old and was pumping and breastfeeding day and nights. The exhaustion sent me quite mad actually and I did have some really really dark times. What with teaching and mothering there was nothing left for me. 

And your proudest moment?

Our launch weekend! Seeing over 150 people come and try the pod and there happy faces after was INCREDIBLE.

What tips do you have for other yoga instructors who want to start a business?

I would say, make sure you really love it. No one gets rich from yoga, and its hard work, it does not come easy. So if you want an easy life stay in a paid job.

But if you want to do the most rewarding thing ever that helps people an immeasurable amount then do it. But maybe not if you have a one-year old and are also pregnant…!

Find a Hotpod Yoga class near you.