Hot yoga disciples will be pleased to hear that Hotpod Yoga is reopening two of its studios in the capital at the end of the month.
The Hackney studio will reopen first on August 24, followed by the Brixton studio on September 14. The four remaining studios - at Belgravia, Notting Hill, Dulwich and South Wimbledon - will follow over the coming months.
Studios will relaunch with a full timetable of Hotpod Flow classes but with a reduced capacity of just 12 people per class to allow for social distancing.
But the reopening will also see Hotpod Yoga debut a Covid-friendly new concept.
Enter: the minipod.
The 2x3m individual inflatable domes will provide an immersive hot yoga experience for one person at a time. The pods will mirror the design and atmosphere of Hotpod's full-sized domes, with each being heated to 37°C, with soft purple lighting and the infused with the brand’s signature aromatherapy blend. Inside there will be a tablet which customers can use to choose either to attend a live streamed class or browse through a selection of pre-recorded classes on its on-demand streaming platform, Hotpod Home.
To begin with, there will be eight minipods in Hackney and seven in Brixton, both in addition to a normal pod.The studio will also continue to offer classes via Zoom for those people who prefer to get their flow on from home.
Despite the timely innovation for times of social distancing, founder Max Henderson says the idea has been in the works for some time. "The minipod is something we’ve been dreaming about for years, and we are so excited to finally see it become a reality. Owen Farrell and the England team took one to the Rugby World Cup last year and gave us phenomenal feedback. Since then, we’ve been working on making them studio-ready. Given the public health context, we opted to accelerate this, as they provide an even safer and more socially distant way for our customers to enjoy our classes - this makes it ideal for those who aren’t quite ready for group classes yet. But this isn’t a short-term solution - the experience the Minipods create is totally unique and very special: it’s incredibly immersive and really takes you a million miles away from the outside world."
"We're starting off with minipods in Hackney and Brixton and then we're going to decide whether they'll feature at studios across the network. Either way, the original pods will remain our core offering - it's what our hundreds of thousands of students have shown they love over the years."