Living North Tried Hot Pod Yoga
and this is what we found…
The brand new studio can be found on Gateshead’s Brandling Street. A bright and welcoming space, the high, curved ceilings and clean design reflect the sense of calm the Hotpod Yoga experience creates.
Gateshead branch founder and instructor Stacey Olson greeted us and quickly dispelled any novices’ nerves we had about trying Hotpod for the first time. Relaxed and chatty, Stacey offered us complimentary herbal teas and proudly showed us around the new studio space. After teaching yoga in many different countries, including India, Bali and Thailand, Stacey’s knowledge of the discipline is extensive and she assures us the class will calm our minds as well as our bodies.
The facilities are extensive, including an open area to relax, complete with drinks station, plus showers to help you cool down after the class, but not before you’ve taken your sweaty-but-happy selfie in the floor to ceiling mirror!
The pod itself is another calming space: warm when you first enter, it heats up during the class to a balmy 37 degrees. The idea is that the heat allows you to stretch further, breathe deeper and sweat harder to gain more benefit from each session. Stacey sprayed Hotpod Yoga’s delicate signature scent through the pod as our class began, and the bespoke soundtrack coupled with the soft lighting allowed us to focus on her clear instructions without distractions. In these chaotic times it felt wonderful to be able to forget, however briefly, about the outside world and focus entirely on the slow, controlled movements we were making.
Suitable for all levels, the different poses are recognisable to lovers of yoga, yet Stacey made us total beginners feel at ease, as she carefully explained each move. The studio provides towels and mats, so all you need to remember is to drink lots of water! We loved the class and, as promised, the whole experience did indeed help calm our minds after a busy week in the office, but also made us feel like we had had a good workout too.
We caught up with Stacey after our class to find out a little bit more about her – and her HotPod.
A bit about Stacey
‘There’s a Canadian yogi in Toon! I have trained and taught yoga all over the world including India, Bali and Thailand. Moving from Canada, to London, to the North East as a primary school teacher, I quickly realised that I was ready to swap literacy for leggings; maths for the mat. Having trained in and taught many different yoga styles, I am excited to bring the multi-sensory Hotpod experience to the Gateshead Quayside!’
Her top tips for new comers
‘Listen to your body and rest whenever you need to for as long as you need. Equally, make sure you drink water throughout the class — hydration is key. The teachers will give different variations for the postures, do the one that feels the best for you. I always say, your teacher is your guide, but your body is the boss.’
What inspires her
‘I am inspired by a lot of people these days. My baby girl inspires me to work hard every day so I can be a good role model for her. I am inspired by my students who come into the pod with stories of parenthood, hard work, juggling work/school, finding “me time”, health journeys, lifestyle goals, pain management and working through day-to-day uncertainties. They say that we stand on the shoulders of giants and my giants are my family. Growing up, I watched my father build businesses while my mom stood by him through every risk taken. Without them I couldn’t have built my dream studio. My partner and my in-laws were also integral in making the dream come alive. Sleepless nights, building, and last minute babysitters brought this studio from drawings to life. The strength of family coming together is truly inspiring.’
The best thing?
‘I absolutely adore the students who come through the doors every day. The studio has become a little community, where people stick around for a chat and a free cup of tea after class. Also nothing beats feedback like, “this is the only place that eases my back pain”. The other day someone told me that the pod is the only place where their body doesn’t ache. Being able to catalyse relief, whether it’s physical, emotional or mental, is truly a gift.’