Former Folkestone 'geek' Ruth expands Hot Pod Yoga into Dover

Contributed by editor on Nov 14, 2019 - 02:25 PM

Ruth Preston, founder, owner and CEO Hot Pod Yoga (Folkestone & Dover) in the pod at the new Dover studio  Photo: Chris Lawson


By Chris Lawson

It may not be new but it’s on trend and rapidly becoming one of the areas hottest night spots - it’s Hot Yoga


Hottest Spot is the Pod

42-year-old Ruth Preston, a former City IT geek and founder, CEO and owner of Hot Pod Yoga (Folkestone) has now opened the latest pod - this time in Dover, on the first floor of the Charlton Shopping Centre.

Part of Europe’s largest yoga business, the Hot Pod franchise now exists in over 50 locations around the world and following the rapid success of Ruth’s first studio in Cheriton High Street, Folkestone, she opened Hot Pod Yoga (Dover) last weekend.


Ruth Preston, founder, owner and CEO Hot Pod Yoga (Folkestone & Dover) in the pod at the new Dover studio  Photo: Chris Lawson

The former self-confessed ‘geek’, born and bred in Folkestone, with a degree in Maths and Business Management, held several prominent IT positions in London before taking a six month sabbatical to India - which somehow turned into seven years.



“I’d discovered yoga some years before when taking a detox holiday in Thailand” she explained. “But India just suited me. I loved the travelling, the culture, and it just worked for me. I got a flat in Bangalore, not the most attractive of places, and undertook a yoga teacher training course.”

Her introduction to Hot Pod Yoga followed her return to the UK for her brothers wedding in 2017. “Hot yoga has been around for a long time but the Hot Pod franchise was a concept I’d not seen before” says Ruth. “I needed a base in Folkestone for family reasons, so started looking for suitable premises and begged, borrowed and stole to raise enough cash to buy into the franchise”.


Ruth Preston, founder, owner and CEO Hot Pod Yoga (Folkestone & Dover) in the pod at the new Dover studio  Photo: Chris Lawson

The search ended with a disused warehouse on Cheriton High Street and following three months hard labour renovating the premises, Ruth opened her first studio in May 2018. “The opening weekend was a great success. We filled all the 20 places in each class over the Saturday and Sunday. The Folkestone studio opened with five instructors teaching 18 classes per week and now operates with eight instructors and offers 29 classes.”

Charlton Shopping Centre

Among the regular students at Folkestone was Mark Fraser, owner of Channel Cross Fit, also located in the Charlton Shopping Centre. Ruth was already planning a second studio so when Mark suggested utilising his space in the Charlton Centre, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“We’ve been open a week and it’s going well” says Ruth. “The figures are matching those of the Folkestone first week. It’s yoga in it’s most potent form and it’s attracting a lot of people including many who have never done yoga before.”

Plans for the future are never far from her mind though. “I’d love to be running three studios, but let’s not run before we can walk. It’s been amazing. In the last year the Folkestone studio has proved a success, I’ve opened a second studio in Dover and I’ve even found time to buy a new flat. It’s 100% what I was supposed to do!” The former geek and wondering nomad has finally come home - to the the hottest pod in Kent.

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