I often get asked whether I know any apps or channels that one can use to practice yoga or even start yoga. And I always say that, in fact, I do happen to know a few good ones and I love them dearly. So today I will gladly share them with you.
But first things first, I have to forewarn you. While apps and YouTube channels are great for inspiring you to practice, providing you with useful material and enriching your yoga practice, they cannot substitute for professional advice and supervision. So if you have never tried yoga before or you have any medical conditions (in which case you should also consult with your doctor), it is best to start from a traditional in-person yoga class.
Starting in a group yoga class that you physically attend will help ensure that your posture is correct, that you are not setting yourself for an injury because of misalignment. You also have less risk of injury because your yoga teacher will know what is appropriate for your level and will stop you if you undertake too much or your form is incorrect. After you get these basics right, you can start your at-home yoga practice, and fortunately, you have the almost infinite resources at your dispose.
And so I’m going to share my Top-4 picks.
If, at this point, you’re wondering why Top-4 and not 5 or 10, here’s the answer. Four is my favourite and lucky number. It could have been 8, too, but it’s not for a reason. I am a person of contrasts and would usually have 2 completely different favourites of one type. So in this case, I have 2 favourite apps that give me 2 different vibes, and 2 different yoga channels. Depending on the mood, I will choose one or the other. Or both if the time allows and I am up for it. Plus I don’t like to burden myself with two many choices. As a person with too many passions and interests, I struggle to stick to routine and normally just go with the flow instead. These choices are the ones that passed the time challenge and stuck with me for a long time, some for as long as 8 years! So these are my true favourites, and I hope you like them too.
P.S. This post is absolutely not sponsored, so the picks are truly my own and use them on a daily/weekly basis. I don’t like recommending something I haven’t personally enjoyed. SO, without further ado…
My Top-4 Yoga Resources
TOP Yoga Apps
1. ASANA REBEL
Asana Rebel started as an app for yoga-inspired fitness. It incorporated isolated yoga moves and repetition to tone the body and build stamina. Over time their scope has changed and now it has more of the actual yoga than workouts comprised of several yoga moves. After the recent restructuring of the app it now features over a 100 yoga practices and yoga-inspired workouts of various lengths and levels, music for relaxation and concentrated work, guided meditation, a habit builder (reminders to drink water, read, study, journal etc.), daily wellness quizzes, a collection of nutritious vegetarian recipes and sleep sounds, which are available with Premium subscription.
With Free access you have a daily short workout, which I loved doing in the mornings for a good morning stretch or a metabolism boost. It also allows you to track your daily activity.
Things I Love:
- Varied practice, from easy stretches to challenging core and cardio workouts
- Different teachers
- Ability to choose the music for a practice
- Beautiful and moody locations
- 5-minute workouts (available for free)
- Activity tracker
- Healthy veggie recipes
Things I’m not mad about:
- There no measurements in the recipes, only visual guidelines in pictures
Overall, I love this app. It feels more than just a yoga/exercise app. It gives you a well-rounded approach to wellness and balanced lifestyle. It’s beautiful, it’s stylish, there’s a certain mood about it. It syncs your Activity to Apple Health and other health and nutrition apps, such as Lifesum. It also allows you to download videos for offline use. Yes, you have to pay for it to get access to all content, but after paying €40/month for a gym membership I almost never used (something I swore I’d never do), I figured it would be cheaper to quit the gym and get a yoga app subscription.
Subscription price: €37.99 for 3 months or €58.99 for 12 months.
2. DOWN DOG
Down Dog Yoga is the ultimate yoga app, as far as I can see. It may not be as fancy and ‘hip’ as Asana Rebel, but it is what it should be – a yoga app that offers you a tailored practice. When you open it, you get a screen with different parameters to choose your practice. You can choose between Full Practice, Hatha, Gentle, Restorative, Quick Flow and even No Warmup if you desire, among the others. You choose your level between Beginner 1 and 2, Intermediate 1 and 2, and Advanced. You can choose a Boost, such as Aerobic, Strength or Flexibility, Hip or Low Back Stretches, etc. to ensure that your practice hits the right spot. You choose the length of your practice anywhere from 6 to 90 minutes, you also choose the length of your Savasana – the relaxation pose, because not all of us have the time or patience to lie still for 10 minutes.
Further, you can choose your music (do you like beat, acoustic, piano, spiritual or no music at all?), choose the voice of your instructor, the pace and the quality of the video. Unlike Asana Rebel, where you have complete videos to choose from, Down Dog generates your practice to match your parameters, and currently it offers 60,000 different combinations. While it means that you never get the same practice twice, unlike Asana Rebel you get the same class setting every time.
Things I love:
- Traditional, serene feel of yoga class
- Full customisation of the practice
- Choice of music
Things I’m not mad about:
I mean, it is what it is. It’s a yoga app, no less, no more. The same person demonstrating the flow in the same setting day in and day out. It may probably get a bit boring over time, but so far I have been getting this serene and happy vibes from my practices with Down Dog that just make my heart glow. I don’t know whether it’s the pace of the practice, the calming voice of the instructor that I chose or the acoustic music, but I keep smiling through the entire practice. It also let me figure out what level I was on.
My final verdict: it’s not an all-in-one app that Asana Rebel is (for which I love it dearly), but maybe it shouldn’t be. The simplicity of Down Dog somehow brings me so much calm and ease that I am not sure how I can say no to this app when the free period is over.
Subscription price: €8.99/month or €56.99 for 12 months. With the current COVID-19 situation, all Yoga Down Dog app is free until the 1st May.
TOP YouTube Channels
1. Yoga with Adriene
Yoga with Adriene was founded on YouTube in 2012 and, completely unaware of the fact, I was practicing Yoga with Adriene from the very start. It was the first yoga channel on YouTube that I tried. I have gone through so many channels in the following years, but I couldn’t find one to replace Yoga with Adriene.
Despite becoming hugely popular on YouTube, Yoga with Adriene kept the same clean, simple, calm and cosy feel it’s had from the very beginning. Adriene is a wonderful person with a big heart, she is very accepting, understanding, encouraging. Her yoga teaching style is easy and honest, with a bit of fun. She would be the perfect teacher for beginners, but this is not to discourage those who are more advanced in their practice. Adriene places huge emphasis on mental health and on “Finding What Feels Good” – a philosophy that started in her videos and later flowed into a movement and community of like-minded people.
I can recommend Yoga with Adriene to anyone, but especially if you are looking to make a start in yoga practice or wish to find a practice that is not overloaded with sounds, colours and half-naked bodies. Oh, and if you like dogs, she has the cutest blue healer Benji who will gladly demonstrate his skills to you.
All in all, Yoga with Adriene makes an enjoyable, fun, yet calming and very grounding practice. Do give it a try.
2. Boho Beautiful
I, personally, find yoga with Boho Beautiful otherworldly.
Juliana, who leads the practice, has the most beautiful soul with so much compassion and love that it radiates through her words. She is a former gymnastics athlete, pilates and yoga teacher. Her movements are graceful and smooth and pleasure to look at. She has a perfect pitch and pace when voicing over the videos.
To say that the videos are stunning is to say nothing. The videos are filmed and edited by Juliana’s husband Mark, who has previously been known in the music industry. He is a very skilful filmmaker and also a wonderful person, but you would have to follow their vlogs to learn about the person stands behind the camera. All videos are shot on location during the couple’s travels: in the mountains, on a beach, in the tropics, at dawn and at sunset. They are of unbelievable beauty.
As for the practice itself, I find them more varied and more advanced. They can be calming, grounding and bring you closer to the nature, or they can be energising, igniting an inner fire. Although some of the practices are suitable for beginners, I would still suggest you try them out if you are fully comfortable with the basics. Juliana’s level shines through her every movement and it can be quite challenging to keep up with her. But if you are adventurous and visual (as I am) I highly recommend you try Boho Beautiful.
This is all from me today.
Hope you enjoy your next yoga practice!