If you want to learn yoga, you no longer have to research, order, and wait for a DVD to come in the mail. These days, you just have to pick up your phone.
Learning yoga in person can be an effective, more social approach. However, you might not always have access to a studio, or have the funds to pay for classes.
There are hundreds of yoga apps and it’s difficult to tell which ones are good. Before you fork out money to purchase an app, or even before you download a free one, check out these reviews of the best yoga apps currently on the market.
Yoga Studio by Modern Lotus
$3.99 for Mac products only: iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini
This is the best-selling yoga app and the one with the most positive reviews. It has a 5-star user rating and was voted runner-up in “Best App Ever” Awards in the fitness category for 2012 and 2013. Yoga Studio has 65 ready-made high definition video classes for beginner, intermediate, or advanced students. When you click on a ready-made class, it will download to your device. The files are big because they’re shot in HD. There is a yoga pose library with 285 poses. When you click on a pose you get a picture of the pose, a description, the benefits, and modifications and counter-indications. The user interface is very clean and easy to use.
You can create your own custom classes with pose blocks, which are short sequences that you can link together to create a flow. Yoga Studio’s smart-link feature can seamlessly link together poses, which may not naturally flow together and the video-stitch feature turns your sequences into an entire class.
I have viewed many yoga apps and this one is the absolute best I’ve seen and well worth the purchase price. Check out the Yoga Studio App.
Daily Yoga by DailyYoga.com
Free to download with In-App purchases. You can upgrade to the pro version for $29.99 per year for iPhone or Android.
This is a close second to the Daily Yoga app. The best part of this app is that it’s free to download and more than 25 classes are included in the free version. The background music is also goes really well with the classes. With the free version, you receive a soundtrack called Yoga Moments. When you upgrade to the pro version, you get additional soundtracks. The app has a clean, easy interface and is aesthetically pleasing. The yoga models even have a bio page. The videos are clear, easy to follow, and the voiceover instructions are descriptive without being overbearing. Each class has a different theme such as hip openers, sun salutations, or easy joint movement. You can unlock additional classes with the pro version.
Daily Yoga has a pose library and you can connect to a global community through the app. As of October 2015, there were a lot of user complaints about recent updates causing the app to crash and other complaints about customer service not being attentive.
This is a good app and you can take plenty of classes with the free version. Check out the Daily Yoga App.
Pocket Yoga HD by Rainfrog LLC
$2.99 for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, and Windows 8
The yoga model in the Pocket Yoga HD is computer generated, which can take some getting used to. It’s almost as if you’re watching a cartoon character do yoga. As you advance in the poses, you get to “upgrade” your background. For example, you may have a computer-generated desert background and you can upgrade to an ocean view as you advance in your practice. The app, funky computer-generated features aside, has received positive reviews. In February 2014, MacWorld gave Pocket Yoga HD rave reviews and USA Today called it one of the “best fitness apps” in 2013.
It has full yoga classes and doesn’t require network connectivity. Pocket Yoga HD has a comprehensive pose dictionary with explanations, which may be especially helpful to yoga teachers in training.
There are a lot of user complaints that the poses change too quickly and that there are no clear demonstrations on how to do poses. Therefore, this app is not for beginners. Also, for those who prefer to custom build their own classes, this app doesn’t have that capacity. And other users have complained about the workouts being too repetitive. Check out the Pocket Yoga App.
Simply Yoga FREE by Daily Workout Apps LLC
Free download, pro version available for $3.99 for iPhone, iPad, Android, Google Play
I included this app because it has received a lot 5-star reviews and its basic version is free. Apart from those reasons, I’m not impressed.
It doesn’t look like developers but a lot of effort, thought, or resources into making the app appealing. The videos look like they were recorded in someone’s living room with a home video camera. It’s functional and basic.
The upside is they have 20- to 60-minute workouts with levels one and two. The name of each pose appears on the screen in English and in Sanskrit. The background track, which doesn’t change, is ocean sounds. There is a calendar reminder to send you notifications for working out. You can customize your workouts with the pro version.
The one major annoyance, in the free version of this app, is that there are ads running across the bottom of the screen during your yoga class. Check out the Simply Yoga Free App.
Yoga.com Studio by Plus Sports
$3.99 for iPhone & iPad and Free for Andriod with In App purchases
This app has a modern and sleek interface. There are 45 yoga programs and 300 yoga poses. You can pick a program or customize your class. In the pose base, you can see a demonstration as well as a 3D muscle image of the pose. You can also choose from many different audio backgrounds. Another great feature is that you can have the pose named in English or Sanskrit and you can leave the teacher’s voice on or turn it off in the app settings. Yoga.com Studio also includes four breathing exercises and meditations.
Some of the reviewers complain that the workouts are longer than stated and that the routines don’t flow between poses. Apparently, you can’t turn off the pose demonstrations feature. There have been complaints of the app freezing up often, and that the upgrade to the pro version is not worth it. But In my opinion, this is one of the better apps. Check out the Yoga.com Studio App.
Nothing is as authentic and cozy as being in an actual class with real people. However, yoga apps can be a fantastic alternative when you’re traveling or simply can’t get to a yoga class.