It may seem strange that the practice of a traditional and age-old discipline can be conveyed through a technological tool. Yet yoga is proving to have a special feeling with technology, which is perhaps just another sign of its ability to regenerate and rejuvenate itself, always remaining itself in its deep essence. In fact, for many years there have been blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to this discipline, but the latest evolution are apps that allow you to follow the practice directly from your cell phone.
All the advantages of yoga apps
Many yoga apps are available on the main iOS and Android digital stores, allowing both absolute beginners and experienced yoginis to get valuable support in their practice even when it's not possible to attend an in-person class. Although the control and the viva voce of a teacher remain in some ways irreplaceable, the advantages of being able to rely on an app are numerous and undeniable. With apps, in fact, it is possible to practice yoga directly from one's own home, without having to travel and with absolute autonomy in terms of days and times. This flexibility is particularly useful when the days are full of commitments and carving out your own space to regenerate your body and mind seems to be a mission impossible, however necessary. With apps, all you need is a mat and your cell phone to practice without constraints but at the same time without giving up proper guidance.
The apps are also useful whenever you can't access a course. This happens on vacation, while traveling, but also when you live in a small town and attending a course would involve long trips. Not only that, but in the last long months of restrictions due to the pandemic, apps have made it possible to continue practicing yoga even with gyms closed and courses suspended, at a time when the search for physical and mental well-being is particularly important.
Another advantage is surely that of becoming aware of the specifics of this ancient discipline before beginning to practice it in the true sense, at a specialized center and with a teacher. Yoga is a discipline that brings undeniable physical advantages, but that has a strong and inescapable spiritual component, therefore it differs substantially from activities considered similar, such as Pilates. In addition, there are many types of yoga and many approaches to the discipline, so that experimenting with apps can be a great way to approach yoga gradually and with awareness.
The best apps for yoga
So here are some of the best apps, all downloadable on the main iOS and Android stores, to approach yoga for the first time or to deepen the practice independently. Different in approach and functionality, they are all looking for a perfect balance between body and mind.
App designed by a team of fitness experts and therefore focused primarily on the physical aspect of the discipline. The proposed goal is to lose weight and get in shape, through exercises inspired by the asanas (positions) of yoga. The approach is very motivational and can be an undoubtedly positive spur to start and maintain a workout, resulting at the same time optimal for all those who would like to approach yoga but are afraid of not being in total harmony with its more meditative and spiritual dimension.
Once downloaded, the app asks you to enter your height and weight parameters, as well as your fitness level and the weight you intend to reach.
Based on these values, a personalized daily plan is then created, based on over one hundred different workouts. You can choose different workout sessions, with different levels of intensity and duration. The download is free, but then access to the content is allowed only with a monthly or annual subscription.
Down Dog is perhaps the most famous app for practicing yoga and takes its name from what is probably the most famous of its asanas, namely the upside-down dog. After downloading it, the app immediately asks you to specify your level of experience, allowing you to choose between two beginner levels (those who have never done it and those who have already done a few classes), two intermediate levels (those who are ready for more complex positions and those who feel comfortable with almost every asana) and finally an advanced level.
You can choose between different styles and even what pace to practice at, from the slowest to the fastest. You can also focus on different aspects: whether to strengthen a specific part of the body, improve balance, increase flexibility or focus more on the breath. Finally, the practice can be associated with a background music or sound to promote concentration.
Pocket Yoga encapsulates the essence of any yoga app: the ability to have your daily practice at your fingertips on your smartphone, to pull out whenever you manage to carve out a moment for your well-being during the day. The specificity of this app consists in the fact that it contains very clear audiovisual instructions, guiding users step by step in the construction of the positions.
The app also provides a dictionary of the postures, in order to become familiar with them and make sure to perform them correctly. For this reason, it's particularly suitable for beginners, but it can also be a handy tool for those who are already comfortable with the different asanas. The app also tracks your workouts, monitor your progress and the amount of calories burned during each session.The background music can be chosen from a special library.
Daily Yoga combines the classic features of a yoga app with those of a community of yoginis from all over the world. This app is particularly popular because it allows you to stay in touch and share your progress with others: a way to motivate yourself to keep up your efforts and reach your goals.
When you download the app, you need to choose your goal, such as losing weight, improving muscle tone, meditating, etc. Then you're presented with several sequences of yoga exercises. Then you are offered several asana sequences, specific to your goal, suitable for different levels of experience, clearly marked so you can choose with awareness. Alternatively, however, you can access a standard daily practice program. Some of the content is accessible as a free trial, but to unlock the full functionality you'll need to pay a subscription.
Yoga in 5 minutes
The peculiarity of this app is the presence of a stopwatch that keeps track of the time of each session, none of which exceeds five minutes, just as its name promises. It's the perfect app for those who want to motivate themselves and perform short exercise sessions, perhaps to be repeated throughout the day, for example upon awakening, during lunch break or before falling asleep.
This app is particularly useful for those who want to integrate the practice with a focus on specific sequences, being able to count on the comprehensive explanations provided by the app itself. Each session includes a combination of simple asanas within everyone's reach, each of which is explained through images and very precise instructions. Once downloaded, you can access a free trial, after which you can decide to subscribe to a monthly subscription or a one-off payment.
Simply Yoga: the message of this app couldn't be clearer and more direct, focusing on an interface and navigation paths that are extremely intuitive and therefore very easy to use. Much of the content is accessible free of charge, while only some of it requires payment of a subscription that will also allow you to use the app without the annoying presence of advertising banners.
Once you start the app you can choose between two main sections, Classic Routines and Latest Routines, within which you can then select the duration of the practice you want to perform, guided by very explanatory videos, with audio explanations in English. Alternatively, in the Streaming section you can find numerous sessions with different teachers, related to different styles of yoga, whose duration is always well indicated. In this way, you can choose your own routine every day while having access to different features and free content, which can be adjusted according to your needs.