Anyone with a full-time job knows how difficult it can be to work staying fit into your hectic daily schedule, between the office and chores at home making time for the gym seems impossible. Luckily with technology these days there’s an app for almost anything, including yoga — meaning that access to yoga practice is always right at our fingertips. While an app can’t replace a real instructor for pose alignments and modifications these 5 apps are a great place to start for fitness on the go.
1. Yoga Studio
Available for $3.99 in the iTunes app store, Yoga Studio is a favorite for many on-the-go yogis. Featuring an easily navigated design that sorts classes by duration, intensity, focus and practice level, this app also offers the option to create and save a custom class by picking poses to string together. Classes are led by a female voice-over that guides you through each pose while a video clip of a model performing the pose encourages proper posture and alignment.
- A wide variety of classes including 10 beginner classes, 11 intermediate, 9 for advanced practitioners and more than two dozen specialty classes including 10 minute practices, yoga for runners and deep meditations.
- The ability to create your own classes offers a customized practice best suited to your needs.
- Users can import their own music to listen to during practice.
- Yoga Studio has a library of poses with English and Sanskrit names, which teaches proper alignment, pose modifications and the benefits of the pose.
- Pose modifications aren’t included in class voice-overs, meaning anyone needing modifications would have to stop and look up the pose in the library to find modification instructions.
Best For: Beginners, practitioners seeking variety.
Available for Android or iOS, Yoga.com offers more flexibility as a restricted version of the app is free, while the full version is $1.99. The free version of the app includes access to two beginner classes and a pose base of 289 poses and breathing exercises. Unlocking the full version grants access to a total of 37 classes, the ability to turn off ads and manage your favorite programs. This app includes a voice-over in the programs to walk you through getting into position.
- Encourages proper posture with clear descriptions and videos of the poses in practice.
- Programs can be customized by adding or subtracting poses.
- Anatomical drawings offer insight into how poses should look.
- Pose library includes both English and Sanskrit names
- No option to import music.
- No modifications offered.
Best for: Yogis on a budget
Voted as one of the best yoga apps of 2015 by Healthline, this free app is a popular way to get a workout in under 30 minutes. Offering yoga coaching for all levels this app includes more than 50 HD yoga exercises and 500 poses, with a voice guide and soothing music. With the ability to customize your practice and access to an online community it’s not hard to see why this app is loved by many.
- Programs tailored to fit specific needs including office yoga, prenatal yoga and yoga for weight loss.
- An online forum creates a space for yogis to share and inspire each other, making yogis more likely to stick with their workout routine.
- HD Videos with step-by-step instructions makes following a program simple.
- New content every month.
- No option to import music.
Best for: Yogis in a time crunch
4. Pocket Yoga
Available for Android and iOS for $2.99, Pocket Yoga features over 200 pose illustrations and includes a voice to guide you through your practice while soothing music plays. Pocket Yoga is customizable and keeps track of your practice and progress. Pocket Yoga includes one important thing that many yoga apps neglect: breathing guidance.
- Different environments are available to choose from, with more becoming available as your practice continues.
- Users can import their own music.
- Classes can be adapted for all skill levels and time constraints
- Breathing cues help users get the most from their practice
- There are no images or videos of poses, only illustrations.
Best for: Yogis who want to track their calorie burn and progress.
5. Simply Yoga
This free app is available for Android or iOS and offers a $3.99 version with higher level pose sequences. With practices ranging from 20 to 60 minutes Simply Yoga offers something for everyone. The background noise is soothing ocean sounds, which can be turned off if desired. One interesting feature of this app is the ability to schedule a class, so you can receive reminders when it’s time for your workout.
- Offers a variety of class durations so you can workout whether you have an hour or just 20 minutes.
- Includes video sequences to walk you through poses.
- Simply Yoga scheduler will send you workout notifications.
- Videos may be too fast paced for beginners
- No option to import music
Best for: Yogis with a schedule to keep
No app can replace the experience of a live yoga class, but these apps are an excellent way to fit some exercise into your busy days. Always practice within your limits to avoid injury and get the most from your workout. Don’t despair when there’s no time for the gym, just start up one of these apps and work your way to zen in no time.
Jennifer Landis is an avid yogi, health journalist, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. You can follow her on Twitter at @JenniferELandis.