Whether you are a seasoned yogi or a curious beginner, you might want to take those enlightening lessons from the yoga studio with you onto a yoga mat a bit closer to home. A home practice is the perfect complement to studio lessons – classes with a teacher are crucial for correct alignment and maximum learning opportunities, but you will benefit from continuing your practice on a more frequent basis, which is often more easily done in a home environment.
Using an app in your yoga practice should be done with caution. Make sure you are not pushing your body too far and remember your teacher’s notes on the alignments of each pose. Stay present – never lose your breath. “Yoga does not exist without the breath”, wrote international guru Rachel Brathen, whom you might know as Yoga Girl, in her book of the same name. “If we are not breathing, we are pretty much just doing gymnastics on the mat. The breath is at the base of everything we do, so don’t forget to breathe and keep your breath deep during the entire session”.
Some of our favourite yoga apps to enhance your home practice:
Yoga Studio. This pretty little app includes a library of over 250 poses and a variety of classes divided by duration and focus – balance, strength, flexibility or a combination of all. There are also post-running and relaxing sequences available. The calming voice and chilled-out music are an extra bonus.
All-in Yoga. You can choose your level, duration, focus and even background music here. The classes range from healing to powerful, with target areas from beating the flu and improving your eyesight (!) to to obtaining strong legs and flat abs. There is also a series of breathing pranayama sequences. Whatever your preferred yoga is, it’s (almost) guaranteed to be here.
GAIN Yoga. GAIN offers a variety workouts, including yoga. The classes are tailored to your needs based on a few easy selections. They are clear and easy to follow and, as opposed to more flowing classes like Yoga Studio, you get to practice holding the poses for a bit here.
Pocket Yoga. Easy-to-follow studio classes divided into “Mountain”, “Ocean” and “Desert”, where you can choose your level of difficulty, the setting and the duration of the class. On the minus side: a slightly creepy teacher voice.
Daily Yoga. Specialised classes to suit your needs – and best part is, they’re all under 30 minutes! So if you are in a hurry but would still get some practice in, Daily Yoga is perfect. Another bonus: it’s free.
OneoEight. Not technically an app that can be downloaded, but the aforementioned Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen and her super team of teachers have crafted the ultimate yoga haven, where you can meditate, try a variety of lessons and watch videos on everything from mindfulness to fresh, yummy recipes. Drawback: it’s pretty pricey.
Yogaglo. Featuring classes from top instructors like Kathryn Budig and Seane Corn, Yogaglo has dynamic classes that last from 10 to 90 minutes. We can’t decide what our favourite feature is – the offline synching, meaning you can practice without wi-fi, or the 15-day free trial.
International bonus! Yogobe. Again, not technically an app that you will find in the app store – and only available in Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian. But if you happen to speak any of these, Yogobe is a beautiful service offering classes for every need. They also host retreats and offer tips on diet and meditation.
Photos by Christopher Campbell, Julia Cesar and Lena Bell, all via Unsplash