Yoga is proven to be a therapeutic, strengthening practice that is just as good for your mind as it is for your body. But, if you're too busy with your summer job or class to make it to a studio, look no further than the App Store for a yoga session. I downloaded some yoga apps and tested them out. Here's what I found:
The first app I tried on my yoga quest, I had no idea what to expect from Down Dog. With more than 30,000 pose combinations, Down Dog promises to never give the same class no matter the difficulty or “boost" (a customization allowing you to focus on a specific area of the body). No matter your settings, all of Down Dog’s practices focus on relieving back pain through muscle strengthening and stretching. The best part of Down Dog though has to be its customizability. From being able to adjust aspects like difficulty level and practice length, to the pace and voice of the instructor, Down Dog ensures that you get the most out of each session. With a monthly fee of $7.99 or a yearly fee of $49.99, Down Dog’s thorough customization comes with a price. But if you are serious about yoga, this is cheaper than any other studio around.
With a title like Yoga Studio, I expected the app to make me feel like I was actually in one. That wasn’t entirely the case though. Yoga Studio has more than 120 different yoga classes and 280 poses that focus on different body parts, practice difficulties, and lets you set goals such as yoga for back pain or mental health. If you can’t find a class to your liking, you can also create your own custom classes using the pose library. While I was able to choose the music, I wasn't able to adjust the instructor pace. I got frustrated because the pauses in between each pose were too long. The instructor provided tips to improve the practice, and the video was very easy to follow along in case I got lost. Overall though, there seemed to be a lack of flow in the practice. So, it didn't really seem worth the $9.99 a month fee.
Designed more like a social media platform than a fitness app, Daily Yoga is described as “a super handy yoga training app for everyone” with more than 200 classes of yoga, pilates, and meditation. The app is free to download, but like many of its competitors, most of Daily Yoga’s practices come with a price. Many of its introductory classes are free, but more advanced sessions require a Pro Premium membership which can range from $12.99 to $19.99 per month or $39.99 to $69.99 annually. However, unlike other apps, Daily Yoga workouts are designed to be completed throughout the week, with one practice a day. It makes the app feel more like a personal trainer rather than an at home yoga studio—but the classes are still easy to follow with high quality video and audio guidance. The app also involves a community section where users can create discussion pages and share personal tips and tricks about their practices. For being a free app, Daily Yoga is worth checking out for any level of yoga enthusiast, especially those trying to get back into the groove of working out every day.
Being the only app that I paid for upfront, I had high hopes that Pocket Yoga would give me the best experience out of all the other apps. But for only $2.99, I realized why the other apps cost more for full subscriptions. Pocket Yoga only has 27 different sessions compared to the hundreds of sessions offered by other apps. However, what Pocket Yoga lacks in numbers, it makes up for in low cost and high quality of instruction. I was a little thrown off with the guided video being animated, but the poses were explained clearly and flowed together perfectly. I was able to adjust the music and difficulty to my liking. It’s a fairly simple app that is great for those trying to get started with yoga, and it gives exactly what its title promises—it’s the perfect yoga session to pull out anywhere, right from your pocket.
If you’re a beginner yogi trying to get into the swing of yoga, try out Pocket Yoga to get used to the different poses and practices. However, if you’re looking for something a little more serious and want to have the best experience possible, the $7.99 per month fee for Down Dog is for sure the way to go. But no matter what app you choose, any yoga is great exercise, so go forth and Namaste my friends.