Yoga may have originated in ancient India, but its various mental, physical, and spiritual practices have been long since purposed and repurposed to fit the needs of modern folks who want to relax, find purpose, and even just get in a great workout. With the onslaught of stressors that infest our every waking hour in the digital age, it has become, more than ever, a practice of solace that keeps us centered in our daily lives.
And while it may be the perfect way to disconnect and focus on yourself, it can also be hard to make it to a class for the in-person experience. We researched several apps available that overcome that inaccessibility and bring the studio to you, and whether you’re looking for a quick minute of mindfulness or a full-on sweat session, you’ll find a system here that lets you explore your own yoga practice and expand the way you stretch from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try incorporating a gratitude journal into your new peace-seeking routine as well for a holistic one-two that’ll knock out your stress–you can find our ten favorites here.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Core Power Yoga is great for everyone from the beginner to the expert looking to get a strong, effective workout while remaining grounded in the core mindfulness of practicing yoga. With a network of experienced teachers (all Yoga Alliance RYT-200 certified and many ERYT-500 certified which requires 500 hours of training) from over 200 studios teaching classes that vary in length from five to sixty minutes, Core Power is an excellent program for those just dipping their toes in the meditative waters and the experienced sweat n’ stretchers alike.
Heidi Kristoffer launched CrossFlow Yoga in order to, as she told us, “enhance your overall well-being, feel your very best in body and mind, and maximize your time.” She has fused yoga with other workout techniques for over a decade in fitness magazines like Shape, in her NYC classes, and with celebrity clients of all experience levels and stages of life. A 14-day trial will give you a good idea of what she’s all about, and after that CrossFlow will set you back just $14.99 or $149.99 for a full year of classes like CrossFlowV (a Vinyasa-style workout) and the more fast-paced CrossFlowX.
Brittany Kintzel is a yoga teacher with four years and six studios under her belt who specializes in hot yoga, restorative yoga, and prenatal yoga, and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) through the Yoga Alliance with more than 200 Hours of training, so we have full faith in Bulldog Yoga after hearing about her incredible experience with the program. She recalls:
“I initially found Bulldog Online when I was going through postpartum depression after my second child was born. As a yoga teacher, part of my job is to inspire and uplift others. And even though I knew that moving my body was going to make me feel better and that it was the medicine that my soul so desperately needed, it was so hard to get out of bed and motivate myself to go to a class.
“I started my practice back on my kitchen floor. It’s amazing how just starting out with 15 minutes completely changed my outlook and really made a noticeable difference in my depression and anxiety.”
She also notes that within a month, she got back into teaching public classes but continues to practice mainly from her kitchen floor. “Bulldog Online takes a huge load of worry and overwhelm off of my chest,” she adds,“Other apps that I tried in the past felt too overwhelming with hundreds of classes to choose from, it just seemed like too much. Bulldog Online definitely has a ton of variety, but the variety doesn’t feel overwhelming.”
Gaia Yoga, one of the big names in yoga streaming, promises that it "energizes, revitalizes, and inspires you," and lets you "practice unlimited yoga anytime, anywhere." If the reviews are to be believed, they certainly pracitce what they preach, too. One user praises the customization of the flows available, explaining: "Gaia is a wonderful site for finding yoga and other exercise videos, as well as documentaries and films, full and short. I use it daily and love how I can select videos based off of what the body-mind is looking for at the moment." Another who calls it a "daily dose of wonder," gleams: "My favorite yoga, meditation and inspirational movie website!" Try it free for a week and if you love it, subscribe for $11.99 a month or $99 for the whole year.
Pocket Yoga is a no-nonsense solution to being stuck at home or just wanting to get a routine done quickly while you have some spare time and a mat. You simply open the program, place it at the head of your mat, and voila: start stretching! Four thousand reviews average out to a 4.8 star rating for this under $3 option, meaning there's almost certainly something for everyone and for a very small investment. "The drawings are simple and provide a clear picture of the asana. The voice is pleasant. The spoken instructions are well-timed, concise, clear, and instructive," raves one loyal user who goes on to add, "These folks know a lot about Yoga and programmed it into their applications."