We’ve selected these apps based on their usability, reviews, frequent updates, and overall impact in making you a yogi!
Yoga is nearly as old as time. Because of its benefits to both your physical and mental well-being, it’s no longer unusual to see yoga classes held at a traditional gym, in the park, or even in your office.
Though there are many schools and types of yoga, it all comes down to a combination of movement, meditation, and breathing control — tenets that date back some 5,000 years.
One of the biggest appeals of yoga is its accessibility. Because poses can be modified to fit nearly any fitness level, people of all ages and abilities can practice it. Our favorite yoga apps for 2016 have something to offer the novice and experienced yogi alike.
5 Minute Yoga
A great app for beginners, 5 Minute Yoga gives users short sessions that they can fit in anywhere, anytime. Each pose includes an animated illustration plus instructions to make sure you’re training safely. Because they come in five minute sessions, they are perfect for when you feel crunched for time. Add these to your morning routine, to beat the midafternoon lull, or for a bit of relaxation at the end of the day.
Daily Yoga is the best of the best. Not only will you find more than 500 yoga poses with instructions, you will also get more than 50 complete yoga sessions, along with background music. The app isn’t only for pros, as there are three different intensity levels and several duration choices to choose from. You can find the routine that’s right for you. The app is gamified, meaning you can earn scores for practicing, and you can also make friends in the forum.
If you think you’re likely to get bored doing the same yoga routine every time, Down Dog has the solution. Each time you log in for a session, you’re greeted with a brand new sequence, which will keep things fresh. Choose your playlist and how long you want the session to last, and the app will create a session that’s a perfect fit for your needs and experience level.
Curious about which poses might be better for stretching your hamstrings versus your calf muscles? iYoga can help with that. We love the 3-D anatomical illustrations that show you exactly how your muscles are moving, stretching, and flexing throughout various poses. In addition to the animations, you’ll get voice-over instructions to help you learn the more than 190 different poses.
FitStar Yoga was created by expert Tara Stiles to ensure that people of all experience levels can fit in a yoga workout without having to go to a studio. It comes loaded with poses and sessions, and an upgraded premium membership comes with tracking capabilities, customization tools, and the option to sync it with your favorite fitness wearables.
Pocket Yoga comes with 27 routines of various difficulty levels, so the app is good for both beginners and experienced yogis. There are illustrations for more than 200 poses to help you perfect your form. The app also keeps a log of your workouts, so you can chart your consistency and progress. If you have an Apple Watch, connect it to get even more feedback during your workouts.
Simply Yoga’s free app is an excellent place for beginners to start their yoga journey. Within, you’ll find several level one sessions that span 20, 40, or 60 minutes. You’ll have to pay to proceed to level two, but this is a good place to start. There are video demonstrations and audio instructions to help you through the routines.
Universal Breathing: Pranayama
Yoga isn’t just about twisting and stretching your body, it’s also about breath work. Deep breathing, as this app will teach you, can help you with your yoga poses, but also help improve your sleep and athletic endurance, as well as help you manage your mood, stress levels, and pain. The app will take you through deep breathing practices that take just 15 minutes a day.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn yoga, but were intimidated about going to a studio, Yoga Academy is the perfect solution. Even if you regularly attend yoga classes, this app will let you take your classes with you, no matter where you go. Create your own sessions based on your experience level and the time you have available, or choose from several classes that are all ready to go. We like that you have the option to use either your own playlist or the preloaded ambient sounds for background music.
This app comes loaded with 65 classes, organized for yogis of beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. You can also tackle workouts that specifically target flexibility, relaxation, strength, and more. If you’d rather get a custom yoga session, create and store your own. With more than 280 poses and instructions in the library, you won’t run out of skills to master anytime soon!
Get access to more than 300 yoga poses and exercises. Each pose comes with a high-definition instructional video to ensure that you’re doing it safely and effectively. We like the 3-D images that show your muscles in action and the ability to customize your own yoga program. If you’re not quite ready to create your own routine, the app comes with 45 programs that are ready to go!