If you're looking for ways to improve both your health and your mindset, why not give yoga a try? It's easier than ever these days — yoga may be an ancient art of breathing and stretching, but its adherents have embraced the wonders of modern technology.
A number of yoga apps available for Android and iOS devices provide visual and audio guides to a variety of poses useful for everything from everyday stretching, exercise, to just stretching in a cramped desk chair or business trip. If you're looking to start some healthy new habits as the old year draws to a close, check out our favorite yoga apps for smartphones and tablets. (Image Credit: MartyWeil/Shutterstock)
Yoga Studio (Android, iOS: $4.99 per month)
Yoga Studio (Android, iOS) provides users with 65 ready-made yoga and meditation classes ranging from 10 to 60 minutes, with a variety of difficulties and exercises all presented with HD video. What's more, Yoga Studio also allows users to create their own video classes from the app's library of yoga poses and "pose blocks" (poses commonly grouped together). Users can further customize music and ambient sounds, as well as schedule classes, which will automatically sync with their calendar. Previously a premium, single purchase app, Yoga Studio has since moved to a subscription model.
Gaia TV (Android, iOS: $11.99 per month)
Like a Netflix for the New Age crowd, Gaia TV (Android, iOS) provides a broad library of videos about a variety of topics. Important to this list is Gaia TV’s rich selection of yoga video classes, with a variety of styles and difficulty levels ranging from beginners to experts. The app also includes everything from alternative medicine, wellness, mindfulness and meditation guides, astrology, mythology, and more esoteric topics. Subscriptions start at $11.99 per month for streaming to multiple devices, with a more expensive Live Access tier offering online workshops and events, live chat and archives of past events.
Asana Rebel (Android, iOS: $9.99)
Asana Rebel (Android, iOS) is a yoga app with health, fitness, and weight loss in mind. The app offers up a mix of more than 100 different workout routines and matching video tutorials designed by yoga and fitness experts, with personalized lists to match your fitness goals as well as curated collections. Users can filter workouts by their training goals, duration, intensity, or collection, as well as preview workouts to find the one just right for them. App subscriptions start at $9.99 per month, with discounts for longer periods.
Alo Moves (Android, iOS: $19.99 per month)
Alo Moves (Android, iOS) offers more than 2,500 video classes from its stable of world-class yoga instructors, offering everything from the traditional styles such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga, to more modern focused takes designed to build strength, flexibility, and wellness. Users can search for the right video class based on intensity, duration, instructor, or style; they can also try out curated collections of classes that have something to offer to experienced practitioners and newbies alike. Subscriptions start at $19.99 per month.
Glo (iOS: $22.99 per month)
Glo offers its subscribers a variety of yoga and meditation training videos that they can stream on demand to their phone, tablet, or computer. You get access to thousands of classes, ranging from short 5-minute exercises to longer 2-hour workouts, with the programs designed for beginners, experts, and everyone in between. Pick a schedule, experience level and workout goal, and the app will help choose the right guided program for you. You can also do a filtered search for classes, exercises, and instructors.
Yoga Wake Up (Android, iOS: $9.99 per month)
Start the day right with Yoga Wake Up (Android, iOS), an alarm clock app that's designed not just to wake you up but also to get you up and moving. Your traditional wake-up alarm is followed immediately by a guided meditation and yoga session that starts right from your bed, so that you're not rudely forced out of sleep but gently eased into waking up and getting your body active. The app comes with a variety of yoga exercises and meditations to keep your wake up routines varied. In addition to waking you up, the app can also help you get some restful sleep with bedtime reminders and meditations.
Daily Yoga (Android, iOS: Free)
Daily Yoga (Android, iOS) provides users with a library of more than 50 yoga classes and 500-plus workout poses, complete with HD video and background music. A variety of yoga plans are available for free with a number of exercise focuses, as well as different intensities and durations. Daily Yoga also offers guided meditations and support for health data tracking and wearables. For more advanced modules and poses though, you'll need to subscribe to the app.
Pocket Yoga (Android, iOS: $2.99)
You can now carry around your own Yoga studio with Pocket Yoga (Android, iOS), an exercise app that lets you practice the ancient art of stretching and breathing at your own pace and time. Pocket Yoga comes with detailed voice and video instructions for hundreds of poses, complete with descriptions of each one’s proper execution and health benefits. Users can choose between three practices, difficulties and durations. Then the app logs your exercises and progress for future reference. Serious yoga practitioners and coaches might also want to check out Pocket Yoga Practice Builder ($6.99) on iOS or Android.
The Underbelly (Android, iOS: $9.99 per month)
Yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley spreads the message of body positivity with her own yoga app, The Underbelly (Android, iOS), aimed at everyday people and yoga practitioners who might not feel at home in more traditional yoga studios. Focusing just as much on groundedness, breathing, and self-love, The Underbelly combines body positivity and yoga with three themed tracks built around the elements of Air, Earth and Fire, to help you feel good mentally as well as physically.
Find What Feels Good (Android, iOS: $9.99)
Find What Feels Good (Android, iOS) delivers a rich variety of yoga workout videos, with more than 100 hours of yoga videos streamed in HD quality to your phone or Chromecast and Airplay enabled devices. In addition to streaming, you can also select videos to save and watch offline. Subscriptions start at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
Grokker (Android, iOS: $14.99/month)
If you’re looking for a wider spectrum of coverage than just yoga classes, you can also check out Grokker (Android, iOS), which provides yoga, fitness, meditation and healthy cooking video classes and guides, with more than 70 goal-oriented programs. Traditional yoga and meditation classes help you stretch, exercise and practice mindfulness, while more aggressive workouts such as HIIT are also available to break things up and add variety. Grokker is a bit pricier than some other subscription services at $14.99 per month, but if you’re looking for a bit more variety, it’s a good one to try out.
Yoga International (Android, iOS: $14.99/month)
Yoga International (Android, iOS) presents a wealth of classes, articles, videos, tutorials and workshops designed to aid beginners and veterans alike in their fitness and wellness goals. Free users get limited access to the app's content, while signing up for a premium subscription unlocks the library of on-demand HD streaming video classes, workshops, and articles, covering the full gamut from traditional yoga forms, breathwork and meditation. The app also comes with extras like class and workout logging, options for offline playback, podcasts and interviews.
Down Dog (Android, iOS: Free)
Tired of repeating the same sequences of yoga positions ad nauseam? Down Dog (Android, iOS) gets around that problem by creating new vinyasa yoga sequences each time you want to exercise. Users can choose the level of difficulty, pace and time of the workout, and the app will generate a new sequence based on these parameters. Each sequence comes with clear instructions and musical accompaniment. The app is free to use, but a premium subscription offers users first crack at new features and extra content, and helps support the developer.
Simply Yoga (Android, iOS: Free)
Simply Yoga (Android, iOS) might not have the most polished presentation of the yoga apps in this list, but it comes with no frills and clutter either. Users simply choose a difficulty level and a duration of 20, 40 or 60 minutes, and let the app's audio and video instructions guide them through the various poses in each routine.
5 Minute Yoga (Android, iOS: Free)
"I don't have the time" is no longer an excuse with 5 Minute Yoga (Android, iOS), which provides more than 350 short but effective yoga sessions all designed to be done in 5 minutes or less. Sessions are created from a library of illustrated poses with detailed instructions, along with a timer to ensure that poses are done for the proper amount of time. Additionally, users can also select music from their library to play for each session.