If you're looking to start the New Year with a new you, why not start a healthy exercise activity like yoga? While yoga is an ancient art of breathing and stretching, that doesn't mean that its adherents haven't 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 habits, check out our favorite yoga apps for smartphones and tablets. (Image Credit: MartyWeil/Shutterstock)
Yoga Studio (iOS: $3.99)
Yoga Studio 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 your calendar.
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.
YogaGlo (iOS: $22.99)
YogaGlo offers its subscribers a variety of yoga and meditation training videos that they can stream on demand to their phone, tablet, or computer. You can access thousands of classes ranging from short 5-minute exercises to longer 2-hour workouts, 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.
FitStar Yoga (iOS: Free, with paid subscriptions)
FitStar teams up with yoga guru and Strala Yoga founder Tara Stiles to bring you FitStar Yoga, a personalized yoga training app that streams a wealth of yoga workouts designed to help you lose weight and increase flexibility. As with the core FitStar app, FitStar Yoga first aims to get a sense of your fitness with introductory sessions, adjusting the difficulty of future sessions based on user feedback. Each yoga session is provided in HD video, complete with audio guidance and soundtrack. Users can track their progress with milestones and achievements, and can integrate with the Health app as well as Jawbone UP, MyFitnessPal and Fitbit.
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 400-plus workout poses, complete with HD video and background music. Seven yoga plans are available for beginners with a variety of exercise focuses, as well as a variety of intensities and durations. 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.
Yoga - Poses & Classes (Android, iOS: Free)
VGFIT's Yoga - Poses & Classes app (Android, iOS) offers its users a neat reference guide to numerous yoga poses, as well as a range of yoga routines for different fitness objectives. The app comes with a guide to 100-plus yoga poses, complete with descriptions and a helpful video guide that shows you how to execute each pose properly. The classes section comes with three different routines designed to improve your balance, strength or flexibility; subscribing to the app (with plans starting at $3.99 per week) unlocks a wider range of classes designed for a variety of goals, such as yoga for runners, morning yoga, deep stretching and core muscles sculpting.
Global Yoga Academy (iOS: Free)
Global Yoga Academy is a rich resource of yoga routines and poses, from quick stretches all the way to more thorough workouts. Users can check out detailed instructions for each pose and its health benefits, try out themed quick yoga routines and experience more detailed advanced routines; they can create custom routines as well. The app comes with numerous pieces of ambient music, a class scheduler and a community section for discussing the routines, healthy living and other related topics. The app and most of the basic beginner routines and pose guides are free, but for features such as more advanced routines and custom class designer, you'll need a premium subscription.
Find What Feels Good (Android, iOS: $9.99)
Find What Feels Good (also known as Yoga with Adrienne on Android) 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.
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 (iOS: $0.99)
"I don't have the time" is no longer an excuse with 5 Minute Yoga, an iOS yoga app that 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.