Yoga is an ancient practice combining physical exercise, breath control, meditation, and even diet. It’s a holistic practice that boosts flexibility, strength, endurance, calmness, and mental well-being. As such, more and more people are incorporating yoga into their workout routines.
You can opt to take yoga fitness with pros or yoga classes, or do yoga at home. There are also several yoga apps you can utilize. You can opt for the best yoga app for beginners, free yoga apps, and more. But are yoga apps worth it? Well, if you get the right one, they surely are.
12 Types of Yoga To Consider
Through the years, people have developed different types paving the way for modern yoga. All types remain rooted, albeit in different levels, to the main philosophy of yoga – connecting the body, mind, and spirit.
Here are some of the known types of yoga.
- Hatha Yoga – This is considered the mother of all yoga practice. Hatha is a Sanskrit word meaning force, hence, it typically includes the physical aspects of the practice.
- Ashtanga Yoga – This type consists of six series of specific poses taught in order. It’s a very physical, flow-style yoga with spiritual components as it utilizes ancient yoga teachings.
- Bikram Yoga – Bikram yoga is referred to as hot yoga. It is typically done in a room of 40 degrees centigrade and 40% humidity. It is composed of 26 poses and a sequence of two breathing exercises. Each pose is believed to systematically challenge every part of the body- muscles, veins, ligaments, and organs.
- Iyengar Yoga – This style of yoga focuses on finding the correct alignment in each pose with the help of a range of props like blankets, blocks, bolsters, and more. Each pose is intense and must be held for a long time.
- Kundalini Yoga – This type of yoga is rooted in the Chakras. It is a system of meditation that is done to release pent-up energy. A Kundalini yoga class will typically include chanting, meditation, mudras, and breathing. It is both physically demanding and mentally challenging.
- Jivamukti Yoga – This type has physical, ethical, and spiritual aspects. It involves Shastra (scripture), Bhakti (devotion), Ahimsa (non-harming), Nada (music), and Dhyana (meditation). Jivamukti Yoga talks about mindfulness in the environment, kindness to animals, and becoming vegan.
- Yin Yoga – This is a slow-paced yoga style. Each pose is typically held for at least five minutes. Doing so will stress the connective tissues and help increase circulation and flexibility. It is supposed to improve the qi (life energy) in the body.
- Kripalu Yoga – Kripalu teaches you to know, accept, and learn from your body. Eventually, practitioners will find their own level of practice by looking inward.
- Sivananda – This type uses 12 basic asanas preceded by Sun Salutations and Followed by Savasana. It is founded on the five-point philosophy of breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking.
- Vinyasa Flow – This type of yoga emphasizes creating a flow of posture, with smooth transitions from one to the next. It requires the coordination of breathing and movement.
- Restorative Yoga – This is a relaxing yoga style that typically includes four or five simple poses. It makes use of props like blankets and bolsters so practitioners can relax and hold the pose without exerting any effort. The goal is to sink into deep relaxation.
- Power Yoga – This is an active and athletic type of yoga based on the traditional Ashtanga system. It is, however, less regimented and more open to individual interpretation.
Top 5 Yoga Apps for all Fitness Levels
Over the years, technology has made it possible to practice yoga through yoga apps. These apps are convenient especially if you don’t have any yoga teacher nearby, you want to try it out by yourself first, or you’re simply more comfortable doing it at home. It’s only a matter of choosing the best yoga app for beginners or for any experience level you have.
Here are some of the best yoga apps in the market today.
It’s an audio-guided yoga and meditation app. This is ideal for those looking for more meditation-based yoga sessions as it doesn’t have a video component. Yogawakeup enables users to be in sync with their mind and body without visual distractions.
Yogawakeup has hundreds of sessions updated weekly. Every session ranges from five to fifteen minutes. There are no complex moves so every session is easy to follow audibly. The app also enables users to schedule alarms for any day at their convenience.
2. Yoga International
Yoga International offers over 1900 classes and new ones are added daily. Each class lasts from 20 to 60 minutes. Users can choose from different yoga workout types taught by over 500 expert teachers. Also join any of their more than 250 members-only courses which range from beginner to advanced levels. The Yoga International app also has over 60 programs you can choose from.
On top of the classes, Yoga International has various articles offering tips and pose tutorials. They also have podcasts for additional mental stimulation. Overall, this is an excellent app that puts much effort into bringing yoga to more people.
Gaia is another excellent yoga app that is full-packed. Aside from the multitude of yoga and meditation, they have other content like shows, documentaries, films, and videos covering a wide range of thought-provoking subjects. It also offers various events and workshops featuring renowned thought leaders all around the world.
Gaia can be utilized on mobile, computer, and tablet. It’s available on major streaming apps like Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast. You can even utilize the same account and membership across your devices. Moreover, you can download the videos and watch them online later.
4. Pocket Yoga
Pocket Yoga is one of the best free yoga apps. The main idea is to offer a portable Yoga studio – all you need is your phone and enough space to do the Yoga poses. This software aims to provide its users an effective yoga instructor wherever they go. From different practices to durations to difficulty levels, users can customize their personal yoga classes.
Among its unique and innovative features are the comprehensive pose dictionary which provides in-depth information like the description and benefits of the yoga pose. You also get to choose your environment to help you better calm yourself and enjoy your yoga journey. This exquisite app is available in Google Play and App Store.
5. Alo Moves
Alo Moves promises reimagined yoga poses and routines that could significantly help with weight loss, fitness, and healthier lifestyle journey. Regardless of your expertise level, Alo Moves has available classes catering to all needs and preferences – from sunrise meditation to lunchtime HIIT to evening flow.
Like any other yoga app, this software enables users to start and continue their yoga journey just by utilizing a phone. What sets this app apart is it enables users to download their instructional videos so they can utilize the app even when not connected to the internet. Indeed, aside from the optimum results, this offers accessibility and convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga
What Are The Benefits of Yoga?
Yoga has physical and mental benefits including building muscle strength, enhancing flexibility, reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and enhancing your well-being and quality of life.
Can You Lose Weight By Doing Yoga?
The more active and intense yoga styles can certainly help you lose weight. Yoga can also help in developing muscle tone and improving metabolism.
Why Is Yoga So Popular?
It’s popular mainly because it is effective. Due to the different yoga styles, just about anyone can find the perfect yoga type that suits their personality, fitness, and well-being needs.
Should You Do The Same Yoga Routine Every Day?
Practicing the same yoga routine will help you to be consistent and allow you to follow your growth. Of course, you can always change things up.
How Many Days A Week Should You Do Yoga?
You can start doing easy yoga two to three times a week. As you get stronger, you can increase to five or six sessions or even daily yoga sessions.