For those who like to flow-on-the-go or take their vinyasa by their bed, there’s an app for that. But with a plethora of options to choose from — all of which promise to strengthen your form and help you build a routine — it can be tricky to figure out which one is the most compatible with your practice. While Google might have most of your answers, smarter sources are yoga teachers who have mastered their craft through years of dedication and study. Since they need a little me-time on their mat too, they’ve narrowed down all the best yoga apps to recommend the top choices for nailing that Downward-Facing Dog, Plank form, Crow pose and beyond:
Nikki Walter has been teaching group fitness classes for 19 years and started falling for yoga once she was challenged to incorporate it into an employee wellness program for a company. These days, she’s a big fan of Bikram and says yoga is an integral part of her personal-training routine with clients. One of her go-to apps is FitStar Yoga, which she explains comes with customized sessions for gaining flexibility and getting healthier, allowing you to create a personalized routine right from your phone. Another cool feature? It’s compatible with Apple TV and Apple Watches, allowing you to see the pose on your TV or your wrist.
As a yoga therapist for eight years, Becca Coren has tested out plenty of apps to satisfy her frequent cravings for a solid flow. Her top pick? Down Dog because of its fully customizable settings that inspire her to work harder — and smarter!
“I am able to choose any ‘boosts’ to focus my practice on, like hip openers, core strength or standing balances to name a few,” she explains. “Music choices are plentiful and seem to be updated frequently, allowing you to choose music styles with or without lyrics.”
In addition to having programs applicable for all levels, she also adds you can choose instruction in English or in Sanskrit. “All these options make this app feel consistently fresh and new, even when using it daily,” she says.
One of the biggest draws of yoga is how it marries together mind and body, providing a way to work up a sweat and build strength while centering your mind. For Danielle Cuccio, CEO of Cuccio Somatology and yoga instructor for the past five years, meditation is an indispensable part of her routine, which is why her fave app is Headspace.
“It really helps me stay calm and keep my Zen while I’m running around from client to client,” she says. Whether you’ve been seeking enlightenment for a while or you’re on your very first quest, there are programs designed for every type of aspiring yogi.
If you’re a yoga newbie and still figuring out your shaky legs and positions, Walter says Pocket Yoga is a great find to, ahem, get your behind into shape. What she likes most about it are the vocal and visual instructions that gradually take you through each pose, even counting your breaths for you. Since many beginner yogis forget to inhale and exhale as you move through various poses, Pocket Yoga might be especially helpful so you remember the ritual.
Real talk: Regardless of what it is, commitment makes all the difference in developing a habit. From learning a new language to getting in shape, the more dedicated you are, the more you reap in return. Walter explains Daily Yoga is an effective way to tap into your yogi vibe. “They offer daily programs beginning to advanced, and they offer several different goals, such as getting toned and mastering meditation,” she adds.
Yoga Wake Up
Want to start your a.m. with an effective wellness hack? Working out in the morning has long been proven a powerful way to produce endorphins, keep you focused and maintain your dedication. That’s why Cuccio swears by Yoga Wake Up as your first to-do-list item of the day, even before coffee!
“You can set reminders when you should practice, and it reminds me that even though I’m teaching yoga every day, that I need my few minutes of yoga too. Such a good yoga app for all levels,” she says.
Yoga Nidra: Sacred Sleep
If you’re the need of some TLC, Coren says there’s nothing quite as relaxing or peaceful as Yoga Nidra. The instructor leads listeners through deep states of healing, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes. While sure, not exactly a rigorous workout, if you’re battling falling asleep at night, she says it’s the ideal way to let go and catch some z’s.