Finding the perfect fitness class can turn you into Goldilocks. You need the right location, the right class, the right instructor, the right time … It’s not that you’re being picky — the more convenient the location and the more you like the class, the more likely you are to keep going.
This is where streaming and on-demand classes can be just right. There are a slew of sites and apps today, and, for the price of one class (or less!), you can get a month’s subscription to try a wide range of workouts, teachers and levels — all from the comfort of home. Even better, it’s a great workout option when it’s so sweltering that going outside is like stepping on the sun.
These sites can be particularly great for yoga, because beginners can try various styles and more experienced yogis can challenge themselves to take harder classes or focus on a goal, like nailing an arm balance or building strength.
Whether you have never done downward facing dog or you can do sun salutations with your eyes closed, check out these six sites to discover the yoga that speaks to you:
Boasting more than 4,000 classes and world-famous instructors such as Elena Brower, Jason Crandell, Tiffany Cruikshank and Kathryn Budig, YogaGlo is bound to have something for everyone. Each day the site gives you recommended classes based on those you’ve already taken. Or you can search by duration (5–120 minutes), 11 styles, five levels, specific body parts and focuses and teachers. Once you find a class you like, roll out your mat or add it to your list to watch later. The videos are actual recorded classes, so it’s almost like you’re there with everyone else — instructors may even give time to play with inversions near the wall or break down a pose during class.
Be sure to check out: Programs, which are focused around a goal like stress relief, strength or flexibility and vary from 1–3 weeks. You select the days and times you want to do each class and receive email reminders to help you commit.
Yogaia’s library of classes is built off of its live videos, so it’s almost like having a private session. Since there isn’t a search function for recorded classes, the best way to find your class is to check out the collections: de-stress, abs, beginners, energize, workshops, for busy yogis and advanced. You can search live classes by time length and level, but not by style of yoga. Know that the company is Finnish, so don’t be surprised that many of the instructors have European accents.
Be sure to check out: Live streaming classes. If you choose, you can have your webcam on for the chance of a shoutout during class!
The backdrops for YogaToday’s videos make every video worth watching. Most are filmed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so the instructor is often in a field with trees or mountains behind them. There is another person practicing alongside the instructor, who guides you both. Classes on this site have the fewest options to sort from on this list, with eight instructors, six styles, eight focuses and seven target areas. You can also find videos breaking down individual poses as well as challenges, which are videos grouped by themes including beginners, athletes, energy balancing and weight loss.
Be sure to check out: The meditation videos. Some guide you through seated meditations, others offer meditations with a gentle sequence to follow, perfect if you find it hard to sit still.
READ MORE > 5 STREAMING WORKOUT CLASSES TO TRY AT HOME
If you like options, YogaDownload is for you. Pick from 22 styles, a slew of teachers, durations of less than 5 minutes and up to 80, four levels, four intensities and a range of focuses — from waking up to cardio to specific body parts to peak poses. You can add a video to your favorites, wish list or calendar, and also make notes, but the best thing is members can rate videos, which makes picking a class easier. Some instructors teach solo, some have demonstrators and some even use music.
Be sure to check out: The charity classes — 100% of sales from those classes go to the Give Back Yoga Foundation, which helps certified teachers share yoga therapy with underserved populations.
5. YOGA INTERNATIONAL
Classes on this site range from 5 minutes to 90, with 20 different styles. However, there are only three level options, and the only way to learn more about a class is to click through, which can be time-consuming to find the one you want to take at that moment. While you may not recognize as many teachers’ names, they are all certified and you’ll find that you don’t need to be a “celebrity” to be a good instructor. You can also watch workshops, which range from one video to series of videos on advanced yoga techniques, healthy eating, pain relief and more.
Be sure to check out: The articles on meditation, pranayama (breathwork), chakras and holistic health.
READ MORE > ON MY MAT: INSIDE THE MIND OF A YOGA TEACHER
Gaia allows you to pick from 17 different styles of yoga, including ashtanga, hatha, restorative, vinyasa and beginner. You can also select your level (beginner to advanced), length (15–60+ minutes) and a focus such as a body part or yoga for athletes, energy or sleep. In addition to classes, there are tutorials that break down specific poses or techniques, like jumping back from a seated position to chaturanga. Plus longer workshops help you learn the tricks to things like arm balances, inversions and backbends. And for those interested in taking a deeper dive into the other facets of yoga, beyond the physical asana, there are Yoga Talks videos. Gaia also boasts some of the top instructors such as Amy Ippoliti, Annie Carpenter, Dana Trixie Flynn and Seane Corn. However, it can feel a bit odd following the videos, because the instructor guides you via a voiceover — they aren’t actually speaking as they do the sequence.
Be sure to check out: Yoga at Work for quick sequences you can do to ease the tension of sitting at a computer for hours.
(via MyFitnessPal Blog)