Tech special: Yoga on your fingertips
It’s best to practice yoga under a trained instructor, but these mobile apps can set you on the journey towards a fitter mind and body
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that is aimed at transforming our mind and body. Though the origin of Yoga is believed to predate even the Vedas, it does not mean that its followers have not embraced modern technology.
Though best done under the guidance of a yoga instructor, you can now easily do it at a place convenient to you, at a time that suits you and with the help of a virtual guru.
Today, there are a number of apps that replace the traditional Yoga classes and Yoga teachers. They help you get started, from the most basic asana, to the most advanced movements, keeping a track of your progress every step of the way.
Here are a few apps that we found worth of downloading and starting our journey towards a fitter mind and body.
Pregnancy Exercise - Weekly Workout: (iOS, Free till 10 weeks of pregnancy, then Rs 300 for 11th to the 40th week)
Pregnant women swear by the positive results of yoga, not only on their health during pregnancy, but also the health of their unborn child. Pregnancy Exercise by Oh Baby is perfect for expectant mothers. Each week, videos are designed according
to what is good for the body during that stage and helps strengthen and tone muscles and relieve stress for a healthier pregnancy and an easier delivery. You can string together various exercises to make your own personalised routine, track how your body reacts to a specific pose and how it makes you feel. Each exercise has details of what it does for you — like the muscle group it focuses on, what to watch out for — specific modifications for each stage of pregnancy and the number of times you should be doing it. The app even has an in-built due date calculator — wherein you put in your due date and it will give you the poses that are best for your current state. You can even view the exercises that you did in the past stages or the ones you will be doing in the future stages.
Yoga Studio: (iOS, Rs 250)
A value-for-money app that lets you browse through 65 ready-to-use yoga and meditation classes with videos in high definition. The classes which range from 10 to 60 minutes, are categorised by level and focus. You select classes that focus on the area of your choice or take classes that lead to an overall body and mind correction. You can select classes based on duration, ability and level of intensity. Once the class is downloaded, you do not need an Internet connection to play it.
Yoga Studio allows you to create your own classes from the app’s library of 280 yoga poses and pose blocks — poses that are
usually grouped together. Each pose comes with its set of detailed advice and instructions that help you make a class that is best suited to your needs.
You can further customise your workout by choosing the background music of your choice and the ambient sounds. It is accompanied by prompts from the ‘Yoga Teacher’ for each pose. It even allows you to schedule your classes and sync them with your calendar, so that you can get automatic reminders to start your class. It keeps a track of your class history, with details of your favourite poses and the most-played classes.
A Pose for That (iOS, Windows, Rs 190)
Yogis believe that all our ailments, mental or bodily, could be corrected by performing the right asana. This is the belief behind A Pose For That. It has 88 poses with images and instructions organised into eight categories such as Ailments, Energy, Awkward etc. Each category is further sub divided into 30 different areas such as Menstruation, Back Pain, Depression, Physical, etc. Each session is 30-minutes long with poses ranging from gentle to advanced. The app also posts A Pose of the Day daily, with audio-streaming that leads you through one of the poses that already exists in the app. If you do not want to pay for the app or want to try it for free first, you could also download its free version Yoga-pedia.
Pocket Yoga (iOS, Android, Blackbery and Windows Rs 190)
Pocket Yoga tracks your exertion and calories burnt during the workout and syncs it with your heart rate monitor or you could send it straight to the Apple’s new Healthkit (comes with iPhone 6). It offers three Vinyasabased sessions — Ocean, Desert and Mountains, with classes ranging from 30 to 60 minutes. The classes are divided into three levels — beginners, intermediate and expert. So, you can choose from 27 ready classes preview the session for difficulty level, choose your own music from the library or iTunes, select the time and then start your session. You can even broadcast the classes to your Apple TV or AirPlay receiver.
5 Minute Yoga: (iOS, Rs 60)
5 Minute Yoga provides more than 350 short, but effective sessions, all designed to finish in five minutes or less. Ideal for beginners, each pose features clear illustrations and instructions for performing the poses correctly. Like all the other apps, you can select the background music for each session. You can also program a 28-day course which is designed to reduce stress, anxiety and negative thinking, leading to healthier life practices.
Kids Yogaverse (iOS, Rs 250 to Rs 300)
A Yoga app meantspecifically for four to eight year old kids, this has an interactive narrative with easy-to-perform yoga poses performed by kids accompanied by hand drawn illustrations and soothing music. Each pose is accompanied with instructions on proper breathing. The children can also read/listen to the books associated with the different poses. The app comes in two versions – I am love (Rs 250) and I am Sun, I am Moon (Rs 300). I am Love, with its 13 different poses, allows them to get ready for the day ahead. I am Sun, I am Moon has 19 poses to awaken the mind and body and empower your children.