When it comes to low impact exercise that is as good for the mind as it is for the body, there are few activities that can rival yoga. Yoga involves many different body poses and deep breathing techniques that may seem easy at first and maybe even funny. But once you try yoga I promise you will be hooked.
Can you always do yoga by yourself? Yes, you can do yoga by yourself. Yoga has caught momentum in the last 20 years and is now a very popular method of losing weight, gaining strength and flexibility, and becoming a calmer person.
With this explosion in popularity, there have come many different ways to learn yoga without an instructor, in the traditional sense. There is something about physically going to a yoga studio and taking classes but if that is not an option for you, don’t worry.
Can You Do Yoga Without an Instructor?
In the year 2020, we all know that there is an app for that. An app for literally anything we could imagine and exercise is no different. While the human connection part of an in-person yoga class is so unique and adds to the experience, you don’t have to have a traditional instructor. However, if you are a beginner that has never done yoga before, you will need some way to learn the poses correctly.
We live in a virtual world and we can find a class for almost anything online. There are online subscription services that you can pay for that will give you unlimited exercise classes, yoga included. Some of these you may be able to find limited classes for free but most of them are paid.
- Yoga With Dakota is my personal collection of online yoga routines that you can watch from the comfort of your home or on-the-go.
- Alo Moves offers more than just yoga. They offer fitness, mindfulness, and skill training. They have a large selection of classes with many different instructors. You can sign up for a free trial and get full access to the library to see if Alo Moves is for you. I love a good free trial but if this site isn’t what you are looking for, don’t forget to cancel your trial.
- Glo is a branch of Popsugar. The videos are really great and teach great yoga breathing and technique. This site is not free but it is cheaper than a gym membership or classes at a yoga studio. And if you don’t have a local yoga studio, this is a great option to get the class feel.
- Gaia boasts a site that allows you to take classes anywhere and offers all yoga practices. They also have a variety of videos done by different instructors, so if you don’t like one person, just try another class. This site is also a paid subscription service.
- Yogiapproved is a site that offers yoga+fitness, so some of the classes are going to be more physically intense and maybe not the traditional style of yoga you are used to or imagine. They do offer three different tracks for beginner, intermediate, and advanced practice students.
- YogaDownload is the best of both worlds. This site is a paid subscription service but they also have a database of free videos that any visitor to the site can do. They have a great selection of beginner videos if you are completely new to yoga.
Some of the free options that you can get if you have a smart TV or device are actually great. I use some of them on a regular basis. The below sites are all free to use and offer a large selection of videos.
- Fawsome TV is an online yoga video database. You can search for what you want or try out some of the featured videos. My personal favorites are any videos by Bex Life. They are really great workouts but also accessible for beginners. Most of these videos walk you through step by step and even spend time and attention on breathing, which is the most important part of your yoga practice.
- Youtube is amazing for so many things and yoga videos make that list. Youtube gets a bad rap sometimes, but it really can’t be beaten for the number and variety of yoga videos. Most of the videos are not screened and can be posted by anyone with a channel so make sure you read reviews to find one that fits what you need.
- Yome If you like YouTube but don’t want to deal with digging through random videos that may pop up in your search, then try Yome. This is actually a collection of most, if not all, of the yoga videos posted on YouTube.
- Fight Master Yoga is a Youtube channel run by a certified yoga teacher. These are full-length classes with nice flows to build strength in your body and your mind. This is a close second to taking a physical class with a traditional teacher. This is a great way to get started if you are a beginner because you will learn the correct way to do each pose and the importance of your breathing.
A few of the yoga websites mentioned above do have apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone for you to have with you anywhere you want to do yoga. There are several others that are good for a variety of skill levels and budgets.
- Yoga|Down Dog is free to download but you have to have a membership. This is a budget-friendly option that starts at $3.99 per month. If you are a person that gets bored with repetition then check this app out. You never get the same workout twice with their class configuration software.
- YogaforBeginners is a completely free app with no membership required to access the classes. While there are videos to show how to do certain poses, most practice is voice-guided so you can just focus on the yoga. This was one of my favorite apps when I was getting started with yoga because I didn’t have to commit and spend money.
- Peloton Digital We have all seen the Peloton exercise bike commercials but did you know they have an app? While it is free to download, the membership to access the classes is $19.49 per month. This is cheap when you think about the live-streamed yoga classes from New York studios and the full access to on-demand classes any time you want.
- Asana Rebel is another app at the higher end of the membership price range ringing in at $19.99 per month. It is worth the price according to the high number of reviews and the fact that is the top-rated yoga app out there right now. It isn’t just yoga, so if you want something a little more intense from time to time, check out this app.
- Lotus Yoga and WorkOut is a fun app that allows you to be creative and design your own yoga flow. But don’t worry, if you are a beginner and don’t even know what a yoga flow is, they have a whole library and yoga classes. This app is not free and is nearly $19 per month to have access to all of the yoga videos. The best thing about this app is the class options.
The Downside of Online Yoga
While online classes are great, I do them myself almost daily, and apps allow you to do a yoga flow almost anywhere, there are some drawbacks of a fully digital yoga practice. Other than the lack of genuine human contact, it might be hard to know if you are doing the poses correctly if you are a beginner.In-person yoga instructors are great for correcting and guiding your poses to get the maximum benefit every time. When we are digital, we may feel like we are doing the pose correctly but not actually doing it correctly. If you are able and have access to studio classes, try to work one in every once in a while to help advance your yoga practice and perfect your poses.
Don’t forget to read Do You Need a Yoga Mat?