Welcome to the final post in my series on beginning a yoga practice. This week, we are taking a look at some resources for those who want to begin a yoga practice at home. If you want some more background information on yoga vocabulary, beginner poses, or what to expect at your first yoga class, click the links to check out the other posts in this series.
This post will be pretty heavy on the links. If you are getting started and checking out these resources, you may want to bookmark this page to make it easier to go back and find the YouTube channels and other apps and resources linked here. Let’s get started!
Yoga Practice at Home with YouTube
YouTube is probably one of the single greatest resources for starting your yoga practice at home. Practically any kind of yoga you can think of will be there, and there are full practices available as well as videos that break down and take you through a single pose.
One of my absolute favorites for full practices is SarahBethYoga. Her channel has videos broken down by category, and she often has practices of differing length within each category. She’s currently taking a little break from releasing new weekly content, as per her most recent video, but there is plenty there to keep you busy in the meantime. Need to fit your practice into ten minutes in the morning? She’s got a beginner video for that. Have a whole hour and want to really relax with restorative yoga? She’s got a video for that as well, and everything in-between.
Another great source is Yoga With Adriene. Her “30 Days of Yoga” comes up time and again when discussing getting started with a home yoga practice. It’s great for really kick-starting a habit of daily yoga practice at home. I find her to be gentle and soothing, and she has a knack for interesting flows.
If you are looking to really break down poses, look no further than KinoYoga. Kino earned the nickname “the encyclopedia of yoga”. She has been practicing for almost 20 years, and studied under the founder of the Ashtanga yoga tradition. She also has full practice videos for all levels. Kino does a great job of explaining breath and alignment in poses, and also potential problem areas. I admit to being a huge fan of hers. You will see her come up again later in this post, and probably later on the blog.
Yoga Practice at Home with Apps
There are several apps out that that can help you get started with your yoga practice at home. Yoga apps range in quality and price, but I’m here to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.
My personal favorite app is FitStar Yoga. The app has several advantages over other yoga apps, in my opinion. Firstly, the app allows you to set your level of experience. Secondly, it allows you to rate individual poses as “too easy”, “just right”, or “too hard”. It then takes your experience level and pose ratings into account to create a customized practice.
With the free version of the app, you get one customized session per week. The free version also comes with a decent selection of what they call “freestyle sessions”. Freestyle sessions are pre-programmed flows of varying length. Each freestyle session focuses on a different theme or pose. You can come back to these again and again, as many times as you’d like.
If you upgrade to the paid premium version, you unlock the entire library of freestyle sessions. With FitStar Yoga premium, you get unlimited customized sessions. You can either pay monthly ($7.99 per month) or subscribe for a whole year ($39.99 per year).
There’s one huge drawback to FitStar, though. For whatever reason, they have chosen to make the app available ONLY to iOS users. I’ve used the app for over two years now, and there has never been any move to develop the program for Android devices. I’m not sure why that is, since the company’s FitStar Personal Trainer app has both an Android and an iOS version. If you are an Android user, don’t despair. The next app is for you.
Another great app for beginning a yoga practice at home is Down Dog. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Down Dog lets you select what type of flow you’d like to do (Full, Restorative, or Quick), your level of expertise, and the length of time you’d like to practice. It then randomizes a sequence for you based on your parameters. Unlike FitStar, you aren’t limited to a certain number of sessions per week.
Like most apps, there’s a premium version that gives you additional features. You get a two week free trial of these premium features when you first sign up for the app. After that, you can choose to become a member at a monthly ($7.99 per month) or yearly ($49.99 per year) rate. With your paid membership you get the ability to add targeted “boosts” to your session to focus on a specific body part. You can also change the pace of your session to make it more or less challenging. Finally, you get access to additional playlists not available in the free version of the app. These extras aren’t necessary, but they can be nice to have if this will be your primary source for practicing yoga at home.
The Cody app is a total fitness app that offers several great yoga programs. The app can be downloaded for free. You get a limited number of free workouts when you sign up with Cody. You can then purchase individual classes and program packages, which vary in price. Once you purchase a particular class or program, it will be in your Cody library forever. Two of my favorite yoga instructors on Cody are Dana Falsetti and Jessamyn Stanley. My girl Kino MacGregor also has some courses available here. Cody is available for iOS, Android, Apple TV, and on your desktop or laptop.
OmStars is a relatively new kid on the block. While it isn’t an app per se, I’m putting it here since it’s the best fit. OmStars is the brainchild of Kino MacGregor (I told you, I’m a fan) and Kerri Verna (aka BeachYogaGirl). Together, they’ve launched an online yoga “channel” consisting of practice videos, targeted programs, and guided meditations as well as lifestyle videos geared toward yoga-centric travel and cooking.
As a disclaimer, I backed the Kickstarter for OmStars, so I might be a bit biased. However, I have found it to be a great resource for building a yoga practice at home. The videos vary in length, focus, and skill level, and there is enough content on the site to last you for a very long time. Amazingly, they are still adding new content all the time. Kino and Kerri are the main hosts, but there are others. The site is constantly evolving.
As luck would have it, Kerri is starting a new challenge for beginners today. The videos will be posted to the site, and the poses are posted to Instagram. This course promises to break down 10 poses in 10 minutes each day for 10 days.It’s sure to be a fun way to start your yoga practice and get you into the basics, so be sure to check it out!
OmStars is online only and subscription-based. Subscriptions are $14.99 per month. OmStars offers a one week free trial before you commit to a subscription. Right now, they are also offering your first month for $10. Follow Kino (@kinoyoga) and Kerri (@beachyogagirl) on Instagram to get the code and get started.
Other Resources for Your Home Yoga Practice
There are a ton of great books and websites out there to help you build your home yoga practice. Yoga Journal’s website has breakdowns of poses and their variations, basic sequences, and host of informational articles on the practice of yoga. They also have a print magazine if paper is more your thing. Yoga International is another great authority website to find information on the practice of yoga, and you can subscribe to be able to stream yoga classes in a variety of styles, intensities, and lengths.
For books, there are several great choices available. The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown is a perennial best-seller, with poses clearly illustrated for the beginner. One of the texts we’re using for my yoga teacher training, Yoga for Wellness by Gary Kraftsow, has wonderfully clear photos that show basic poses and sequences, as well as information on how to support your practice with the breath and prescribed sequences for specific maladies such as back pain. A new book that is sure to be a welcome addition to any yoga library is Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley. Jessamyn’s book is chock-full of great information, but it’s presented in such a fun and colorful way that you’ll never be bored by the finer details of where to put your foot in warrior pose.
What Are You Waiting For?
Hopefully, after this series, you feel confident in getting started with your own yoga practice. Whether you start at home or find a studio, I hope that your yoga journey brings you peace, joy, and increased health and fitness. As always, feel free to leave me questions or comments below, or use the Contact Me page to shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you!
Disclaimer: I do not own or manage any of the content linked in this article. If you are the owner of this content, and you would like for me to edit the attributions or remove the links posted herein, please contact me. I will be happy to comply with your request. I am not associated with any of the content creators or app developers mentioned herein, nor will I receive any compensation. These are just my honest opinions about things that helped me to get started with yoga.