Nothing compares to unplugging and stepping away from technology for a little bit, whether it's your phone/tablet/laptop/and so on. If you never give yourself the opportunity to completely "unplug" or remove yourself from electronics for a small period of time I recommend you try it. Whether it's a little bit of time to meditate, an opportunity to take a yoga class, or a chance to get outside, stepping away can do wonders to boost your creativity, positive outlook, and overall well being. While removing yourself from distractions and taking a break from technology can do wonders for you, we are modern yogi’s living in modern times and sometimes we aren't able to take a break from electronics. For times like those or for times when you're lacking inspiration it's okay to turn to technology to assist us in our yoga practice (or teaching!). Whether your yoga practice needs a little spicing up or requires just a little bit more help than usual, it's OK to turn to technology for a little bit of help. That's what it's there for right? To make life a little easier for us. I haven't wanted to rely on my phone but I’ve found it really helpful for my yoga practice and teaching especially when I’m feeling uninspired, distracted, bored, or I'm pressed for time. So why not embrace technology and use it to my advantage?
Here is a list of all of my favorite apps and programs that help keep me inspired in my yoga practice.
Click any of the images below for more information and reviews for each app.
The MindBody App- MindBody is a handy app that lists all your favorite studios and helps you locate others in the area. It is not just for yoga studios exclusively; find your other favorite boutique fitness studio here. Please note that unless a studio is participating with this app it will not show up. My favorite feature about it is that it allows me to view all of my favorite studios schedule’s both individually or I can view all of the studios’ classes at once and compare. Not only can you view and compare class locations, times, and prices, but you can also sign up for classes and workshops within the app. As someone that is always “on-the-go” with an ever changing schedule this I rely heavily on the MindBody app to figure out when and where I can squeeze in my next studio class. As important as my home practice is there is so much value taking a class with another instructor or at another studio.
Download it for free here.
The Mindfulness App: Meditation for Everyone- I credit this app for my regular meditation practice. The app offers a variety of customizable meditations, both silent and guided. You can meditate for as little as a 1 minute to 95 minutes. You have the option to set a series of bells to “ding” and can adjust the interval at which they ring (that way you know how far into your meditation you are). The app was also recently updated to allow you to set a meditation reminder in your phone, which you can customize for each day of the week. The update also includes in app purchases to purchase or subscribe to certain meditations. I loved this app personally because of how user friendly it was and because I was able to easily personalize my meditations based on how I was feeling and the time I had to meditate. It made it easy and held me accountable to a routine.
Download it for free here.
Groupon- Not a yoga specific app but Groupon is great. Many yoga studios and boutique fitness studios offer inexpensive new student specials to attract new clientele to their studios! Before you make a purchase read the fine print in detail and check out the studio’s schedule. Do classes expire, and if so how long after you purchase them? Does the studio offer a variety of classes that are convenient for your schedule? If yes, then go for it! Try a new studio and save some cash while you’re at it. I credit Groupon for the opportunity to experience MANY different studios in the Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts area. So get out there a experience new studios around your community (this is a great method of networking especially if you're a teacher!) and save some cash while you're at it!
Download it for free here.
Instagram- Again not a yoga specific app but chances are you can find inspiration from your favorite yogi here! I use instagram to stay up to date on trainings, workshops, ect. from my favorite teachers. I follow health and wellness bloggers, magazines, the works, in to create a network of good vibes and inspiration. The images you see on a daily basis do have an impact on the way you think of yourself and the world around which is why I chose to follow accounts that promote authenticity, honesty, positivity, and overall well being. Not only is it a great resource for inspiration and information, I've found it to be a very helpful resource for my growth as a teacher. Not only do I use it for learning purposes I also use Instagram to share my personal experiences and what I offer as a teacher. It is by far my favorite form of social media for keeping in touch with friends, family, students, and teachers.
Download it for free here.
YogaGlo- The app is free but the subscription will cost you about $18/month after the 15 day free trial when you first sign up. It sounds like a lot, however it is approximately the same cost as purchasing 1 yoga class/month in a studio, and your YogaGlo membership gives you access to unlimited classes taught by world renowned teachers. Classes range from 5 minutes to 90 minutes and you can take them all within the comfort of your own home. While the downside is you may easily get distracted practicing at home if you’re pressed for time, or want to switch things up with your yoga practice, this app is perfect. It’s compatible with your Wii, Roku, tablets, laptop, phone, ect. I love it because it allows me the opportunity to "take a class" with a teacher I may not ever get the chance to practice with. I also rely on it when I need to fit some yoga into my day and I'm short on time or inspiration. It's a great way to shake up my home practice without having to leave home.
Download if for free here.
Spotify- Not a yoga app but self explainatory. I use it to create and share playlists for yoga. I also follow other yoga teachers for inspiration and to shake up my playlists. Not only is it great for personal and professional use, you can also find guided meditations. The premium option allows you to download the music offline to take with you anywhere, the free option however, if just fine and provides you almost unlimited options. So either create a playlist for yourself to downward dog to, or find one already created for you.
Essential Anatomy 5- Not a yoga app, and definitely not a "must-have" app as a student or a teacher. I will admit I did get a bit excessive when I purchased this but I had my eye on it for quite awhile and I am very happy with it. This app will set you back about $35 (s/o to work for the iTunes gift card last Christmas). With it however, you are able to see over 8,200 structures in the body. The app provides you a 3D view of each structure and also allows you the opportunity to view the structure in relation to the rest of the body or to isolate and view the structure on it's own. I find it useful for my own continued studies with anatomy (keep in mind my major in college was Kinesiology and I think this stuff is cool). I find it extremely helpful especially when working with students individually. I'm able to give them a visual of what body part or muscle I'm describing to them and the image I want to show them is always at my fingertips. I would not recommend this app to anyone new to, or not well versed in anatomy. I would recommend starting off with a free or cheaper option before progressing to Essential Anatomy 5. Keep in mind there are other cheaper options out there, however if you're an anatomy nerd looking to treat yo'self this one is great.
Download it here.
Try them out and let me know what you think by commenting below. Let me know if I missed one of your favorite apps or if there's one you think I should try! I'm always open to suggestion and trying something new. While yoga and technology do not seem like they could compliment each other, when done so carefully and mindfully, they can beautifully compliment each other.