The other day, one of my friends asked me…
…if I had any recommendations on a good yoga workout DVD. While I actually have one or two prenatal yoga ones which I used sporadically (read: twice) during my first pregnancy, I have never really gotten into the whole “workout-at-home” thing.
However, my friend is a busy mama of three. Her youngest is an infant whom she still nurses. She lives in a small town that does have a couple of yoga studios but no gyms that offer child care. So, in order for her to make it to a class once she actually finds the motivation, she has to rely on her husband coming home at a certain time or hire a babysitter.
Coincidentally, the next day, one of my friends in Germany – a yoga instructor herself and mama to three little boys – told me that if it wasn’t for YogaGlo she “would not have been able to participate in any sort of guided yoga practice in years.”
YogaGlo.com offers over 2,500 professionally-filmed online yoga classes taught by experienced, certified yoga teachers to customers around the world. They believe that yoga should be accessible to everyone and their classes are designed to give you an in-studio experience, at an affordable price, in your own home.
Unlike with a DVD, YogaGlo lets you take classes on your smart phone or tablet. You are neither restricted to the exact same practice every time nor do you have to make space in front of your TV.
All classes are structured into three general themes (body, heart and mind) and several sub-categories (i.e. cross training, vitality, explore emotions, self inquiry). You can also customize your own filter to search for the class that most fits you at any given time – by duration, level, style, teacher, preferred body part, focus and music/no music.
YogaGlo costs $18.00 per month which is as much as you would pay for one drop-in class at your local studio. The first 15 days are free and you can cancel your membership at any time.
So far, I have taken four different classes – one 10-minute, one 30-minute and one 45-minute yoga class as well as a 30-minute meditation session. Each time the class description was precise and the expectation as to what I would get out of the class was met or even exceeded. Each of the teacher’s instructions were easy to follow. Some classes are taught solo, others have several yogis practicing with the teacher in the studio. You can pause the classes and pick up where you left off at a later time. You can also save your favorites under a “my practice” tab for future reference.
You take the classes in your own home and are no longer limited to a certain space or time. This is especially great for mamas with young children. You can squeeze in a quick class while baby is napping and don’t get pulled over while rushing home from the studio because baby needs to eat.
I took a couple of classes while my kids were in school. After I had spent all morning sitting at Starbuck’s and watching re-runs of “Kim & Kourtney Take Indianapolis” (#notreally #runningaroundlikeachickenwithitsheadcutoff) I was able to take a last minute flow class before pick up.
I was excited that I was able to take my iPad outside on our patio and practice in the sun (in February!) which was total bliss. At the same time, if you live in the Northeastern United States or Central Europe and are currently snowed in, with YogaGlo you can still get your yoga on without having to dig yourself out of your house. Double bonus!
I also love the fact that you can stick with the same teacher every time and really dive deeper into your practice or are free to explore different styles of yoga, breath work, even meditation as much as you want.
Most important, you do not need to have any kind of experience whatsoever. YogaGlo is a great tool for people who are just getting started with a practice and who might find going to a studio to be somewhat of a daunting task.
You take the classes in your own home. That means you have to be OK with potential distractions, i.e. be able to lay still in savasana while mountains of unfolded laundry are sitting next to you on the couch.
It also takes a little bit more self discipline to take out your mat at home and stay with the practice 100% for the entire time knowing you won’t have your instructor’s or fellow yogis’ eyes on you (go ahead and judge! I know you are not supposed to pay attention to other people but we all do it at some point).
The biggest drawback, I think, is that you do not have the benefits of a “real” teacher who can make adjustments to your alignment or whom you can ask questions after class.
In my opinion, nothing beats a live class with your yoga teacher BUT this is a great option for people like my friends who are staying home with small children and who are somewhat restricted by their kids’ schedules. This is also a perfect solution for working mothers who only have a few minutes to do yoga in the morning before the craziness of the day starts. People who travel frequently and who do not want to miss out on their practice while on the road can also take advantage of this way of doing yoga anytime, anywhere. All it takes is your smartphone or tablet that most people already have with them everywhere they go. Give it a try – if you use it frequently, $18.00 is a steal!
Have you tried similar programs? What are your favorite ways of practicing yoga?