What’s the Best Yoga App for Beginners?

There is an app for absolutely everything these days, and yoga is no exception. There are dozens of apps out there in the marketplace that promise to teach yoga, help you maintain a routine, show you a new pose every day, and on and on. Most of us don’t need multiple yoga apps on our phone, competing for our attention, but choosing the right app, especially for beginners, can be like spinning the roulette wheel--literally. Some of them can be relatively expensive.

Learning yoga is a deeply personal process, and the key to evaluating any yoga app is the degree of personalization it supports. One way of putting it: A good yoga app should listen as much as it speaks. It should adjust to your preferences, schedule, and ability, not simply blast you with generic information. This means there is no one-size-fits-all yoga app that is best for all beginners. But there are certainly some good ones out there. 

One of the best yoga apps for beginners we’ve found has a name that’s easy to remember: Down Dog. It’s very popular with users, with an Apple Store ranking that usually hovers above 4.9 out of 5 stars, and unlike some other leading yoga apps, it’s also available for Android devices.

Down Dog is actually a comprehensive yoga app, designed to support every level of practice. What makes it especially good for beginners is a dedicated “Yoga for Beginners” platform that is absolutely free. This means you can try the app out with full functionality to figure out if its approach works for you. The Down Dog beginners version offers a three-day Intro to Yoga class, focusing on the Vinyasa, Hatha, and Restorative yoga styles. Don’t know what those are? Down Dog will show you.

Unlike some yoga apps that offer canned video classes, Down Dog advertises that you’ll never get the same class twice. And with 60,000 different configurations, it’s completely customizable. That’s important. Again, don’t change for your yoga app. Your yoga app should adapt to you. Down Dog lets you choose your own classes, practice level, music, and even instruction voice. 

And Down Dog gets high marks for adaptability. It syncs across multiple devices, is available in ten different languages, and offers you a choice of six instructors. If you’re going to be offline or away from WiFi for a while, you can even download a session to take with you pretty much anywhere. Use it on your phone or tablet, or watch your instructor on the big screen with Chromecast or Apple Airplay. More than one yoga enthusiast in the house? You can share the app with the whole family.

If the Down Dog beginners platform works for you and you want to move on to higher-level yoga support, the cost is $7.99 per month or $49.99 per year, about the same as the average video streaming service. Only with Down Dog, you won’t be lounging on the couch with a bowl of chips.

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