7 Great Yoga Apps So You Can Stretch and Relax Anywhere

Having yoga apps gets rid of one of the most common excuses for not getting your stretch on — lack of time. (Photo: fizkes/Shutterstock)

For many of us, the toughest part of yoga isn't the twisty poses or remembering to breathe into your poses — it's getting to class. During bad weather, the holidays or any busy time of year, it's even harder, and sometimes, you just don't want to deal with the stress of traffic just to go somewhere to relax.

You can keep up with your practice — or just get into it more deeply or more often — if you have a yoga app or two on your phone or tablet. Even 15 minutes of practice is better than nothing, so having yoga apps around at all times gets rid of one of the most common excuses for not getting your stretch on — lack of time.

Yoga and Pilates with Kristin McGee is free, but you pay for individual classes (around $2.99 each); the upshot is that the videos are highly rated and instead of a patched-together set of images, instruction is in typical class/video form.

Pocket Yoga offers illustrations rather than live-person demos of poses, which might be a turnoff for some people. However, this yoga app is one of the highest rated and most popular, and once you buy it for $2.99, you get access to upgrades (which are a regular occurrence).

iYoga has the very unique feature of motion-capture animation showing which muscles are engaged in 80 poses (with another 110 available for in-app purchase), which can really help you understand what areas you are targeting and where you should be feeling the pose as you move. You can combine 10, 15, or any number of poses together to create your own class, and there's an option of pre-set classes too (all poses are narrated as well).

Simply Yoga Free, is, as its name implies, free, and it is very popular and well-rated. A real person demonstrates yoga poses and while it only includes three basic yoga classes (20 minute, 40 minute and 60 minute versions), it's ideal for beginners, since the class is straightforward and well-narrated.

Yoga 101 is an easy way to get into yoga, and the 101 level includes basics poses; there are 201 and 301 (for an additional cost) for when you are ready to advance. Instruction is video-style and done outside in a relaxing environment.

Yoga Face is yoga for the facial muscles, which can help reduce wrinkles, reduce swelling and droopy lids, and add tone to the face (and even build up cheekbones). It also feels great and if you hold tension in your face or jaw, it can help relax the whole body.

Yoga for Weight Loss is part of a suite of apps by Saagara that you buy as a package, and also includes Yoga for Migraines, Core Yoga and more. Computer illustrations aren't the most attractive, but each set of poses targets specific issues, which other apps don't tend to do.